Ascent of Citadel Mountain on 2016-07-18

Climber: Steve Sheriff

Date:Monday, July 18, 2016
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
Peak:Citadel Mountain
    Elevation:9030 ft / 2752 m

Ascent Trip Report

We used the Virginia Falls approach to climb Citadel from a really pretty camp at 6,250' above upper Virginia Falls. The approach to there is not technically bad. However it is a bit tedious and slow given the brush while acending the ridge (see GPS track) and plenty of side-hilling with ups & downs on discontinuous game trails during the traverse to the upper basin. A good goat trail gets you through the cliff band that supports the falls. We were 5 hours to camp even though it is only 4.5 miles and 2,000' vertical or so.

From camp it is fairly easy to pick out a route to the Citadel-Dusty Star saddle and then the half-mile traverse to a weakness high on the southeast face that allows access to Citadel's summit. There are a couple 3rd class spots in the 1,000' ascent gulley below the summit, none are tricky nor very exposed. We were 5 hours from camp to summit. Citadel's summit provides an exceptionally nice view of the Blackfoot Basin and more distant summits in the park and beyond.

On the GPS tracks our descent route is slightly more efficent than our ascent for which we circumnavigated the krummholz forest using high meadows. You can't see the descent route from below, but it is obvious where to go if you overlay the GPS tracks on Google Earth. Note that GPS signal was occluded by Dusty Star on the traverse so that track does not show all the ups & downs on that traverse nor details of the summit gulley. For a round-trip from the trailhead expect about 16 miles and nearly 6,300' of total vertical gain.

North cirque route - there is currently a good description at:
Summary Total Data
GPS Data for Ascent/Trip

 GPS Waypoints - Hover or click to see name and lat/long
Peaks:  climbed and  unclimbed by Steve Sheriff
Click Here for a Full Screen Map
Note: GPS Tracks may not be accurate, and may not show the best route. Do not follow this route blindly. Conditions change frequently. Use of a GPS unit in the outdoors, even with a pre-loaded track, is no substitute for experience and good judgment. accepts NO responsibility or liability from use of this data.

Download this GPS track as a GPX file

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