Leahy Peak & Electric Pass Peak 4/2/11

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Leahy Peak & Electric Pass Peak 4/2/11
Created On: Apr 3, 2011
Last Edited On: Apr 3, 2011
I've been missing the Elks all winter and wanted to check out the east face of Cathedral Peak. So my plan was to hike up to Cathedral Lake and climb whatever thirteener(s) looked good from there. I slept at the "parking lot" for the Ashcroft ski area and started hiking around 7 am. As I hiked up into Pine Creek basin, I decided to climb the looming southeast face of Leahy Peak (13322') rather than go all the way up the basin. After climbing past a few rocky outcroppings I started to get a little shaky. The slopes were nearing 40 degrees and the intense morning sun had baked the top layer into a slush; and every glimpse of the peak revealed more discouraging terrain below the summit. When I finally crested the ridgeline at 11 am and got a good look at it, I nearly soiled myself. It appeared to be guarded by an extremely steep snow-covered talus field flanking rotten cliffs high on the east side. I reluctantly decided to bail. Not wanting to return the way I'd come, I chose to scramble along the narrow ridge towards a small saddle below the summit, descend and hike out the basin to the north. But when I reached the saddle, the snowfield appeared consolidated and I changed my mind. I would climb up towards the summit until things got too sketchy, then descend. The snowfield contained the best snow I'd had all day--it was reasonably well consolidated and I felt secure with just my ice axe. I bypassed some cliffs, scrambled over an easy class-3 buttress, and polished off the last 20' of wind crust to summit at 11:40, where I let out a holler and startled a herd of bighorn sheep grazing at the top. After soaking up the insane views I tagged the relatively boring Electric Pass Peak (13635') just to get a different perspective on Cathedral, and then hiked out on the slush. Spring is here!

Round-trip mileage: 9.5
Total elevation gain: 4500'
Time including stops: 8 hrs
Highest clocked gust: 39.8 mph





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Senad Rizvanovic

Senad Rizvanovic - Apr 3, 2011 2:34 pm - Voted 10/10

...

Nice shots Mike!

metal4lyf

metal4lyf - Apr 3, 2011 3:13 pm - Hasn't voted

Re: ...

Thanks Sen!

Senad Rizvanovic

Senad Rizvanovic - Apr 3, 2011 9:32 pm - Voted 10/10

Re: ...

You have to drag me with you on one of yours trips :))

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Leahy Peak & Electric Pass Peak 4/2/11

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