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 Peak:  Vestal Peak (13er)
 Route:  Wham
 Range:  San Juan
 Posted By:  Monster5
 Date of Information:  08/31/2013
 Date Posted:  09/02/2013
 Report

Route is in good condition and free of snow/ice (likely to change daily).

The trail starts just after the beaver ponds on the CT - follow the pond shore's east side south (i.e. skirt the lake left) until a solid trail starts. A bit of downfall to hop over heading into Vestal Basin.

The trail split for the upper basin between Vestal and Arrow is fairly obvious at ~11450 near the end of a large meadow. Solid trail winds up the drainage.

Entered the Wham via a brief class 3 gully on climber's right side of the toe prior to ascending grassy slopes and low angled slab up and eventually to the ridge. No need to contour all the way left around the lake. Crux pitches were solid (single move 5.4, plenty of 4th and 5.easy). We might've traversed left too soon after the crux (~100ft). Not sure what the best option is here - I think ascending a couple hundred feet higher and then traversing left and up.

The descent wasn't nearly as bad as expected. Cairned trail on the right side of the prominent SE gully and solid trail traversing to the saddle. Plenty of solid options for bypassing scree. The descent from the Arrow/Vestal saddle was a bit annoying but still a scree ski.

Rack used: BD .5, 2, nut set, slings, 30 m rope. Mostly short rope style and simul with terrain belays. 30 m was plenty sufficient for the two spicier pitches with ledge belays. Naturally, the gear and protection (if any) views depends on the party's ability.



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