Ascent of Gothic Peak on 2015-01-03
|Others in Party:||Colin Tasker|
|Date:||Saturday, January 3, 2015|
|Ascent Type:||Successful Summit Attained|
| Motorized Transport to Trailhead:||4x4 Vehicle|
| Elevation:||6213 ft / 1893 m|
Ascent Trip ReportIt was lightly snowing when we pulled up to the Monte Cristo trailhead around midnight. There was slush and ice on the mountain loop a few miles before deer creek, and about 2 inches of snow at Barlow pass. After 4 hours of sleep, we started down the trail at 5 am, uncertain of the snow conditions that lied ahead.
The trail to Gothic Basin was well packed until the first gully crossing about a mile beyond the Monte Cristo Trail. We put on snowshoes on the other side of the gully and continued climbing as the peaks to the east began to appear above the tree tops. Evidence of the trail could be seen occasionally through a foot of fresh powder. Sheep Gap Mountain came into view ahead as we crested the ridge into Gothic Basin. Clouds flowed through the peaks surrounding Monte Cristo and Sloan Peak appeared in the saddle between Sheep Mountain and Gemini Peak. We were moving very slow, though it didn't seem like it - in 7 hours we had traveled only 4 miles and gained less than 3000 feet.
Gothic Peak was shrouded in thin fog when we entered the basin. From the frozen shores of Foggy Lake we ascended the mellow east face, connecting with the SE ridge. I became disoriented a few times, uncertain of the angle of the slope ahead of me in the whiteout. Just before the lake disappeared below us, we heard voices and noticed two people following our path. We didn't see them again, but noticed their tennis shoe tracks on our return - wow!
The west side of the ridge was super steep near the top. As we traded snowshoes and poles for crampons and ice axes the clouds surrounding us dissipated, and the Cascades appeared. With renewed energy we kicked up to the summit block then carefully scrambled the last 40 feet of rock and loose snow. The wind was mild, so we took tons of pictures and enjoyed a lengthy summit stay.
We rapped down to the snow and made a long glissade into Gothic Basin before pulling the snowshoes back out. All of the hard work we put in on the ascent payed off - in just over 3 hours we descended what had taken us nearly 11 hours to climb. Someone decided to break the register box and tear down some postings at the Gothic Basin Trailhead. Brilliant.
10.5 miles round trip
5000' elevation gain
15 hours trailer to trailer
|Summary Total Data|
| Total Elevation Gain:||5052 ft / 1538 m|
| Extra Gain:||600 ft / 182 m|
| Round-Trip Distance:||10.6 mi / 17.1 km|
| Route:||SE Ridge|
| Trailhead:||Barlow Pass 2361 ft / 719 m|
| Grade/Class:||Class 3|
| Quality:||9 (on a subjective 1-10 scale)|
| Route Conditions:||Road Hike, Maintained Trail, Open Country, Stream Ford, Exposed Scramble, Snow Climb|
| Gear Used:||Ice Axe, Crampons, Rope, Ski Poles, Snowshoes|
| Weather:||Snowing, Cold, Breezy, Low Clouds|
Low clouds until 200' below summit, then clear 360 views
| Time:||10 Hours 20 Minutes|
| Time:||3 Hours 20 Minutes|
|GPS Data for Ascent/Trip|
GPS Waypoints - Hover or click to see name and lat/long
Peaks: climbed and unclimbed by Chad Straub
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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. Peakbagger.com accepts NO responsibility or liability from use of this data.
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