Camped at the South end of Avalanche Lake first night
with the urine licking goats. Had perfect weather for all three days.
I would advise trying the Froze-To -Death-Plateau route first, the boulders are a bear. Stay near the water as much as possible until you hit 7/8 of the way around the lake.
Boulders, Boulders, Boulders...Did I say Boulders.
The approach is the brutal part of this climb. Great campsite at Cold Lake. Plenty of company. (i.e. mountain goats.)
If anyone found a pair of Smith Mainline sunglasses at the summit or at the saddle of Mt.Tempest they're mine and I'll pay for shipping...
My friend Duane and I finally returned to Granite Peak after failing to summit in 1995. It was Joel's first attempt. We approached via West Rosebud Creek and Mystic Lake this time, and were pleased with the improved scenery on this approach. We camped low on Froze-to-Death Plateau on August 30, not intending to climb on the 31st because the weather forecast sounded pretty nasty - and proved to be right. But we did move camp somewhat closer to the peak, and found much better water there. The camp is at the junction of the north and east-west spurs of the plateau. A large snowfield provides terrific water, and with a good early start the mountain is not too far away if the weather holds until after noon. That is what happened for us, except that the weather never did get "bad", although it was very windy all day, growing worse during our hike back to camp. We were behind several other parties, so route-finding was easy. Two rappels made the summit area easy to descend. All in all a terrific trip!
My wife and I left the West Rosebud/ power plant trailhead at 7:30 pm, and made camp in the dark at the top of the switchbacks at 10,000' at midnight. The next day we made it to the edge of the plateau next to Tempest at 12,080'. We contemplated an afternoon ascent if no thunderstorms developed, but opted to rest instead. Weather radio now began predicting an incoming storm, and sure enough, after a night of high winds 1-2 inches of snow covered the tent and everything above 10,000'. We waited out the next day, and that evening the skies began to clear. Most of the snow was gone by mid morning the next day. We carried one ice axe, and belayed each other across the snow bridge. Route finding was interesting even with good beta. Exposure wasn't as terrible as I expected, but we belayed across a couple sections. We summitted at noon, rappelled a few short pitches, and made a long hike out.
Was a great climb. Was young and inexperienced and took no rope, so got a little dicey at top, but highly recommend this climb. The view is great. Was lucky in that we didn't have any thunderstorms roll in.
It was a great climb! We had wonderful weather, except for a few afternoon showers. Weather is usually the deciding factor of whether you're going to make it or not and this area is notorious for storms brewing up quickly. I know people that have made it to base camp or even part way up the mountain (several times) only for a big snowstorm or thunderstorm to move in during a matter of minutes. Most people rope up when climbing Granite, especially going across the snow bridge and the last couple hundred feet or so. But, it isn't needed and we actually didn't rope up. I just thought it was a great time and an awesome experience. And I have one down on the quest for the 50 highest points of each state. I totally recommend climbing Granite, intermediate or even fit beginners can make it, but it's fun for more experienced climbers, too.