Ascent of Guye Peak on 2017-08-06

Climber: Sandeep Kumar

Date:Sunday, August 6, 2017
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
    Motorized Transport to Trailhead:Car
Peak:Guye Peak
    Elevation:5168 ft / 1575 m

Ascent Trip Report

It was a tiring day in the sun on south west face of Guye Peak. We summitted via the Improbable Traverse route.

We drove to Snoqualmie Pass and checked out the start of the route, which is on "private" Ober Strasse road, right where it takes a sharp right turn. You can see the whole approach from here. There is a nice big gravel pullout, but it's all private. After checking it out, we went back to the public road and parked in the nearest pullout just past the entry to Ober Strasse road. From here it's a 5 minutes walk to that gravel pullout. We went up the talus field mostly keeping left where the rock was less chossy. Once at the end of the talus, we had the option to do the class 4 section unroped or rope it up. We decided to rope it up. Swagat led this. He essentially (well not essentially, but literally) free solo-ed this. Luckily for me it was a nice top rope, and indeed very lucky, because I fell on this one. I grabbed a hand hold that looked well-attached, but came out as soon as I put my weight on it. Even though class 4, it was near vertical, and I fell a good 10 feet because of the rope stretch, but totally unhurt. I am very glad I didn't free solo it. This also set the pace for the rest of the route, where I would test every single hold, which is a very good thing!

Once past the 4th class, we had the option to walk easy 3rd class, but we were already a bit higher than that easy walk, and decided to do another pitch of slightly harder, but still barely 4th class. This was full of moss and loose rocks, because probably no one usually does this variation. I led this one. It was hard to find decent pro on this one (everything was loose). Finally I went further left to the main wall, which was more solid, and found a place to put 3 pros and make an anchor. From here we did another pitch to get to the trees. From the tree, another short pitch to the top of some boulders. And then another short pitch around the corner to the lunch ledge. From here you could look at the Improbable Traverse pitch in it's full glory. We kept staring at the route to figure out what was the correct route. We had the full detailed description of the route from Summitpost, but still we couldn't figure out the right path. We saw one shiny piton, but surprisingly I missed this when actually doing the traverse.

So, from lunch ledge, I started under the sketchy overhang. Mind you this was pretty sketchy for me. I wouldn't say it was 5.7. More like 5.9, I almost fell here. This is what I would called crux 1. The piton section wasn't the crux for us (but then I was off-route, and was using the wrong piton probably). From here I went up and right, where there was a tiny ledge, and some reminiscent of dry grass. Solid place to stand. From here I could see a rusty piton 5 feet down and right. This wasn't the shiny piton we spotted earlier. But we thought this is the first of the two pitons, and the shiny would be the second (We were wrong). Anyways I set up an anchor here (on this good place to stand ledge, 5 feet before the rusty piton). Then I started the next pitch. Clipped the piton easily, and the move wasn't that bad. I kept hoping to see the second piton, hopefully the shiny one, but never saw. I continued. At one point I saw some section to go down, but felt it was too sketchy. So I kept going right, and slightly up, and somehow made to the high angle ramp, about 15 feet above where the route actually is supposed to end I think. The last traverse part to reach the high angle ramp was crux 2 for me. And was pretty scary on crimps.

Once at HAR, I built an anchor, belayed my partner. Then did another pitch, but the rope wasn't long enough, so built another anchor somewhere on the ramp. Then the next pitch to the trees was led by Swagat. Again he free soloed this section and belayed from the tree. Then we packed our rope in the backpack, and did the class 3 part to the start of the last pitch. I led the last pitch. The start was on good rock, but just after 10 feet, the route was loose and full of dirt. I couldn't figure out what the intended route was, so I just followed whatever looked right to me. The rope drag was immense. I slung the first tree I found, and belayed from there. BTW, all this time my muscles in the forearm were cramping while pulling the rope, when top-belaying. This was my 8th lead of the day after all, and my water ran out hours ago, and I was very dehydrated, baking in the sun in the 99 degree weather. Anyways I pulled up the rope, belayed, and then we climbed up the last 50 feet to the top.

Descent wasn't easy either. Luckily Swagat had done the hiking route before, so he knew how to descend (the part that crosses the 3 summits is not trivial). We walked on the other side of the summit a hundred feet or so. Then followed a booth path slightly down on the right side of some protrusion. Then we went up again to the top middle summit, and then down again until we spotted two trees with slings. We took the higher one to rappel down into the gully. Then walked 50 feet or so, and then there was an awesome gully to go up to reach the north summit. This awesome gully is not totally visible from the Middle or South summit. We could see that there is a gully, but the visible part was much steep and we thought we would have to belay that one. But once we arrived at the bottom of the gully, we knew it was easy. We reached the North summit, and then I turned on my Peakbagger app to see the gpx route that I had downloaded. We followed the gpx down to the car. We arrived at 10.15 pm, 14.5 hours after we started.
Click on photo for original larger-size version.
View of the talus field and the route from the route (2017-08-06). Photo by Sandeep Kumar.
Click here for larger-size photo.
Summary Total Data
    Total Elevation Gain:2218 ft / 676 m
    Quality:8 (on a subjective 1-10 scale)
    Route Conditions:
Unmaintained Trail, Scramble, Exposed Scramble, Rock Climb
    Gear Used:
    Weather:Hot, Calm, Clear
Very hot day
Ascent Statistics
    Gain on way in:2218 ft / 676 m
    Route:Improbable Traverse
    Start Trailhead:Erste Strasse road pullout  2950 ft / 899 m
    Time:11 Hours 45 Minutes
Descent Statistics
    Route:Cave Ridge Trail
    Time:2 Hours 45 Minutes

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