Curious about Gunn peak

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21 Jan 2021 16:05 - 21 Jan 2021 16:05 #234523 by arb
Curious about Gunn peak was created by arb
Whenever I'm driving back east on RT2 during clear weather I'm constantly distracted by cool looking terrain that appears to be the west-nw bowls and couloirs off of Gunn peak.  Anyone ever mess around in that area?
Last edit: 21 Jan 2021 16:05 by arb.

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24 Jan 2021 19:38 #234542 by Bruce A
Replied by Bruce A on topic Curious about Gunn peak
Assuming you're talking about the really attractive open snowfield that screams "ski me" on the drive east, it bottoms into the Bitter Creek basin east of Tom Thumb, but it sort of cliffs out as it does so. I don't know if that ever fills in to a point of skiability, since I rarely get up there dead of winter.  The Bitter Creek road exits the IG road at milepost 3-ish and climbs directly to the basin. While it has been washed out for several years, that road is hikeable/skiable to a degree depending on the current blowdown situation. Once in the basin a grown over spur would take you to the goods. 
The following user(s) said Thank You: alecapone

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28 Jan 2021 20:17 #234565 by arb
Replied by arb on topic Curious about Gunn peak
Bruce, thanks for the insights - I was considering trying to get a dirtbike up that road as far as possible and then hiking in to the basin.  If I make it up there I'll be sure to post a TR.

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01 Feb 2021 09:57 #234578 by alecapone
Replied by alecapone on topic Curious about Gunn peak
Yes, it is skiable at times. Highly recommended you camp at the base and save time for skiing the south and/or or northeast aspect if its nice.  I've done the north west face you see twice, once with a dog. Wish I had the time, because the other two sides look great. The cliff face you don't see is passable climbers left.  There is a snow filled Gulley for the exit thar could be climbed in the right conditions. A friend and I where able to ski all the way back to the car in late february. A dirt bike won't get you far, and I think its mostly wild sky wildy. 

I've heard the peak called gunnshy, or jump off ridge.  Gunn is just behind it to the right as seen driving.

turns-all-year.com/trip-reports/feb-25-mt-gunnshy

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01 Feb 2021 10:04 #234579 by kamtron
Replied by kamtron on topic Curious about Gunn peak

alecapone wrote: I think its mostly wild sky wildy.
 

Hah. Nice to read the old report. Pillow gully looks rad!

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01 Feb 2021 11:02 #234582 by arb
Replied by arb on topic Curious about Gunn peak
Thanks for the Beta, pillow gully sounds like my kind of fun!

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02 Feb 2021 05:09 #234596 by alecapone
Replied by alecapone on topic Curious about Gunn peak
I hope you make it, and in good conditions. I waited for some time for it. I shouldd say that while the cliff is passable it is(was)the crux of the trip.  Just a short steep boot with lots of veggie belays. Was just a bit of a wallow fest both times. Dog required some aid.

Not sure if anyone else has, but i used to really want to try to do a wild sky high route across the merchants, From beckler to index. 

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22 Feb 2021 20:36 #234745 by eatskisleep
Replied by eatskisleep on topic Curious about Gunn peak
Man! I've seen this several times too and sketched out a route on caltopo; sounds similar enough to the route described by alecapone. Stoked to know it is doable. 

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22 Feb 2021 21:26 #234746 by Bruce A
Replied by Bruce A on topic Curious about Gunn peak
 
I found a photo of the basin I took in spring of 84.  I'm not certain where Ale's pillow gully lies, maybe lookers left out of view a little?  Anyhow I find it interesting how much the dog hair in the cliff band appears to have grown between my photo and his.  There must have been a lot less avalanche activity over the intervening years.
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22 Feb 2021 21:54 #234747 by eatskisleep
Replied by eatskisleep on topic Curious about Gunn peak
Great Photo Bruce! I love seeing some old slide film beta photos. Thanks for digging this out!

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23 Feb 2021 12:23 #234748 by arb
Replied by arb on topic Curious about Gunn peak
Super cool to see that old photo!  I really should have been trying to get out there during the last cold storm event - sadly I think that basin may be out for the season this year.

Your observations about the dog-hair density makes me think that it would be neat to use remote sensing to track growth density and age in avy paths over time as a climate change marker.

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23 Feb 2021 20:14 #234750 by Bruce A
Replied by Bruce A on topic Curious about Gunn peak

arb wrote: I really should have been trying to get out there during the last cold storm event - sadly I think that basin may be out for the season this year.
 

Or not...especially if you're willing to hoof a chunk of the road in lieu of skiing it. The basin and above are at 3000' + and will be under snow for some time yet.  We could easily get another shot of low snow this year as well. Slide hazard is apt to be a bigger limiting factor for that trip than coverage.

But while you're map tripping, hop a couple of drainages north and consider the easterly and northeasterly aspects of Spire Mountain (seen here with a long lens and severe crop from the top of Seventh Heaven at Stevens).  Hippy turns for days.
 
The shortest access would be up from the NF Sky from slightly below Troublesome CG, but the road situation currently complicates that a bit. I did about half of that one day on a whim and as far as I went it was easy going in relatively open forest.  Alternate accesses would be up Howard Creek, up what's left if anything of the old Iron Mountain road, or from the Beckler side from the Boulder Lake vicinity or San Juan Hill where there is road within a couple hundred feet of the ridge line.That country looks really attractive in all seasons, and I doubt that people often get in there.
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Yesterday 19:35 #234758 by arb
Replied by arb on topic Curious about Gunn peak
Wow, that pic really does get me fired up to look into the NE face of the spire ridge.  Can you elaborate on the road situation?  I haven't driven up the North Fork of the Sky, did the road get closed or damaged south of troublesome creek?

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Yesterday 21:13 - Yesterday 21:14 #234761 by Bruce A
Replied by Bruce A on topic Curious about Gunn peak
  The Index Galena road has been washed out at Trout Creek well below Troublesome since November of 2006.  Repairs will begin this spring and are expected to take up to three years. Troublesome CG is vehicle accessible in summer over Jack's Pass.  This time of year however one would have to walk or ski up from Trout Creek on the IG road an additional 4-5 miles to reach the point about a mile downstream from Troublesome where you'd leave the road and start up.

Here is a slightly less flattering photo of the N aspect of Spire taken from over across the way on the ridge below Keyes Pk.  July, 1988, still plenty of snow above treeline
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Last edit: Yesterday 21:14 by Bruce A. Reason: spelling correction

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Today 09:01 - Today 09:04 #234764 by eatskisleep
Replied by eatskisleep on topic Curious about Gunn peak
Bruce, great to know that area has been skiied! I did come across it one day and was very curious. Thanks for confirming some of the access details. 
Last edit: Today 09:04 by eatskisleep.

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