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Granite Mid June

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Granite Mid June

Postby jeremyjsnow » Mon Apr 04, 2011 5:22 am

My brother and I want to do Granite Peak, MT around Mid June this year. Would the SW Couloir be passable that time of year or will it be packed with snow? In the alternative, is the traditional route generally packed with snow that time of year or is it generally passable. He has a lot more technical climbing ability than I do, though we have both done a tone of bouldering on class 4 type stuff, though neither of us has much experience climbing with snow (i.e. crampons and ice axes). If it is generally clear I figure it is worth a shot, but don't want to try it if it's going to be a full blown mountaineering ordeal. Thanks in advance for any input.
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Re: Granite Mid June

Postby splattski » Mon Apr 04, 2011 12:25 pm

When To Climb
Summer climbing season is short in Montana. Late July through early September are the months that are most snow-free.

http://www.summitpost.org/granite-peak/150239
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Re: Granite Mid June

Postby chugach mtn boy » Mon Apr 04, 2011 4:28 pm

I've been in SW couloir in early July in a low snow year and, still, ice was a problem. So your June date is very early. I imagine E Ridge would be a better bet for you, but others would know better (I have only done it in mid-July or later).

Your approach to either is going to involve miles of travel over snow. Also, if going to the E Ridge, there is some moderately steep terrain on any of the three main approaches to the Granite-Tempest saddle where, at that time of year, I think you'd want an axe for arrest and crampons for morning crust. It's not as steep an angle as the SW couloir, but steep enough to take a long ride.
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Re: Granite Mid June

Postby shanahan96 » Thu Apr 07, 2011 3:26 pm

i'm looking at heading into granite peak on june 21 or 22 and are expecting it to be a full-on snow climb with miles of snow travel along with camping on snow. i am hoping to find a dry spot to camp, but certainly wouldn't count on it. my guess is that snowline will be 9000-9500'.

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Re: Granite Mid June

Postby peakhugger » Sun Apr 10, 2011 8:54 am

re: east ridge route
over 4th of July weekend, 2008 (avg snow year, I think), there was still some snow above the snowbridge, crampons were necessary. Below the bridge, I doubt it would have been possible to climb up from bivouac saddle without being on snow (and crampons in the early AM). If you want to go when it's snow free, I'd recommend Aug-Sept as splattski mentions above. The snowbridge will still be there no matter when you go, probably all season this year.

jamie- which route are you taking? I'd be surprised if you end up camping on snow on froze-to-death. Supposedly it gets very wind blown, so there should be bare patches. Huckleberry or SE route from Cooke are another story...
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Re: Granite Mid June

Postby shanahan96 » Thu Apr 14, 2011 1:20 am

i want to climb the notch couloir and finish on the NW ridge. i haven't sat down to browse maps, and don't know which approach will work the best, but i'll figure that out easy enough. yeah, i'd expect froze-to-death to be windblown also, but i believe the original poster is planning on coming in from the opposite direction.

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