| The Monolith of Coxcomb and Others.
July 30, 2011
~7.4 Miles, ~4,400 Gain.
Trailhead: West Cimarron Fork TH (High Clearance)
Morning Light on Coxcomb.
Podcasts make the drive quick. I drove down to Owl Creek Pass where I waited for my climbing partner, Ken, to drive up from Durango. He arrived around 9:30 PM and we made the short drive to the West Cimarron Fork TH.
We woke up early and were hiking around 6:15 AM with our camp packs. Like most 13ers, we left our trail at ~12,200 on the south side of the Coxcomb-”U 4” saddle and started up a talus slope to the base of Coxcomb's large summit block. Stashing our camp packs at ~13,000 we geared up and headed for the summit gully on the southwest end of the summit monolith. To reach the chimney to the summit ridge we had a quick few moves of class 4 followed by a class 3 gully. Unsure how difficult the climbing was in the chimney, Ken decided he wanted a belay. I proceeded without a belay.
The southwest gully to the summit.
The southwest gully to the ridge indicating difficulty.
Looking up the class 3 portion of the southwest gully.
Ken making the first class 4 moves into the gully.
Looking down the upper portion of the chimney.
Climbing up the chimney was enjoyable with very little exposure and I didn't think it exceeded class 4. The only exposure was near the top of the chimney. Once I reached the top of the chimney, I looked for a rappel anchor to belay from but I only found a pile of webbing attached to nothing. I made quick anchor out of the webbing I found and belayed Ken up. (If anyone is planning on using this as a rappel anchor, I would highly recommend replacing the webbing and bringing a rappel ring. The webbing was very sun rotted.)
Ken exiting the chimney.
A few class 3 moves later we were on the summit ridge. Within no time, we reached the notch ˝ way up the summit ridge. The anchor had been removed so we built a new one out of webbing we had brought. We rappelled the notch and did a quick class 3 scramble on the left/north side of the summit ridge to regain the ridge where we arrived on the summit at 10:00 AM. Superb views. It was fun watching the exodus of people on Wetterhorn.
A splash of class 3 to the summit ridge.
Summit ridge on Coxcomb.
Ken rapping the notch.
Traversing the gap to the north to regain the ridge.
Class 3 to regain the ridge after the gap.
Ken on the summit ridge.
Wetterhorn from the summit of Coxcomb.
Uncompahgre from the summit of Coxcomb.
Redcliff from the summit of Coxcomb.
Re-ascending the notch wasn't difficult as I set up a top rope anchor with our webbing. I would rate the climbing at 5.2-5.4. Once Ken ascended the notch, I removed my webbing and we continued to the top chimney. I lowered Ken as he down-climbed the chimney and I shortly followed.
Ken descending from the summit of Coxcomb.
The short 5.2-.4 climb back up the gap.
After reaching our packs, Ken decided he had enough for the day and was going to meet me at camp. I continued towards 13,206 by traversing Coxcomb's summit massive at ~13,000 to the Coxcomb-13,206 saddle. Once at the saddle, I climbed up the class 2 northwest ridge of 13,206 where I arrived on the summit at 11:30 AM. My stay was short since the weather was starting to build.
Ken descending out of the southwest gully.
Coxcomb at the Coxcomb-13,206 saddle.
13,206 from the west.
Wetternhorn with the summit of 13,206.
Continuing down the class 2 southeast ridge of 13,206, I skirted a small point to the left before arriving at the 13,206-13,377 saddle. Gladly, I ditched my camp pack and made descent time up the class 2 southwest ridge of 13,377 arriving around noon. “Heisshorn” looked stout from the summit. I returned to my pack, radioed Ken and descended into the grassy Middle Cimarron Valley. We found an outstanding camping spot at ~12,100 right below the northwest face of “Heisshorn.”
“Heisshorn” from the summit of 13,377. “El Punto” can also be seen.
13,206, Coxcomb and Redcliff from 13,377.
Wetterhorn from the summit of 13,377.
13,206 from my descent into Middle Fork Cimarron.
13,377 from my descent into Middle Fork Cimarron.
13,206 and Coxcomb from Middle Fork Cimarron.
Continued Part 2
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