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Ascent of Breccia Peak on 2017-01-15

Climber: Alex Lennon

Date:Sunday, January 15, 2017
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
Peak:Breccia Peak
    Location:USA-Wyoming
    Elevation:11010 ft / 3355 m

Ascent Trip Report

It was my first real sunny day off this winter, so I decided to head up to Togwotee to go snowshoeing. My original plan was Pilot Knob, but Breccia Peak caught my eye as I was driving by- I was surprised how gentle the climb looked, and how little the terrain looked exposed to avalanche potential. I drove into the nearby pullout and another guy was there from Lander, getting his ski gear together. He was heading more or less the same way, so I started up into the woods ahead of him. I told him I'd see how far I could get with just snowshoes, and see how the snow conditions played out over the course of the day.

Well it turned out that everything could not have gone smoother. The terrain was as safe as I suspected it might have been, and maybe even more so. Initially my route wandered over some gently rolling wooded terrain, which then gave way to a steeper ridge leading to a low point east of the peak, and this ridge was also sufficiently wooded to prevent anything from sliding even at the steeper angle. This ridge topped out at a wide, flat basin at treeline, where the remainder of the route became visible. To my delight, it followed an improbable, meandering ridge that was so long and gradual that one might have gotten stuck in the powder if they tried to ski down. Yet this ridge connected fully to the flat summit area, with one steep section up high which conveniently was windblown and snow-free.

All in all, from car to summit took two hours and the descent took an equal time. I was astounded by the impressive summit view, looking off the precipice of the Breccia Cliffs and into Jackson Hole. The entire Teton Range was visible today, and man did it look spectacular. To the south and east, the Gros Ventres and the Winds were equally stunning. And to the north, the Teton Wilderness and the Absarokas were seen from a unique and amazing angle. Lots of 'rolling' alpine peaks, numerous breccia faces, distant rugged peaks and picturesque basins dominated the scene in that direction.

This was my first winter 11,000ft summit in Wyoming, and though it was spur-of-the-moment, it ended up being one of the very best winter adventures I've ever been on. Looking forward to more like it in the future.
Click on photo for original larger-size version.
North Breccia Cliffs viewed from the summit of Breccia Peak. Just a hop, skip and a jump away! (2017-01-15). Photo by Alex Lennon.
Click here for larger-size photo.
Summary Total Data
    Total Elevation Gain:1610 ft / 490 m
    Route Conditions:
Snow on Ground
    Gear Used:
Ski Poles, Snowshoes
Ascent Statistics
    Gain on way in:1610 ft / 490 m
    Start Trailhead:9400 ft / 2865 m
Descent Statistics



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