Peak(s):  Teakettle Mtn  -  13,819 feet
Post Date:  05/08/2012
Date Climbed:   05/06/2012
Posted By:  Wyoming Bob

 Teakettle - Black Gully Direct - Spring Snow   

Climbed Teakettle on May 6, 2012 from Yankee Boy Basin 4WD trailhead. Was pleasantly surprised by not only the open gate but the additional stretch of open road up to the 4WD trailhead, more correctly, 100 yards short of the trailhead.

After getting skunked on Dallas the day before (TR to follow), we were anxious to score at least one San Juan summit (its a long drive from Cheyenne, WY) and the both of us wanted to add Teakettle to our 13'er lists. We left the TH at a bit after 5 a.m., summitted at 11:00, and got back to the truck at 1:30 or so. Planned to do the Roach classic route but after seeing an almost continuous line of snow leading up the saddle between Teakettle and Coffeepot, we skipped the classic and went for the direct. Turned out the direct was a direct line to the Black Gully mentioned in the route description. Route posted by Mad Mike last year was also in for anyone interested. We considered it but just were not sure of one connection so we opted for the more obvious route.

The route up to the basin below the saddle was grass with avoidable snow, then the basin was hard snow over what we had heard was loose talus. No talus right now, just a crampon cruise. The route up to the saddle was hard neve, points only territory and after about a third of the way up, the slope steepened a bit and we swapped poles for the axe.

The saddle yielded the Black Gully, which included a band of water ice that still had just enough snow on the left side to allow a climb through along the rock edge. The top of the gully left us looking at a white cornice, a wall of snow aobut 15 feet high, that once we popped over, yielded a view of the next portion of the route. The next traverse was partly dry and partly snow, again nice hard neve taking points only . . . non slip territory. We did not see the sandy gully that leads to the last portiion of the traverse to the summit but as advertised, we arrived at its base after traversing the snow.

The snowfield proximate to the summit was still hard but starting to soften as the sun rose higher. I found the summit pitch to be easy to the alcove and then I was stymied for a good 5 mintues with a few false starts for the summit proper. But, try number 5 scored and the summit was in hand. My partner followed and soon enough were were down bound, finding only a few postholes on the summit snowfield and the lowest part of the basin far below.

Complete trip narrative with photos available at via link.



  • Comments or Questions

Nice report, thanks     05/09/2012 03:05
Bob: Nice report and pics, thanks for posting this. I'm planning on going after Teakettle in the very near future and was curious about conditions, so your report is much appreciated. Good luck on your remaining 9 Centennials!

Brian C

Very cool     05/09/2012 03:32
Nice work! Makes me with I'd done this as a snow climb! It still shocks me at how little snow there is right now out there. Great report and good luck getting those last few centennials.


Thanks...     05/09/2012 03:33
for answering Monster5's call and putting this into the TR section.

Good luck on your remaining centennials.


Looks Awesome!     05/09/2012 14:01
I can't wait to climb this peak, thanks for sharing.


Almost there!     05/09/2012 14:42
congrats on getting to the single digits! Always enjoyed your write ups, nice to see them coming again.


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