| Cielo Vista's Other 13ers.
August 28, 2011
~12.1 Miles, ~5,100 Gain
Trailhead start: ~11,600 on the Whiskey Pass Road (4WD recommended). End: ~10,400 on the Carneros Creek Road. (4WD recommended)
Special thanks to Mike Rodenak for organizing this less traveled 13er trip with the Cielo Vista Ranch.
With a bunch of e-mails exchanged with a bunch of people we ended up with a fine group of climbers for some less traveled 13ers on the Cielo Vista Ranch. Mike Rodenak put a ton of effort in organizing camping and route selection to climb these peaks. I personally have been holding off climbing Culebra due to the “Pay for a Peak” mentality with the ranch and I am happy to say that my experience with the Cielo Vista Ranch was very professional and, to my surprise, very enjoyable. I look forward to climbing on the ranch again in the future.
We all met at the Salazar Meadow gate on the ranch at 6:00 PM on the 27th where we met Carlos, paid our $200 fee, turned in our waivers, and were escorted to an excellent camping area in Salazar Meadow. Since we had 10 climbers, we broke up into two teams. An early group (4 climbers) and a later group (6 climbers). I was with the later group. We woke up and made the drive up Whiskey Pass with the plan to be hiking by 6:00 AM. Unfortunately, we missed the turn to Whiskey Pass but shortly figured out our mistake. The turn wasn't obvious as the turn was obscured by a sharp turn and river crossing.
Eventually the Whiskey Pass came to an end due to a recent mud slide around ~11,480. Our missed turn only cost us about 20 minutes and we were hiking towards the Beaubien-12,810 saddle around 6:20 AM. Point 12,810 wasn't originally on the agenda but it was an easy addition. Before reaching the Beaubien-12,810 saddle, we climbed up 12,810's pleasant grassy east slopes, class 2. The Whiskey Pass Trail would be very steep, harder and probably not as enjoyable. We all summited 12,810 and continued onward towards Beaubien descending 12,810's blocky class 2 east ridge to the Beaubien-12,810 saddle.
Beaubien Peak from our parking spot.
Point 12,810 from our parking spot on the Whiskey Pass road.
The grassy east slopes of 12,810.
Sunrise over Beaubien.
Sunrise to the south from the east slopes of 12,810.
Al on the summit of 12810.
The east ridge of 12,810 from the 12,810-Beaubien saddle.
Al and I had no desire to climb Beaubien so we traversed the grassy south slopes of Beaubien and continued up Francisco's very mellow grassy north ridge (class 1). The others climbed up the grassy west ridge of Beaubien and met us later. From the summit of Francisco, everyone agreed Point 12,686 was too close to orphan. We descended Fransico's grassy west slopes, bypassed a few notches in the ridge to the south and continued up the talus east ridge to the summit of 12,686. A unique perspective on neighboring peaks.
Al on the north slopes of Francisco.
Grassy slopes up Francisco.
Point 12,810 from Francisco.
View to the north from Francisco. Culebra in the distance.
Al working his way up 12,686.
Beaubien from 12,686.
From the Fransico-12,686 saddle, we hiked directly north towards the flat broad summit of Lomo Liso Mountain. Moving onward towards Miranda Peak, proved to be the hardest part of the day. At first, it was grassy slopes then turned into some large talus near the Miranda-Lomo Liso saddle. Once past the Miranda-Lomo Liso saddle, it was easy grassy slopes to 13,247, a false summit. Now the somewhat exciting climbing began. We stayed on the west side of the ridge and climbed up some steep talus slopes where we regained the ridge crest near the summit (class 2+). There was a short knife edge characteristic just before the summit which was fun.
Grassy slopes of Lomo Liso.
Working our way to the false summit of Miranda.
Route up Miranda.
Views from the traverse on Miranda.
Working our way up Miranda.
Knife edge characteristic on Miranda.
To our next objective, Point 13,565, we descended south, hiked up and over 13,396 and climbed the north ridge to 13,565. All class 2. The views of Culebra from 13,565 were outstanding. We descended the west ridge of 13,565 and met up with the early group at the 13,565-13,229 saddle. From the saddle, it was a short class 2 grassy hike up the east slopes to 13,229.
Point 13,565 from Miranda.
West ridge of 13,565.
Culebra from the summit of 13,229.
As recommended by Carlos, we descended into Carneros Drainage. From the summit of 13,229, we returned to the 13,565-13,229 saddle and did a descending traverse southeast to bypass a cliff band that blocked easy access to Carneros Lake. The traverse almost took us to the small lake located at ~12,250. From the bottom of the cliffs, we hiked to Carneros Lake and found an excellent trail which took us back to the cars. The trail was ~200 yards north of the lake. Just as we were about to arrive at the car, we met up with the earlier group. We all agreed we couldn't have asked for better timing and weather.
Bypassing the cliffs.
Lake at ~12,250 with Culebra.
Group Photo. (L-R Valerie (IHikeLikeAGirl), Katie (KatieFinn), John, Bobby (BobbyFinn), Reneta, Mike (ChicagoTransplant), Brian, John, Al (Piper14er), Myself (Furthermore).
To my surprise, the ranch was very kind to shuttle our vehicles for us which saved us at least an hour of car shuttling time. The cost was a great price considering how many ranked peaks we climbed, on ranch camping, and a car shuttle service. Well worth the 200 bucks. Considering how many 13ers don't cost anything in the state, I don't mind paying a little for some less traveled peaks. It was an outstanding day and I as I already mentioned, I look forward to climbing on the ranch again in the future.
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