Gannett Peak, WY, day 3
Trip Start Mar 02, 2011
192Trip End Oct 14, 2011
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Today is summit day. My guide, Mark, woke me up at 4:00am. We had breakfast, packed up and started walking around 5:20. The first part of the hike was across a snow field. We soon reached the moraine. The moraine seemed to go on for quite some time but it's probably only around a quarter mile. It's tough enough climbing over the rocks in the light but it's even harder in the dark with a headlamp.
We eventually got past the moraine and back onto snow. We walked the first portion without crampons. The snow slowly gets steeper and we soon had to put on our crampons. As it got even steeper we eventually roped up.
Our path took us over the bergschrunds of the Gooseneck Glacier. Fortunately, there was a good snow bridge due to the heavier than usual snow pack so we had no difficulty crossing. We then cramponed up the Gooseneck Glacier to the summit ridge. We then followed the summit ridge to the 13,804 foot top of Gannett Peak, the highest point in Wyoming. I've now been to 43 state highpoints. This was the most difficult, by far. Mark did a great job pushing me to keep moving, keeping me safe and getting me to the top.
It was a bright, sunny day without a cloud in the sky when we reached the summit. We rested a while and I took a few pictures and signed the logbook. We were soon joined by two other people who had hiked the much longer western route. We chatted a while and then started down.
The hike down was easier but the snow had gotten much softer in the sun, causing snow to ball up on our crampons. We got back to camp around 11 hours after we had started out this morning.