Ascent of Guye Peak on 2018-09-02

Climber: Greg Slayden

Date:Sunday, September 2, 2018
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
    Motorized Transport to Trailhead:Car
Peak:Guye Peak
    Elevation:5168 ft / 1575 m

Ascent Trip Report

I had hiked to the north summit of Guye Peak 14 years earlier, and I had a cheap sight level with me that indicated the middle and south peak where lower. But I had heard that the south peak was the "real summit"m so I didn't fully trust my old measurement. This time, I finally decided to return with my new high-quality sight level and put the matter to rest.

I hiked up the rough, rocky, and rutted climber's trail from Alpental towards Snoqualmie Mountain and missed the sign to the Guye Peak spur, so I hiked up an extra 150 feet or so before my map and GPS told me I was too far. Backtracking, I saw the tree where a few nails showed where the old sign had been.

The trail to Guye crossed a boulder field and then some forest before coming to the Guye-Cave Ridge col, where an unsigned climber's trail climbs south past a pretty tarn and then easily up to the North Peak of Guye. I broke out my sight level and it was again very clear that the south and middle peaks where at least 2 feet lower than the north peak.

I wanted to be extra sure, do I did the tricky scrambling to get to the other peaks, as described in the Cascade Alpine Guide. I backtracked north a bit, went over the edge into the major gully, and downclimbed steeply on dirt, grass, and slabs. I cut right as soon as I could, and the crux was the first move up the cliff after going under the overhang. Sorry, Fred, that is not Class 3 in my book--too much loose rock, moss, friable handholds, and exposure. Still, not terribly difficult for experienced Cascade climbers.

From the top of the cliff the middle summit was right there, and the sloping dome-like SE face of the middle peak has a ladder-like series of steps that make it easy to descend, and the south summit is easy from the col. I used my sight level from all three peaks, and it was clear that the pinnacle of the North Peak is definitely the highest. The summit register was on the south peak, though, and I signed in while I took a bit of a rest.

Reversing the scramble was just as scary as the trip over, and I was happy to get back to the north peak on my solo jaunt without falling. I considered regaining the north peak directly from the north-middle col, avoiding the cliff and the steep gully, but from the col it looked like the first step was OK, but the second cliff up to the N Peak was overhanging and not an option. But I noticed on my return to the N Peak that a path on the W side of the N Peak leads to the area under the overhanging summit, so an intrepid climber who could scale the first step would not have tackle the second.

I only saw one party on the summit area (resting at the N Peak), and perhaps another 10 on the approach trails, several probably doing Snoqualmie. The parking lots at Alpental were totally full on this sunny Labor Day weekend, 90% of them likely headed up the Snow Lake Trail, so I was happy that the rough climber's path to Guye was relatively quiet.
Summary Total Data
    Total Elevation Gain:2438 ft / 742 m
    Total Elevation Loss:2438 ft / 742 m
    Round-Trip Distance:2.7 mi / 4.3 km
    Quality:5 (on a subjective 1-10 scale)
    Route Conditions:
Unmaintained Trail, Scramble
    Weather:Pleasant, Breezy, Clear
Ascent Statistics
    Gain on way in:2363 ft / 720 m
        Gain Breakdown:Net: 2088 ft / 637 m; Extra: 275 ft / 83m
    Loss on way in:275 ft / 83 m
    Distance:1.5 mi / 2.3 km
    Route:Climbers Tr
    Start Trailhead:Alpental  3080 ft / 938 m
Descent Statistics
    Loss on way out:2163 ft / 659 m
        Loss Breakdown:Net: 2088 ft / 637 m; Extra: 75 ft / 22m
    Gain on way out:75 ft / 22 m
    Distance:1.2 mi / 1.9 km
    Route:Climbers Tr
    End Trailhead:Alpental  3080 ft / 938 m
GPS Data for Ascent/Trip

 GPS Waypoints - Hover or click to see name and lat/long
Peaks:  climbed and  unclimbed by Greg Slayden
Click Here for a Full Screen Map
Note: GPS Tracks may not be accurate, and may not show the best route. Do not follow this route blindly. Conditions change frequently. Use of a GPS unit in the outdoors, even with a pre-loaded track, is no substitute for experience and good judgment. accepts NO responsibility or liability from use of this data.

Download this GPS track as a GPX file

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