RT Length: 10.27 miles
Elevation Gain: 3191′
This was my third attempt at Gudy Peak. The other two attempts were thwarted from various approaches due to either snow or ice. With another storm rolling in this weekend, I realized this would be my last opportunity this year to summit this peak, so I was going for it.
I camped the night before at one of my favorite dispersed campsites, near Cooper Creek.
When I woke up the next morning there was a layer of frost on the inside of my topper. It was going to be a cold morning. I sat in the cab of my truck to warm up and get ready, and was on the trail at 7am. I started out heading northwest on the 4WD road, and then turned right onto Cooper Creek Trail
This trail is class 1, and pretty well maintained for the first two miles or so, when it fizzles out into more of a game trail.
After hiking for about 1.5 miles the trail lost elevation and crossed Cooper Creek, then picked up again on the other side. There is what I’d originally thought was a vehicle at the creek crossing, but upon closer inspection, realized it was an old mining cart or trailer tipped over.
I followed the trail northeast through the basin
When I made it to treeline, I could see a faint trail that would be my route into the upper basin
Here are some step-by-step pictures as I crossed the creek and headed towards the upper basin
I was now headed west, and needed to ascend this gully. When I’d been here in the past this had been a sheet of ice, and difficult to ascend, even with an ice axe and crampons. Today I realized there’s actually a trail that will lead you up this area.
Now to gain the ridge. I took the gully straight in front of me. Take a good look at the top of the gully. It’s much, much steeper than it looks. This is the route I took:
That gully is a lot steeper than it looks folks! About 20 feet from the top I felt out of my depth, and with one hand put on my microspikes and ice axe. I wasn’t able to reach my helmet without taking off my pack, or I would have put that on too. I literally kicked in steps with my microspikes and used my ice axe and trekking pole to haul myself up. My trekking pole was not enough. Take the top of this gully seriously.
At the top of the gully I turned left, and followed the ridge southeast towards the summit
I summited Gudy Peak at 10:15am
There were some great view of Uncompahgre, Wetterhorn, Matterhorn, Coxcomb, Redcliff, etc.
Now headed back, I retraced my steps back down the ridge
I put on my helmet and spikes for the gully, and headed east towards Cooper Lake. Here’s an overall route out of the upper basin
Back on trail, I followed it back to Cooper Creek
Then southeast back to the trailhead
Back on the road, I turned left and followed it east back to my truck
I made it back to my truck at 12pm, making this a 10.27 mile hike with 3191’ of elevation gain in 5 hours.
On to the next trailhead!
(Pictures of the area from late July of 2022)