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Trip Report    

Intermediate Alpine Climb - Guye Peak/South Gully-South Spur

Successful climb in difficult conditions.

  • Road suitable for all vehicles
  • Route is probably in the worst shape it could be in transitioning from winter to summer conditions.

    Wet and slick rock. Lots of snow coverage still but soft and shallow resulting in lots of postholing and punching up to chest deep in rock holes. Nothing hard enough to get solid tool placement in. Ice tools were helpful as handholds and for hooking features.

Party of 2.  Thankfully nobody else signed up otherwise the added time would have been a turn around and the climbing sections were not for the faint of heart having to lead up in boots on wet slick rock that would normally have been easy if dry in summer.

15.5 hours car to car.  Started 6:30am at the Summit parking lot, returned 10:30pm.  2 hours to get to the base of the gully.  Did not take snowshows but the added weight wouldn't have outweighed any minor benefit they would have been on the approach up the Sahalle ski area.

Slow going up the gully and with the poor conditions we roped up early.  Could have scrambled up to the first chockstone but with lots of potential for slipping we pitched it all out.

With 30lbs gear each (avi gear - which wasn't needed), ice tools, crampons (not used), some ice and rock pro, 2 pickets, etc.) packs were too big to climb around the 1st chockstone.  Setup an anchor above and hauled packs over the first chockstone.   

Almost bailed at the base of the 2nd chockstone.  Took awhile to find a climbable line as there was water running down the rock and slick.  Finally found a way to stem across the other side of the gully to get to a couple small handholds and toe holds where there was room for a very marginal cam.  Got one step up and found a couple better cam placements.  

Couldn't find a way to climb the 3rd chockstone. The one climbable section was too covered in muck to reach what may have been the handolds above.  So we skirted around a ledge to the right and around the chockstone and found a path to reenter the gully.

Exited the gully to climbers left at this point which was some mixed climbing with tools hooking a tree stump and rocks  with slushy snow that wouldn't hold bootsteps very well.

From there scrambled to the summit (more wet rocks and slushy snow with some postholing).

Then the traverse over to the middle summit was a bit slow having more chest deep postholing and a side traverse over steep slushy snow.

Once on the middle summit a bit of downclimbing on more loose snow to the rappel station. While it may have been able to be face in downclimbed we rappeled, which was a good idea as I dropped into a couple more chest deep holes. 

The final snow filled gulley looked like it would be an easy climb up. Which wasn't the case. Given the snow conditions up to then we pitched this out as well.  Right around where I could get one cam placement in the snow was soft and opening up into another big hole across the whole gulley. Was able to dig out snow above a rock that had a good stance and got on top of that without falling into another hole.  Snow steepened at the top and got softer and slushier making it hard to get boot steps kicked in.  Had to offset steps so the bootsteps wouldn't collapse the ones under it.  Ice tools were only good for sinking into the slush as some handholds but were no good for actually holding onto anything.   Finally topped out on the last summit around 8:30.  

2 hours to get back to the cars via the Commonweath Basin trail.

Definitely set the bar for crappy alpine rock climbing conditions on this one.