Well....live and learn....Turbo and I tried to go for the traverse from Pettingell to Citadel this weekend, but we underestimated the crux of the route and didn't have the appropriate gear to make for a safe ascent.
Although the weather was brisk, we had very calm breezes and a really nice day of climbing and skiing. Started out at Herman Gulch at 7:20am and headed to Pettingell first.
The climb to Pettingell was a healthy one and we topped out in 5 hrs after navigating some fun gullies, eventually gaining a sparsely covered ridge that we followed to the summit.
After enjoying the amazing views for a while we high-tailed down the ridge over to Pt 12,xxx and the full traverse came into view.
View of ridge to Citadel
By this point, we had abandoned our poles and were relying strickly on our ice ax to navigate an increasingly difficult route. It seemed that some areas were aided by the snow and others were worsened.
another closer shot of Citadel
We were watching the clock when we made it to the crux of the traverse at 3pm. Traversing left was bad avi conditions, right was much of the same, and up was the only option. Unfortunately, we had only brought a rope, slings, and harnesses, but no pro. With ice and snow spackled to the route, we can didn't have the cojones to make a go of it and turned back.
headwall #1 option
headwall #2 option
After traversing back to below pt 12,xxx, we found a skiable saddle and had some beautiful turns all the way into the basin and then out to the car. Fun day, albeit disappointing that we didn't either a.) bring some pro or b.) go in the opposite direction.