Support 14ers.com
Buying gear? Please use these links to help 14ers.com:

More info...

Other ways to help...
 Peak(s):  Ouray, Mt  -  13,971 feet
 Post Date:  11/29/2011 Modified: 12/06/2011
 Date Climbed:   11/26/2011
 Posted By:  globreal

 13 On A 13er!   

Mount Ouray—13,971

Climb Date: Saturday, 26 November, 2011
Trailhead: Gray’s Creek


Start time: 8:10am
Summit: 12:37pm
Time on Summit: 1:10
Back to car: 5:00pm

Crew: 13 members of 14ers.com

Note: it was moonstalker who came up with the name of this TR on the summit. She gets the credit!

Alpine glow at sunrise.
Image
Mount Ouray from CR 200


There had been three, snow storms so far this fall of 2011, and then came the Indian summer during Thanksgiving week. With all of the sunshine and warm temps, I wanted to climb! I put up the request for partners to join me on another climb of a Centennial. I never would have believed that 13 people would show up for this climb of a 13er!
Image
8am at the Gray's Creek TH


I put out the request to show up at 7:30am to gear up, so we could be on the trail by 8am. That was an hour and 10 minutes after the 6:50am sunrise…when I usually like to be hiking by. However, I moved the start time back a little bit as the weather forecast showed the jet stream blowing hard winds out of the north, but they would be moving away from us to the east throughout the day. Most of our group didn’t show up til right at 8am but, we had everyone out of the parking lot by 8:10am. Not to bad.

Our route was to head due west alongside Gray’s Creek.
Image
(photo by: thatnissanguy)
Over the river...

Image And through the woods!

It was all smiles in that warm sunshine under clear blue skies!
Image

The front runners leading the charge veered away from Gray’s Creek (more to the south) and headed more directly up the steeper slope towards the east-west ridgeline. In the trees, there was a little bit more snow to stomp through than anticipated however, it wasn't to bad. And that was good since most of us elected to leave our snowshoes in the car. That turned out to be a wise choice.

As we started to emerge from the trees at treeline, out popped a beautiful view of our goal for the day.
Image
Looking west at Mount Ouray


Image
Looking east at treeline


Image We took a short break here at treeline….and wildlobo71 discovered that his water tube had frozen...and this is early into the day!

A little bit higher on up, we were given this view of the “Devil’s Armchair.”
Image
The cirque underneath Ouray's east side known as the "Devil's Armchair."


Instead of following the creek all the way up to the Devil’s Armchair, we had slowly shifted south and up on the side of the east-west ridgeline that comes down from Mount Ouray. This was a talus field, but it was mostly stable rock.
Image

The winds at 15,000 feet (500mb) were forecasted to be quite high this morning….like upwards of 50-80 knots. We could see evidence of this as plumes of “snow smoke” blew off the summit.
Image

Up to this point from car to treeline, we had not felt ANY winds. Nada, zippo!

It wasn’t until we topped out on the top of the east-west ridge did we start to feel some of those winds.
Image

There is one false summit along this ridgeline which we circumvented by going over to the west side. This turned out to be a nice move. We avoided climbing some extra elevation but also enjoyed a total wind block. In fact, with the solar/radiated sunshine, it got quite warm.

That was short lived though once we came out of the comfort of the false summit. Now, the winds were back and we were graced with this nice view of Mount Ouray. As you can see, there is not any real exposure to be concerned with on this gentle route up this Centennial.
Image
(photo by thatnissanguy)


The first 3 our our group reached the summit at 12:05pm.
Image
(photo by thatnissanguy)


They got this picture of me coming on up next, followed by mountainjam and you can see there was a bit of wind up high in the alpine.
Image

I made it to the summit at 12:37pm…covering the 4.2 miles and 4,300 verts just about 1 mph and 1,000 vertical feet/hour.
Image
The "pile 'o rock" on a broad and gentle sloping summit


mountain jam comes on up to tag the true summit as well
Image

The first 3 guys had taken up residence on the south side of the peak which proved to be in a remarkable "wind-shadow."
Image Enjoying the view of Antora to the south.

The 360˙ views from this peak are amazing! It’s a stunning sight looking the the south east at the Sangre de Christo range.
Image
(photo by: milan)


Going over to the north side of Mount Ouray gives this really beautiful view of the rest of the Sawatch range.
Image
(photo by: milan)


Over on this north side of the summit is a nice, full-circle, rock wind-block. However, this time of year, it looks more like an overflowing hot tub!
Image

Meanwhile, back on the south side, the summit party has begun with a full array of 13 summiteers!
Image (photo by: mountainjam)

We organized the troops and took the group shot.
Image 13 on a 13er. (photo by: mountainjam)

Milan decided to stay warm by changing out his wet baselayer to a dry one.
Image

wildlobo 71 decided to get warm by downing some bourbon!
Image

EmmaM decided to warm up by re-fueling on beets. (What kinda summit food is that?) Notice how they matched her Arc’terx? I think that was what she was after. Bill tried offering her the bourbon….which has got to taste better than beets!
Image

Jerry and Terry are drinking something warm but I don’t know what.
Image

moonstalker is showing off her 1st Ascent Peak 15 jacket. Yeah….she’s toasty warm in that one.
Image

People arrived at different times which means different length of times on the summit. For me, I ended up enjoying 1 hour 10 minutes on top. That’s a long time even for a summer summit!! Just goes to show how nice it was basking in the sun in that wind-shadow on the south side of the peak. What an amazing "winter conditions" (not “calendar winter”) climb.

It was just before 2pm when we all started heading back down.
Image (photo by: thatnissanguy)

We took our time getting back the cars…enjoying a leisurely 3 hour hike back. And during that hike back, I am sure we all were asking, “what's our next winter-conditions climb going to be?:
Image

We all made it back down the mountain to the cars without any problems. My assessment, this peak is a good peak to climb during winter or in winter conditions. Overall, I think the avy danger would usually be relatively low for most of this route. Once again, I am grateful for yet another answered prayer...for a safe and successful climb.



Thumbnails for uploaded photos (click to open slideshow):
 


  • Comments or Questions (13)
tmathews

Something warm     2011-11-29 15:19:49
Was hot chocolate!


mike_kadow


In the 2nd Group Photo...     2011-11-29 15:37:40
...is that Kenny in the middle?!

(someone had to say it... )

Looks like a nice, enjoyable winter climb. Thanks for sharing!


milan


I got warmer that way.     2011-11-29 15:46:07
Nice report, and you put my ”decent exposure” picture here...
I rather should have brought hot chocolate as well.


Mel McKinney


Looks like a good time...     2011-11-29 16:09:11
Emma may be the only person to have eaten beets on a 14er.
Congrats to all!


mountainjam


Excellent!     2011-11-29 17:01:09
Great TR Britt and a great day! Thanks for putting everything together. It was great to meet some more folks from the website. Hopefully we can do it again soon!


Gueza


Good stuff.     2012-03-04 11:31:45
Nice write up Britt. Looked like a fun day, wish I could have made it.


JLOHARA


Jealous     2011-11-29 19:02:21
Jealous, jealous, jealous, I wish I could have joined you all. I have a hard time believing it was hot chocolate Terry was drinking.
I am the girl who Terry helped my a$$ up Mt Wilson this summer.
Thanks again, Terry!


MtnHub


Great trip!!     2011-11-29 19:40:16
Wow! Great report and super shots people! I've had my eye on Ouray for several years now, and wish I could've joined you on this one! Outstanding job! Thanks for sharing, as it was the next best thing!


unclegar


looks like a great day     2011-11-30 10:53:15
Sorry I couldn't make it but it looks like it was a great day for a hike and quite a group for winter conditions.


moon stalker


It was a fun day!     2011-11-30 13:00:57
Great trip report, great pictures. All in all, the wind wasn't too bad. At least it didn't whip up TOO much of the snow. Great hike. Thanks for organizing Britt.


Dancesatmoonrise


hey     2011-11-30 18:03:39
Congrats you guys on a great trip. Sorry I couldn't be there. Nice write-up, Britt!


sunny1


Nice!     2011-11-30 19:10:17
Very bummed to miss this one.
I'll make up for it later!
Excellent write up and pics, Britt!
Climb on!


globreal


Note:     2011-12-06 23:04:08
It was moon stalker who came up with the name of this TR on the summit. She gets the credit!



   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.