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Ascent of Mount Guyot on 2018-09-30

Climber: William Musser

Others in Party:HC Liang and Dan Conner
----Only Party on Mountain
Date:Sunday, September 30, 2018
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
    Motorized Transport to Trailhead:Car
Peak:Mount Guyot
    Location:USA-Colorado
    Elevation:13370 ft / 4075 m

Ascent Trip Report

I loved this hike. I had been eyeballing this mountain for a year as when you come down Kenosha Pass into South Park, the glacial cirque of this peak draws your eyes to it and it is mesmerizing. There are many routes up this and we debated them all including a simple drive up to Georgia Pass, but the route we took is the one that is described in the CMC book "Colorado Summit Hikes" by Dave Muller. I warn you, that the book says it is a 5.5 mile up and 3 mile down route and that may be true if you do it where you bypass all the extra credit peaks along the sawtooth ridge but it was the sawtooth ridge that Dan and I scouted out from Bald Peak that really appealed to us so in the end we, we claimed more vertical and horizontal than others that simply go for the main peak.

We drove into Breckenridge and found our way to French Gulch Road which takes you past a bunch of historic mines and provides access to much hiking, horsing, and 4 wheeling trails, while passing many private homes. Quite odd. It is a long approach for miles along a dirt road. You park at the information signs about 8 tens of a mile from the gate. This proved to be a nice warm up for the morning was near freezing.

You stay to the left of the large creek and the road bifurcates. We took the trail/road along the creek until it became a very well used and very clear to use, hiking trail headed up to French Pass a nice easy ascent so far with a large cairn at the top. The trip up to this pass was very scenic as you have Big Baldy to your right, Boreas to your face, and Guyot to the left all towering above you. Very pretty area. The trail then heads down hill from French Pass but our mission was not to climb up to he main continental divide shoulder leading to Guyot and more importantly by climbing the sawtooth ridge. Most of the way up if you angle back towards 285 and Boreas, you can avoid talus and hike grassy slopes and head for the main notch between point 12,902 and point 13,005. In doing this, Dan and I wanted to put some hands down on rock and the only good scrambling of the day is on Point 12,902. THe rest of the saw-tooth false summits are talus on one side and death cliffs of crumbling rock on the other. Although you can climb point 12902 as only class 2, we headed for the most blocky formations we could find and soon were on 2+ scampering and finally rewarded with class 3 on the side closest to the saddle. HC came up the saddle and Dan and I enjoyed finding about a hundred feet of rock to scramble near the saddle. If you stay far left the blocks become more challenging and you can get on some tough class 3 (3+) with some consequences.

The rest of the saw-tooth false summits are simply class 2 with an occasional place of 2+ scampering where you are near a class 3 climb but not really.........more for balance than climbing so the fun is over. BUT the views are not. The book and routes I read about obviously keep you on the trails through the talus that contour around the false peaks but by doing so you miss the traverse which is really special so Dan and I chose to make the most out of the day and stay high touching every false summit - which adds significantly to the gain and distance for the day.

Views from the many crumbly and steep gullies and were exceptional and very vertical. Steep exposure on many on the traverse. One side is typical talus, the other side you do not want to fall down or you are not coming back.

The cirque is also quite impressive. Views from the top are top notch. Coming down we did not backtrack, we followed the book and went down the nearest shoulder of talus eventually getting to the grassy area where a faint and poorly marked cairn mountaineers use trail is found but it comes and goes. there is a brief bushwhack from the end of the use trail to the actual road below and it just a matter of seeing it from above, getting a bearing and heading down till you intercept it. There is not continuous trail on the loop back like there was on the long route up.

I did take a GPS record of this trip but I forgot to turn it off and it recorded our drive home and thus collected too much data and will not load here.
Summary Total Data
    Total Elevation Gain:3710 ft / 1130 m
    Total Elevation Loss:620 ft / 188 m
    Round-Trip Distance:11 mi / 17.7 km
    Grade/Class:1,2,, 2+ and we foun
    Quality:8 (on a subjective 1-10 scale)
    Route Conditions:
Road Hike, Maintained Trail, Unmaintained Trail, Open Country, Bushwhack, Scramble
    Weather:Windy
35F morning 65F afternoon WINDY
Ascent Statistics
    Gain on way in:3690 ft / 1124 m
        Gain Breakdown:Net: 3090 ft / 942 m; Extra: 600 ft / 182m
    Loss on way in:600 ft / 182 m
    Distance:7 mi / 11.3 km
    Route:Trail to French Pass
    Start Trailhead:Gate at French Gulch Road  10280 ft / 3133 m
    Time:5 Hours 
Descent Statistics
    Loss on way out:20 ft / 6 m
    Gain on way out:20 ft / 6 m
    Distance:4 mi / 6.4 km
    Route:see TR
    Time:2 Hours 25 Minutes



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