Peak(s):  Pettingell Pk  -  13,553 feet
Post Date:  12/05/2011
Date Climbed:   12/03/2011
Posted By:  ulvetano

 Pettingell to Citadel Traverse (attempt) 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. Image
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.
ridge shot

Thumbnails for uploaded photos (click to open slideshow):

  • Comments or Questions

nice work all the same     12/05/2011 18:54
Nice report, and some sweet shots you have there! Seems like an logical decision you made as well.
The couloir on Citadel looks fun.
Thanks for posting!


Right on!     12/06/2011 03:48
Definitely nice work. Way to go and way to keep it safe.


Nice!     12/06/2011 04:00
The views of Citadel look a lot like Crestone Peak when viewing from the north. Did you hit any rocks on the ski descent? I hit a bunch on Saturday near Berthoud Pass.


Super Nice!     12/06/2011 15:59
Nice pictures.....


Very cool     12/06/2011 19:56
Nice report but too bad you didn't have the gear.
I'm planning on a winter traverse of those peaks. Your pics are invaluable!!


thanks all     12/08/2011 16:12
Chinook - we had to downclimb a 5th of the way down into the gully to reach good snow depth. From there, the steeps skied great! No rocks. Down in the valley, we did encounter the occasional rock. Another couple of storms and it'll be prime.

FireontheMtn - hope the pics helped. I sure couldn't find much prior to our trip, so that's why I posted! have fun up there.


The left side of ”Headwall #1”     12/08/2011 23:36
is the easiest ascent, but most people would want pro, even when dry. ”Headwall #2” is the rap route when doing the route in reverse. Doing it that way would reduce the amount of gear to carry...

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