Bear Basin to Summit Lake
Day 2: Summit Lake to Gallatin Peak
Our route followed down the valley towards Thompson Lake, then hang a right after about 1/2 mile to ascend the west couloir.
We stayed on the green up the west couloir which provided excellent traction compared to all other available surfaces. "Good Green"
This small topo shows route from summit lake down and around to west couloir.
"Just like a crater of a volcano" was Ben's impression looking down on the flat bowl which is half way up the west couloir.
Great footing up most of the last 1000 feet. This low growing green shrub sticks to the soles much better than grass. Avoid the obvious large notch in the ridgeline to the right. It looks like an obvious ramp to the ridge, but dumps you over to the south east face which is loose and steep. We made that mistake and killed time getting up and over to the west side to better footing.
A few false summits up the ridgeline provided more exposure and views off the back side.
The young one always summits first. We happened to be climbing the same day that an older gentleman was leading a group up the same route, and he stated that he was the one who put the original register on top back when he was 18 years old!
I took this photo without realizing I was looking at our tent at the south west end of the lake. No goats or sheep to be seen this day.
Idaho fires burning blew in smoke partially obscuring our view of Lone Peak in the center, and the Sphynx to the left in the background. Skied one and climbed the other. Someday may have to reverse the order.
The smile says it all.
heading down back to camp.
Return trip to Summit Lake includes about 300 vertical and switch backs.
Still smiling despite looking forward to breaking camp and then hiking out. This is when I start thinking ahead about that cold beer and sandwich at the broken spoke!