2017/10/29 – Gunnshy Peak / 提防峯

Destination ahead
Destination ahead

Photos from this trip can be found here.

Taking advantage of the largely snow free southern aspect on the mountains, yellow pup and I tackled this harder-to-reach destination in Wild Sky Wilderness day after our leisure outing on Index Creek Trail. Other than gorgeous views high up, the insanely steep start was what I remembered the most from our first visit last year.

The fire pit noted in this helpful drawing with directions to the trailhead had since been removed after our previous visit. But the trail before end of the spur road on climbers right was not hard to locate. Wet log crossing over Barclay Creek was a bit tricky but manageable.

Barclay Creek crossing
Barclay Creek crossing

Photos from this trip can be found here.

Upon leaving the old road bed, the easy-to-follow climbers trail ascended south slopes steeply to a headwall at 3,600′, then veered to the right due east. Weaving its way below cliff bands, the trail continued to rise before making a short, steep descent into a waterfall gully with water dribbling down from the overhead cliffs. All the while, dark silhouette of Baring Mountain in the southern horizon loomed through the dense canopy of forest. On other side of the gully, the inconspicuous trail with a cairn or two rose sharply to the right of the waterfall and eventually broke out of the forest onto semi moderate terrain.

We got off route here during our first visit. Instead of heading north at the clearing, we continued traversing east below buttresses, into the welcoming arms of the wide gully overrun by slide alder and devils club. Fortunately the mistake was caught early enough to get ourselves out of the messy situation, attained the buttresses and relocated the faint climbers path.

See you guys at the top
See you guys at the top

Photos from this trip can be found here.

Cairns were spotted throughout to aid route finding. But since sections of the path had been broken up by rocks, extra attention was needed to keep from getting cliffed out. Trail climbed northward over buttresses and meandered through meadows along east of Tailgunner’s south ridge. It ultimately ended above Tailgunner-Wing Peak saddle at 5,400′.

Getting around Peak 5760 required dropping 200′ on the east, followed by a rising traverse to the saddle north of the peak at 5,350′. We got our first glimpse of Gunnshy Peak from the saddle. After a short break, we descended west slopes to 5,200′ to negotiate Gunn Peak’s southwest buttress. A rising traverse above Gunn Lake (Lewis Creek Basin) through talus, boulders, and heather slopes got us up to granite slab heaven at 5,600′ where terrain tapered off.

Wild Sky lineup
Wild Sky lineup

Photos from this trip can be found here.

Plenty of fun ascending slabs and boulders through snow patches from recent snowfall. We eventually made it onto the east ridge at 5,950′ and got our first glimpse to the north. From the ridge we traversed on or south of ridge crest to the top. Views were excellent on this clear and warm day, every single peak on Heybrook and Jumpoff Ridges were clearly visible. Mount Townsend, Gunn Peak, Merchant Peak, Wing Peak, Tailgunner, etc. were all sitting quietly waiting to be photographed.

An hour after soaking in all the views around us, we reversed our route through Lewis Creek Basin back to Tailgunner-Wing Peak saddle. A quick stopover at the translucent tarn below Tailgunner and we were on our merry way down the mountain…and out.

Pristine
Pristine

Photos from this trip can be found here.

Access: NF-6024
Gear: helmet


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