Given the long, hot summer, we expected the creeks and lakes to be lower. Some light storms brought moisture both prior to and during our trip, however, which began at Green River Lakes. The boulder fields and talus were dry for our ventures to and from the summit, but that didn't make the Tourist Creek and Well Creek drainages any less adventuresome.
Summit day from basecamp above the last titcomb lake was 15hrs and 45min camp to camp. The Dinwoody Glacier is filled with open crevasses and hidden ones below Bonnie pass, so rope up. One member of our group fell in up to her thigh in a hidden one. The bergschrund is still in, but the slope above it is nearly straight ice and it was sketchy with only one axe. consider climbing the rocks on climbers right instead of going up the chute.
Green River Lakes Trail head to 3 Forks Park(camp 1) via the Continental Divide Trail, ~12 miles. Up Tourist Creek on the Southwest side(endless bolders). Right turn up a waterfall to Long Lake, after which is a fairly technical scramble down to another little lake. Working towards the East and over a little pass reveals Gannett and Scott Lake down to the right. Don't go to Scott Lake. Stay to the left generally heading directly towards Gannett through a small Couloir. This reveals Skinny Lake, camping on the left side about 2/3 down makes for a 6-8 hour roundtrip summit day going up the right side of the waterfall and then staying to the left to avoid snow and glacier. Working around a spire reveals a direct but steep scree scramble up the big couloir. It's not necessary to ascend this entirely, but it does have a view payoff and looking back and to the left reveals a good path for the final scramble. The last bit is technical, scary, and breathtaking, but with caution and care, is doable without ropes. A low snow year and an exceptional weather window allowed us to do this without need for any crampons, ice axe, or ropes. We all packed it, though. We decided to stay another night at Skinny Lake and torture ourselves the next day getting all the way out! Coming down Tourist Creek is not any faster than going up, the effort is a little less, but there is just no faster way! Leaving Skinny Lake at 8 am got us back to the trailhead at 10pm, what a trip!
No ice encountered from western approach from Green River Lakes trailhead via tourist creek. Lots of boulder fields but beautiful scenery.
Didn't have to take our shoes off once or get our feet soaked with any water crossings--there are logs to cross everything. Over all was a 3 night trip for our crew
Attached a photo of the snow bridge the day we climbed it for current condition reference. Picture taken from summit vantage point.
Ran into a pair of guys who, judging from their story, got lost after Gannett springs and tried to summit off Gannett glacier unknowingly. One of them fell into a crevasse, had to stem his way up until his partner could hook his axe and pull him out. Very lucky duo--they did have axes and crampons but no rope and I am unsure if they had helmets.
I tracked our summit day in case anyone would like to reference the path we took. Strava: https://strava.app.link/0I8HPkQSGhb
This was our 14th peak, of a 2 week Wind River Slam where I climbed all the 13ers in the Winds and finished the Wyoming 13ers on August 3, 2020. We did the normal Gooseneck route
I'll be sure to pump out a trip report on this wild adventure to the top of Gannett Peak as soon as possible, but I figured I'd get something here first. Three friends and I went into Elkhart Park TH on Wednesday 7/15. We reached a spot between the upper and lower Titcomb lake that evening where we set up a base camp. The next day we headed to Bonney Pass, and two friends decided they didn't want to go any farther while my other friend and I ascended Bonney Pass with arguably too much gear (mainly many liters of water in bladders, then harnesses, then a rope that weighed 7 pounds). This was the first time I had ever felt taxed by elevation/exertion while climbing anything. But despite the physicality, a lot more of the experience was psychologically trying. My friend said that he was fine physically, but that he surpassed his psychological/emotional limit during the experience after we got beyond the top of Bonney Pass. I hope the story I'm soon to write will capture the challenge of it better than these words. Ultimately we made it to the top at 09:30 on 7/17/2020 Friday after ascending for roughly three hours. I'll say that getting over Bonney and up Gannett and back will probably remain some of the most rigorous hiking I've done for a long time to come. But you better believe it was 100% worth it.
Some other quick notes:
*A nice waterfall in the southeast area of the mountain's scree field allowed for unlimited amounts of water
*The Bergschrund was getting sketchy, and my friend continues to say that he thinks we crossed perhaps days ahead of the existing snow bridge collapsing (you could see a couple trekking-pole-sized holes of black at the bottom of two boot prints on the most traversed path over the Berg- creepy)
*We ascended perhaps 40% of the mountain without crampons via basic scrambling
*Sun began hitting the heights of the mountain at approximately 06:00- we noticed that the opened part of the Berg was already looking moist and unfrozen when we reached it at 08:00ish
*We were able to practically glissade over the Berg and onto the existing glacier below safely- I spread myself out like a star to spread out my weight, and then I slid across the Berg, and then I glissaded onto the snowfield below in proper fall-arrest fashion. My friend followed suit safely.
From Glacier Trail trailhead. 3 enjoyable days of easy hiking to basecamp east of Gannett. Summit day start with scramble up glacier moraine, then across bergschrund and up to lone pinnacle. From there straightforward up ridgeline to north then east to summit. Snow slopes were steep enough and snow loose enough our group of 3 decided to unrope on the way up. No problems.
On the way in the bugs were busy. Easily a dozen with each swipe of your hand. Stir them into the cookpot was the chefs preferred method.
On 2nd day of hike out it rained all day...and I mean pouring rain. Still great fun.
Definitely the hardest 4 days I have every done. Summit via Bonney pass. Very satisfying to make this summit, was very fortunate to have near perfect conditions.
2nd attempt with Peter Yerger. Beautiful! Helped Jim McDonald get out after he ruptured his appendix.
One of my favorite climbs; part of a 26-day Wind River traverse
2017 - not successful; was 500 feet away from summit before having to turn back.
2018 - SUCCESSFUL!
Great mountain though; love the approach.
I climbed Gannett 18 years ago, but my daughter is now old enough and has shown an interest in mountaineering so she and I climbed it 9-14-18, via the Pole Creek route. The snow bridge at Goose neck was still passable. We had a great time on the five day total trip. On day one we awoke at sea level at Virginia Beach and spent the night at 10,000 feet on the pole creek trail. At the summit we meet two very competent climbers from Tennessee who we combined ropes with for the repel down goose neck. We ran out of daylight so we bivouacked at the top of Dinwoody Pass and then down climbed to our tents at first light the next morning. Our next conquest will be Mount Washington mid January 2019.
Being from Wyoming peak has been on my mind a long time. Great to finally make it to this region of the Winds. What a rugged incredible range. Elkhart to Titcomb and a 9 hour summit day. Snow conditions were good but are deteriorating due to warm weather. Snow bridge across the bergschrund was about 10 ft wide.
2.5 days in and 3.5 days out. With the exception of the first day, I was on my own (my choice) due to my hiking partners discovering that the trail conditions weren't allowing the intended pace of travel needed to make it make in time to catch their return flights home. It was easier for me to do at my own pace anyway. It snowed on summit day, the creek crossings were high water crossings, the mosquitoes were horrendous at times and my mountaineering/backpacking boots tore my feet to shreds - but it was worth it. This was my 45th state high point and the toughest one yet
My most difficult highpoint so far...mixed climbing with a scary bergschrund crossing, hefty multi-day backpack. Hiked via Wind River Indian Reservation (spendy, but shorter) 2 permits required. Route finding was a bit challenging on this route, less usage. Bring maps/ GPS. Views of the Tetons from the summit were spectacular!
2 days in to a high camp in Upper Titcomb at the base of Bonney. Day 3 we summited, returned to camp, and hiked back to the car at Elkhart.
Started from Dubois, and did the Glacier Trail. Hiked 19 miles to the Klondike Creek crossing on day 1. Day 2, summitted Gannett. The 'shrund still had a good week or two before collapse. Took Niko with me and he made it all the way to the summit with no problem. Rested a little, packed up camp, and hiked to Double Lake to round out day 2. Had to leave behind my hiking partner at Ink Wells Camp because of blisters. She paid $250 to ride a horse out the next day. I camped at Double Lake, and then did the remaining 11 miles on Day 3. Would highly recommend this route to anyone considering a Gannett attempt. Standing on top of the peak, I know you can come in from Titcomb, but it doesn't look feasible from standing on top of Gannett. It is beautiful country, and an amazing mountain. So glad to finally check this one off the list.
We took a variation of the SE Couloir Route where we took the right arm of the couloir towards the top (new route/FA??). Did a running belay placing pickets (mostly t-slots) on the way up. Snow was in great shape and we got a good early start. Got a lot steeper as we got closer to the the top (maybe 50-55 degrees which was a bit more than we had been expecting).
We then climbed about 1 1/3 pitch (2 full 40m rope lengths) of 5.4ish rock and then an easy traverse and came out right at the top of the Gooseneck Couloir at the pinnacle. Should have had some rock pro, but ended up not needing it as there were plenty of good flakes and horns to throw slings around. Not sure if anyone has done this variation, but with the added rock climbing it was a great alpine climb!
This proved to be an amazing experience all around, and possibly the most beautiful place in the lower 48.
Got a video of it:
Unfortunately my battery died about 1/4 up the couloir and I didn't get a good safe spot to switch it out until a good ledge just below the traverse to the pinnacle...
climbed the gooseneck route but we were chased off the summit by an electrical storm that blew in after only a few minutes up there. No worse place to be during lightning than being the highest person in the state with an ice axe in your hand!