|Peak:||California Peak (13er)|
|Range:||Sangre de Cristo|
|Date of Information:||05/07/2011|
Went up California Peak today. Tried to stick to the summer trail, but there was more snow than expected in the trees (did some frustrating postholing), so we bushwhacked up a snow-filled gully to the ridge on the way up. We didn't bring snowshoes. And if I had to do it again, I probably still wouldn't bring them - just find a different way up. The ridge is long and the ups and downs are disheartening, but we made it. On the way down, we hiked to the saddle where the trail normally goes, but bushwhacked again straight back to the meadow in photo 1.
Photo 1: about where the snow began in earnest and where the bushwhacking began. This is an open meadow where you encounter a fence. Photo 2: the gully that we went up. The snow ended somewhere around 12,000 ft, but then there were a few hundred feet of talus before the ridgeline - really sucked up some time. Photo 3: view of the ridge once we got up there. Photo 4: ridgeline leading up to California Peak.
Photos (click for slideshow):