Granite Peak from the southwest

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TomTuriano
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Granite Peak from the southwest

Postby TomTuriano » Tue Sep 08, 2009 3:09 pm

I often get questions about climbing Granite Peak from the southwest, via Aero and Sky Top Lakes. I know of at least a couple parties that have tried and failed by this approach, including one of the first attempts on the mountain by Fred Inabnit. I also know of at least a couple parties who used this approach on skis during the spring and made it easily to the mountain. In summer, I don't think this route is for everyone, but if you can move quickly and effortlessly over boulders (and enjoy doing it), this route may be the quickest way up Granite Peak. Joseph Bullough and 65-year-old partner Michael Hannan recently made the trip in a three-day "laser strike" from Salt Lake City. Read their excellent report on SummitPost:

http://www.summitpost.org/trip-report/549417/granite-peak-laser-strike-the-southwest-couloir.html

TomTuriano
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Posts: 166
Joined: Thu Dec 02, 2004 11:02 am

Re: Granite Peak from the southwest

Postby TomTuriano » Sat Aug 28, 2010 7:00 am

Hi Tom,

Great book; impressive effort. I've climbed a number of those peaks and have added a couple more since seeing a friend's and then buying my own copy.

I saw in the book, and let it pass, the comments on Granite from Sky Top Lakes. Bit I just read the same on your forum.

Climbing Granite from Sky Top lakes is really nice, I think the best route for aesthetic reasons. A friend I took up that way agreed and he'd climbed the northern route (I haven't but I did descend that trail once; yuk).

I've done two routes from Sky Top Lakes. As you face Granite from above the lakes, there are a few ridges/buttresses descending south. In 1977 my brother, a friend, and I climbed the right hand buttress at an easy 3rd class; I recall solid and safe rock (but it's been a while...). That buttress ends on the east ridge above the feature people call the snowbridge. In 1993 with my wife and another friend we climbed the next ridge left with several pitches to 5.7/5.8 then contoured to the east ridge and summit in a September snowstorm. This was fun rock climbing.

Anyhow, I always recommend climbing Granite from the south side. Sky Top Lakes is exceptionally pretty and the routes are fun.

cheers,

Steve
--

Steven Sheriff
Professor of Geophysics
University of Montana
Missoula, MT USA 59812
www.umt.edu/geosciences

TomTuriano
Site Admin
Posts: 166
Joined: Thu Dec 02, 2004 11:02 am

Re: Granite Peak from the southwest

Postby TomTuriano » Mon Aug 30, 2010 8:05 am

Tom,

I checked with Chris (wife) and neither of us recall the approach from Sky Tops lake being a big problem or particularly onerous. And I've done it twice. I remember picking my way around the lake with boulders and water but not much beyond that until on the routes. Chris said "I don't remember it being awful". But of course there's the alpinist issue "a short memory helps". For comparison (or calibration) we do recall the standard approach to the Bearstooth being a bit of a rock glacier event but not overbearing. And just a few years ago we made our way from the Wilse-Iceberg col to the north face of Glacier Peak and I didn't think that was too bad either. Having climbed a lot in other ranges I always expect some rock glacier travel in the Beartooths. I guess I'm hedging but I don't think it was too bad on the Beartooth scale at least.

cheers,

Steve


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