Elkhorn Trip Report (#21897)

  • Signed By: John G
  • Date submitted: February 16, 2010
  • Date(s) climbed: May 1969
  • Number of People Encountered:0-10 people
  • Recommend to a Friend: Highly

Three friends and I climbed the Elkhorn and King's Peak one weekend back in 1969 when we were 15 years old. We left the Elk River trail opposite to the gully between Elkhorn and King's Peak. We bushwhacked to the north of the gulley, very steep, very thick undergrowth. After the steepness began to lessen, the vegetation thinned out we crossed the creek to the south slope of King's Peak. We traversed towards the head of the gulley but stopped short and camped for the night at a spot wide and level enough to camp by a waterfall.

In the morning we set off through towering Douglas Fir over firm hard snow across a level valley towards a ridge running NNE from the summit of Elkhorn. We traversed a steep snow slope to the top of the ridge, made our way over to the summit gulley on the west side of the summit peak and then scrambled up the gulley to the summit. It is steep, rated as class 3 climb but with very little exposure.

We retraced our path, glissading across the snow slope to where we camped, at which time we decided to traverse King's Peak, going down it's north side to get back to our pick up site. It was extremely steep going up, and extremely steep going down the other side, which we turned into an out of control glissade. A map is needed to negotiate the many dead end ridges (ending in sheer faces) and it took us two tries to find the right ridge and, even so, found ourselves descending some very steep, mossy, but fortunately, not so high rock walls.

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