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 Peak(s):  "Solitude, Mt"  -  13,090 feet
"Climber’s Point"  -  13,005 feet
 Post Date:  09/06/2011 Modified: 02/02/2012
 Date Climbed:   09/04/2011
 Posted By:  d_baker

 In Search of Solitude...   

In Search of Solitude


“Climber’s Point” (13,005’)
“Mount Solitude” (13,090’)

Gore Range

Hiker(s): Me, Myself, & I

Trailhead: Pitkin Lake TH
Route: W slopes to “Climber’s Pt”, and then a ridge run to the N for “Mt Solitude”; for the descent—I did a variation of the ascent line (see map below)
Distance: ~10mi. RT
Elevation Gain: ~4900’
Difficulty: mostly class 2+, with some easy/moderate class 3 sections on the ridge before “Climber’s Pt” and on the way to “Mt Solitude”—but it can be avoided by going below it on the W side


Blue = ascent
Red = variation on descent

Gear: daypack w/Essentials

Resources Used For Trip Planning: TOPO! mapping software; Joseph D. Kramarsic’s Mountaineering in the Gore Range: A Record of Explorations, Climbs, Routes, & Names; Dave Cooper’s Colorado Scrambles guidebook (for directions to the TH, which he uses for his route description for “E Partner Peak”)

Foreword
My summer living in Avon has had its advantages: for one the proximity to several ranges and TH’s within an hours drive has been efficient, and of course the proximity to the Gore Range was an attraction to me from the beginning. It’s only been late this summer that I’ve taken advantage of my time to go into the Gore Range though, but I intend to use the rest of my time here wisely and do as many Gore peaks as I can.

Recently I was flipping through the index pages of Roachs’ 13er guidebook, and there I saw “Solitude, Mt” and the name immediately appealed to me. Then I saw it was in the Gore Range, perfect! I opened up my TOPO! program and located “Mt Solitude” and quickly realized that I could do it as a dayhike. And the west slopes looked like it would go, for which Mike (Chicago Transplant) confirmed for me.

Sunday morning came, and I was out the door in search of Solitude….

…and it’s out (or over) there…



I was on the trail by 6am-ish, quickly gaining some elevation as the trail climbs up into the Pitkin Creek drainage. It levels out for a bit before the first waterfall, giving me a reprieve from the uphill push--temporarily. After the first waterfall, which is down below the trail, the trail starts going uphill again. Once at the second waterfall, I started my bushwack up the western slopes of my targets.


And the bushwack starts



I crossed a small stream and headed towards the willows that awaited me. In the willows, there were some steep belayed (from branches) moves made, but I made it through ok. Coming down was about the same!


I think these bees suckled their last bit of nectar



At this bee hive, I turned left



Beyond the difficulties of willow bashing, I was in a small basin below the western slopes. I could see several options for my ascent, but since I wanted to go to “Climber’s Pt” first, I thought the most efficient would be to go to the saddle to the S of it, and then head N.


Looking up at the saddle and my route



W Partner & E Partner (l. to r.), seen from W slopes on my ascent to the saddle



These beauties had my back

Holy Cross Wilderness and Vail Ski Resort in foreground



At the saddle, new views opened up to the E



The weather was perfect for my pace, so I continued to take my time, stopping constantly to look at the surrounding peaks. The views from along this ridge to “Climber’s Pt” and “Mt Solitude” are pretty sweet, in my opinion.


Boulder Creek drainage



This pika was also enjoying the views



I’m not sure what time I reached the ‘true’ summit of “Climber’s Pt” but I also don’t care. The smile on my face was enough for contentment and it distracted me from minor details such as time.


The Gore is not short on steep terrain



And rock faces like this seem to be around every corner



Next up: more Solitude.




Final ridge section to summit of “Mt Solitude”



Solitude



I recently checked out Kramarsic’s Gore book from the library, and with the help of his book, I’m starting to learn my alphabet. However, if I’m wrong, I hope Gore enthusiasts out there will correct me.


l. to r., Peak L and the Gore Thumb (in the shadows), and Guyselman Mtn (Peak M)



Keller Mtn



Peak X



Peak Z



A Jumbled Alphabet View



More of the Same



An hour of bliss (and even some sadness) was spent on the summit. But alas, I must leave.


On my descent, these two peaks that rise above Booth Lake had my attention

The Spider & The Fly

The Spider (12,692’) is on the right, and The Fly (12,560’) is on the left. I hope to be able to climb them before I leave Avon later this month. Perhaps I need a Partner first.


Thanks for reading,
Darin


Personal Notes

The Power of Solitude, The Power of the Mountains
I did not exactly set out searching for solitude, but it found me. And with that solitude in the mountains, a powerful experience followed.

On the ridge and on the summit of Solitude, my mind (and heart) ran through several stages of emotions. One moment I was all smiles because of where I was and what I was seeing, yet the next moment I was filled with sadness and tears.

In January of this year, I lost my brother to suicide. After his death, I went to the mountains for peace. And peace found me. But there are still rough days, and for some reason this day had those moments.

Dale is a part of me, and I will cherish the memories I have of us growing up together, the good and the bad times. And I will miss the times we would have had together down the road.

On this day, solitude did find me, but I was not alone.

I love you brother, I miss you. Thank you for walking with me in the mountains.

 


  • Comments or Questions (7)
Floyd


Incredible!     2011-09-07 10:05:00
Touching end to the TR. I'm sorry for your loss and glad you are finding peace in the hills. They are therapeudic on so many levels.

Darin, you're quickly becoming a Gore Snob. It's a great club to be a part of!


Mindy


Strength     2012-07-17 07:18:40
I admire your openness. Amazing area. Thanks for sharing and reminding me of how time spent in the mountains is good for the soul.


Jay521


Fantastic...     2011-09-07 10:18:23
Darin - your TR's continue to impress. I love the mixture of truly impressive photos with your very personal thoughts and emotions.

Thank you for sharing both with all of us.... And I hope you continue to find peace...


lordhelmut


Gores are a good place     2011-09-07 11:33:02
to find the peace you may be looking for. Nice TR.


Brian Thomas


beautiful pics     2011-10-05 07:59:11
Thank you for posting this TR, often think of those who are no longer with us when I am in the mountains too


tmathews

Healing     2011-09-08 17:58:28
Hey, Darin,

I remember when I invited you out and you replied saying that you were in VT for your brother's funeral. I felt helpless at the time -- as I do now. I had no idea of the circumstances, but we in the mountaineering community will always be an extended family to you. I hope you continue to find solace in the mountains of Colorado and in us -- your mountaineering brothers and sisters. Your heart and your soul will always have a home among us.


kimo

The solace of mountains     2011-09-09 07:46:03
If any place could provoke powerful emotion, it would be the Gore. Your photos and story make that very apparent. The tall spires of rock and jagged cathedrals of the Gore appear ethereal and Heaven sent. These moments are a celebration of your brother - he will always be with you. Never stop celebrating.

Thanks for the TR. Now that I've seen the Gore first-hand, I understand the love for it. Mount Solitude is a place I must go.



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