Grand Traverse Peak: South Face

This beautiful Gore Range 13-er holds snow well, but is a bear to get to (though by no means as hard as Peaks C or Z in the Gore). On June 19, 2005, I got to Deluge Lake solo, but did not have the energy to climb the face. It looks like a fine ski down, not terribly steep, but steep and long enough to be interesting. Photo below taken this day.

On June 22, 2005, I returned, again solo, except this time with a GPS since I got lost on descent on Sunday. The GPS was wonderful in finding an efficient route to the tricky (snow-covered) trail down. I did not quite make the summit as the angle steepens at the highest rocks in the photo, and the slush was an issue. So I probably got to 12850 on the 13041-foot peak. Once away from the rocks the ski down the face was fine.

This peak is the southern end of the Grand Traverse and the face is well visible as one heads down the west side of Vail Pass.


Here is a view of the face from May 24, 2017 from N Tenmile Peak.


On June 21, 2007, Aaron Parmet and Andy Dimmen camped out near the lake and skied this face (continuous snow top to bottom) and then a steeper line on the east side of Valhalla. Below is a shot of the face from the summit of Red, June 13, 2008. The rocky towers behind the summit are part of the Grand Traverse, a spectacular class 3 rock climb.


Here is a view taken on June 22, 2011 from Valhalla. This was a record snow year.


Finally, on May 31, 2009, we reached the very top carrying our skis and conditions were good — soft as expected for a SE face this time of year, but it skied fine. I was joined by Jonathan Kriegel, Katie Jones, and Dave Bombard. There was a lot more snow in the valley than I expected and that made travel pretty good. Still, it was a long day: 6 hours to summit, 3 hours down. Here's a shot of Katie and Jonathan approaching the summit, with the Deluge valley far below.


Dave Bombard leaves the top of the peak. The summit has great exposure on all sides and is pretty small, so a fine spot to enjoy a few moments before finally switching to downhill mode.


The final headwall is steep, so going up we veered left -- boot track just visible to left. But we were able to ski right off the top with no problems.


The main part of the face is pretty mellow, but very enjoyable. Here is Jonathan skiing.


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