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State HP: late May 2012 expedition to Gannett Peak, WY

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State HP: late May 2012 expedition to Gannett Peak, WY

Postby spiderman » Thu Jan 05, 2012 10:48 am

We are hoping to finish up our 48 state HP list at the June 2012 Oregon Konvention. In order to complete this dream, we have to tackle the most difficult peak of the 48: Gannett Peak, WY. We had attempted this peak from the Glacier Trail but had a high fever the night before the summit attempt (major bummer after such a long approach hike).

This year's hike up Titcomb Basin, starting on May 25th, will be 40 miles RT with ~9k feet of elevation gain. We expect that the route will be particularly arduous in the pre-season May conditions. The long approach makes this mountain much more strenuous than Rainier. Depending on weather and snow conditions, we expect the Gannett expedition will be 5-9 days. We are looking for fellow climber(s) to join us on this adventure. Crampon and ice axe experience is necessary; not to scare anyone away, but a completely novice climber slipped and died while walking unroped on the summit ridge last year.

Cheers,
Doug and Arthur "Spiderman" Harris

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Re: State HP: late May 2012 expedition to Gannett Peak, WY

Postby rijaca » Thu Jan 05, 2012 1:38 pm

Are you skiing or snowshoeing in? And curious, where did you get the 9000' elevation gain from Elkhart Park TH (assuming that your approach to Titcomb basin starts there)?
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Re: State HP: late May 2012 expedition to Gannett Peak, WY

Postby spiderman » Thu Jan 05, 2012 3:27 pm

Hi Rijaca,

Unfortunately we are still snowshoing... we just moved here from New England and haven't had time to learn backcountry skiing. The ~9k elevation gain from Elkhart Park TH comes from Holmes' book and reflects the additional elevation gain required to reascend Bonnie Pass. There is a major drop from the pass down to the start of the proper glacier that leads up to Gannett.

Cheers,
Doug

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Re: State HP: late May 2012 expedition to Gannett Peak, WY

Postby MtHurd » Thu Jan 05, 2012 3:50 pm

I'm guessing that there may still be some avalanche risk in late May.

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Re: State HP: late May 2012 expedition to Gannett Peak, WY

Postby SeracZack » Thu Jan 05, 2012 4:56 pm

I have always wanted to do that peak. Sounds like fun, but experience level is over me. I recently read an article in Backpacker magazine about that peak as well. Might have some good info on their website.
Security is mostly a superstition. It does not exist in nature, nor do the children of men as a whole experience it. Avoiding danger is no safer in the long run than outright exposure. Life is either a daring adventure, or nothing.
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Re: State HP: late May 2012 expedition to Gannett Peak, WY

Postby rijaca » Thu Jan 05, 2012 5:54 pm

spiderman wrote:Hi Rijaca,

Unfortunately we are still snowshoing... we just moved here from New England and haven't had time to learn backcountry skiing. The ~9k elevation gain from Elkhart Park TH comes from Holmes' book and reflects the additional elevation gain required to reascend Bonnie Pass. There is a major drop from the pass down to the start of the proper glacier that leads up to Gannett.

Cheers,
Doug


I'm guessing you'll be snowshoeing more than half the approach to Titcomb Basin/Bonney Pass. The route up Bonney Pass is certainly steep enough to slide, as is the route up the Gooseneck Glacier, although I have no idea what the avy conditions might be in late May. I've climbed Gannett twice from the Titcomb side, but in late July/early Aug both times. Crampons and ice axe are necessary.

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Re: State HP: late May 2012 expedition to Gannett Peak, WY

Postby spiderman » Tue Jan 10, 2012 11:49 am

Hi Live4pc,

I had considered the Ink Wells route, but I am not sure about the stream crossings in late May/early June as the snow is rapidly melting. There certainly are some points on that trail which could be impassible if the side streams are raging. I had read that the Titcomb basin route was more reliable in the early season. I also am concerned about constraining the hiking schedule to match the requirements of the driver who you need to hire to drive across the Reservation. If the weather is bad and we need to camp for an additional couple days prior to summiting, is it difficult to arrange a pickup? Comments?

A little off topic, but did you do Granite by the standard (low 5th class) route, or using the trailess 3rd class SW couloir? We did the SW couloir route which only had three difficult components: the long drive from Boulder, numerous deer blockading the Wyoming highways at night, and the mountain goats that kept noisily eating the yellow grass near our tent all night long. I was quite sleep-deprived by the time I made it back home. Without those three factors, it would have been an easy day hike.

Cheers,
Doug

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