Forum Index > Trip Reports > Gunn Peak and Tailgunner 11-8-14
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Fletcher
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Fletcher
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PostSat Nov 08, 2014 9:31 pm 
I tried to go climb Gunn back in October, but I was turned around by a fallen tree on Barclay Creek Road. Then it rained, and snowed, and I thought I surely would not have another opportunity this year.

A month later, its rained up high, and we have an awesome looking Saturday. I got my shift at work covered and asked John if he was interested in trying Gunn although I thought there was a chance we might get turned around if there was too much snow. He was willing it give it a shot. We left the car at 7:30 this morning.

The summitpost directions for finding the trail are adequate, after a slippery log crossing and short walk through the flat forest, we were gaining elevation on slick, wet climbers trail to Gunn.
John crossing Barclay Creek
John crossing Barclay Creek
Baring with mist in the morning
Baring with mist in the morning

The climbers path is steep but easy to follow. This fall's fallen leaves lower down on the trail proved problematic for us because it made the ground so slippery.
thats the trail
thats the trail
more trail
more trail

Around 4200 ft we took a wrong turn and lost the trail. Then we got stuck bushwacking through slide alder for an hour until we gained the ridge and got our first glance of Gunn. We found the trail and avoided any bushwacking on the descent.
John nearing the brush
John nearing the brush
we hiked straight up through this
we hiked straight up through this
first look at the main objective
first look at the main objective

After gaining the ridge, we picked our way down into the basin below Gunn, then up the talus to the hidden gully. There was a dusting of snow in areas that werent getting sunlight.
heading up the talus
heading up the talus

The 3rd class section (sorry, forgot to take pictures) was a little bit sketchy because it was wet with some snow. We decided we would rappel it on the way down, we brought ropes anticipating the possibility of some sketchy rock up high.
past the hidden gully
past the hidden gully
nearing the notch
nearing the notch

We made good time to the notch where we were greeted to great views to the north. Crystal clear skies and Glacier looked amazing as always. I was most apprehensive to see what the ledge that grants access to the summit would look like. There was about 4 inches of crunchy snow. We could make it work.
the ledge and the summit
the ledge and the summit
John crosses the ledge
John crosses the ledge
final summit scramble
final summit scramble

We hung out on top for 30 minutes, eating and taking in the views. We did not find a register.
Glacier Peak
Glacier Peak
Townsend, Merchant, Wing, and Baring
Townsend, Merchant, Wing, and Baring

When our half hour was over, we put our harnesses on, packed up, and began heading down. The ledge seemed sketchier going this way, so we belayed it. Then we made our way down from the notch and set up a rappel down the hidden gully.
exposure from the ledge, a definite no-fall zone
exposure from the ledge, a definite no-fall zone
looking back at the upper talus basin
looking back at the upper talus basin
John rappelling
John rappelling

It was getting later in the day, and I was pleased that there was finally some decent light on Merchant and Wing
looking back at Gunn
looking back at Gunn

We made our way back up to the ridge, located some flagging showing us where the trail descended from, and ran up Tailgunner. It is a really quick jaunt from where the climbers trail comes up the ridge.
Townsend framed
Townsend framed
almost on top of Tailgunner
almost on top of Tailgunner
Gunnshy
Gunnshy
summitshot
summitshot

The Fay Pullin register on Tailgunner suggested the peak does not get done very often.
register
register
friends
friends
friends
friends
friends
friends
our entry
our entry

We didnt hang long, as the days are short and we wanted to get as close to the car as possible before putting on our headlamps. During the descent down Tailgunner we marveled at all of the tarns in the area.

And came across one very large alpha-goat.

Then we found the trail and hiked down. It was easy to follow and avoids all the brush that gave us trouble on the ascent.
the cairned left turn we missed
the cairned left turn we missed
ptarmigan
ptarmigan
Baring one last time
Baring one last time
log crossing again
log crossing again

We miraculously made it back to the car at 4:30, never needed our headlamps at all!
9 hrs C2C

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RichP
here and there



Joined: 13 Jul 2006
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RichP
here and there
PostSat Nov 08, 2014 9:41 pm 
Good call on bringing the rope. That's the only way I would do Gunn, even in dry conditions.

That ledge has kept me away for years and I'd like to climb it one day.

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Bryan K
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Joined: 29 Sep 2005
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Location: Alaska
Bryan K
Shameless Peakbagger
PostSat Nov 08, 2014 10:13 pm 
Nice job buddy! Thanks for reminding of such a great summit  up.gif

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Gimpilator
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Gimpilator
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PostSat Nov 08, 2014 11:19 pm 
It was a gamble heading out there knowing the ledge might be too snowy.  Glad to see it paid off.  I think that's my favorite route in the area.  Your shot of the return trip along the ledge is super cool. up.gif

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Magellan
Brutally Handsome



Joined: 26 Jul 2006
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Location: Inexorable descent
Magellan
Brutally Handsome
PostSat Nov 08, 2014 11:33 pm 
Nice work fellas.  up.gif  That is one furred up goat!

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Mike Collins
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Mike Collins
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PostSun Nov 09, 2014 12:26 pm 
I think the bird that you saw in the tree is likely a female spruce grouse. I have seen ptarmigan near Gunn Peak but at this time the molting into winter plumage has started. The bird in the tree is not showing any white at all that I can see. The narrow white chin strap revealed nicely by your photo is a feature seen on the spruce grouse but not the ptarmigan.

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Fletcher
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Fletcher
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PostSun Nov 09, 2014 2:25 pm 
Mike, that makes sense, thanks for the clarification.

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jcocci
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jcocci
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PostSun Nov 09, 2014 6:11 pm 
Was a great day. Certainly did not feel like a November day. Fletcher pretty summed it up. Was a bummer to get completely off route on the way up but it wasn't as bad as it could be. Finding the trail on the ay down made the descent so much easier.

Yeah that goat was probably the biggest one I have seen and definitely had his winter coat going.

Gunn from the ridge

Heading up the boulder field

Glacier Peak from the summit of Gunn

Fletcher on the ramp

Coming back through the notch

Looking back

Obligatory rappel butt shot

Looking back at Gunn

Looking over to Gunshy from the summit of Tailgunner

Looking down the ridge towards Wing Peak from Tailgunner

Gunn from the top of Tailgunner

Tarn cloud reflections

Sun starting to set

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iron
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iron
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PostMon Nov 10, 2014 10:57 am 
nice cloud reflection in the tarn!

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Justus S.
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Justus S.
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PostMon Nov 10, 2014 10:53 pm 
Looks like a great day up there.

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