I have been wanting to climbing the awesome Peak C in the Gore Range as a snow climb and thought w/ the early snow this year in the high country, it may be a good climb. So, I hiked up Meadow Mtn near Vail to get a glimpse of it and neighboring Mt. Powell this past Friday and sure enough looked like its prominent southwest couloir should be a good snow climb.
Along with my good friends Ryan (Baba), Mikey, and my golden retriever, Rainier, I set out this past Saturday morning at 7:30am from Piney Lake and had a spectacular climb of Peak C. We followed the Piney River trail for 3 miles to the base of Mt. Powell & Peak C and beared right towards upper Piney Lake. I knew we needed to get to the upper tarn filled basin at 11,400‘ below Peak C‘s southwest couloir, and so we took a left off the trail and bushwacked and climbed spines of rock and gullies for over 1000‘ from the valley floor until we reached the snow filled tarn basin.
So, we put on our plastic boots, crampons, and got our axes out and traversed across the tarn filled basin to the southwest couloir.
Then, we climbed the 1000‘-1200‘ couloir, which was a great snow climb – better than I expected.
Then, we left our axes and crampons at the small notch and took a left and climbed 30‘ of fun class 4 rock to start Peak C‘s south ridge.
Then, we climbed the very exciting class 2-3 south ridge all the way to peak C‘s summit.
At about 12:30pm on a beautiful Saturday, we reached Peak C‘s summit.
We were getting cold and the wind was picking up, so we descended the south ridge.
Once at the bottom of the southwest couloir, we snacked and had a great bask in the sun and enjoyed the view for 30 minutes. Then, we packed up and headed out.
Then, after bushwhacking and finding our route back down to the valley floor and Piney River, we made our way leisurely back to Piney Lake and the trailhead at about 5pm. All in all about 9.5 hrs roundtrip and a fantastic day out on a great, seldom-climbed peak!
Thanks to Rainier, Mikey, & Baba for a great day out in the Gore Range!