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 Peak(s):  Cuatro Pk  -  13,487 feet
"Leaning South Pk"  -  13,203 feet
 Post Date:  09/08/2011
 Date Climbed:   08/27/2011
 Posted By:  Furthermore

 To the South of Trinchera.    


South Leaning Peak 13,203
Cuatro Peak 13,487


August 27, 2011
~8.0 Miles, ~3,300 Gain
Trailhead start: ~11,800 on the Trinchera Road. End: ~11,160 on the Trinchera Road.


Thunderstorm in the San Luis Valley.
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The drive from South Fork over to Blue Lakes campground near the Trinchera Road turn off took longer than I expected. After departing ways with Kevin and Pete, Ken and I made the drive to Blue Lakes Campground, meeting Al around 9:45 PM. We drove to the end of the 2WD where we all ended up camping in our cars. Since Al and I had arrangements to be at the Cielo Vista Ranch by 6:00 PM, we started our short day early and set up our car shuttle.

Since Al and I had already climbed Trinchera, we decided on a route that would minimize our gain for our remaining peaks in the area. From the upper car, we started our traverse south at ~11,800 in some nasty willows. Fortunately, the rest of the day wasn't as brutal regarding bushwhacking. We contoured south at ~11,800 until we found grassy slopes that led us to the South Leaning-North Leaning saddle.

Al contouring around Trinchera Peak on our way to South Leaning.
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First view of South Leaning.
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South Leaning.
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Hiking up the mellow slopes to the South Leaning-North Leaning saddle.
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Normally I would be surprised to see other people, but I had received an e-mail from our Cielo Vista Ranch group that John and Reneta Collard were climbing the same peaks except with the addition of Trinchera Peak. We met up with them on the class 2 grassy north ridge of South Leaning and made our way to the summit where we arrived at 8:20 AM. The weather was clear but there was a brisk wind that kept things cool.

Ken working his way up South Leaning with Trinchera in the background.
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The summit of South Leaning is near.
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Our stay was short and we were on our way towards Cuatro Peak. We all descended the grassy class 2 south ridge of South Leaning and we all made decent time towards Cuatro. The terrain was mellow and we arrived on the broad flat summit of Cuatro at 9:00 AM. The wind had died down and we were all able to enjoy a longer summit visit. John and Reneta had originally planned on climbing back up and over South Leaning and Trinchera but were willing to join us on our semi-bushwhack back to the North Fork trail where we had our other car stashed.

Views to the south from Cuatro.
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Trinchera from the summit of Cuatro.
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Another view to the south from Cuatro. Culebra in the distance.
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East and West Spanish Peak from the summit of Cuatro.
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Heading back north down Cuatro's north ridge, we bypassed point 13,134 on the east angling downward and once we reached the east ridge of 13,134, we followed the east ridge down until ~11,900. We departed the east ridge of 13,134 and headed north then north-east traversing towards the North Fork trail where we descended to ~11,000. Right as everyone was doubting our path, we found the North Fork trail which took us to our stored car shuttle where we arrived back at 1:15 PM. It was nice to finally meet and climb with John and Reneta.

Looking back on the north ridge of Cuatro.
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Route Map.
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Thumbnails for uploaded photos (click to open slideshow):
 


  • Comments or Questions
painless4u2



Nice Place to Be!     2011-09-11 14:01:23
We love that area and have property near there. We've been up Trinchera many times, but never Cuatro. One other that we have been to is Mt. Maxwell, a little further south, and is a nice climb with some 4WD from the Purgatoire campground.


slowbutsteady

Cuatro trip report     2013-10-19 13:29:00
Sure enjoyed your trip report. Wish I had discovered it sooner, but by way of the summit post site and the mountain page for Cuatro I can now see images of the landscape south from Trinchera to Cuatro. I hiked Cuatro way back in 1993 following the North Fork trail from Purgatoire for about 30 minutes and then turning west bushwacking up to the broad grassy east ridge. I descended north towards Un 13100 but chose to go down east hoping the find the North Fork trail which I did after a bit of worry! I have done Trinchera a few times , but not Leaning North or South. Best regards, Charles Baxter



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