Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Trapper peaks, Anitolli and Cowboy ridge FKT

In the summer, North Trapper peak is my favorite peak in the Bitterroot range, so I was excited to seek out it's craggy summit for a 7th time.  I chose to solo the Anitolli North ridge (IV 5.7) to North Trapper peak and continue on the Cowboy ridge (II easy 5th) to main Trapper peak.  I did this same traverse in the Fall of 2010, and consider it to be the best alpine rock adventure in the Bitterroot.
Excited on the smokey summit of North Trapper peak.
The day began with the mandatory long bike shuttle from Baker lake trailhead to the Trapper creek trailhead, and I didn't start jogging from the trailhead until after 10 am.  I was gunning for time, so ran as hard as I could on the trail in about an hour, with one stop at the last stream crossing for water.   The trail had about 40 down trees on it, which slowed progress somewhat.  With a hard push, the bushwack into the upper basin went quickly, and I was gearing up at the base of the route just past the 2 hour mark.

I mentally shifted from speedy ascending to safe climbing before slowly ascending 1,200 foot Anitolli route in almost exactly 2 hours from the base.  The climbing is all moderate on good rock, but the exposure and occasional lichenous patch kept me on my toes.  I spent some time signing the summit register before embarking on the Cowboy traverse.  I kept climbing shoes on for the first half of the traverse before switching to running shoes for the ledgy ascent on the west side of the ridge to Trapper peak.  I moved as quickly as possible all the way to the summit of Trapper, summiting at 5 hours, 40 minutes.  I drank the last of my water before beginning the long run down to the car.  I lost the trail again high on the mountain, but managed to keep running until regaining it shortly before the user trail diverges to Baker lake.  The run down the user trail to Baker lake and out to the car was really fun.  In fact, the entire day was a blast.  After passing a few folks, I arrived at the trailhead in a surprise light drizzle, at 6 hours, 37 minutes.  I think this is a fastest known time.  Anyone know otherwise?
At the base of the 1,200-foot Anitolli ridge.
Great exposure on the piton pitch (approximately
pitch 5) of the Anitolli Ridge.
A smokey glance back at the Cowboy Traverse from
the summit of Trapper peak.

Total elevation gain (based on topo map): 6,100 vertical feet
Pitches climbed:  About 20
Normal trip length: 12-20 hours
Trip length: 6 hours, 42 minutes from the Trapper creek trailhead to the Baker lake trailhead
Accomplices: None 
Sustenance:  Big breakfast (including a donuts).  3 L of water with electrolyte tabs and about 1,500 calories of Gu, Heed, and one Pro bar.
Fatigue factor (1-10): 6
Cramp severity index (1-10): 3
Stoke factor: (1-10): 10
Memories to suppress:  Downfalls on the trail, SMOKE!

1 comment:

  1. fine work brian, though I'm a bit disappointed to see that you weren't wearing your speedsuit. all that downfall must have come down in the last few weeks or so.