Peak(s):  Grizzly Pk D  -  13,427 feet
Lenawee Mtn  -  13,204 feet
"Cupid"  -  13,117 feet
Date Posted:  07/30/2018
Date Climbed:   07/29/2018
Author:  pstern
 Loveland Pass to A Basin via ridge traverse  

Every single time I've skied A-Basin I've eyeballed the ridge above East Wall and further down the ski area. I've been up Grizzly D before, so I've seen it and finally, a a friend and decided we had to give it a go. There isn't much information on it, few trip reports, but just enough to know that it was going to include some class 4 scrambling, some good and some really bad rock, and overall be a very doable traverse. All of that is true.

Here is the bottom line on this report: It's a little under 8 miles from the top of Loveland pass to the bottom of A-Basin via the ridge. You gain around 2,500'. And in between peaks you get to do a multitude of fun scrambling moves, face some exposure and have to be thoughtful about picking your line. If you don't like rock that breaks away at the slightest touch, then this might not be for you. Also, I would bring a helmet for sure.

Anyway, here's our trip: We met in the A-Basin lot just before 6 a.m., left a car and drove up the top of Loveland Pass. We got started on the actual hike at just about 6:15 a.m. We quickly got the saddle, then Cupid and then pushed over to Grizzly D. It look us almost exactly 90 minutes from the car to the summit of Grizzly. From there it took us about 2 hours to traverse to Lenawee and the whole trip took about 5:30 back to the car at A-Basin.

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Here is the view from the traverse from the top of Grizzly:

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We didn't stay on the summit of Grizzly for long and just headed right over to get this thing started. Because there isn't a ton of beta, we didn't know exactly what we'd be in for. We roughly estimated about two hours to get across the ridge - it probably was close to that to the top of Lenawee. When you get down there, you're pretty much immediately met with loose class 3 and get a good sense of what you're in for.

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The ridge is easy to follow and route choice was key for us. We weren't always trying to stay right on top of the ridge. Sometimes we'd cheat to one side or the other to find the best path and we were always mindful of what we were climbing up in case weather rolled in and we'd have to downclimb any sections. One note: In a different trip report, it seemed to imply that there are decent bailout points along the ridge to drop down into A Basin. I do not think this is true. You are either making it across to Lenawee or going back to Grizzly. There was one shoulder along the way that looked like might work, but even that potentially cliffed out.

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If you can picture this ridge from A Basin, you know it sawtooths. So it's essentially endless ups and down, one scramble after another. Since that was the objective, it was perfect. Otherwise, it could have been mentally exhausting.

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The crux of this traverse is absolutely the entire section between Grizzly and grassy slopes on what I believe is Lenawee (or an unnamed peak near Lenawee). After that there is another ridge and a lot of talus hopping, but nothing that came close to the first ridge.

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The photo above is the final push up Southwest Lenawee

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The photo above is us still scrambling down at about 12,600' getting close to the top of the Lanawee lift at A Basin.

And finally we made it. Beautiful walk down the ski area back to the car.

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Thumbnails for uploaded photos (click to open slideshow):
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 Comments or Questions
Jay521

This...
07/30/2018 13:03
... is a REALLY nice report. Thanks for putting this one up!


jbealer

nice to meet you
07/31/2018 13:28
You guys killed that hike/climb, i looked back at my photos and it was not you on the summit, it was some person with a dog and someone heading to Torreys. i think when we were on Lenawee you were all ready in the traverse. I was kind of hoping you had some pics of us on the ridge since you were so close to us on the trip back to SW Lenawee. Still shocked we did not see you all behind us! glad you got back safe.


Above_Treeline
Thanks for the Report
08/05/2018 10:03
I've skied a basin quite a bit, so I'd like to hike in this area. Ridge might be a bit much for me, but good to see the report on cupid & grizzly D, etc



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