Although this isn't a 14er Report I had to post this TR simply because its hard to find any reports on the NW Ridge traverse between Treasury Mtn. and Treasure Mtn A.
Our ultimate goal was to to head up the South Ridge of Treasury Mtn. Once on the summit traverse the easy/kind of tricky Class lll ridge (with lots of exposure) to Unnamed Peak 13407, then traverse Class lV ridge to Treasure Mtn A and Traverse the Treasure Massif. Turn around and hike back through the Yule lakes and back over to the Paradise divide. This is quite the day we have planned, not to mention this Saturday was Vinitok in Crested Butte and we wanted to make it back for the party that night, we had bit off a little more than we could chew and we were soon to find out.
The day started at 3:30AM with pancakes and eggs and a few very warm mugs of Yerba Mate, We enjoyed a nice relaxing morning, packed up and hit the road at 4:45am for the short drive from Crested Butte to the Paradise Divide up Slate River Rd. It is a very accessible road accommodating any vehicle with a little clearance. We arrived at the trail head(11kish) at 5:30am, snapped a good luck start of the trip photo and we were off into the darkness.
The first miles of the trail are very mild and better done in the dark. Once the trail starts to wrap around Cinnamon Mtn. it becomes very skinny and very exposed over vast scree fields and cliffs. Around 2 miles approximately 700ft of Elevation gain you turn North and ascend the Southern Saddle between Cinnamon and Treasury Mtn. Forgive me for not having more photos of this part of the trip, it was dark and we were in a hurry to get to the summit for sunrise.
I Heart Colorado Sunrises!
Once you start up the first ridge the trail becomes moderately steep with little exposure, at the top of the first section of the Southern Ridge we arrived at a Gigantic 12k plateau
A good look back at the plateau at 12,000 ft., you could literally fit a NFL Football stadium on this plateau it was simply breathtaking. The Plateau is a very easy hike to your next pitch about a 1/2 mile away.
gentle South Ridge
False Summit South Ridge on Treasury Along the way we got to collect some fossils and very neat crystals. This is all Class l until you reach your summit ridge then it becomes a class ll scramble with some big cliffs to your east and west.
Class 2 Scramble to the Summit
Once you arrive at the summit you a greeted with a full view of Capitol and Snowmass
Snowmass and Capitol Peakthe Raggeds Wilderness, The Ruby
Purple Mtn. Majesty
Mt. Owens tallest peak furthest along the ridge
Looking West to the Ruby Range, West Elk and Elk Mountain Ranges. You also get a small view of the La Salles in Utah and the San Juans to the SW. Between Treasury Mtn and Unnamed 13407 is pretty tricky, it is a Class lll ridge with lots of hard pack snow on both sides of the ridge. With some good hand holds you can get across the ridge without micro spikes or Yaks. The ridge drops around 300 ft. and goes on for about 1/2 mile.
Treasury from pk. 13407
View from the summit of Treasury-Unnamed 13407 and the Treasure Massif, you can see the notch we had to turn around(center) This is a lot of exposure at some points, certain parts of the ridge are class lV so be prepared.
Andrew Traversing the Treasury Ridge
traversing the ridge between treasury and pk. 13407
Exposure at its finest
Ridge traverse between Treasury and Unnamed 13407
We traversed the ridge successfully and had a victory sandwich and a well deserved break before our next big Challenge. We had no Beta on the Traverse between treasure and Unnamed 13407 so we were very anxious to find out if it was even doable. The first pitch down Unnamed 13407 is a Class lV descent that drops 350 ft with grassy slopes and very brittle stone, this was a very scary part of the trip and we soon found ourselves stranded on a 1200ft ledge with sheer cliffs on all sides of us.
an example of some of the sheer cliffs on Pt. 13407's West Ridge We had seen a very steep notch from Treasury and learned that notch was a 5.9-5.10 rappel and we were not prepared for such a descent.
Time to turn around! so this was the end of the road for us, now the trick was to track our steps back up very carefully for it was a very steep climb back up to the peak with very slippery grass and very brittle rock
class lV climb back up Unnamed 13407. I would not advise you take this route without ropes and have a stomach for sheer exposure. These Peaks have very defining aspects to them and are very humbling. I am just glad I got to summit them with some great friends and we all made it out unscathed. We back tracked along the way I found a natural spring, so I decided to take few sips and refresh myself. We got back to the Car at Noon with the rest of the day to burn we went back to the Butte for some good grump burning, mass alcohol consumption and loss of inhibitions.