Peak(s):  Guyot, Mt  -  13,370 feet
Date Posted:  06/04/2014
Date Climbed:   06/03/2014
Author:  SolarAlex
 June Turns on Mt Guyot   

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The goal

On June 3rd, Will, Joe and myself went out to ski/ride Mt Guyot...Will and I had attempted it about 10 days ago, and ended up turning around on the ridge because of scary clouds at 9am...by the time we got back to my truck, it was sunny. So, needless to say, we wanted to give it another try. Joe met us at my house at 515am and we were at the trailhead by 6, and moving by 615.

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Joe and Will

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Joe and I hiking the road

Since it had been very warm in the 10 days between attempt #1 and #2, I figured that the road/trail into Little French Gulch would have been mostly melted out, so I decided to leave my split board at home and bring a regular board and trail runners for the approach. It wasn't as melted out as I had hoped, and instead was a mix of mud and gloppy snow. Plenty of water running down the road too. After about 500 yards my feet were soaked. Can't exactly say this part of the day was enjoyable, but i guess for skiing in June you have to pay the cost of admission. At this point I realized I left my sunglasses on the roof of my truck, which meant wearing goggles the rest of the day to protect my eyeballs. Bummer...I was really hoping my sunglasses would still be there at the end of the day.
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typical conditions on the approach


We slogged up the road, hit the turn off for Little French Gulch and pretty soon we had made it to the creek crossing...there was a solid snow bridge across the creek, but with the warm temperatures lately its probably going to melt quickly. Be careful because the creek was flowing pretty fast.

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creek crossing


Once we passed the creek the snow was much more supportive and the pace picked up. We stopped at the bottom of the slope to refuel and change footwear. I had the genius idea of leaving one of my poles to mark the spot where I left my trail runners. I figured 1 pole would be enough along with an axe...more on that later. Joe had forgotten his crampons, so he planned on hiking up a scree slope to gain the ridge, while Will and I were planning on cramponing up the gully. I just purchased crampons that would fit on my snowboard boots, so i was excited to try them out. We split up and started making our way up the slope. There was a significant cornice failure that had come off the lookers right slope (i think NE?) .

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Cornice failure

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Hiking up the bottom of the slope


The snow was kind of mushy in the flats, so we decided to head up steeper slope on our right to gain the ridge. It was steeper than the gully, but it was fun getting to try out my crampons...It was my first time really climbing up snow, and it was a pretty cool experience. I was really happy that the crampons were working and seemed to fit correctly. I was glad to have will kicking steps most of the way up...I took the lead a couple of times but it was exhausting in the soft snow. Each step we were probably sinking in 6-12 inches, sometimes much more when we got too close to the rocks. At the very top, it got steep enough that I was a little nervous but we made it up to the ridge without incident. As soon as we topped out onto the ridge, we started getting blasted by wind. Unfortunately the wind would be with us the rest of the way up.

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Will climbing

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Me

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Crampons work!

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Once on the ridge, I realized what an idiot I was for leaving the other pole at the bottom...The wind was blowing 25mph with higher gusts, which was turning my snowboard into a sail...mix that in with loose talus and snowboard boots, it made for some difficult hiking. The views were spectacular though, and we gradually made progress up the ridge. I couldn't wait to get to the top of the gully we intended to ski and drop my pack. Slowly but surely we made progress up the ridge and soon we reached the top of the snow. We dropped our packs and started up to the summit. We hadn't seen Joe for quite some time, so we assumed he gave up and was waiting down at the bottom. We were pretty shocked when we saw him pop out on the lower ridge...That scree slope he had hiked up looked horrible.

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The ridge to the summit is really cool...great views all around of the 10 mile range, the Gores and the front range...probably some the best views I've seen. The ridge is still heavily corniced to the south, and they look like they could break off at any moment, so be careful not to get too close. The ridge is plenty wide enough to stay well away from the cornices. The wind was blowing and I cursed my decision to only bring one pole up. Soon enough we summited and took in the views for a couple minutes, took a few photos and then turned around to get back to our skis/boards. We made it back to our stuff in about 20 minutes and started gearing up for the fun part of the day. The snow looked great and I was ready to get off the ridge and out of the wind.

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Joe showed up and decided he was going for the summit, and would drop down after us. He dropped his pack and started marching up to the summit. We sat there for a little bit and then got ready to drop. Will went first and it looked like the conditions were good...He skied down to the bench about halfway down and then it was my turn. I decided I was going to ride all the way down in one shot, and get back to my shoes. I put my board on, and dropped in. The snow was nice and corned up in the upper part of the gully, and it was a blast making long arcing turns. The lower half was starting to get gloppy, and I wanted to stay well away from the steeper corniced slope on skiers left. The lower part was kind of thin, and I ended up having to hop down a couple of rock piles. Soon enough I was back down at my shoes and pole, and watched Will come down the rest of the way. We went and found a spot in the shade to watch Joe's ride down. He ripped down the gully and soon enough we were riding out towards the creek again.

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will

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will

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will

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will

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me

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me

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The ride out to the creek was interesting to say the least. Gloppy sun cupped snow, with intermittent coverage made for some tedious riding. Will fared better on his skis. We crossed the creek on the snow bridge as quickly as we could, and managed to ride a little bit further down before the snow coverage became too spotty to ride. I switched to trail runners and shouldered my boots and board. The hike back down to the truck was a real pain...postholing thigh deep with a snowboard on your back sucks. It was pretty hot by this point There was more water running down the road as well, which made for some soggy feet. The pack was weighing on my shoulders and I was super ready to get back to my truck. The moment your vehicle comes into a view is a always a nice one. And my sunglasses were still there! We packed up and headed back to my house to enjoy a couple of beers.

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All in all, another great day in the mountains!



Thumbnails for uploaded photos (click to open slideshow):
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 Comments or Questions
wkd-rdr
awesome!
06/06/2014 19:34
well, except the beer



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