Peak(s):  Garfield Pk A  -  13,780 feet
Grizzly Pk A  -  13,988 feet
Date Posted:  06/06/2018
Date Climbed:   05/31/2018
Author:  jesse
 Unexpected exposure and snow   

Grizzly and Garfield Peaks have been on my short list for a long time. Both of the other times I've driven up the 4x4 road and camped we got torrential rainfall in the mornings and had to just enjoy the alpine storms. Luckily this time around the forecast was perfect and so I drove up Wednesday afternoon and had a nice roadside dinner at sunset.

Just below the upper 4x4 trailhead there was one final snowbank so I car camped on the side of the road.
Twilight in the Basin just above the trailhead.

It had rained just before I drove up so I just went to bed early. I woke up at 5:25 and was walking at around 6:00, all the rain from the day before had frozen making the 4x4 road glisten in the early morning sun.

Frosted willows and moonset just after sunrise.

Above treeline morning sunshine!

I made short work of the road up to the mine and put on gators and microspikes just beyond the trees.

Lots of solid snow with deep runnels above 12,000 ft.
Above the mine heading towards Garfield.

I choose to take the ridge just to the East of the small lake at 12,700 it was loose talus but looked a lot better than the snow/scree field leading to the saddle.

Summit of Garfield

I got to Garfield's summit at around 8:45. After a short break I headed towards Grizzly. The ridge was nicely exposed on the right, East, side the whole way, the trail was dry and never got to class 3 just downhill from the ridge. Grizzly's final tower had a touch of exposure but nothing serious.

Summit of Grizzly!

I took my time and was on the summit of Grizzly at 10:45. Clear skies and decent temperatures called for a good long break.

The View of the Northwest was amazing with the deep valley directly below.

The way down looked easy enough on the left of the photo.

I put the microspikes and gators back on just before traversing the ridge. I thought with my ice axe in hand it would be no problem and just crossing snowfields and drop down into the basin no problem. It was around 11:15 when I had crossed over and started to work my way down and the snow was waist deep slush mixed with holes from melting away from the rocks, no good at all. So I ended up downclimbing the cliffs and crossing the snow where it was wider.

Something like this was my descent route.

I kept the difficulty below class 4 at the top and it got easier on the way down, just a bit surprising. The route was under the slushy rock bottomed snow somewhere and there were a few cairns but I never saw a "trail" until I was almost down to the basin. I was kicked from the sun wind and unexpected downclimbing but that's what makes 13ers great!

The walk out was easy and beautifully flat!

Here's a short video I from messing around with the Go Pro. Need to get more scenery shots next time around. :D

Grizzly Garfield Peaks from Jesse on Vimeo.

Thumbnails for uploaded photos (click to open slideshow):
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Comments or Questions
Good Song Choice
06/07/2018 10:46
Looked like a great day!


06/07/2018 23:08
you need more selfie stick shots. 6 just isn't enough

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