It seems the usual 13er baggin gang has started an unfortunate bandwagon effect. Sorry to jump on said bandwagon, but in my defense I have had the following peaks in mind for quite some time...
After runnin around the Mathew Winters area Friday night, I came home only to find myself planning my weekend adventure, and then I heard it (queue the slow, Jumanji-like drum beat), the calling, a subtle yet thunderous din emanating from my screen. The Gores, they were beckoning, I had to respond….
Making quick work of Mt. Wilcox Saturday morning, the ever familiar Boggster and I met up in Georgetown, headed up and over the hump and found ourselves at the Mesa Cortina TH. What would the Gores have in store for us, just a 9 mile approach and a trail that started downhill and went every which way but the right way…precisely what I signed up for!
On the approach in, we were forced to seek shelter from the rain (sing it Dylan!). After an hour, we dawdled over to Willow Lake in search of a possible line up East Thorne's south face. However, all we managed to locate was stunning scenery (super bummer).
Red Peak's East Ridge above Willow Lakes
Zodiac Ridge above Willow Lake
We then ventured over to Salmon Lake, set up the human burrito bags and scarfed some grub.
Sun settin on the bivy spot and Salmon Lake
The next morning we were off with plans to scope some more lines up East Thorne. Here is what we settled on, looks promising right...oh how naive both you and I are.
The snow blowin chunks
The snow was less than horrendous. No firmness whatsoever and it was still early! Nevertheless, we persevered and topped out as far as it would take us. On a side note, the line would have actually been very enjoyable and quite steep, but I already mentioned why it wasn't that.
Now that that was over with, the east ridge lay between Mike and I and what fun that was! No beta whatsoever, name of the game was route finding.
We went left of the pinnacle (see next pic)
Orville Wright takng flight
View of the "Standard" west ridge of Thron
The ridge entailed lots of class 3 with 4 moves strewn in, but sadly, all good things must come to an end as we found ourselves sloggin it to Willow BM (aka Mt. Silverthorne).
Throughout the day, it was evident to both of us that some gnar gnar resided on Rain’s North ridge so naturally, we gave it a go.
View of Rain's North ridge
Dropping down on the east face of Rain, we tried to circumnavigate some notches but we would soon have to make a decision. With the prospect of weather moving in and tons of unknowns about the remaining ridge, we decided to call it and drop 1200’ and go up the class boring east ridge of Rain.
View back at Silverthorne
Staying ridge proper would require a rope and rappels, but Rain’s west face revealed signs of weaknesses as seen below. The only problem with this is you would be descending crap and ascending more crap and missing all the good stuff on the ridge….
The west face of Rain looks like the way to do it
After grabbing Rain, we descended back down to the bivy spot and began the long death march out. Fantastic trip in the Gores for sure!
View of our line and the ridge we did on Thron
Stats on the Ride: 27 miles (with about a 4.5 mile detour to Willow Lake), almost 9500’ vert
The mess we made
A parting gift: Thorny Badassness
Tread lightly my friends!