The SE couloir is easily seen from Bonney Pass. It is the obvious snow filled couloir on the viewer on the viewer's left. It provides an excellent alternative to the Gooseneck Gully route, particularly if the Gooseneck bergschrund snow bridge has melted out.
The route requires a long approach from Elkhart Park or Trail Ranch. The route involves an easy glacier approach, then a climb of a 45 degree snow/ice couloir for 600 feet, then involves easy 3rd class rock to the summit. You will be exposed to some rockfall danger in the couloir, and a fall in the couloir would probably result in death.
Although the route is not difficult, I recommend this route only for small parties (1-3 climbers) who are comfortable soloing steep snow. A large party of inexperienced climbers on this route would likely end in disaster. You must travel quickly and safely.
Drive to Pinedale, Wyoming, then to Elkhart Park Trailhead. From Elkhart Park, hike to Titcomb basin. Most parties will take 2 days for the hike to Titcomb, 1 day for the climb from Titcomb, then 2 days out. The summit day from Titcomb Basin involves 5200 vertical feet, including the re-ascent to Bonney Pass. The round trip distance is over 40 miles from and to the trailhead.
Get a pre-dawn start on your summit day and ascend to Bonney Pass. Try to be on the pass at dawn. You will want to study the route, which is easily seen from the pass.
The route is easily seen from Bonney Pass. It is the obvious snow couloir on the East aspect of Gannett.
From Bonney Pass, descend to the Dinwoody Glacier. Cross under a toe of rock on a very interesting hogback ridge of glacier, and then ascend the N.W. Arm of the Dinwoody Glacier, which is the glacier just east of the Gooseneck Ridge. You will need to negotiate a short section of densely packed crevasses, some of which are deep. Ascend the couloir, and then the summit ridge. Descend via the SE couloir or the Gooseneck Gully. (I down climbed the SE Couloir.)
You should be comfortable soloing up and down 45 degree snow/ice, or else plan on belaying and /or rappelling the couloir. Rappel slings were found in the lower portion of the couloir, but use them at your own risk. Belaying or rappelling in this couloir will clearly expose you rockfall danger. An uncontrolled fall down the couloir would probably be fatal.
I climbed the route on Sept 10th, 2011. I brought two short ice tools, a helmet and crampons. A rope will make the glacier safer, and allow for rappels if you encounter icy conditions. Rappel slings were found in the couloir, but I cannot vouch for their safety. Belaying and/or rappelling in the couloir will slow you down, and expose you to more rockfall danger.
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