Peak(s):  "Pk C"  -  13,220 feet
Date Posted:  11/06/2007
Date Climbed:   11/03/2007
Author:  jbchalk

 Peak C, Gore Range (13,220‘) - Southwest Couloir to South Ridge  

I‘ve been wanting to climbing the awesome Peak C as a snow climb and thought w/ the early snow this year in the highcountry, it may be a good climb. So, I hiked up Meadow Mtn near Vail to get a glimpse of it and neighboring Mt. Powell this past Friday and sure enough looked like its prominent southwest couloir should be a good snow climb:


So, my good friends Ryan (Baba), Mikey, and my golden retriever, Rainier, set out this past saturday morning at 7:30am from Piney Lake and had a spectacular climb of Peak C. We followed the Piney River trail for 3 miles to the base of Mt. Powell & Peak C and beared right towards upper Piney Lake. I knew we needed to get to the upper tarn filled basin at 11,400‘ below Peak C‘s southwest couloir, and so we took a left off the trail and bushwacked and climbed spines of rock and gullies for over 1000‘ from the valley floor until we reached the snow filled tarn basin. Here‘s a pic of Piney Lake from almost to the tarn filled basin:


So, we put on our plastic boots, crampons, and got our axes out and traversed across the tarn filled basin to the southwest couloir. Here‘s a pic of the southwest couloir from the crest of the tarn filled basin:


Then, we climbed the 1000‘-1200‘ couloir, which was a great snow climb - better than I expected:


Here‘s a pic looking down the southwest couloir from the very small notch at the top of the couloir between Peak C and Peak C Prime:


Then, we left our axes and crampons at the small notch and took a left and climbed 30‘ of fun class 4 rock to start Peak C‘s south ridge:


Here‘s a pic of the gnarly Peak C Prime from Peak C‘s south ridge:


Then, we climbed the very exciting class 2-3 south ridge all the way to peak C‘s summit:


Then, at about 12:30pm on a beautiful Saturday, we reached Peak C‘s summit (first pic is me and Rainier, second is me, Mikey, & Baba, and the third is Rainier relaxing w/ Vail Mtn in the distance):


We were getting cold and the wind was picking up, so we decended the ridge. Here‘s a pic of me downclimbing the class 4 section to the notch at the top of the southweest couloir w/ Mikey and Rainier below:


Me plunge-stepping my way down the southwest couloir:


Once at the bottom of the southwest couloir, we snacked and had a great bask in the sun and enjoyed the view for 30 minutes. Then, we packed up and headed out. Rainier, Baba, & Mikey crossing the tarn filled basin:


Then, after bushwacking and finding our route back down to the valley floor and Piney River, we made our way leisurely back to Piney Lake and the trailhead at about 5pm. All in all about 9.5 hrs roundtrip and a fantastic day out on a great, seldom-climbed peak! Here‘s a last look at Peak C and its southwest couloir from Piney Lake. The south ridge heads up and to the left from the top of the southwest couloir all the way to Peak C‘s summit:


Thanks to Rainier, Mikey & Baba for a great day out!

Thumbnails for uploaded photos (click to open slideshow):

 Comments or Questions

02/05/2011 00:22
Looks like a fantastic climb man. I'd like to try it some time. What's the vert on this route? Loved Rainier's mugshot.


11/30/2010 17:28
Thanks Maverick...yey, a sweet climb. I enjoyed this climb more than most of the fun and gnarlier 14ers. No people, not much of a trail, routefinding, bushwacking, a 40 deg-45 deg couloir climb, and class 4 rock - can't beat that combo. I think the vert is about 4000'. Piney lake is at like 9300' and the summit is 13,220'.


Way to go!
11/06/2007 22:45
Great report, its nice to see reports from other places, looks like a great winter climb.


You Sandbaggers...
11/07/2007 00:57
Baba looks good in that new climbing helmet and those Koflachs.


D -
11/07/2007 15:22


11/07/2007 15:55


Thanks Doumall
11/07/2007 16:21
That southwest couloir would be a sweet spring ski - gotta climb it again in May/June.


Thanks for the report
11/30/2010 17:28
I've just been inspired, thanks for planning this weekend for me.


lordhelmut, sounds like a great plan!
11/08/2007 17:32
Saturday should be nice man...have a great climb! Let me know if you need any beta/routefinding advice.


08/28/2008 00:37
Very good report, excellent pictures. This just shot up on my ‘to do‘ list


Thanks Mark
11/13/2007 17:51
Yey, an excellent climb and outing all together - I liked it more than most of the 14ers. let me know if you need any beta.


Solid report
11/16/2007 18:04
look at all that rock!

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