Ascent of Gunn Peak on 2017-09-16

Climber: Connor McEntee

Other People:Solo Ascent
Date:Saturday, September 16, 2017
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
Peak:Gunn Peak
    Elevation:6240 ft / 1901 m

Ascent Trip Report

I'd been eyeing Gunn for most the summer, but kept putting it off in the early season to avoid needlessly having to cross an exposed snow covered ledge and later in the season for bigger more interesting objectives. Before I knew it the summer had basically run out, and I wanted to squeeze it in before the regular rains would make the brush a wet mess. I finally settled on a Saturday before multiple fronts would come in the following day and through the next week. Overall, I was pleasantly surprised to find a well-trod use trail pretty much the whole way to a beautiful alpine environment. Even if I had gone after the rains, I would get wet, but it wouldn't have been horrendous like some other bushwhacks I had been on earlier in the year.

The spur road that starts the route is obvious and there is parking for around 3 cars right at it. The road is actually drivable and there is a turn around right before it hits the creek, but there is little reason to drive down it. On my way up, I followed the route instructions per summitpost and Klenke. The route is not wrong per se, but there is no reason to use it any more. Namely, there is a faint but obvious spur path to the east before the road ends. This quickly leads to a logjam that can be used to cross the creek. There is old flagging in the forest on the far side, and eventually it hits the long since decommissioned logging road. However, Gunn sees far more traffic than it did back when Klenke climbed it, and the use trail is routed differently as I discovered on the descent. Instead of taking the faint trail to the east, the route goes to the end of the road, crosses the creek, and picks up on a well flagged trail that goes all the way up to the saddle.

The use trail gains a lot of elevation and is quite steep. Fortunately, there is little in the way of blowdown and the brush is pretty negligible until right before it reaches the alpine terrain. I did encounter a substantial hornet nest about two feet off the trail right at a switchback where the rocky rib starts. The nest is in the ground, and my footsteps caused them to come out of the nest in mass. There is effectively no water on the route this late in the year. The waterfall is dry. There were a few muck puddles up high left over from melt earlier in the season, but I wouldn’t consider drinking from them without a good filter.

From the saddle the use trail becomes quite faint, but it was pretty easy to make it to the summit. Without snow the hidden ledge on the north side doesn’t have much exposure. There are lots of trees, so you’d really have to take a big fall to go anywhere. As of earlier this year, there is a summit register in a Nalgene bottle. As consistent with the condition of the use trail, parties are regularly ascending Gunn.

Smoke from the east side largely obscured views. I was still dealing with cold that had gotten into my lungs, so I opted to skip Tailgunner on the descent and just visit the tarn. The tarn is cute, though it isn’t quite an “infinity tarn” this late in the year. The water level was quite a bit lower than I had seen in photos. It’s barely off route, so it’s worth visiting either way. Even though it was steep, the descent turned out to be easier than I was expecting and footing was pretty much always quite good.
Summary Total Data
    Total Elevation Gain:4497 ft / 1370 m
    Total Elevation Loss:4497 ft / 1370 m
    Round-Trip Distance:6.4 mi / 10.3 km
    Route Conditions:
Road Hike, Unmaintained Trail, Scramble
    Gear Used:
Ski Poles
    Weather:Cool, Calm, Clear
Ascent Statistics
    Gain on way in:4266 ft / 1300 m
        Gain Breakdown:Net: 4035 ft / 1229 m; Extra: 231 ft / 70m
    Loss on way in:231 ft / 70 m
    Distance:3.3 mi / 5.3 km
    Route:West Slope
    Start Trailhead:Forest Road 6024  2205 ft / 672 m
    Time:2 Hours 17 Minutes
Descent Statistics
    Loss on way out:4266 ft / 1300 m
        Loss Breakdown:Net: 4035 ft / 1229 m; Extra: 231 ft / 70m
    Gain on way out:231 ft / 70 m
    Distance:3.1 mi / 5 km
    Route:West Slope
    End Trailhead:Forest Road 6024  2205 ft / 672 m
    Time:2 Hours 0 Minutes
GPS Data for Ascent/Trip

 GPS Waypoints - Hover or click to see name and lat/long
Peaks:  climbed and  unclimbed by Connor McEntee
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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. accepts NO responsibility or liability from use of this data.

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