Del Campo Peak - Gothic Basin, November 2001
Del Campo Peak as seen from the Sunrise Mine Trailhead on a trip to climb Vesper Peak.

I ventured twice in November of 2001 into Gothic Basin, first as an afternoon hike and later as an attempt on Del Campo Peak. Given that it was already mid-November, I encountered fresh snow part way up the trail and required snowshoes to reach Gothic Basin proper. Perhaps the most memorable experience from either of the two outings was when I encountered a seemingly petrified bear cub clinging to a tree trunk no more than a few yards away from me. At first I was like "oh, look how cute he is...", that is until it occurred to me that its mother couldn't have been very far away. At that point I did what any sane person would do and got the heck away from the cub as fast as possible. (Photos: SV)

Click thumbnails below to enlarge...
Northeast view
Looking to the northeast from Gothic Basin w/ Silver Tip Peak behind me.
Crater Lake
Del Campo Peak rises from Crater Lake (aka Foggy Lake).
I ascended Del Campo's main east-tending ramp, turned right, and climbed into an obvious gully. The snow in the gully had turned to ice and steepened to about 45 - 50 degrees at the very end. Once reaching the narrow saddle I looked for a safe route over rocks to my left in order to gain the final ridge the summit. A short vertical step had to be surmounted, but not with crampons on. Unfortunately, taking the crampons off wasn't an option either as without them I would instantly slip and fall down the gully. So, I carefuly retreated back down the gully and explored my options over the rocks to the left of the gully.

In the end I gave up on my many attempts as the thin layer of alternating slushy and icy snow provided little purchase on the deceivingly steep rock face. Next time...
Southeast view
The views to the southeast reveal Mt. Stuart on the horizon to the left and Mounts Hinman and Daniel to the right.
Gothic Peak
Afternoon light over Gothic Peak.
The distant Olympic Mountains line the horizon to the west.
View east
Looking back over Crater Lake to the east.
bye bye Gothic Peak
Diffused sunlight reflects off of Gothic Peak as I turn to look back at Gothic Basin one last time.
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