Finnegan to Gold Dust
Avg: 1.5 from 2 votes
Routes in Gold Dust Peak
|Finnegan to Gold Dust T 5.6 4c 14 V 12 S 4b|
|Type:||Trad, Alpine, 5000 ft|
|Page Views:||247 total, 25/month|
|Shared By:||Ryan Marsters on Jan 25, 2017|
|Admins:||Leo Paik, John McNamee, Frances Fierst, Monty, Monomaniac|
DescriptionThis route is recommended for experienced route finders and off-the-beaten-path scramblers only. Most combine Finnegan and Gold Dust at Class 4 by dropping major elevation and bypassing all towers to the west. I would compare this to a cross between the Palisades Traverse, Little Bear - Blanca, and a smattering of Gore but without the relief or prominence.
For some inane reason, we thought it would be fun to stay high and hit all of the towers. The first several towers were a lot of fun. The next several were tedious. The final several were brutal but unfortunately the most viable route. After dozens of towers and 6 hours on the move since Finnegan, we finally came across the final tower at the saddle, the most badass mofo around. We skipped it. We were done. We went on up to Gold Dust and out for one beat down of a day.
Start at the Polar Star hut, and follow the trail SE for 20 minutes or so. At a point about 12,300 feet near a mine adit NW of New York Mountain, a faint loose trail descends into a small basin just north of New York Mountain summit (mine debris scattered around). Contour your way south to New York Lake on grassy ledges and minor up and down rather than dropping.
Cross the exit of the lake and head up the west slopes of Finnegan. Choose your line at class 3 minimum and plenty of talus.
From Finnegan's summit, exercise your considerable route-finding skills to keep the difficulty below 5.6 and hit as many towers as possible. In general, stay proper to gain the towers or use slight West side bypasses. Expect extreme exposure, complicated route finding, less than secure rock, and a lot of backtracking. The crux towers are about a quarter of the way along. Difficulty eases up around the halfway point, but you've got a long way to go. We barely got by without using our rope, but that final tower might've required it.
The Gold Dust side of the saddle is airy and fun 4th class proper or slightly west. Note the bolts and airplane parts.
From the summit, descend west to Fulford at Class 2, continue on to Pika, or swing around the 12'ers back to New York Mountain at Class 3/4.