Thursday, August 6, 2009

Gothic Face

Three of us, Jamie, Ira, and myself, went up the face of Gothic Mountain on Monday, August 3. This first picture is looking back down at town. My cabin is the smaller of the two in front.

I didn't take a lot of pictures on this hike because honestly I was too afraid to let go of the mountain. We hiked up through the meadow and into a water drainage shoot that varied from ten to two feet wide. It was one rock climbing puzzle after another. On a couple of them you just had to wedge in and push. I got stuck a few times. About a thousand feet later, when we got out of the shoot, the rest of the climb was basically a hand over hand forty-five degree angle scramble up to the summit. At one point I reached the ridge which separates the face side from an enormous bowl to the north. That's when I really started to panic. From where I was I could see another scree field sloping down to a cliff, after which was a shear drop into a gravel pit. There was no going back the way I came, and I knew the only was down the mountain was up the mountain, so I kept inching my way along the ridge.

Black and white seemed appropriate for most of these pictures.

Gothic town site from the summit.

Mount Crested Butte (left) and the town of Crested Butte (right).

Jamie and Ira (and me) on the summit.

The north peak of the bowl, also known as the false summit. The trail down the mountain leads along the rim to the left.

The bowl from the rim.