| Teakettle - West Gully Variation
Yankee Boy Basin
0.2 miles past parking and restroom.
2.5 miles +/-
2800 feet +/-
myself and Kevin (SJMG)
After summiting Vermilion and Golden Horn the day before I was ready for another fine day in the San Juans.
I had set a goal of finishing the Centennial Peaks this year. I have made pretty good dent in the list (started needing 21 and have made 15 so far, with a handful of other 13ers and 12ers sprinkled in) and am hoping to make a few more this year. I don't know if I will quite make it to 100 though and wanted to give a try for at least one of the three harder peaks (Teakettle, Dallas and Jagged) this year. Something to hold me over until next year, if I don't get the last few Centennials this year. Also to keep my goal alive.
I met Kevin in Ouray and drove up to Yankee Boy Basin. We started from the parking on the south side of road. A direct climb up the grass slopes and up to the talus below Teakettle to a variation of the ascent that does not use the "Black Gully".
Kevin heading up the grass slopes.
Grass slopes with Potosi to the right.
(You will have to excuse some of the pictures. I just got this camera a few weeks ago, my other one having died. I have not figured out some of the settings and in low light especially).
Cresting the grass slopes and looking at the basin below Teakettle.
Basin below Teakettle.
This is the gully we took (Roach's 1V route?). I believe that the route to the "Black Gully" is off to the right of this and shows up in the last picture. We made an almost direct line up to the summit.
The gully steepens past the narrow spot up ahead there where you can see a large boulder.
Looking down the first part of the gully.
Looking west/southwest around a ledge that cuts into the gully.
Looking down again.
The gully really steepened up past here with a lot of very loose rock. I guess I was too busy climbing to get any real good pictures through this section. There were several spots where large rock blocked easy access up the gully. Class 3/4 climbing? (definitely more than the Class 2+ I was expecting) was required to navigate up and over several areas. Some of the rock was solid and some was the crumbly type that had little in the way of hand and foot holds. Maybe someone else has gone up this way.
This is where we topped out. Due to the amount of loose rock and hard scrambling I did not get too many pctures in the gully. Looking up we headed up the easy area through the break in the cliff/rock band.
A great look at Coffeepot and Potosi. You can see the trail coming over from the "Black Gully". I took a closer look at where we topped out later. I have to admit it is not clear to me but I don't see anything in the pictures I have looked at from other people's reports about the "Black Gully" that looks like any part of what we did.
Looking back down the gully we ascended. The rock in the center of the picture was some of the kind that blocked our way up the gully.
We headed up and to the left.
Teakettle and handle.
Trail from Coffeepot.
There is a sling on the right side of Teakettle just a few feet below the summit.
Kevin climbing the last pitch.
Hooked into the sling and ready to belay me up.
My end of the rope.
The summit. I did not get any pictures of me climbing. This of course eliminates anyone seeing my less than graceful climbing. You need to be flexible to reach your hands and legs out and stretch across between the rock.
Picture from the summit of Kevin and looking down the chimney.
This picture shows Jack, a fellow who arrived as I was climbing. After I got down and was talking to Jack, he was telling me he was not too sure about attempting the final pitch, now that he had gotten this far and having looked at it. Kevin, who had just rappelled down, and I talked, then decided we had time for Kevin to go ahead and belay Jack up. I think Jack was happy about that.
Jack climbing the last pitch.
I found this picture (did not take it as we were never over that way) of the "Black Gully" as seen from Coffeepot, with Teakettle. I studied this picture to try to figure out where we exited the top of the gully. The best I can determine would be that we came up just left of the bump on the left side of the small upper snow patch, below the rock band. The break in the rocks we went through to the ridge is just above and slightly left of the snow patch.
A great couple of days in the San Juans, 3 peaks, 2 Centennials. Too many good pictures of the surrounding peaks to show in this report, not enough good pictures on the route. 94
Thumbnails for uploaded photos (click to open slideshow):