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 Peak(s):  Mt. Evans  -  14,264 feet
 Post Date:  02/27/2012
 Date Climbed:   02/26/2012
 Posted By:  shearmodulus

 Evans from Guanella. Or insane steep climb route.   

So after looking at the avalance threat for the week and deciding to opt out of the Mt. Massive weekend trip (in hindsight, would have been better), me and an ad hoc group of like-minded climbers decided to meet and climb Mt. Evans from the Guanella pass side. Mistake #1: The winter closure adds about 3 miles round trip to the distance after hiking up the road from where you can park. Mistake #2:ad hoc groups are a grab bag of experience, fitness and gear level. Within two hours we had two people drop out due to extreme postholing (lack of showshoes) or altitude sickness. It happens to us all. Mistake #3: Starting late. Mistake #4: Picking an overly ambitious route. Once we got up above the marshes and the lakes, we spied the trough that you climb to ascend to the main ridge. By this point, we'd been breaking trail for about 4 hours and were smoked. No one had helmets (I foolishly thought I wouldn't need it. I would have, if we had continued). I was the only climber with an axe and crampons (and yet no helmet.... SMH). It was clear but windy, and all things considered, a good day to climb and good conditions to do it in. Met a new climber from the Meetup group I'm in. Taught my wife (who came along for her first winter trip) the joys **coughmiserycough** of snowshoeing in uber deep snow, let her learn first hand why I spend the extra $$$ on good clothing and gear, and had a great day doing something I love. No summit on this one, but we made it back safe and sound.

Route tip: stay on the ice all the way across the low area just past the trailhead. It is frozen all the way to the bottom and is safe (always evaluate yourself), as we spent a lot of time wallowing in deep snow trying to find a way around/back down to it and could have saved some time. It looked windblown on the higher aspects, and no significant avalanche threat on this side due to wind scouring. If you have the lungs for it, this route will work, and should be a safe climb since there is no snow accumulation at the top of the trough. Have fun!



Thumbnails for uploaded photos (click to open slideshow):
 


  • Comments or Questions
jsdratm


brutal hike     2012-02-28 14:35:54
I did Mt. Evans from Guanella Pass in the fall before the snow and even then it was quite a challenge. I didn't do the trough, but rather ascended the less aggressive slope further northwest on the ridge (there is an unmarked trail there). It is a long hike and you spend a lot of time at 13-14000 feet.


SeracZack


Long day     2012-02-28 21:21:20
We did that rout a few weeks ago, but instead of the gully up the middle we went around the less aggressive slopes as well. It took us around 14 hours. We underestimated the length of this route as well. At least you had fun!



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