| Part 2: Lake City Peak bagging
Part 2: Lake City peak bagging extravaganza
Day 4: No scree allowed day
Carson Peak 13657
“Tundra Top” 13450
Bent Peak 13397
On Friday we wanted a day sans scree, I knew the Carson area didn’t hold much scree, so we got a late start and headed towards Carson. There are many other fine peaks in this area with scree galore. Take a look at Unnamed 13524 and the traverse from 13580 to 13581. Had we been motivated those would have been added. The hike up Bent Peak is short and steep, the views are amazing. On the traverse to Carson we ran into a couple of class 2+ spots, but nothing too difficult.
Carson to “Tundra Top” goes really quick with a few notches to navigate, nothing more difficult than class 3. There are some really cool towers on the traverse. “Tundra Top” is a large flat summit with lots of flowers. 13580 doesn’t look like it’s too far. That is not the case. Getting to the saddle goes quickly. The ridge up 13580 takes forever. We found an Elk trail which was better than many people trails I have been on in the area. I told Tdawg I don’t remember seeing a trail on the map here. Throughout the trip we saw herds of elk in all the high valleys. Finally we reached the summit and found that we were the first to sign in the register for over a year. The ridge to 13581 looks gnarly with many hoodoos which are common to the area.
Our descent went quickly as we found the only snowfield of the trip worth glissading near the saddle. It was slow but fun. Near the top of the snow we saw a prairie chicken who wouldn’t move. If we wanted to we could have picked it up and made it our pet. The hike through the valley went quickly and soon we were back at the truck headed for Henson Creek.
Day 5: American Flats Peaks
Sunshine Mountain 13,321
Wildhorse Peak 13,266
Dolly Varden Mountain 12,932
We found a quiet campsite along FS road 870 past the Matterhorn Creek TH just before the major horseshoe curve. This is where we started for the day. We headed up a horse trail along Henson creek to the first meadow. There we crossed the creek and headed towards the 13,093 and Sunshine saddle. It was a steep climb through trees and tundra to the ridge. From there we followed an elk trail to the saddle, where we found horse tracks and a hitching post? What was that all about? Why do peope take horses up here? The rest of the ridge to sunshine looks short, but takes a long time. We reach the top and have a short celebration for Ben G’s 100th US peak.
The ridge to 13093 is fast with some scree and Talus near the summit of 13093. We don’t stay long as the wind is howling at this point. The descent of 13093 is steep and loose dinner plate talus mixed with scree. The balancing act was made more difficult by the wind. Dolly Varden is a short quick climb, I managed to find a route all on grass. Our summit stay was short due to wind. Now for the main event, Wildhorse!
We made our way across the endless flats to the base fo Wildhorse where we saw two hikers coming down. On to the summit. It is steep but easy all the way to the top. There is only one semi exposed move required to reach the summit. I peered down the 700 foot cliff, amazing. We contemplated “Dragon’s Back” but with weather looking iffy we decided against it.
The traverse to 12975 is long and lonely. We crossed many snowfields on the Ridge Stock Driveway. It was not until near the saddle that we decided to climb this seldom visited summit. I’m glad we climbed this peak, it held an old Bob Martin register and an amazing view. Had we more time I would have climbed 13201 and 13300, but time was short so we headed back to the car.
The descent is short and quick, however if I were to do this again I would follow the old road all the way down instead of following the creek which led to a short very steep 100 foot descent to the road.
Day 6: Why the F’ are we climbing this
Quail Mountain 13461
We had a short amount of time to climb on Sunday so we camped out at Sheep Gulch with the intention of climbing Quail and Hope. Our plans of climbing Hope quickly fell through due to the steepness of the trail and tiredness of our legs. The last 800 feet up Quail felt like a death march, however we were greeted with a neat old register and some mining huts on the summit. On the descent we met some people training for the Leadeville 100.
Thumbnails for uploaded photos (click to open slideshow):