Hiked in late Friday, got up the killer switchbacks by dark. Put up tent in raging winds tucked into a small outlet at the start of Froze-To-Death. After trying to sleep for two hours with a buddy and I holding the insides of the tent up amidst 50+mph gusts, tried to keep the fly down via rocks. Ripped a guy line or two, tore the fly, broke the poles down and slept on top of tent. That worked til the rain came. Epic overnight, early start. Nearly accosted by a group of over eager piss vultures (mountain goats). Winds were rippin, clouds were mixed, we were beat, I had no rain jacket - bad news. Tempest was much less exposed, quicker, and worth the views from the top. Try for a repeat this summer
It was August of 1984, don`t know the exact date. Me and a buddy decided to try and climb Granite. I had climbed a few Mountains before and I was young and dumb and I would try anything. But a guide book in Red Lodge to help with this. We made camp on FTD plateau and a thunder storm hit. We spent the night huddled in our tent with the wind and lightning cracking all around us. We woke up to a cold but clear morning and decided to go for it. There was no snow on the "snow bridge". We made it to where the class 4 and 5 stuff was. We couldn`t find our way beyond this. There was another party coming up behind us and they knew the route so we just followed them. I`ll admit it, it was scary with a lot of exposure. We made it to the summit about 11 AM or so with the help of the other party. It was cold but a nice clear day. we spent a half hour on the summit and made our way down again with the help of the other party. These guys were real cool about helping us as we couldn`t of done it without them. Anyway we got back without any problems. Then I found out a few months later that Granite Peak is one of the most difficult state highpoints to climb. Good thing I didn`t know that when we were climbing it.
Across FTD plateau.
We started hiking around 7 in the morning up West Rosebud. Unbelievable granite walls everywhere! So cool! The switchbacks from hell felt super easy and before we knew it we were on the Froze to Death Plateau. We hiked across this plateau (not too fun with all the talus) and arrived at the bottom of the saddle around 4 pm. Along the way we took our time and ate and took lots of pictures. Getting to the snowbridge from the saddle took less than an hour. The snowbridge was an ice bridge and very dangerous. I would solo the rock climbing pitches and then clip into a belay and belay my wife up on a 100 foot rope. Got to the top, stayed for about a half hour and then headed down. My wife would rappel and then I would solo down the pitches. We got to the icebridge before dark. The hike out was fun, but the GPS was essential in the dark to not get lost and save time. We got back to our car before 7 am. Enough time to drive into Columbus, east breakfast, and take a nap before driving back to Utah!
Hiked across the FTD Plateau in light rain to my camp at 11,700 ft the day before, then a 5:00 am start on a perfectly clear morning. Made the top at around 9:00 am, and made 3 raps to avoid the sketchy downclimbing. Made it back to camp just in time to sit out an afternoon hailstorm, and make the soggy hike back to the car. Glad the weather gave me a chance on my first attempt at this beast!
Bivied about 2/3 across the ftd plateau. Left next morning around 7:30. summitted around 11:30 am. we descended with 2 other climbers whom were nice enough to let us use their rope to get down the class 4+/5 section.
Went up West Rosebud route. Stayed on Froze-to-Death Plateau. Summited after an Alpine Start at 4am. Took 13 hrs from middle of FTDP to summit and return. Such an amazing mountain and accomplishment!
East Ridge. Found the route finding to be much easier than described. Helped out a group that needed a rescue that took two days.
Oh my gosh, what a BEAST!!! Did this monster in one day, and almost fully regret it. I am glad to be done with that one. I normally don't write trip reports, but this one is very deserving of one. There are some things I'd like to share that may be helpful. So pics and trip report to come.
Weathered off, turned back at snow bridge. :( One of the most fun trips yet, due to great partners, location, etc.
Absolutely perfect weather on FTD plateau. Snow bridge was easy to walk across. Had the mountain entirely to ourselves. Technically it was pretty easy but I found the route finding to be difficult to stay on the 4th class stuff. We used hip belays in a few spots and down climbed everything instead of rapping. 7 hrs in from East Rosebud to Tempest. 6 hrs round trip to summit and then 5.5 more hours back down to East Rosebud.
Second attempt. Long approach. I thought the hike from W. Rosebud was a better choice than E. Rosebud. 8 hours from W. Rosebud to 12,000 feet on FTD (with some route difficulties). Four hours from high camp to summit (belayed snow bridge and one move on climb). I don't think I'd want to do climb without rope for raps.
Quick two day summit. Weather was good overall, aside from a thunderstorm on way out. Decent amount of snow and water on Froze-to-death. Snow all the way from Tempest-Granite col to snow-bridge. Left ice-ax and crampons behind after bridge. After climbing first section. Realized axe wouldn't have been a bad idea to have after two scetchy snow traverses. Was solo and got bit off route and ended up climbing 5.6-7? chimney in plastic boots(over-kill? yes. only boots I had at time though) Fantastic fun overall.
We did the SW Couloir in perfect weather. See Splattski's report on the SW Couloir route page.
Made the FTD boulder hop harder than it had to be due to fog, then it cleared. A good climb the next day, though we didn't set any speed records. Some study needed to stay on route.
Soloed Granite in a day from Mystic and over Froze-to-Death - my 50th Birthday "celebration"...11 hours car to car. Only spent a few minutes on top since it was snowing. My 8th time on the summit, 7th one-day ascent...first time alone.
Paul Sturman, Bozeman, MT
Ascended Froze-to-Death via a couloir about 1/4 mile east of the Anti Duct tower. So many raspberries! We camped about one mile from the snow bridge, and encountered a fierce lightning storm in the night followed by snow and rain the next morning.
Camped at Rough Lake on a five day traverse through "The Top of the World." From Rough Lake I crossed over the pass between the lake and Sky Top Lakes Basin leaving at 8:30. Made descent time over the talus and boulder hoping terrain in 2 hours to the base of "the slab." Ascended solo up the SW Couloir following the obvious path of past climbers. Summited in 1 hour 30 min. Found I had the route to myself which was awesome. Just me and the mountain!! The Couloir is listed as class 3 and lived up to its billing as the "Bowling Alley." Plenty of falling rock so no brainer on the helmet. No ice ax needed for the few remaining ice patches as routes around them were evident. Fantastic exposure higher up and amazing views!!
Approached via Froze-to-Death and summited under blue skies and minimal wind. No other parties summiting that day; nice to have the mountain to ourselves! Avoided the Labor Day crowds and counted 26 people on the trail attempting the summit on 9/6/09. Weather moving in though, did any of you make it?
During morning hours and with only 540' elevation to go to the summit, in the Southwest Couloir, I suddenly had a bad feeling that a freak storm was coming. It was one of those "smell a storm coming" moments. Although we knew we could reach the summit OK, we were concerned about the possibility of questionable weather while trying to descend the couloir, so my partner and I agreed to turn around. Shortly after getting off the mountain, we turned around and could no longer see the mountain! We considered waiting out the storm to make another attempt, but the storm lasted (for the most part) for two days! It was a frustrating decision to turn around, but it was the right decision. We lived to climb another day, and the mountain is not going anywhere.