Saturday, February 14, 2009

Guye Peak - 02.14.09

Ken asked if I could help him out with his students and a winter scramble of Guye Peak. I accepted, but hoped to ski the route as I grow more and more weary of snow shoes. (Although part of it is growing weary of my 12"x30" giant, non-technical snow shoes.)

In the end, I decided against skiing. This is partly for solidarity with the students and showing a united front, but also, if I was to be the only one on skis, I had better be able to handle them better than anyone could handle their snow shoes. Since I'm not that good of a skier, it made sense not to come out with skis. Also, being the only one on skis defeats the advantage of skis. I couldn't be any faster, as I would have to wait for others.

While I do not regret the decision to bring snow shoes, I do believe I would have been OK with skis on. There would have been sections that I most definitely would have de-skied and bare booted. There would have been a few sections that were fun as well. There would have perhaps been a few sections that I would have lamented for being uphill on the way out too.

The climb went off without a hitch. We hiked up on well beaten snow trails most of the way. There was one section that had us a bit worried as it was steeper and icy in the morning on the way up. It turned out to be OK on the way down. Some warming during the day, and others who also tore it up with snow shoes seemed to have helped.

We set up hand lines for the two steps near the summit, and Julie acted as the human anchor for the hand line to the summit. We again set up the hand lines for the way down. Everything went according to Ken's plans. On the summit at noon, and back to the cars at 3pm.

We had variable weather all day, but mostly flurries with clouds coming in and out. Visibility wasn't great at the summit, but better than the last time I was on the summit of Guye Peak in the winter. We also saw a couple of climbers come up from the SW Rib route and traverse from the South Peak. Pretty wild stuff.

My pics are here.

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