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Peak(s):  US Grant Pk  -  13,767 feet
"V 2"  -  13,309 feet
"V 4"  -  13,540 feet
Post Date:  07/19/2008
Date Climbed:   07/16/2008
Posted By:  Furthermore

 Ice Basin Cirque Part 2   

My plan for Day 2 was to climb V2, V3, Grant and V4. We woke up at 3:20, and started hiking in the dark around 3:45, I wanted to make sure I had plenty of time to climb V3. We started up the trail to Island lake, and quickly left the trail and started to climb the SE ridge of V2. We arrived on the summit of V2 at twilight (Photo 1-2). The last 200 feet of the SE ridge on V2 had some short sections of Class 3. We climbed gullies to the south of the ridge proper which seemed to work well. The descent off of V2 towards Grant was also straight forward. As Sarah mentions in her report, we bypassed towers to the west. We climbed a bit up Grant's ridge to around 13400 where Tony was going to rest while I try to whack out V3.

I started out traversing on the south side of Grant on crappy scree towards V3, where I bypassed a cliff to the first of many low points on the Grant/V3 saddle. At this first saddle, I then bypassed the next two towers on the north side of the ridge. The third "mellow" tower I climbed directly up; I didn't see a good way to traverse below it. Once I reached the top, I was cliffed out in all directions. I couldn't traverse below it, over it, or around it. Plus, I had another small tower beyond where I was which didn't look easy to bypass. I could see V3 so close, but yet so far away. It pissed me off. On my way back, I looked for a way to descend into the valley north of the V3/Grant saddle. Nothing but big cliffs.

After this V3 detour, I met up with Tony and we continued our climb up Grant's standard route. The route had very easy route finding and I would claim the crux as class 4. We just stayed on the ridge until a headwall, climbed a crack on the left side of the headwall (photo 5-6), and traverse right (south) on a ledge system (photos 7-8 ) to an exit gully (photo 9). I would say the traverse was somewhat exposed but nothing to out of control.

For our descent, we decided to descend SE ridge of Grant where we essentially stayed on the east side of the ridge; it would have been difficult to stay on the ridge proper (photo 10). We worked our way down the ridge until we encountered a 20-40 foot cliff. This was the crux of the SE ridge. After a short traversing class 4 downclimb we regained the ridge proper (photo 11-12). Descent to the V4/Grant was easy after that downclimb. I think the climbing on the SE ridge was easier than the standard route, but that route finding was a bit more challenging.

Once we reached the V4/Grant saddle, I debated if I wanted to descend into the valley to the north and climb V3, but I didn't. I figured I can enjoy hiking into a new valley and climb V3 from Ophir. I haven't been to Ophir yet. Moreover, we enjoyed a nice class 2 hike to the summit of V4 and continued back to camp via the Island Lake trail (photos 14-15). Pictures of Ice Lake were astonishing when we returned to camp (photo 16). As for Tony, with his first trip of the year, I think he did an excellent job of climbing 4 stout peaks in two days.

Twilight as we near the summit of V2.

Nearing the summit of V2.

V3 on my way back.

Sunrise on my way back to Grant.

Tony climbing up the class 4 crux on Grant.

Me climbing up the crux on Grant.

Ledge after class 4 climb on Grant. Looking West.

Tony traversing the ledge.

Exit Gully on Grant.

Our descent route on Grant.

Class 4 climb down on the SE ridge on Grant.

Class 4 climb down on the SE ridge on Grant.

Checking out the south summit of V4.

Ice Basin, Island Lake.

Island Lake.

Ice Lake.

Thumbnails for uploaded photos (click to open slideshow):

  • Comments or Questions

how cold     2008-07-20 12:39:03
was that water. Usually the more beautiful it looks, the colder it is, making it that much more worth swimming in.

What an area and a very solid way to spend your weekend.


Nice report!     2008-08-27 18:37:26
Wow....Grant looks SWEET *drool*. Thanks for posting some magnificent peaks!

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