Gladiator Peak


Sitting right above Galena Lodge, Gladiator Peak offers a fun winter climb with easy access.

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I've been having problems finding partners lately, but haven't felt confident enough to tackle things on my own. So I looked for something a little easier, and found Gladiator Peak. It's in the Boulders, and less than 2500'of gain, since you get out of the car at about 7600'

The avalanche reports have been scary recently- deep slabs, taking entire hillsides, and not obvious. This route follows a ridge, with trees, all the way to the summit.

But it's mid-April, and a low snow year. So although there are trees all the way to the summit, the snow isn't quite so complete.

Actually, this is down low, about 8200', on the west side of the ridge. The east side had more complete coverage. And higher up everything was covered, although very thin in spots.

There is a good false summit at about 9600' with an excellent view of the final ridge. It's steep, but not as bad as it may look.

In the previous picture, you can't tell that the summit is toward the left. But in this one you can see the cairn at the far end of the ridge. It's only about 3 feet higher, but I felt obligated. It's a little airy, and the snow was funky wind-blown sugar, so I took off the snowshoes and got out the ice axe.

Lesson learned: I now carry axe and crampons to the top of peaks, even if I think they are just walk-ups. It paid off today.

Obligatory summit shot of the dork. Make that Happy dork.

Looking north, away from the sun so you can get good definition of the surroundings. This peak is quite steep on some sides, and the view was spectacular. Off in the distance, you can see the Sawtooths.

Getting it early was a good idea today. As I dropped back to the lower elevations, the heat was setting in and my snowshoes started balling badly- as opposed to the nice, firm surface I had most of the way up (other than some bad wind slab at points).

Mr. Natural Home | 2005 | Back to top of page | Questions :: e-mail to splattski