Type: Trad, Snow, Alpine, 3100 ft (939 m)
FA: unknown
Page Views: 513 total · 44/month
Shared By: Bailey Moore on Aug 13, 2020
Admins: Mike Snyder, Taylor Spiegelberg, Jake Dickerson

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The west face of Gannett peak offers a less technical route than the glaciers of the east, and will likely be snowfree in the future. However, what this route lacks in technical difficulty is made up for in the strenuous approach options, see  the approach section for details of getting to Skinny Lake, the start of the route

Starting at Skinny Lake, elevation 10,700 ft, looking up at Gannet you will see two sets of waterfalls coming off the minor glacier, you will climb up the talus going climbers right around the southern waterfalls. After the waterfall continue up boulders and scree to the minor glacier. This first section to the glacier is approximately 1 mi and 1,100 ft elevation gain

Next, stroll across the rapidly receding glacier to the base of the left leaning couloir leading to Gannett's north ridge. You will be gaining approximately 1,400 ft, expect plenty of loose rock and talus in this couloir. This was nearly snow free as of August 2020 except for two snow patches, one of which contained ~40 degree bulletproof snow.  

Once on the north ridge, climb a short (100'?) 4th class section to the summit snowfield, above the short scramble one can find some rappel slings. Once on the snowfield follow your nose to the summit and top out the Cowboy State.

Overall the quality of this climb is poor, however the scenery, location and summit will make this an epic adventure.


The most logical approaches to this climb would be from either the Tourist or Wells Creeks, for either, begin at Green River Lakes Trailhead and hike 10.5 miles south (3 hours) to the CDT to Three Forks Park meadow. The Wells creek drainage is shorter, but contains a section of 5th class terrain, for more details view its page.

To get to tourist creek, hike across the meadow and ford the green river which is usually ~3 ft deep and is very cold with the meltoff of several nearby glaciers. There must be a better way...

After fording the river ascend the dead fall and boulderfields of the the tourist creek drainage. Expect to find some cairns and a maze of game trails as you hike ~ 3 mi and 2,400 ft of elevation gain. Once the cliffs on climber's right seem passable, exit the drainage SE to Lake solitude at 11,085 ft (Consult a map).

Hike around lake solitude south towards the Well's Creek drainage, instead of descending all the way to Scott Lake, turn east as soon as possible and hike to a small tarn. Next hike through a notch and contour over heinous boulders to Skinny Lake, the ideal basecamp for this climb..


Ice axe and Crampons, experienced mountaineers will likely find a rope unnecessary.