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 Peak(s):  Jacque Pk  -  13,205 feet
Tweto, Mt  -  13,672 feet
Mosquito Pk  -  13,781 feet
Pennsylvania Mtn  -  13,006 feet
West Buffalo Pk  -  13,326 feet
 Post Date:  05/31/2012 Modified: 06/01/2012
 Date Climbed:   05/26/2012
 Posted By:  milan

 Mosquito Memorial Weekend with one Gore peak.   


Long weekend in Mosquito and a glimpse on Gores.



Peaks hiked:

Jacque Peak (13 205 feet, 4025 m, prominence more than 500 m)
Pennsylvania Mountain (13 006 feet, 3964 m)
Mount Tweto (13 672 feet, 4167 m)
Treasurevault Mountain (13 701 feet, 4176 m, unranked due to lack of prominence)
Mosquito Peak (13 781 feet, 4200 m)
Repeater Peak (13 548 feet, 4129 m, unranked due to lack of prominence)
Mount Evans B (13 577 feet, 4138 m)
London Mountain (13 194 feet, 4022 m)
East Buffalo Peak (13 300 feet, 4054m)
West Buffalo Peak (13 326 feet, 4062 m, prominence more than 500 m)


We were moving our lab last week from one building to another and I am moving myself from Boulder to Laffayette and so the last ten days was a pure misery. The only light part of my days were the evenings, when I sat at the computer and plotted some mountain adventures for the incoming three days Memorial Weekend. A while ago, my goal become to hike as many peaks with summit over 4000m (and 100 m prominence) as possible before I return to the Czech Republic where I got a job. It would be nice to summit at least 100 of them. I also like peaks of high topographic prominence (over 500 m).

For a long time, I wanted to hike Buffalo Peaks and also Jacque Peak. So there was a decission made for the first and the last day but I had no idea what to hike the day between. It should be longer trip, with at least two peaks (so I would do at least 5 summits on this trip). Casco French? Maybe. Something else on Sawatch? Then I went to see 13ers on google map, a very helpful function here on 14ers.com and then it dawned on me! Mosquito! Of course! My last trip around Shermann was awesome, why only I didn't think about finishing this area? Yep I will go Tweeto, maybe Arkansas, then Treasurevault, Mosquito, Repeater, Mt.Evans B and London....Awesome. And there was great tripreport of similar but shorter winter trip from Papillon, right here:

Papillon's Trip Report

Great. Plann done. Here how it went.


Saturday - Jacque Peak and Pennsylvania Mountain.



Jacque Peak (13 205 feet, 4025 m, prominence more than 500 m)
Pennsylvania Mountain (13 006 feet, 3964 m)


I started Saturday morning, woke up at 5 am, drove to the trailhead of Jacque Peak based on this very descriptive trip report:

kaiman's trip report

What the report forgot to mention, those signs on the first couple pictures are "No Trespassing" signs. There are like 25 signs of "No Parking," "No Trespassing," "Property of Climax Mine," "Violators will be prosecuted to the full extend of the law."....
So what now. Homework not done well. Should I give up? Well, as far as I know, the Climax mine does not operate these days, maybe those are just some old signs. Likely nobody will enforce the law to its full extent. Or maybe if I trespass only a little bit, its not trespassing or if nobody sees me.....Then I was thinking - a slippery slope - today you trespass, tomorrow you rob a bank and then you murder somebody on Buffalo Peaks on Memorial Monday. Wait. There is probably no bank between Mt. Tweto and London Mountain...I am save for today. But be careful. Well, to tell the truth, I am mentioning this for the people, who would like to do the same trip and have rules not to trespass under any circumstances that they should choose a different route and not to ruin their plans.
You start at a gated road that goes towards the tailing ponds. This road is a right turn from Highway 91, about 4 miles from Copper Mountain exit from I-70. You follow the gated road for maybe 200 yards untill you pass two ponds on the right side and the area gets dry. Then you go directly to the forest and follow the Copper Creek. The description in the kaiman's trip report is very accurate. The route through the forest is straightforward, there are multiple trail segments all over, being left of the creek was really the easiest option. The ribbons also mark multiple paths as very likely this area is widely used by the skiers. At some point you cross the creek and end up at the bottom of a ski lift.

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Above the tree line on Jacque Peak.


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There is a service road for a while close to the bottoms of the ski lifts.


There is a service road through area maybe for a mile, however it turns back towards Copper Mountain, so from then, you take a straight line through talus and tundra mixed with willows. Short above the willows, you get to the ridge and continue on talus. Snowfields were small, soft and friendly, no snowshoes, no microspikes, no ice axe the whole trip.

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View of Tenmiles would be awesome if the air was clearer. Stupid forest fires.


The higher you get, the better the views of Tenmile range get. Unfortunately, there was smoke smell in the air from some distant forest fires, so the pictures are very foggy. Also, it was not very nice to breath the stinky smoke. The day was very windy but the air was warm.

Image
Summited Jacque Peak (13 205 feet, 4025 m).


Image
This is the gully I went up.

On the previous picture, there is the overlook of the gully which I used to get up to the ridge.

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Ski lift area.
.

I was finished and back to the car at about 1 pm. So I started to think about the afternoon. The weather was windy but still gorgeous (except the smoke which actually was getting better) and then I remembered a trip report from AndYouSeeMe where he hiked Montezuma Loop and since he didn't have enough for a day, he drove to Alma and hiked Pennsylvania Mountain. Another friend, Abe (FireOnTheMountain) put a funny comment that he believed it had been his idea grabbing Penn as an after thought peak and since then, it was echiong through my skull: "grabbing penn, grabbing penn..." So I texted AndYouSeeMe and he answered with Trailhead information and brief overview of the route. Great! So I grabbed Penn.

Driving through Alma, I got warning from the local police officer because I was driving 43 mph on 30...Well, I really am on a slippery slope....Here we go...Got scared what I am going to do tomorrow...

From Hosier Pass, you pass Alma and maybe 3.5 miles from the city limit (halfway to Fairplay), there is well labeled Road # 1. Turn right on it and follow it. BobbyFinn has the description that AndYouSeeMe sent me:
"From County 1 and 9: Drive .8 miles and bear left to stay on County 1, though there was a sign for County 1 pointing in both directions here with "Loop" on it, so maybe you could go either way, but we went left
2.3 miles - Bear right
2.4 miles - Bear left onto "Valley of the Sun" road (though the sign was laying on the ground, it was still visible).
Stay on the road for 2.6 miles as it meanders around.
At 5.0 we got to a "T" intersection (Mountain View is the road) and turned right. Remember the location of this turn for the drive out.
We followed this road to its end, which is the TH."
I add, it's accurate.
There is worth to mention, that there is a nice trail that starts about 100 yards from the place where people park. There is a tree across the road, you follow the road behind and turn left to the trail. It goes through the bushes and avoids bushwhacking. I didn't realize it, used the road too long and was rewarded with a lot of bushwhacking. Its on this picture, here you go left.
Image
This is the place where a trail to Pennsylvania Mountain goes left from the road.


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Pennsylvania Mountain, if it was greener, it would remind me the windows picture from Silicon Valley.


There is a wonderful view of the Mosquito Range from the summit of Penn.
Image
Panorama taken from Penny. My Sunday trip.


I saw the trail later from above and used it on my way out.

Image
You can see the trail here on lower slope of Pennsylvania Mountain.


After Penn, I went back to the car, drove to Alma, bought hamburger and two beers in the local bar and drove to the trailhead for Tweto. The trailhead I choose was Mosquito Gulch, at the place where the Mosquito pass road turns sharp left and crosses the creek. I wanted to build a fire but the wind was so strong and awful, that it was impossible. There is a pull over for several cars and a fire ring..


Sunday - The Mosquito Loop



Mount Tweto (13 672 feet, 4167 m)
Treasurevault Mountain (13 672 feet, 4167 m, unranked due to lack of prominence)
Mosquito Peak (13 781 feet, 4200 m)
Repeater Peak (13 548 feet, 4129 m, unranked due to lack of prominence)
Mount Evans B (13 577 feet, 4138 m)
London Mountain (13 194 feet, 4022 m)


It was cold overnight. Much colder than I expected. I woke up at five, got on trail at 5.45 and started at the sharp turn of the Mosquito Pass road, where a dirt road went up the Mosquito gulch. It's private, the sign on the picture is "sell" sign, no "no trespassing" sign here. I went up this way.

Image
Here I parked and here I started to Tweto.


After less than a mile the road forks and goes left and right, so I followed the creek straight up. There were snowfields and lots of footprints of hikers who choose this gulch recently for their descent. Since they descended (successfully), I should be able to ascend here! It took me about 2 hours to get to the saddle and less than 3 hours altogether to the summit of Tweto. Weather was clear, windy (but not as much as on Saturday) but very cold. Here I choose not to hike over to Arkansas. My fingers were frozen, even with handwarmers and warm gloves. Not a good thing for class 3 scramble. Next time. I was also kind of tired after the previous hike.

Image
Panorama from Tweto summit.


Image
I wish a mountain was named after me .


The hike over Treasurevault Mountain is pretty short, not much elevation to gain, nice views of Mosquito range on the way up.

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Mosquito Peak from the summit of Treasurevault Mountain.


Image
Panorama from the summit of Treasurevault Mountain.


Hike over to Mosquito is even faster than that. Some elevation gain, loose talus but nothing bad.

Image
Repeater Peak from Mosquito summit.


And then at about 11 am, the strong wind picked up again. This time it was very cold and strong, and it stayed so till the evening GOD I HATE WIND.

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Pennsylvania Mountain actually looks like a mountain from Mosquito Pass.


Image
London Mountain will be the last mountain summit of the day.


Its not far to Repeater Peak with the buildings on it and the Mosquito Pass is also close. But it is far to Mt. Evans B. Wind was strong and my face got cold and I continued on pretty boring and flat ridge. Finally I got there and there is pretty nice view of Dyer Peak, Gemini and Sherman, as well as Sawatch from Mt. Evans. There were fresh signs of a claim on Mt. Evans. Claimed something like May 16th 2012. Well, people are still hunt for treasures here! Then the looong trip back to Mosquito Pass.

Image
Mt. Evans B.


Image
Dyer Peak from Mt. Evans B.


After that, I used Mosquito Pass road to get to the saddle between Repeater Peak and London Mountain and from here, I hiked the ridge to London. Its long as well. I knew its going to be long, you can see it from Penn, from Evans, from Mosquito Pass. But when you are on the ridge, it seems that over that little bump, there must already be the summit. No it isn't. The ridge is a little rough at the beginning but every obstacle is avoidable (mostly to the right, south). There is trail almost the entire way. No problem. I hiked up and down and then continued to my car. There were some snowfield between the North London Mine and my car.

Than I took off and drove to the trailhead for Buffalo Peaks where I planned to camp overnight, have finally my fire and relax. When I was about 5 miles far from Highway 285 on the forest road 431 (and maybe 4 miles far from the trailhead), my car suddenly died. Completely. Done. Gone. No pull over to leave the car, grab the stuff and continue walking. I had to take care of the car. In about 30 minutes, a lady drove by, I told her what happened and she drove me to the highway, I called AAA and let them tow my car to Fairplay where I had to wait till Tuesday for repair. Fairplay is smaller than I though. First night, I went to a bar but they closed at 10 (I had 2 beers and chips and salsa) on Monday, I went to the local mining museum, took tons of pictures but it took about 3 hours and nothing else to do.

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Mining Museum.


Image
Blacksmith.


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School.


The rest of the day I stayed in the motel and then I went to the same bar in the evening and drunk with some local people, they were nice and friendly and the bar tender was a cute girl, I kept meeting her all the time, small city, so it was not that bad at all.



Tuesday - Buffalo Peaks



East Buffalo Peak (13 300 feet, 4054m)
West Buffalo Peak (13 326 feet, 4062 m, prominence more than 500 m)


Tuesday morning, I went to the repair shop and they told me its just a relay, they fixed it by noon and I was free to go to Buffalo Peaks for the afternoon. I found the trailhead which is on FR 431, about 9 miles far from the intersection with Highway 285. I hiked on the old roads that I rembered (obviously badly) from some other trip reports I red before and I am pretty sure I was OK first but later I found that there were multiple roads all over the area. At one point, I could see the peaks directly south of me and it gave me idea what directions to keep later in the forest.

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Road up the Buffalo Peaks. Was I off trail here? Who knows.


I tried to follow a main road that appeared to have a trail on it but at one point, there was an intersection with much older road to the right. The trail seemed to follow the older road and it was labeled with red ribons, so I followed that. Then, ribbons disappeared first, then the road got lost and I ended up in a swampy area where the footprints from the trail showed up to be moos or deer tracks. Well, since I didn't want to return and loose time, distance and elevation and I was sure, same situation would repeat couple times, I decided to go straight up the slope. First through the bush. Horrible, muddy, swampy. So I went left to the full grown spruce forest and it was OK, lots of fallen dead wood, steep slope but no shrubs to deal with. I followed some sort of a ridge hoping to get to the tree line soon and I crossed about four more roads (or the same road 4 times?) with grown trees on it. I used compass and went South or South/East, depending what the forest allowed, which was the direction I thouhg would be best to hit the east ridge. I checked the direction every while to make sure to continue straight and not to get too lost. It took very long time to get to the tree line, then short time to the east ridge and I realized I am farther east than I was supposed to, but I could follow the ridge and beautiful view of Buffalo Peaks emerged from behind the slope

Image
After reaching the east ridge, the peaks emerged in their beauty.


The only serious thougtht was that I need to get to my car before sunset. It would be difficult to find the car in a darkness in this Hansel and Gretel forest just based on compas and I don't like gingerbread.

There I rejoined the classical route and followed it to the summit of the East Buffalo Peak.
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West Peak from the East Peak.


It's pretty easy drop to the saddle and hike up the West Peak.

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East Peak from the west.


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4000 m mountain #87. Very prominent peak.


Here is a picture of my ridge and arrow shows where the trail shoud go.
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My route. Arrow show where I should have gone.



On the way out, I choose a direct line to NE first, drop to a valley with a creek, cross the creek, cross the valley, drop to another valley and there was a trail, it went exactly the direction I needed and deposited me on 431 about half a mile west of my car.

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The trail deposited me here. Nice view..


Great. I got back to my car, built a fire, roasted my sausage, had a nice dinner, put the fire down with whole gallon of water and drove home.
Great four days. If I have another weekend and want to camp somewhere, the Buffalo Peaks wildernes is the choice. Its so wonderful, even without summiting anything, it would be worth to spend several days.



Thumbnails for uploaded photos (click to open slideshow):
 


  • Comments or Questions (2)
AndYouSeeMe


What a successful weekend!     2012-05-31 19:05:32
Milan, WOW. Way to get after it and make the absolute most of the long holiday weekend and persevering to still get the Buffs after the car fiasco. I look forward to getting out with again soon and know you will be able to get to 100 before you leave.

Great pics as usual also, thanks for writing up this report


Brian Thomas


4000+ meters     2012-06-01 09:30:39
I greatly appreciate your including the metric system elevations of these peaks hiked. The English system of measuring in feet is an obsolete leftover of monarchy and imperialism. The metric system is inherently superior.



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