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Trip Report    

Basic Rock Climb - Guye Peak/West Face

Basic Climb of the W Face of Guye via the Ober Strasse approach.

  • Road suitable for all vehicles
  • Route is in good shape with no snow on the route. A trickle of water is available on the way down but nothing on the way up.  In the Trip Report section I describe an issue we had accessing the approach via Ober Strasse:

Given all the recent reports of issues parking vehicles on Ober Strasse, we decided to play it safe and park all the cars at the Alpental parking lot and walk the ~20 mins to Ober Strasse. As we were walking up the hill towards the pullout to access the talus field (signs there refer to the pullout as a "beach") a resident came out on his front porch to confront us. He asked us if we saw the signs at the bottom of Ober Strasse indicating that it was a private road. We acknowledged that we did, but we thought it pertained to vehicle access - not walking access.

Although initially confrontational, he quickly became quite friendly as I think he saw that we were a respectful group not intentionally trying to violate his property rights or privacy.  He asked how it is that so many climbing parties "trespass" (his words) via Ober Strasse all the time.  I explained to him that the Ober Strasse approach is in many guidebooks and online resources as the way to access the W Face and Improbable Traverse routes. (He claims there are other ways to access the talus field - but I'm skeptical there are a viable alternatives.)

As is the case in many of these kinds of situations, it's often a small group of inconsiderate climbers that ruin it for the rest of us.  He shared stories of loud climbing parties and of groups defecting on his property.  It sounds like the increased volume of climbing groups over the past few years has crossed a threshold and he and his neighbors are fed up. I understand their HOA president is trying to get more forceful signage and even possibly putting up a gate at the bottom of Ober Strasse. 

Initially he wanted us to turn around but after a friendly conversation and my promises to raise this issue with the Mountaineers community and leadership, he turned a blind eye to us continuing our approach.  I sent him a friendly follow-up Email this morning thanking him with a pic of us on the summit.  ;-)

From a legal perspective, I'm not sure they can prevent parties from walking on the road and crossing their "beach" (pullout) to access the talus field - but clearly I'm no expert here. I will also share this information with Betsy Robblee as she will likely have some good insights.

Anyway - just wanted to share this with you all.  If anyone is planning to access Guye via Ober Strasse soon, I would recommend walking from Alpental and, if possible, do it quietly in the dark early morning hours.