| The Citadel (Pt. 13294)
Dave (ClimbandMine) and I headed up Herman Gulch at 0730 on a perfect morning. For the first few miles the trail is a relative freeway - wide, gentle and easy-going. Upon breaking out of the trees, the gulch opens up scenically to the NW.
Dave and random woman backed by Pettingell Peak:
Herman Lake was reached soon thereafter where the trail turns SW.
The Citadel from the lake:
Soon after the lake, the trail fades out. From here, we contoured SW, then SE around the end of the basin. Travel was very pleasant as the brush, creeks and marshy areas were not overly intrusive. Staying higher up on the slope alleviated much of the willow-bashing. At the base of the Pt. 12671/Citadel saddle, an obvious trail angles up to the ridge.
Back down Herman Gulch from below the saddle:
The Citadel (left) and ridge to Pettingell:
Great views down into both Dry Gulch and Herman Gulch were had while we stopped for a snack. Soon we were on our way.
The Citadel from the saddle:
The ridge was easy tundra/talus and mostly snow-free, allowing us to make good time to the base of the summit cliffs. On the way, we saw another group ahead ascending one of the snow-covered NE gullies.
I‘m a climbing newbie and Dave is very experienced with climbing so I suggested he take whichever route he wanted while I took the "easy" south gully. But he graciously offered to guide me up a Class 3 directly ahead of us from the ridge. With his help, I made it up the rotten rock without injury (thanks Dave!) and, upon exit from the gully, discovered only a few more minutes walk up talus to the east summit. We met up with the other group of climbers and basked in the great views in every direction.
Hagar Mtn from summit:
The west summit, which Dave tackled while I chose to pound M&Ms instead:
We headed down after 45 minutes. The sky started looking a little scary and we got hit with about 14 raindrops just past the lake, but luckily the rest of the nastiness held off. After making our way through dozens of people and unleashed dogs ( ), we were back at the TH shortly before 1400.
Overall, a great hike!
Thumbnails for uploaded photos (click to open slideshow):