Ascent of Mount Gibbs on 2013-06-22
|Date:||Saturday, June 22, 2013|
|Ascent Type:||Unsuccessful - Turned Back|
| Elevation:||12480 ft / 3803 m|
Ascent Trip ReportFrom Peak 12565, the route is obvious to the base of Gibbs. The one variation might be which particular angle you take up. For example, I chose to follow a contour line around a couple ridge bumps, but if you prefer, you could just go straight and do a little extra up-and-down elevation gain/loss. Either way, there’s no risk of poor navigation here.
Not sure what it was, but something hit me as soon as I left Peak 12565. I started feeling a little lightheaded and suddenly very anxious about what looked like a steep, loose ascent ahead of me to the summit of Gibbs. Alone on the mountain, I put it aside and pushed over the ridge and arrived at what I’d consider the base of Gibbs – the part where the gentle angle of the ridge ends and the steeper ascent begins.
In the 200ft of ascent I did from the base, I slipped once. My slide was maybe 2ft at most, but it was enough to resurface the anxiety I had felt looking at Gibbs from Peak 12565 and to make me more consciously acknowledge my light-headedness. I recomposed myself, took a break, and decided to keep moving, just more slowly. Then at 12480 I slipped a second time.
My head just wasn’t in it. It wasn’t a technically difficult route. However, for whatever reason—dehydration, panic, acrophobia—I just didn’t have it in me to continue. I was pissed. Seriously pissed. The idea of turning around on a mountain because of dehydration or lack of acclimatization or juvenile acrophobia/mental shit infuriates me...even if turning around happens to be the right decision given a set of circumstances...I'd much rather have to turn around because of lack of safety gear, technical ability, etc.
I backtracked down to the “base” and took a route down the gully/valley that I had scouted earlier as a potential bailout point. For my consolation prize, I got to descend .6mi and 1100ft of scree until I landed in the plush meadow near the top of the valley. I cussed and yelled myself the whole way down the scree. (In retrospect I’m glad no one was around to see my rage.)
On the plus side, I loved the cross-country hike after the scree that went down the valley and along the river, eventually meeting up with the Mono Pass Trail. It was beautiful—challenging but beautiful—and I was thankful to have it take my mind off of my Gibbs failure.
F’in Gibbs, man. F’in Gibbs.
|Summary Total Data|
| Elevation Gain:||880 ft / 266 m|
| Elevation Loss:||3230 ft / 983 m|
| Distance:||4.3 mi / 6.9 km|
| Route Conditions:||Maintained Trail, Open Country, Stream Ford, Scramble|
| Elevation Gain:||580 ft / 175 m|
| Extra Loss:||200 ft / 60 m|
| Distance:||0.5 mi / 0.8 km|
| Trailhead:||12100 ft / 3688 m|
| Time Up:||30 Minutes|
| Elevation Loss:||3030 ft / 923 m|
| Extra Gain:||300 ft / 91 m|
| Distance:||3.8 mi / 6.1 km|
| Trailhead:||Mono Pass TH 9750 ft / 2971 m|
| Time Down:||1 Hours 30 Minutes|
|Ascent Part of Trip: Dana etc 20130623|
Complete Trip Sequence:
|GPS Data for Ascent/Trip|
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Peaks: climbed and unclimbed by Patrick Bergeron
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