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Glacier on Gannett

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Postby gwave47 » Thu Jan 28, 2010 1:46 am

I don't like the idea of falling into a crevasse, unroped, while soloing. I can only see one way how that would end. Would much rather take the ridge and avoid the glacier if soloing.
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Postby Holsti97 » Thu Jan 28, 2010 4:44 am

Read this trip report of what can happen when climbing rocks on Gannett:

Pages 8-10 of PDF file:

http://www.pikespeakcameraclub.com/DecNewsletter.pdf
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Postby Alpinist » Thu Jan 28, 2010 5:26 pm

gwave47 wrote:I don't like the idea of falling into a crevasse, unroped, while soloing. I can only see one way how that would end. Would much rather take the ridge and avoid the glacier if soloing.

The pictures of those crevasses are off to the side of the primary route. You wouldn't cross those unless you were off route. There is obviously no 100% guarantee but the risk of a crevasse fall along the Gooseneck route is low except for the berg IMO. I think most parties travel unroped except for the berg crossing.

I had a good look down the bergschrund a couple of years ago. I don't know if there was a false bottom in it but it did not look more than 10-12ft deep. It looked to me like you could easily climb out of it. We passed it unroped. I realize that is a risk. If you are not willing to accept that risk then you should quite simply not solo Gannett.

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Postby markv » Fri Jan 29, 2010 10:18 pm

I'm not a hardcore climber, and i wanted to climb Gannett. It took 3 shots at it, both roped, not roped, and from 2 different routes. I did some research along the way.

What i came up with is that aside from the bergschrund, nobody had any accounts or record of a climber falling into a crevasse on the Gooseneck Glacier. (the steep one near the summit) However, there had in the past (the 70s or 80s) been deaths from crevasse fall on the Dinwoody Glacier. (the big broad one crossed from Titcomb Basin)

What's more, by far the biggest problems people had had on Gannett was weather-related. So, we decided the best thing for us to do (at this point me and my girlfriend), was to come from Dubois instead of Titcomb Basin. That way we could leave the technical gear and rope behind entirely, avoid Dinwoody Glacier, and climb quicker up Gooseneck Glacier. We went earlier in the year than you will be going, so we just stayed on snow. The bergschrund had a good snowbridge, and other than that we saw no crevasses. It worked out well. We slipped right in between 2 little storms.

This is compared to coming from Titcomb and crossing the Dinwoody, where we saw some crevasses (shallow though) and crevasse lines, but both times got turned back by weather.

That's my .02 worth. Thing is, next time i go back, i STILL want to go the Titcomb route, just because it's so beautiful. But now i've already made the summit and so that wouldn't be a priority.
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Postby 96avs01 » Fri Jan 29, 2010 10:33 pm

markv wrote:What i came up with is that aside from the bergschrund, nobody had any accounts or record of a climber falling into a crevasse on the Gooseneck Glacier. (the steep one near the summit) However, there had in the past (the 70s or 80s) been deaths from crevasse fall on the Dinwoody Glacier. (the big broad one crossed from Titcomb Basin.


That's where we passed a couple of crevasses gaining the Pinnacle ridge that could pose a problem to a solo climber if the bridges are thin. IMHO the berg isn't that big a deal...if the bridge is thin or non-existent just stick to the rock. YMMV depending on conditions.
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Postby gwave47 » Fri Jan 29, 2010 11:52 pm

96avs01 wrote:if the bridge is thin or non-existent just stick to the rock.


Meaning bypass the Gooseneck Glacier altogether and stay on the ridge?

Yes, I would definitely be coming from Dubois on the Glacier Trail. No interest whatsoever on crossing the Dinwoody Glacier. If I want to see Titcomb Basin, I'll just hike into the basin and do a camping trip sometime later. Seems to be a recurring comment that the schrund is the only obstacle on the glacier, this makes me feel better. I could always take rope with me and bury a picket before attempting to cross the schrund if the snow bridge doesn't look good. Anchor the rope on the rock and tie back in to cross again on my way down. Just an idea, not saying it's the smartest choice. Any thoughts?
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Postby markv » Sat Jan 30, 2010 12:16 am

Sounds like a good plan. The other hazard on the Gooseneck Glacier, besides the schrund, is that in late season the top of the couloir above the schrund gets much steeper and can ice over. Then you have a Mt. Hood-like situation where you could slide into the schrund. I really only know firsthand what conditions are like in June and July, but what i read about August sounds like many more choose to use screws on the couloir or climb the rock around it.
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additional safety measures for crossing the bergschrund solo

Postby climber46 » Wed Feb 17, 2010 5:48 pm

:idea: Here is an idea for someone who intends to climb Gannett Peak solo.

It sounds like the risk of climbing on steep loose boulders exceed the risks of crossing the begschrund solo. However, you could also mitigate those risk some(but not as much as by being roped to a competent climbing partner) by bringing a helmet, a 30-40 foot rope, 2-3 snow pickets, 2-3 prusik loops, and then planting the first picket and attaching yourself to the rope while also having some prusik loops, one for the waist, an one or two for your feet. This way, if the snowbridge you are walking on fails, your rope will stop your fall, and you can use the prusik loops to climb up the rope and out of the crevasse. Realize that there is a different way of correctly setting up a snow picket in soft snow versus in hard, icy snow. You could proabably leave this rope at the begschrund while you summit and then remove it on your way back down. Be aware that snow conditions may have changed considerably by the time you descend.

This is what I would do if I ever get a chance to attempt Gannett Peak and I am going solo. Have fun, but be careful, it si a beautiful place, but the mountain will still be there in the future and you want to be around also.
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Postby MattGreene » Tue Feb 23, 2010 10:39 pm

I'll add something nobody has suggested so far - one of the best ways to meet people is in the middle of a big adventure. I've been to the Winds a few times, and although I haven't tried Gannett yet, I've come across a lot of people who were on their way to climb it. Strike up a conversation, ask what route they're taking, tell them about your desire to climb the peak and your reluctance to cross the glaciers alone. Have that conversation often enough and someone will offer to let you rope up with them through the tough stuff. Or, be bold and ask before you're even offered. Pay the group back for their kindness by emailing them some good photos of the climb, or letting them sip out of the whiskey flask you lugged 20 miles in. I've done it, and it's led to some of the best climbing trips of my life.
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Re: Glacier on Gannett

Postby bpetnoi » Mon May 07, 2012 7:15 pm

If you want to join a group and not solo we have a group hiking in the Glacier trail starting 0600 hours on June 30th with plans to return to the trailhead July 6th mid day. Becasue of the low snow fall this year there is a very high probability there will be no snow bridge at the Berg. we are planning on climbing the southern coulior on the other side of the ridge. At this time we are a 8 man team. We plan to set a fixed rope on the coulior for safety and have team members climb with assistance of the fixed rope and friction knots.

This is my fourth trip to Gannett and I am acting as general guide and planner.

Steven
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