Ascent of Mount Gilbert on 2016-07-11
|Date:||Monday, July 11, 2016|
|Ascent Type:||Successful Summit Attained|
| Elevation:||11120 ft / 3389 m|
Ascent Trip ReportCrown Jewels Traverse-
Gilbert to Mazama (we added a loop around Echo Lake with the south Echo peaks; No Echo Knob ( Peak 10,882) and EchoBox Peak (Peak 10,820)) to Stillman to Ruby Pyramid to Ruby Dome. The original plan was to get to Lee peak for the fullest expression of this, but the Echo Loop took longer than expected and we were tired and it was getting dark and we still had to descent the unknown cliffbands below the ~10,200 foot notch to the west of Seitz Lake to get back to camp. Amazing day with great weather, lots of snow made getting water easy, but in a few weeks it would probably be much more difficult to get while on the ridge, if you take the Echo loop then there will be the lake of course.
We camped at the beautiful Seitz Lake. Forget the other approaches, this is the money, the approach passes giant glacial horns, huge cliffs multiple large beaver ponds and you camp in view of one of the sexiest looking couliors around, and NOBODY is there. Access is an issue, but the Spring Creek association was easy to coordinate with even though we started on a Sunday, they do charge more than is reasonable for a 3 day trip though. We thought about making a copy of the key they gave us before returning it, but it would have entailed going to Elko and then back to Spring Creek and we already had a bit of a drive back to SLC.
Gilbert is a great peak and the traverse below the west face is easy and not really loose, lots of goats, you can go down the northwest coulior without too much difficulty even though it looks scary from afar. You can stay high and go over the fin to get to the saddle east of Mazama, there is a ledge system that is hard to see when approaching, but easy once on top and that way you dont have to lose elevation to go around and up the coulior. I approached Stillman after descending to Echo lake and took some granite blocks up and ran into a couple 4th class sections, but if you stay further north than that I think it could be kept at 3rd class. The ridge connected Stillman and Ruby Pyramid has several big gendarmes that dissuaded us from tackling it without a rope, there may be a way through all of that but it looked like there were going to be multiple dicey sections. We dropped to the south and rejoined above the Ruby saddle where we ditched our packs to tag the Pyramid and then the dome before returning and then making our way into the beautiful basin to the north of Ruby dome while traversing around the point 11,054 to get to the saddle at ~10,200 feet that separates Seitz Canyon from this basin. We made our way down with very little difficulty even in though it was dark now, the very last sets of cliff bands can be negotiated by traversing until you find a break and then going back and forth in such a manner until you are down. Just dont get too far south. We had another great night drinking whisky, and slept in, relaxed int he morning in this grandeur before making our way down to some beer we stashed in the stream below the beaver lodge. Great trip! How did it take me so long to get to the Rubies!?
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| Route:||Crown Jewels Traverse; Seitz Canyon|
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