Saturday, July 23, 2011

Camp Robber Peak, Grey Jay Peak, & Barnes Mtn.

Adventure beckoned. The objective was to climb mountains and explore in Crow Pass. Tundra, God, and I commenced our adventure at 4:40 a.m. from the Crow Pass Trailhead. The weather looked good and I could see all the mountains! With anticipation for summits and the unknown, we ran up to Crow Pass, checked the map, and made our way to Clear Creek Valley. The goal became Steamroller Pass, Camp Robber Peak, and Grey Jay Peak.

We quickly made our way up the valley, making sure to frequently check the map and compass to make sure we were headed in the right direction. After fording Clear Creek, the slog up to Steamroller Pass was fairly enjoyable. Soon, we stood on the remote pass and consumed the sensational views of Archangel Lakes, surrounding mountains and glaciers. After taking a few pictures and eating a quick snack, the grind up Camp Robber Peak commenced. Other than the final 300 feet, the climb to the summit seemed mellow. Of course, I took the required summit pictures, self-portraits, and adjacent landmarks to document the achievement.

The adventure proceeded to Grey Jay Peak. Once on the summit, we took more pictures and decided to head down to get out of the high winds. The route back to Crow Pass was a simple retracing of our steps. After getting to Crow Pass, I decided to climb Barnes Mtn. Why not! I had the weather, time, and energy to summit one more mountain. The views from Barnes Mtn. were incredible. Yes, I added several more peaks to my "to do" list! Enjoy the pictures...

Crow Pass with Raven Glacier and views of Rook Mtn. and Raven Peak.

Our route of Clear Creek Valley with Steamroller Pass way in the distance.

Looking back towards Raven Creek.

Clear Glacier perched high above the valley.

Archangel Lakes as seen from Steamroller Pass.

My route to the summit of Camp Robber Peak.

The summit of Camp Robber Peak.

Awesome views from the summit!

Grey Jay Peak as seen from Camp Robber Peak.

Yes, I needed to take a picture of me on Camp Robber Peak!

The summit of Grey Jay Peak.

Camp Robber Peak as seen from Grey Jay Peak.

Heading down the mountain back to Crow Pass.

Crow Peak. I plan to climb this one someday.

Barnes Mtn. as seen from Crow Pass area.

Raggedtop Peak. Another peak I plan to climb someday.

There is a goat walking the dirt ridge.

The summit of Barnes Mtn.

The Barnes Mtn. summit register! Definitely different!

Tundra with Milk Glacier in the background. Left to Right: Raven Peak and Goat Mountain.

Group photo on Barnes.

Magpie Peak. Another one to add to my list!

The total outing was 8 hours of adventure! I finished at 12:40 p.m.

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Gentoo Peak

Adventure beckoned. Ben, Tundra, and I hiked up California Creek and onto the Penguin Ridge in hopes of climbing Gentoo Peak and California Peak. We had the time, desire, and conditioning to spend an entire day in the mountains; however, as anybody living in Alaska can attest to, the weather can alter even the best laid plans. Nevertheless, with rain in the forecast, we set out from the California Creek trailhead at 5:20 a.m. The weather looked promising. A few hours later we emerged on Penguin Ridge. After building a cairn just in case the clouds rolled in...our trio quickly strolled to the summit of Gentoo Peak. The views were amazing and my mountain "to-do" list expanded!

The clouds started to slither in, but we continued our hike along the ridge. Just as we neared California Peak, the clouds completely engulfed the mountain and surrounding area. Without appropriate visibility, we were reluctant to climb in an unknown area. After chilling on the ridge for close to 30-minutes, the clouds only appeared interested in swallowing up our views and spirits. We hung out for awhile longer hoping that a window of opportunity would emerge. At this point, Tundra was sleeping and we were getting chilled, so we made the judgment call to turn back and head home. This was a very tough decision. Although, now I have a valid reason to return another day to finish California and knock off Rubbletop Mtn.

Standing on the summit of Gentoo Peak. The clouds are beginning to darken...

Tundra is wondering why we need to climb back up Gentoo Peak. I would rather backtrack along the ridge than drop down into the choke filled and nightmarish California Creek valley.