Sunday, August 6, 2017

Solo Bashful Peak 7/30/2017 - Redemption in the clouds!

Total Time - Just about 9.5 hours. 46 minutes biking in, 7:59:37 hiking, 46 mins biking out.
Civic DX ready to roll!
   I left my house at 5:30 and was riding around Eklutna by 6:20. There was a lot of bear crap on the trail, so I did some extra "hey bear!" in addition to my two bearbells. After 10 miles, it was time to ditch the bike - but what was this? There were already some people here! A group of two declared their intention to climb Bold, and there was a group of three trying Bashful!
Riding around the lake

Trusty 9:ZERO:7 Whiteout with Bashful above!

   The two were still busy with gear, so I started walking with the trio, glad to have some company for what I had anticipated to be a very spooky (bear-ie) walk to Stiver's. 
Once we arrived, I bade farewell to the group and went on ahead.
My Bashful Buds :)
   Things went great until I took a very ill-advised wrong turn, and ended up missing the alder tunnel and bushwacking through some very nasty brush!! I can't believe I did this - I'd been on the mountain before and hit it just fine. Oh well. Maybe it was luck but it didn't set me back nearly as bad as I feared it would.
This is where I entered the field.  Not where you're supposed to - usually you're way further to the left ;)

   I got to the overlook for the grass ramp up to 3k-ish feet. Went down and made good time up onto the West Ridge proper. There was actually more bear poo here! wtf? Why are you up here bears?
Up the scree pile (right) to the overlook

Scramble up the grass ramp in the center of this photo - or face the evil scree field.  I don't recommend the scree field!
   At this point, the fog started to close in, and I feared that this would be another no visibility attempt on Bashful. And it was - until 7k feet rolled around and with it, Chickenshit Gully...
Fog Smile

Chickenshit.  It is totally possible to climb up and down without rope, but I would highly advise a rope for the way down.  

Chickenshit.  It is totally possible to climb up and down without rope, but I would highly advise a rope for the way down.  

   Nearing the bottom of the infamous gully, the fog was thinning out and the sun peeped over a rock tower. It was amazing!


   I had never been up Chickenshit. I'd gotten to this exact same place before turning back in 2015. I had no idea if I'd be too, well, chickenshit to go up it. I didn't have a rope!
   I started going up, and immediately realized that this was going to be very intense to downclimb. I made a decision, a scary one, to keep going.
   Luckily, near the top of the gully is much nicer than lower *shudders*
   At the top of the gully, the route once again is nice and easy. It was some pleasant scrambling up to the 8005' summit.
Summit on the left

More summit ridge views
Bold Peak peaking boldly out of the clouds...  omg can't believe I just wrote that.



Summit

Panorama from the summit ridge, Bold on the left, Bashful summit on the right.

   The summit was spectacular. There was a blanket of fog/cloud covering everything, and only the tallest neighboring peaks were visible. I'm still in awe of how incredible it was to be up there, standing among the mountains 

Looking out into the Chugach.

Baleful Peak.  I got my sights on you, buddy.  

Me showing my summit face.

Looking back down towards Chickenshit.  Didn't like the thought of going back down at all!

Summit register and Baleful

More Baleful

   I spent a few minutes up there, signed the register, and headed down.
   Downclimbing Chickenshit was definitely scary. I never felt truly out of control or in imminent adrenaline-pumping danger, but I didn't like it one bit all the same. It would probably be downright murderous if it was wet...
   In a few minutes after reaching the bottom of the gully, I heard voices - it was the trio! They offered me some water which I gladly accepted, and I regaled them with visions of the amazing summit. They were stoked! And they had a rope! Good idea  I bid them farewell and happy mountain climbing.
   The rest of the downclimbing went by fairly uneventfully. The cloud burned away more and more, and it was very sunny and quite hot! I made it back down to Stiver's in good time.
Near Chickenshit

Even near-er

And back down here!  Fog had lifted and it was HOT

Sunny day down here

Sunny day down here.  Bashful on the left.

Sunny day down here.  Bashful on the left.

   Overall, it was an incredibly fulfilling and beautiful day in the mountains. Standing on top of Bashful, the tallest mountain around, high above a sea of cloud and other mountains, was an almost spiritual feeling. I won't forget it!

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