I felt so out of shape, probably because this was my first hike of the year. The up and down are brutal, especially when you don't pack enough food for the hike.
It was cloudy but thankfully the ridge sits above the clouds so I still got some good views. My Garmin clocked in at 6.4 miles and 5700 feet of elevation gain one way. Started from Upper Dungeness
Having to work over Thanksgiving weekend and seeing a bomber forecast in the Olympics, I decided to take Tuesday afternoon off with the plan to hit Gray Wolf Ridge by sunset and descend in the dark.
Ascended via Tyler Peak Way Trail, reaching Tyler Peak in about 2 hours. Once out of the trees I left the trail and beelined it to the ridge. As it was, I came upon a trail toward Tyler within a few hundred yards. This trail fades in and out but the route to Tyler is very apparent. I circumnavigated a couple of the bumps on the ridgeline and traveled up and over a couple others. The route is up to you.
From Tyler Peak I descended and traversed to Peak B. Here is where some confusion reigned. I scrambled to the top of several spires. My altimeter (which was calibrated) read about 6000-6100', but the map listed Peak B at 5700'. In order to cover my bases I decided to hit all the prominent spires. A ridgeline to a semi-prominent summit was seductive, but I was running out of daylight. Finally I looked up my position on Gaia and it showed I was standing directly atop Peak B. Whether I truly summited Peak B or not, is up for you to decide.
Descended to the ridgeline and then traversed over to unnamed peak 6527', then from there up to Baldy. Again, a path fades in and out, but it could not be clearer where to go. A sign on a tree in the saddle between 6527' and Baldy indicates when you are entering into Olympic NP.
Atop Baldy it got pretty windy. The descent from Baldy to the saddle is slightly steep scree but manageable. I ascended the bump on the saddle and descended back down; others may wish to circumnavigate it.
Ascent to Gray Wolf is more choose-your-own-adventure through scree. I recommend sticking close to the ridgeline. Only a 20-yard patch of snow required traversing on the ridge to the short scramble up to Gray Wolf's summit.
Indeed I made it just in time for sunset. I then descended in the dark. While circumnavigating Baldy on the way back was tempting, the added distance and steeper scree did not seem worth it. From Baldy and then back over to 6527', I descended via the Maynard Burn Trail. (I'd considered cutting down the ridgeline from 6527' but opted instead for certainty.)
Lots of fog and wind heading up but by the time we were at Baldy heading down the nice views opened up. Really pleasant hike overall
One of my climbing partners for this climb admitted that this was his first hike ever on the drive to the trailhead.
In other news we had windy and dramatic weather for most of the day with great views. There were just a few snow fields left high on Gray Wolf, which could be avoided, if you prefer steep scree.
Hiked up with James Barlow and Sam Hahn via the Mueller Creek Trailhead. Went up to Tyler Peak first and then hit Peak B, and Baldy before getting to Gray Wolf. Fantastic views of Mount Olympus and Mount Deception from the top.
Almost Tundra, like Colorado.
After summiting we scree skied off the west slopes from the first notch you get to on the descent. After hitting treeline at about 5500 feet we follwed the fall line through the forest until we intersected the Royal Basin trail. I wouldn't recommend this unless you're feeling adventurous because there is potential for getting lost, and also you have to regain 500 feet after hiking back on the Royal Basin trail to get to the parking area.
Amazing trip. It was raining on the drive over, but stopped just as I was getting to the trailhead. Then, once I hiked up over ~4000 ft elevation I popped out of the clouds and it was sunny and beautiful! It made for some great scenery. The Maynard Burn trail was pretty steep but not horrible and scree was annoying on the final uphill section, but a blessing (scree skiing) on the way down. Some amazing views of Constance, Mystery, and Olympus among others. It took me 3 1/2 hours on the way up with many, many, many photography breaks. I took 181 pictures (over triple my usual amount). 1 hour 30 minutes back.
A hot and sunny autumn equinox. Have since discovered the Tyler Way Trail - a little longer, but much more scenic.
Climbed up the steep Maynard Burn trail to Baldy and then traversed over to Gray Wolf. Lots of ups and downs along that ridgeline. Beautiful day in the Olympics as usual. Four and a half hours to Gray Wolf.
Traversed from Baldy after ascending the Upper Maynard Burn trail
After two demoralizing attempts, once rained back to the car and once foggy-winded back to the car, I decided that this time I wasn't going to turn back due to being wimpy. Total fog/cloud at trailhead, wetwetwet through the trees and then windy clouds up Baldy, windy clouds across the ridge, and windy clouds at the highpoint. A tiny break in the cloudbank gave me a shockingly bright white view of the inside of the clouds and about a quarter-mile view on either side, and then socked back in for the return trip. Oh, and then the rain started. Oh, and then I went down the wrong drainage and had to backtrack about a half-hour back uphill. Wheee! Seriously, for all the views everyone talks about, I've GOT to do this again in good weather someday.
Only a few days after summiting Buckner Mountain, my legs were still a little tender and my face and arms were still red from sunburns. I had the day off work, so I thought I would take it easy. I guess by "easy" I meant over 5000' cumulative gain to summit Gray Wolf... my 23rd WA CoHP... as well as nearby Baldy, Peak B, and Tyler Peak. Great weather, no wind, blue skies, awesome views. Highly recommended summit destination!!!
Robbin, Dave and I did Gray Wolf first and then Baldy on the way back. We followed the Maynard Burn trail this time since last time we used the old Baldy trail. It was fairly warm for November and there were only a few patches of snow on the ground. The narrow north ridge top leading to Gray Wolf's summit was awesome.
Went up with a friend to do Baldy. After that, he waited while I ran up the ridge to get the highpoint. Map and pics at http://www.willhiteweb.com/olympic_mountains/gray_wolf_ridge/baldy_201.htm
Neither Gray Wolf Peak nor Baldy, individually or collectively, have 2000' of prominence.
We did the usual route using the Maynard Burn Trail and traversing straight up and over every bump. Good views but too much sun. Overall this was a scenic hike with the ridge run and now I can chalk up another COHP.
Last time up to Graywolf we had fabulous weather and for once the flowers were in bloom!!!!! It felt like Switzerland, smelled like a french boutique and revived my spirit. No blisters for once on the fire break cat trail. Check out my lupine photos.
Went up the Maynard Burn Way Trail.Started at 9:00 AM. The weather was foggy with a little rain turning to a slush/ice mix at higher elevations. The trail is in good shape and realativly steep. Snow started at the turnaround on the cat track. The trail was impossible to follow after that point so I just went up the ridge. I don't think very many people go up this rout, because most people follow the trail. The ridge had a lot of very large cornices. An ice ax is very helpful on this part, but poles will work. The ridge ended up on the false summit of baldy, so I traversed over to the main summit. I ran out of time to get to Graywolf, and the views from baldy were not very good. Visibility was about 5 feet. Got back to the car at 5:00PM
Used the Mainard Burn Trail. Just before Pt. 6537, I ran into a shirtless man with no pack who didn't know where he was. I pointed him toward the Tyler/Baldy saddle where he thought his party was.
Reached the top of Gray Wolf in beautiful clear weather.
Got back to the truck at 8:00PM. Battery had failed (not just dead, broken). Walked out to Dungeness Forks Campground and begged a ride to the Casino on Hwy 101. Total miles 19, total elevation gain 5,500, loss 7,000.
Cohp 43, WA Cohp 25.