Galena Peak


We snowshoe up Galena Peak's southwest ridge and down the west ridge on a perfect winter day

Note: click images to see a larger version in a new window

I was looking for something to do this weekend, so when Super Dave and George invited me to attempt Galena Peak, I immediately signed up. Sounded like a good cruise with easy snowshoeing because there were 5 or 6 of us going.

So when just Dave and George showed up, I was wondering what I was in for. But I had climbed Galena in 2004, so I knew something about the mountain and the route, so I wasn't really concerned.

When we parked at Galena at just after 8 (daylight savings time) it looked like a beautiful day ahead (The picture is from the afternoon. We went up the Southwest ridge on the right, and came down the West ridge on the left).

Galena Peak

After a short discussion, we chose to climb the southwest ridge. This was good for me, because it was a different route than I had climbed before. But there was a little rock step on the ridge that might have given us some trouble....? This picture was from above the trees after about 3 hours of good effort.

Beginning the ridge

When we got up close, we could see the rock was very do-able. Nonetheless, it appeared to be interesting- as did the rest of the awesome views available from this ridge.

Detail of the upper ridge

When we got up to the rock, we switched from snowshoes to crampons, although it might have been easier without them. The snow through here was either soft powder, or offered good step kicking. And the route did involve some rock work.

The rocks

Overall, the rock section was not difficult. But it was very scenic. You can see both Dave and George here (click for a bigger version).


Dave and George in the rocks

The last section across the ridge-top to the summit seemed really tiring. We probably should have put our snowshoes back on, because we were sinking in. It seemed like I was walking in molasses. Maybe it was because I was over 11k for the first time in a while?


Dave near the summit

On the summit, we were treated to amazing views all around. The only real concentration of clouds seemed to be over the Pioneers. It was 20° with about a 10 MPH wind. Sweet!

After about 15 minutes, I was starting to shiver and had to take off. But once we got off the summit proper, we were back to no wind, and I warmed up quickly.

The summit


This is looking down the west ridge, our descent route. There were ski tracks coming up- we had watched (and heard!) the skiers as we were climbing, and now we could also see their tracks carving the face to the right.

Looking down the west ridge

After negotiating the first part of the ridge, we saw an opportunity to butt-glissade a thousand feet. The snow was firm, so we slid off the ridge a bit until it was very obvious the snow was solid. Then we dropped into a gully and slid a whole lot more. Yeehaw!

The last bit to the car was uneventful. It was sunny and warm, and we chatted about what a great day we had been treated to.

Super Dave's trip report.

George glissading

Mr. Natural Home | 2008 | Back to top of page | Questions :: e-mail to splattski