Ascent to Golden Horn-Really close on 2018-09-23

Climber: Evan Battaglia

Date:Sunday, September 23, 2018
Ascent Type:Unsuccessful - Turned Back
Point Reached:Golden Horn - Really close
    Elevation:8346 ft / 2543 m
    Remaining Elevation:20 ft / 6 m (0% left to go)

Ascent Trip Report

Drove up the night before. My climbing partner left at 4 am, I "slept in" and left at 6. Walking as fast as I could, I caught up to her a little before 9:30am at upper Snowy Lake, where she had been for about an hour. As we started up it started to snow off and on. As we neared the summit there was 3 inches or of fresh powder on the ground from the night before -- more depending on the topography of the rocks. I made a small snow man when we reached the ridge.

In the gully we got out the rope because stuff was snowy and we got a little uncomfortable, I lead up, placing only one piece where I felt uncomfortable. From the top of the gully we walked up another 100 ft or so to a right sloping ledge. Rather than just start climbing the more technical stuff up the apparent summit, I walked around the corner to see if I could get a better look. From around the corner, I saw another candidate summit, with a gully separating the two. I saw a cairn in this gully, so I assumed the other peak must be the true summit. We looked into a few options to cross over and down but none worked, at least one was made more difficult by the snow all around.

Eventually I came to think that the nearer summit we initially saw could indeed be the true summit. Although, I didn't see any rap webbing anywhere. I made one last attempt to try and make it up to this summit. However, it was tricky with the snow on the rocks and would have taken some time to figure out. We had a rope and a lot of protection, so we might have been able to make it up by putting lots of gear in, almost to the point of aiding. But it kept on snowing with the wind blowing. We were a little cold, my hands were especially very cold -- I didn't have waterproof gloves so I had taken my gloves off and my hands were constantly in the snow. If the snow had stopped we might have taken a little time to figure it out. But also, it was already 1:30pm or so by this time so I also wanted to start heading down.

On the way back we encountered a constant stream of 40 PCT thru-hikers, about 40 all together!

The weather report had said 30% chance of precipitation, getting better throughout the day, but the actual weather seemed a bit worse. In fact, it even rained a bit after we reached the cars and started driving home.

At around 25 miles, this was the longest day hike I've done in probably 5 years.
Summary Total Data
    Total Elevation Gain:4950 ft / 1508 m
    Route Conditions:
Maintained Trail, Unmaintained Trail, Open Country, Snow on Ground, Scramble, Exposed Scramble
    Gear Used:
Rope, Ski Poles
Ascent Statistics
    Gain on way in:4950 ft / 1508 m
    Start Trailhead:3396 ft / 1035 m
Descent Statistics

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