Ascent to Gannett Peak-Bergschrund on 1988-07-21

Climber: Dennis Stewart

Date:Thursday, July 21, 1988
Ascent Type:Unsuccessful - Turned Back
Point Reached:Gannett Peak - Bergschrund
    Elevation:13000 ft / 3962 m
    Remaining Elevation:804 ft / 245 m (100% left to go)

Ascent Trip Report

This was my first attempt on Gannett Peak. It was a long way to hike and not successfully summit, but, at least, I was smart enough to know my limitations and bailout of a situation I knew was beyond my level of experience and skill at the time. The deep bergschrund just below the Gooseneck Pinnacle was the crux of the climb for me and I did not feel comfortable trying to cross it with my limited belaying skills, especially with my young son, Marshall, who was only 9 years old and my roommate from college, Ken Nevins, who weighed close to 40 pounds more than me. We studied the route for half an hour before realizing the summit could wait until another day. Soon after returning home, I joined the Kansas City Climbing Club and under the skilled instruction of Bob Allison, the president of the Club, and other members, I returned to Gannett Peak two years later with Marshall and Ken again and enjoyed an uneventful safe summit as I wondered why the bergschrund caused us so much trouble the first time. The mountain will always be there for another attempt in the future, except in VERY rare circumstances like Mount St. Helens. You can always bailout of an unsafe situation and return another time. If you push your luck and try for a summit beyond your skill or in bad weather, you might not have that second opportunity. Be smart and you will enjoy many more successful summits during your life. "There are old climbers and there are bold climbers, but there are NO old, bold climbers." I am proud I have survived to become an OLD climber!
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