FKT: Kelly Halpin, Jared Campbell - Little Belly Linkup - 2023-09-16

Route variation
Standard route
Gender category
Mixed-gender team
Start date
Finish date
Total time
13h 42m 33s

Really beautiful fall day in the Gros Ventre Range. Jared Campbell drove up the evening before and we shuttled a car to Granite Hot Springs. I made the mistake of parking almost a full mile north of where the trail actually connects to the road so- bonus mile! We started at the base of Josie's Ridge at 5:41am on 9/16/23. Temps were chilly at the start (mid 30s). We ascended Josie's Ridge and connected to Sky Line Trail. Once Sky Line dumps into Game Creek we began the off trail portion of the linkup, climbing the west side of Snow Queen and following the ridge to Cache Peak and continuing on towards Gros Peak and beyond for the alpine section of the route. Unlike when Brian Ralph and I did the route in July, there was no longer snow up high and therefore almost the entire route was dry. We had planned for that and both carried 2.5L to 3L of water. We also carried some minimal climbing gear (alpine harnesses, nuts, slings, and Jared carried 100 ft of line) to attempt to summit Pinnacle Peak (second to last high point on the route) but once we looked at the "easy" route (a chimney that collapsed years ago) decided it was too muddy and rotten to take the risk. Jared and I decided it would be more appropriate to have pick axes and a power washer than rope. Jared and I did a variation on the exit to what Brian and I had done in July. Jared and I dropped down Boulder Creek to link up with the end of the HighLine Trail and follow that around to the Granite Road. The trail variation added some milage but saved a lot of time (aside from my mistake in parking too far north). We finished just before sunset.