|Boulder Peak, Boulder Mountains|
- June 11, 2016
- Team: Ben and Uncle Rick
- Boulder Peak
- Route: West Couloir
- YDS: Class 2/3
- Total Elevation Gain: 4,040 feet
- Total Miles: Approximately 5.5 miles plus the 4WD approach
We drove off to see what we could see. We made it almost to the entrance of the basin before deep snow turned us around. Drove back down and took the left fork towards the southwestern slopes of Boulder Mountain. This road provides access to the mountain with any good 4WD. Actually, I think I could drive it in my Forester. I snapped a few photos of the mountain just east of Boulder Creek Road.
|Northern ridge of Peak 10,414|
Taking the left fork of the trail we once again made our way to the southwestern slopes the mountain. I purposely did not research any routes up the mountain to add to the adventure. This time we would find our own way to the top. We walked directly towards the mountain taking it head on. Ascended the major gully heading northeast up the mountain. The steep gully was mixed scree, talus, and class 2 climbing over large rocks. We picked our way to the base of a towering wall (seen below) at the top of the gully.
|Southwest gully heads northeast up the mountain|
|Ben and uncle Rick making their way up the gully|
|Ben taking time to explore a cave in the cliff above|
Heading almost due east and then north, we rounded the lowest cliffs on the mountain. Looking for a route, we headed into the basin west of Boulder Peak. Several viable routes presented themselves. The first was a steep couloir filled with snow that looked like it went straight to the top. A bit further north a couple of other routes looked promising.
|Silver Peak at the end of the drainage|
Rick had hurt his ankle and was limping along and Ben wasn't too excited to head up again after our initial route fizzled. It was looking like this trip would end up as a reconnoiter, when Rick suggested that I could summit while he Ben stayed in the entrance to the basin.
I decided to head up the steep narrow snow-filled couloir. Despite having no axe or crampons, I endeavored to kick in solid steps up the gully. Not very smart. The slope got steeper and the snow harder. I found myself in a predicament. There was no way I was going to be able to back down this slope without an axe and continuing on was becoming more and more precarious. I decided that it would be better to take my chances on the rib to my left. I slowly worked my way over to the rock wall. I was super relieved to be off that snow-filled couloir. This proved to be the right decision. Going up this rocky rib was no more than class 3 climbing. The higher I went on the mountain, class 3 gave way to class 2 all the way to the summit.
|Coming out of the couloir and onto the rocky rib|
|11,260+, Silver Peak, Boulder Basin Peak|
|11,260+ and Silver Peak|
|The ridge to Boulder Basin Peak|
Reuniting with Rick and Ben, we descended the drainage next to the stream draining the basin above. Found a trail and followed it all the way to the Razr. The route we followed must be an often used trail into the basin below Silver Peak as it was well defined.
In the back of the Razr, Rick had packed a Yeti cooler with ceviche and chips along with cold drinks. After the snack, I was glad to ride the 5 miles or so back to the trucks. We were certainly spoiled on this trip.
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