Ascent of Gannett Peak on 2018-07-08

Climber: Mike Christiansen

Others in Party:Don Christiansen
Date:Sunday, July 8, 2018
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
    Motorized Transport to Trailhead:4x4 Vehicle
Peak:Gannett Peak
    Elevation:13804 ft / 4207 m

Ascent Trip Report

Day 1: Mona's grandson Taylor gave us a ride from Crowheart to the trailhead. Saw many pronghorn antelope on the drive in. Started hiking about 9:30am. Saw more pronghorn at Scenic Pass and also a herd of elk. A couple places to filter water on the way in from melting snow streams. A couple more places on the back side of scenic pass. The trail is very overgrown and probably not as well traveled and was difficult to follow in many places. The meadow grows right over and fills in quickly. After crossing Scenic Pass, we descended the back side and quickly lost the trail. We picked it up again at the first lake the trail passes around to the north. In hindsight, we should have stayed further left (uphill) as we angled down into the valley. If you walk directly in the direction of Gannett Peak, you need to aim a little left further than that and you will see rock cairns and large white logs (sticking out of the ground) as markers. We used the correct trail on the return trip. We hiked in about 16 miles to elevation 10,200 and set up base camp.

Day 2: Summit day. Woke up at 4:30am, ate good breakfast and left camp at 5:30am. Followed the trail up then snow to Dinwoody Glacier. Saw a shorter route up rocks to the right from bottom of Dinwoody glacier and took that. Then a long, steep snow climb up where we saw several other groups of people. At the top of this long climb we could see the route over to the base of the chute where the famous bergschrund is. It was open on the right side, but the left was still solidly covered by snow bridge. The NOLS groups were roped up, but nobody else was. The conditions were good and we had no trouble climbing up the steep chute above the bergschrund. We passed the other groups who rested for a while at the top of the chute. We worked our way along the ridge, climbing the snowfield and continuing on to the summit, which we reached about 10am. We had it to ourselves for a little while. Cell phone had no service the entire time, but at the summit had LTE and called wife. Facetime'd Scott to show him the wonderful views. Climbed down the chute facing in towards the mountain on the steeper lower half. Plunge-stepped down the longer steep snow, then decided to take the Dinwoody glacier route down instead of the rocky path we came up. There were several crevasses visible very near our path down, including a couple we had to step over, so we roped up for this section. The remainder was a slow march back to camp, which we reached around 2:30pm. I tried to nap outside in the shade but the mosquitoes didn't allow it. The tent was over 100 degrees inside due to sun, but i retreated in there anyway to avoid the bugs. Slept til 6pm. Ver little breeze the entire day. Every now and then a very slight breeze would come through the tent, hitting the sweat on my skin and cooling me slightly. Ate dinner and was back in bed by 8pm. Slept til 6am next day.

Day 3: Packed up camp and hiked out. The crux of the trip was crossing a particular stream with two thin logs that bent down with body weight. We made it and continued past Echo Lakes. We turned right at a junction that said left for Ink Wells Lakes and right for Scenic pass. This was much more direct way. We filtered water as we went, and made camp about a mile before the drop off point, since Mona's grandson wouldn't be there to pick us up til 10am the next day.
Summary Total Data
    Total Elevation Gain:9628 ft / 2934 m
    Total Elevation Loss:9628 ft / 2934 m
    Round-Trip Distance:41.2 mi / 66.3 km
    Quality:10 (on a subjective 1-10 scale)
    Route Conditions:
Maintained Trail, Unmaintained Trail, Open Country, Snow on Ground, Snow Climb, Glacier Climb
    Gear Used:
Ice Axe, Crampons, Rope, Tent Camp
    Weather:Hot, Calm, Clear
Ascent Statistics
    Gain on way in:7628 ft / 2325 m
        Gain Breakdown:Net: 4221 ft / 1287 m; Extra: 3407 ft / 1038m
    Loss on way in:3407 ft / 1038 m
    Distance:20.2 mi / 32.5 km
    Start Trailhead:ink wells trailhead  9583 ft / 2920 m
    Time:1 Days 30 Minutes
Descent Statistics
    Loss on way out:6221 ft / 1896 m
        Loss Breakdown:Net: 4221 ft / 1287 m; Extra: 2000 ft / 609m
    Gain on way out:2000 ft / 609 m
    Distance:21 mi / 33.8 km
    End Trailhead:ink wells trailhead  9583 ft / 2920 m
    Time:1 Days 23 Hours 

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