Buying Gear?  Click Here
Buying gear? Please use these links to help 14ers.com:

More info...

Other ways to help...
 Peak(s):  PT 13,050  -  13,050 feet
"Tincup Pk"  -  13,345 feet
Fitzpatrick Pk  -  13,112 feet
PT 13,078  -  13,078 feet
Unnamed 12885 - 12,885 feet
 Post Date:  10/05/2011 Modified: 01/08/2012
 Date Climbed:   09/11/2011
 Posted By:  mennoguy

 The seven summits of Chalk Creek   

“Tincup Peak” 13,345
Fitzpatrick Peak 13,112
Unnamed 13,078
Unnamed 13,050
Unnamed 12,885
Unnamed 12,837
Unnamed 12,780

Stats: ~22 miles
7800 feet
11 hours

I had studied the peaks in the Tincup pass area for a while, wondering which way would be the most efficient at clearing them all out. I finally decided to try this traverse, if I had more daylight food, water, and energy I might have added 3 12ers on the south side of the valley. They were so tantalizingly close.

Of all the major traverses I’ve done this summer, this was the easiest. I started out at the Poplar Gulch TH at 8:00 under clear skies. Poplar Gulch is a quiet serenely beautiful valley. At the pass I followed a trail to the summit of 13,078. 13,078 is normally climbed with 13,317 and 13,626, not this time. I left the summit at 10:00 and made the quick traverse over the false summit of 12,837 to the real summit at 10:45.

Image
Image

After a short break I made my journey into the unknown. I found no record of a previous traverse from 12,837 to 13,050. I found no evidence of such a traverse. This was pristine wilderness. Lately I’ve become more obsessed with climbing routes with little or no beta, or not looking for any beta other than the Topo. I want to have that sense of discovery and exploration which doesn’t exist much anymore, and I’m not helping that by posting a TR on this seldom visited ridge.

Image
Image

There are no major difficulties on the ridge, it is all easy tundra with a few talus fields mixed in. The views are amazing from the ridge. I received a bit of a shock while I was making my final descent to the saddle with 13,050, two people were walking down the east ridge of 13,050. My whole view of this being a seldom visited place was collapsing before my very eyes. It turns out the two people were hunters, I bet they were as shocked to see someone as I was. I still say this is a ridge only visited by people once every few years.

Image
Image

13,050 has a large summit area with a small boulder as the summit. It was noon so I ate my lunch. “Tincup” looked so close. It was not. I crossed the recently constructed continental divide trail, so new it is not on the latest Trails Illustrated map. I made the seemingly endless ascent of “Tincup”. I reached the summit shortly after 1:00, there were clouds building but nothing threatening. The ridge towards Tincup Pass is steep and knee busting. I crossed the road with nary a glance at the people sitting there and quickly ascended 12,780, this ridge provided a brief class 2+ scramble before it eased to a flat rocky summit. It was 2:15, so I had to keep moving.

Image
Image

Fitzpatrick Peak was the only named peak I would climb that day. I reached the summit at 3:30 and reviewed my options. Looking at the map I decided that it would be the same millage to collect 12,885 as to return to Tincup Pass. So I went for it. At 4:30 I made it to the summit of 12,885. The ridge walk was not too difficult with a short 2+ section. By this time the clouds decided it was time to precipitate, it snowed for five minutes before the sun returned.

Image
Image

I made the quick descent to the CDT, the three 12ers looked so close, but I was nearly out of food and water and I was dead tired so I passed on climbing them. I really didn’t want to end the day with a 3,000 foot bushwhack down to the TH. The CDT down to the road is really nice, much of it is newly constructed and like a superhighway. Thanks to all who helped with the trail work. The road never seemed to end, at 7:00 I finally plopped down in my car and drove down to Buena Vista where I had a well deserved footlong sub from Subway.



Thumbnails for uploaded photos (click to open slideshow):
 


  • Comments or Questions
piper14er


cranking right along there     2011-10-06 13:41:52
those peaks look nice and grassy


M_Sandoval52


Loved the view.     2011-10-07 10:44:05
Liked the pics! Very nice!


Steve Knapp


Thanks for the report!     2012-09-18 14:05:13
Hey Aaron, Brian and I just did a variation of your hike. We skipped your first two mainly because they looked a bit too far east and could be hit on another trip, but did add the three 12ers at the end. 12.5 miles, 7400' gain, 8 peaks. Thanks for the report, the pictures helped me plan this out as I knew it would be easy travelling.



   Using your forum id/password. Not registered? Click Here


Caution: The information contained in this report may not be accurate and should not be the only resource used in preparation for your climb. Failure to have the necessary experience, physical conditioning, supplies or equipment can result in injury or death. 14ers.com and the author(s) of this report provide no warranties, either express or implied, that the information provided is accurate or reliable. By using the information provided, you agree to indemnify and hold harmless 14ers.com and the report author(s) with respect to any claims and demands against them, including any attorney fees and expenses. Please read the 14ers.com Safety and Disclaimer pages for more information.

© 2014 14ers.com®, 14ers Inc.