Ascent of Grizzly Peak on 2010-02-09

Climber: William Musser

Others in Party:Guide Mike McKern
Date:Tuesday, February 9, 2010
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
    Motorized Transport to Trailhead:Car
Peak:Grizzly Peak
    Elevation:13427 ft / 4092 m

Ascent Trip Report

Started Trip at 9:50AM Summited Grizzly at 2:00 PM and got back to car at 4:30PM. 6 miles and a total of 3000 feet of gain over several peaks. My first time hiking higher altitude in winter conditions. Hired guide to show me equipment and outdoor safety in snow. Temperature was -7 degrees F when we left and did not get warmer than 10 degrees F. Beautiful sunny day but windy up high. 20 mile winds with stronger gusts from time to time gave strong windchill. Snow conditions were dangerous this year. Extreme cold conditions with unusually little snow made slopes high avalanche risk so we hiked the ridge line avoiding cornices. Some large cornices with several feet of overhang - so we stayed 8 feet or more from the edge.

The best part of this trip was the views of the nearby fourteeners. From this peak range there are some spectacular and up close views of both Gray's Peak and Torreys Peak. From Grizzly Peak you are so close to Torreys it is tempting to continue. If I had not been so weak from sickness we would have.

I wore full mountainteering boots with outer plastic for the first time and they were very uncomfortable on the heels. Snow was wind glazed in many areas no fresh powder anywhere so snowshoes not needed. Deepest I sank was upper shins in a few places. Crampons were not needed in most places because quite a bit of rock was exposed. I found the boots worked better in snow then the rock. They were cumbersome on the steeper class 2 and 2+ areas. Little scrambling needed only to circumnavigate rock pinnacles. On the way back we simply climbed steep snow banks to avoid the rock scrambling.

Each peak has subesquently steeper climbing conditions. Leaving the Loveland Pass the first peak (East Loveland Pass Peak) is a simple class 1 hike. Peak 13,117 is class 1 and 2. Getting to the third peak on the range (peak 12,936) was all class 2 and I believe that is where the small pinnacles were. The climb up Grizzly Peak was all class 2 with a few steep sections.

The overall trip was difficult for me since I nearly baled out the night before. Skiing Breckenrdige the night before I nearly passed out on the skilift from food posioning and nausea. I struggled down off the black slope then thankfully blue slopes, dizzy, and on the verge of throwing up many times. I raced into the bathrooom at basecamp and exploded. I awoke the morning of the 14er climb and was still dehydrated and weak from no food. My legs were strong and my muscles never fatigued but I found my energy level far below normal and I averaged less than a mile an hour climbing in the cold windy conditions. Fighting wind chill, altitude with unacclimized Florida lungs, snow, and food posioning recovery required more energy than I had. We turned back after Grizzly. A fun day and great views but dissappointing performance.

Summary Total Data
    Total Elevation Gain:707 ft / 215 m
    Total Elevation Loss:707 ft / 215 m
    Round-Trip Distance:0.8 mi / 1.3 km
    Grade/Class:2 (with some 3)
    Quality:8 (on a subjective 1-10 scale)
    Route Conditions:
Unmaintained Trail, Open Country, Snow on Ground, Snow Climb
    Gear Used:
Crampons, Ski Poles, Guide
    Weather:Frigid, Windy, Clear
very cold -7 to 9 F bue clear
Ascent Statistics
    Gain on way in:707 ft / 215 m
    Distance:0.4 mi / 0.6 km
    Route:Ridge lines from pass
    Start Trailhead:Loveland Pass  12720 ft / 3877 m
Descent Statistics
    Loss on way out:707 ft / 215 m
    Distance:0.4 mi / 0.6 km
    End Trailhead:12720 ft / 3877 m
Ascent Part of Trip: Grizzly Peak

Complete Trip Sequence:
1East Loveland Pass Peak2010-02-09 a925 ft / 282 m
2Cupid2010-02-09 b403 ft / 123 m
3Peak 129362010-02-09 c180 ft / 55 m
4Grizzly Peak2010-02-09 d707 ft / 215 m
5Peak 129362010-02-09 e216 ft / 66 m
6Cupid-bypassed top to get back2010-02-09 f304 ft / 93 m
7East Loveland Pass Peak2010-02-09 g201 ft / 61 m
Total Trip Gain: 2936 ft / 895 m    Total Trip Loss: 2936 ft / 894 m

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