Would you do Gladstone this week?

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Would you do Gladstone this week?

Postby IHikeLikeAGirl » Sat Aug 24, 2013 7:47 am

Have a partner in the San Juans who is currently camping and climbing, and expecting to meet me for an attempt on Gladstone (from Bilk Basin) on Tuesday or Wednesday.

NOAA forecast for that area on Sunday is 70-90% chance of rain (starting at 5a) with "heavy rainfall expected." And that carries into Monday, through the morning and evening.

Tuesday and Wednesday's forecasts are far from ideal, but better (40+% chance of storms all day) and rainfall is not as high.

With all that rain and Gladstone being notoriously loose, I'm thinking it's best to avoid that peak altogether this week. Am I being overly cautious? Are the east slopes to the ridge, not too bad? How would all that rain affect the ridge proper?

With the limited cell contact, I need to make a decision soon so I can let my partner know about any change in plans.

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Re: Would you do Gladstone this week?

Postby JosephG » Sat Aug 24, 2013 8:40 am

I wouldn't touch it Sunday or Monday with that forecast. Tuesday and Wednesday is more of a personal preference.

However, you can gain the ridge and have a very straightforward route without ever going on the east slopes. If you go up to where the ridge meets Wilson Peak, you can stay on the ridge all the way to Gladstone's summit and enjoy a relatively solid scramble. We did it from ROA, so I can't speak to the Bilk Basin approach. I will say the ridge near the Wilson/ROA saddle is not as bad as it appears. I would not be very comfortable ascending one of Gladstone's loose gullies, tho.

There are a few TRs (mine included;semi-shameless plug) that can help further. Also, we had cell contact all day, from ROA TH to summit.

Probably if you're already thinking it's ill-advised you already have a "not-wrong" answer.

Good luck, be safe!

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