Sweet climb on a beautiful day. Summit ridge was icy snow and felt very "alpine".
Penelope May and I climbed the North Face in 20 hours RT from Titcomb Basin on August 29th, 2005. The route was wonderful snow, ice and easy 5th class rock journey combined with huge ammount of hiking and quite a bit of glacier crossing. We brought rope and rock/ice gear but found the route just good enough not to have to rope up for it. The route is (IMHO) wonderful alternative to the often climbed Gooseneck Pinnacle Ridge route and not too hard. In late season (September, October) this might be really good mixed technical route. Recommended.
Long trek in, but certainly well worth it. Snow bridge was solid and used some pro heading up. Got my first taste of altitude sickness on this climb. Roped and belayed crossing the bridge on descent due to sickness.
Perfect weather for our 4 days in the Wind Rivers, and the mosquitoes weren't bad at all. Made camp at the lower end of Titcomb Basin, which made for a VERY long summit day. Some firm snow still remains up Bonney Saddle (that's not a pass in my book), but lots of loose rock makes it very unpleasant, especially on the return in the dark. The glaciers were nice and firm with some respectable crevasses, but nothing too serious. The snowbridge over the schrund was still passable, but rather thin. We belayed across just in case, and rapped past on the decent. We were the only people on the mountain that day, and the first to sign the summit register in 3 days. An awesome climb!
Our 5 person group spent 3 days hiking in (no horse packers) on the Glacier Trail and camped in the last large patch of trees before the moraine. This gave us a more sheltered basecamp, but added about 45-60 minutes round trip to our summit day. However, this is a much easier summit day than starting from Titcomb. Snow bridge was in good shape and we probably saw 20 other people on the mountain that day. We left camp at 7am and summitted by 11am. We took a direct route to the glacier from the moraine and didn't get onto Dinwoody Glacier. Didn't spend much time on the summit with lowering dark clouds. The rain held off until we were back in the moraine, but then we got dumped on.
Full trip report and photos
Gooseneck Glacier Route from Titcomb Basin - climbed with Joe Bullough in just about 10 hours round trip. Fun route; made a quick scamper up the Gooseneck Pinnicle which, I learned upon getting to the top, leans quite frighteningly to the south.
Fun climb. The snow bridge over the Gooseneck Glacier bergschrund was rotting out as we descended. One of my partners developed HAPE symptoms atop Dinwoody Pass and turned back.
Weather was atrocious....set off at 4 am, but might as well have slept in a few hours more. Snow conditions up Dinwoody Pass and on the glacier were excellent, but we roped up just for kicks. A few crevasses were easily avoided. The sun hit the peak gloriously a little after 5 and as soon as it did, a bank of clouds moved in to obscure it completely. Snowbridge was in good shape, snow nice and firm going up the couloir but not TOO firm. Couldn't see a damn thing on top...visibility was about 25 ft. It snowed and blew. It rained. Thunder rumbled and ice axes buzzed. It took us a bit under 11 hours round trip from upper Titcomb Basin, with the hardest stretch being the climb back UP to the pass from the Dinwoody side.
climbed from base camp at 10800 ft in titcomb via Bonney pass in clear conditions and very slushy snow on return. adjustment to altitude slowed us down to a total roundtrip of 17 hours. Bergschrund bridge was in, and people were glissading over it.
Michael and Solomon Heifets
Left Elkhart on 4 July and packed in almost to Island Lake. There was only a couple of patches of snow all the way there, and most were avoidable. Above Island Lake there was a lot of soft and quickly melting snow into Titcomb Basin. We camped in upper Titcomb Basin the next day and rested the afternoon. We cramponed up Bonney Pass in the early morning on firm snow and continued across Dinwoody Glacier roped up. There were no crevasses visible on the way to Gannett. The snow softened up some as the day went on but it was mostly stable and we only broke through occasionally. The bergschrund was almost completely closed up so the couloir to the ridge was just a steep snow climb. From there it was almost entirely snow to the top. We made several glissades on the way down and decided to go back across the glaciers unroped. On our way back up Bonney Pass you could see some crevasses starting to crack on the surface, but they were still bridged by feet of snow. We hiked out the following day. On the way down from Photographers Point the mosquitos were swarming bad, but further in were pretty minimal. It took 13 hours from our camp to summit and return, and total time hiking was around 40 hours over four days.
I've done this route toghether with Serge Ray. The snow couloir was in great condition. We were the only people on the mountain that day.
After 3+ days camped on glacier in blizzard conditions, made it to the top on a beautiful clear day
4 day solo trip from Elkhart Park. This mountain is big and beautiful. Weather was great, mosquitos ruled the evenings, and the nights belonged to the rodents.
I was surprised by the number of people on the approach and on the actual climb. Everyone was very pleasant and considerate, but I was expecting a little more solitude. There were fewer people on Mt. Hood the last time I climbed it (not exagerating)!
Titcomb basin is stunning but I wouldn't choose this approach if I wanted to climb Gannet again. Going down Bonney Pass at the end of the day was brutal.
Added August 2005: I have since tried the Glacier Trail approach from Dubois. While there is the possibility of an easier summit day, (depends where you make your high camp) overall this is significantly more difficult than the Titcomb Basin approach. I think next time I might try a "thru hike" from south to north.
Compared to an unsuccessful attempt last summer, this year's climb was much easier because we ascended almost all snow. No bergshrund yet, just steep punchy snow. In August '03 we attempted the climb and there was a lot of loose rock, rockfall, ice sections, and crevasses. The only trade-offs this year were mosquitoes and muddy conditions on the approach - but this was OK with us.
We turned back from atop Bonney in a 5 am storm on July 11th and probably could have waited it out, but we retreated and did the whole climb the next day under cloudless skies. We summitted by 9:15 am and got back in camp by 2 pm for a 12-hour day. This was less extreme than we'd anticipated from various trip reports.
We had outstanding guidance from two super-porters from the Teton Climbers' Ranch (Kevin Hogan and Charlie Gorski) 307-733-7271. They'd be interested in returning to the Winds to help others, too.
Headed out solo on the Glacier Trail (Dubois) on a windy Sunday, June 13th 2004. Arrived at end of the largely deserted Glacier Trail Monday afternoon in improving weather - Elk & Moose-with-calf all along the trail. I set up camp just across the river and after dinner scouted out an easy route over the snow into the upper basin which was still a frozen wasteland. The weather cleared/calmed overnight and morning was breaking as I crunched on up towards the mountain at 5am. It was easy traveling on the firm snow and I followed the standard route up onto the ridge at the Gooseneck. I could see no evidence of a 'schrund at all, but my axe did plunge all the way through near the top of the chute, so there it was...safely snowed over. For the remaining ridge climb to the summit I was freshtracking in snow all the way and hit the summit at 9am. There were some sphincter-pinching exposures here and there but I felt well protected with just the axe and crampons. I could see that Titcomb Basin was still frozen solid. After an hour on the summit enjoying incredible cloudless views (a cell phone connection is possible) I headed back down in hot slushy conditions, but with very little postholing. Cooked up some grub, broke camp, and headed back down the trail to where it breaks away from the river towards the Honeymoon Lake switchbacks to spend a 3rd night out. By Wednesday morning cold windy weather moved back in and it was snowing hard up on the plateau as I hotfooted it back down to the trailhead. Made it out at 4pm Wednesday, June16th. The trip offered everything I hoped for and more - June is surely the best time to climb this peak if you enjoy strenuous but totally straightforward true-wilderness snowclimbing.
Looooooong day, but what a great climb! We camped below Helen Peak. Conditions were great and we were able to avoid the steep coulior. Highly enjoyable climb in some wild country!
We went in via Ink Wells and out on the Glacier trail. This was a great way to go, because there was more flexibility in case of bad weather. We went up a steep couloir that leads to Petzoldt ridge and down the standard route. It was a very exciting climb. We only stayed on top for about 5 minutes, because a storm was moving in from the West. The views from the summit were unbelievable!! Probably the best views of any summit in the lower 48. Contrary to some, I do not think Gannett is a walk up. It may not be the most technically challenging peak, but the snow slopes are steep and when we were there we encountered some solid ice on some of the steeper sections. We also saw several crevasses that were opened up. The weather and altitude can also make this peak challenging. I recommend crampons, ice axe and a rope if the conditions warrant it. Basically, if the snow is hard and icy, the difficulty level really goes up. On our 2001 trip we encountered a mother bear and a cub on the trail. They came within 50 feet, but they hardly even looked at us. We also saw a bear on our 2000 trip.
7/14/17- 16 years to the day of my first Gannet summit, Craig Lloyd and I did Gannett in a "day" from Elkhart through Titcomb. Made a gnarly descent of Bonney Pass at midnight. Snow was icing up and we were tired from the long day.
Went alone this time. Stayed at Seneca Lake one night then hiked to upper Titcomb and camped at 10.980'. Climbed Winnifred Peak on friday, and Gannett on Saturday. This place has gotten very, very busy. Many people coming and going. It has degraded the experience.
Early season, very wet. Plenty of skeetrs down low but none at higher elevations. Camped right at the snowline at lower Titcomb Lake. Made an attempt on Mt Helen that got turned around due to storm. The following day we got a 4am start for Gannett. Icy up to the Bonney pass. Good firn snow on the upper Gooseneck. Made the summit by noon. Long, hot, wet trek bck accross the glacier and up to Bonney pass, excellent glissade back down to the Titcomb basin. Great trip, beautiful area.
Went across the Indian Reservation to save two days, we were heading to Granite after.