• Date - 11/06/2010
  • Elevation - 11,400'
  • Route - West Gully
  • Miles - 8.0
  • Elevation Gain - 2,200'
  • ACME Mapper - Link
  • CalTopo - Link
  • Partners - Brian Kooienga


Brian and I decided to dust off the ice tools and crampons and see if we remembered how to use them.  We met in Denver at 4:00 and were hiking from the Glacier Gorge Trailhead at 6:00.  The approach to just above Black Lake took about 2.5 hours.  Brian led the first pitch of West Gully in May-like conditions and set up an anchor just below a short curtain in the middle of the climb.  I worked my way up the curtain onto easy mixed terrain and then brought Brian up to the base of the enduro pitch.  Brian led the final enduro pitch which required a small amount of simul-climbing.  We rappelled off the top of the route and traversed over to the top of our second pitch rather than head skier's left to the walk off.  We did one more rappel to the base of the route and then hiked down to Black Lake for lunch.  As we sat near the lake enjoying crackers, cheese, and ham, we watched another party of three climb the first pitch and then bail off the route before attempting the short curtain.  Further to the right of West Gully on a route called Black Curtain, we witnessed a large sheet of ice that had been baking in the sun for several hours by now crash down the slopes.  The hike out wore on us as we weren't used to carrying our relatively heavier packs.  Our car-to-car time was 8.5 hours.


ApproachBrian leading pitch 1.Brian leading pitch 1.Brian leading pitch 1.Looking down pitch 1.James following pitch 1.James starting pitch 2.Brian following pitch 2.Brian following pitch 2.Brian leading pitch 3.Brian leading pitch 3.RappelLongs PeakBlack LakeWest Gully