Kings Peak Wet Climb

Kings Peak Wet Climb

Page Type Page Type: Trip Report
Date Date Climbed/Hiked: Jul 11, 2019

Successful Strenuous Climb

The backpack into Dollar Lake was gradual and took about 4 hours.  Spent the night in a very scenic spot.  Began the climb at 6:00 am.  The route over gunsight was not too steep but there was some snow on the route up to the big cairn.  Continued down the backside.  There was a lot of water on the path from the snowmelt and I had to cross several snow fields. 

Unfortunately, I began my ascent in the first gully I came to.  I should have kept going to the second gully where it is much more gradual.  It took me an hour to climb up the gully(about 40 degrees) over loose rock and snow.  When I got to the top of the gully I was faced with a mile over gradual terrain.  I circumvented some of the snow but had to cross some snowy areas where there was some postholing.  I could hear the melted water flowing under the snow.  One problem was the inability to follow and path since it was covered with snow.  You can follow footprints but those may have been made by someone like me who was just guessing at the correct route. 

After crossing the flat area I put on the microspikes and ascended the snow covered face up to the ridge - no problem at all.  Once I reached the ridge, I climbed to the top.  There are few in any cairns on the ridge so I picked my own path.  It took me 5+ hours to reach the summit.  I took the same way down but hiked to the climbers right to take the more gradual route up to the flat area.  Very smart move although I could not avoid big snowfields.  Much of the path back to gunsight was flooded with the melting water so get ready to have soaked feet and mud. 

I finally reached my tent at 3:35 exhausted.  The weather started raining and lightning as soon as I entered my tent.  Spent the night and hiked out in the morning.  I will warn you the bugs are bad.  My final advice is don't underestimate the strenuous nature of this hike - all the climbers I met thought it was tough.


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