Trip: Gothic Peak (Gothic Basin) - Normal (SE ridge)

Date: 7/10/2011

Trip Report:
After the great climb of The Brothers last weekend with friends, decided to go solo to the Gothic Basin on Sunday. (Great trip report last week on NW climbers shows current conditions...snow snow and more snow.)

Time was of the essence, had to be home in Seattle that afternoon. Hit the trailhead at Barlow Pass by 6am, rode my bike up the old road to the Weden Creek trail to save time. The crossing of the "three waterfalls" creeks around 3,500 ft. was no issue, the first two were heavy compacted snow with no obvious bridging issues, and the last you can cross on rocks just below the trail. After traversing over to the next drainage, the trail completely disappears along its traverse south under snow, and no GPS. So I headed west / uphill toward the south Del Campo ridge dividing Foggy Lake and the basin from Weden creek on very consolidated firm snow, with only a few holes/moats and cliffs to avoid. Ice axe needed throughout.

Crossed over the ridge into the gothic basin at a small frozen melt pond (see photos), Foggy Lake well frozen and the entire gothic basin is snow. (Bring skiis.) Skirted the lake and ascended the southeast ridge of Gothic Peak, climbed the exposed rock at the summit block (class 3 ?), lunch on top around 10am with views every where...Baker, Glacier, Rainier, Monte Cristo Group, etc.

Glissades back down where possible, especially from the gothic peak approach ridge back to the lake with endless runout. Back at the TH before 1pm. Saw no people or even tracks, except for a few late day hikers on the lower trail in tennis shoes. Back home for BBQ and beers with friends and neighbors.

View of the snow on the "first waterfall" crossing

View of the route up and over the Del Campo south ridge to Gothic Basin. I climbed the steep snow/gully at the far left of this picture.

Gothic Peak (left) and Castle Rocks from the east with a melt pond in the foreground

Del Campo peak with frozen Foggy (Crater) lake in foreground

Approaching the Gothic Peak summit block, the normal route climbs the left ridge

Summit block rock scramble

View down toward Foggy lake from the top

Del Campo peak west face from the top of Gothic

View of the Monte Cristo group (?) to the south

Gear Notes:
Ice axe, helmet, gaiters, bicycle (for the Monte Cristo road approach). Crampons and snowshoes are a waste, but I always seem to bring them...

Approach Notes:
The approach trail disappears after the three waterfalls, I believe it traverses south along the Weden Creek drainage and through a gap into the basin. A good but steep short cut is to climb straight up and over the ridge divide to Foggy Lake, via the next drainage over past the "three waterfalls" basin, which drains the south shoulder of Del Campo.