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Kuato

[TR] Graybeard Peak (7965') - Southwest Ridge 06/25/2022

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Posted (edited)

Trip: Graybeard Peak (7965') - Southwest Ridge

Trip Date: 06/25/2022

Trip Report:

 

Graybeard Peak (7965') – Easy Pass Trail Approach – June  25-26, 2022 (Sat, Sun).

 

The weather was perfect both days, 70+ degrees and clear skies. 

Saturday:  I headed out from the trailhead (3800’) at 9:00am.  The trail is in good shape with some down trees to negotiate.  The trial ran into solid snow at 4600’ and I promptly lost the trail.  I decided to head up and to the right, as that looked like the best option at that point.  The terrain got steeper and less forgiving, some bushwhacking was needed.  I finally made it out into an open area on the slope at which point I realized I was far off to the side of the actual trail location.  I headed across the slope to reach the correct wide snow basin heading to the pass.  I should have turned left at 4600' and headed toward the snowfield visible through the trees.  Oh well,  live and learn.  I finally made it to Easy Pass at 2:45pm thanks to my detour and being a bit out of shape.  I was planning to climb Graybeard and Kitling Peak over the weekend but my legs where feeling it by the time I reached the pass and I was behind schedule.  So I decided to hit Graybeard first and see how I was feeling the next day.  I decided to attempt a climb of the Northwest Ridge of Graybeard straight from Easy Pass.  I was burned out on side hilling on loose wet snow so I figured a rock route would be much more fun.  I haven’t seen much information on the Northwest Ridge of Graybeard so I was on a reconnaissance mission as well.  The ridge was going well with class 2 & 3 for the most part.  I made it to the saddle between the sub peak and Graybeard.  At this point there were a few deep sheer gullies separating the ridge.  I didn’t bring a rope and down climbing into the gullies was too dangerous.  I decided to drop down into the snow basin of the standard route up Graybeard.   I looked up the main snow gully going up to the Graybeard summit area.  The snow was soft and wet and the top of the snow gully was 40 degree snow.  As I wasn’t  feeling like a high speed glissade, I decided to climb over to the Southwest Ridge instead.   I decided to call it a day and setup camp on the ridge at 7:30pm.  Beautiful views and perfect weather, even though my legs were done, I didn’t really care. 

Sunday:  I broke down camp and was on my way to the summit by 6:45am.  The rock was mostly class 2 & 3 with a little class 4 toward the top.  I reached the summit at 8:00am.  Beautiful views in all directions.  On my way back I was planning to take the snow gully down.  I was able to tie into the snow gully below the 40 degree section by down climbing the ridge about halfway.  The snow was still soft and loose but manageable.  I took the standard way back across the snow basin toward Easy Pass.  I was back to Easy Pass at 11:00am.  My legs were still pretty tired from the previous day so I decided to hit Kitling Peak on another day.   I made it back to the trailhead at 1:30pm. 

 

Some Tips and Notes:

  • 1.       There was very little water above Easy Pass and no water at the Pass.  Best option for water was at about 6000’ from the big creek at the bottom of the snow                   basin  heading to Easy Pass.
  • 2.       I brought too much gear being unsure of what to expect.  I brought crampons and snowshoes.  I used the snowshoes a little and found out that boots alone                       worked the best. 
  • 3.       The route up the Northwest Ridge was looking to be fairly challenging.  A rope is necessary for the route.  I’d say it is good mix of class 3,4 & 5. 
  • 4.       There was still a lot of snow in the area and probably will be for a while.

 

Travel Time for reference:

Saturday:  Trailhead to Southwest Ridge Camp – 10.5 hours.

Sunday:  Camp to Summit back to the Trailhead – 6.75 hours. 

Total Mileage:  about 10 miles

Total Elevation Gain: around 5000’

 

Gear:   Trekking Poles, Ice Axe, Crampons, Snowshoes, Helmet.

 

62c273f375018_KITLINGMESAHCHIEPEAK.jpg.034cdac859f821daef52c8ba7206e555.jpg

Looking back at KITLING & MESAHCHIE PEAK on my way up the Northwest Ridge of Graybeard.

 

62c2745d32306_RIDGETOGRAYBEARD1.jpg.cd6e768b023c8083499ecc12a441a1d7.jpg

Northwest Ridge of Graybeard.

 

62c2748e69b8a_RIDGETOGRAYBEARD2.jpg.927a2c4b488c931501af5dc3b8cc76a5.jpg

Northwest Ridge of Graybeard.  I decided to head down to the snow basin at the end of the snow in the ridge saddle.  

 

62c275331c0ef_SNOWBOWLBELOWGRAYBEARD.jpg.bcc5e9222f60742aa861bafd7caae9f1.jpg

Snow basin up to the Southwest Ridge of Graybeard.

 

62c2756b8e282_SNOWCHUTEGOINGUPGRAYBEARD.jpg.d06e0682bbc0a6adcf4ab1b742ef395c.jpg

Main snow gully and Southwest Ridge to Graybeard.

 

62c275cea2068_EXITSNOWCHUTEOFFGRAYBEARD.jpg.fa65cbaedfb9a5aaf8a9218602dab9e1.jpg

Snow gully branch that I used to come down the main snow gully, bypassing the steep 40 degree soft snow.

 

62c27628b746d_VIEWDOWNFISHERVALLEY.jpg.eaa6298ea7eb72de8b08bb71fc44c248.jpg

Summit View down the Fisher Creek Valley.  Lots of snow still.

 

62c27674ec857_SUMMITVIEWOVERROUTE.jpg.1965494948f19fd9c853fd61aad56252.jpg

Summit View looking down the Northwest Ridge,  KITLING & MESAHCHIE PEAK in the background.

Gear Notes:
Trekking Poles, Ice Axe, Crampons, Snowshoes, Helmet. I didn't need the crampons or snowshoes.

Approach Notes:
Climbed up Easy Pass Trail. When the trail goes under the snow at 4600' turn left toward the snowfield and follow the snowfield all the way up to Easy Pass.

Edited by Kuato
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