| Beat the Heat Sangre 13ers Day
It had been a hot, miserable couple of days the first few days before the Summer Solstice down in the Southern Colorado lowlands. My wife (Erin) and my two kids (Abbey,6 Ethan,4) decided that they were going up into our local Culebra Range Sangres for the first day of Summer. I had all the symptoms of low-altitude sickness (lethargy, lack of motivation), so I decided the afternoon before to play hookey from work and accompany them up in altitude. Abbey and I had been working at bagging her first peak this Spring, the Sangre 13ers were being a bit elusive, so we decided that Trinchera Peak should be summit-able for the whole family.
The road up to Blue and Bear Lakes and beyond was finally free of snow and we parked the truck at 11500', just below treeline. After a half mile of road hike Trinchera loomed ahead, cloaked in green grass and adorned with wildflowers in peak bloom.
The southern saddle was quickly gained and we stopped for a few minutes to watch a herd of elk climb up to the main ridge from a valley far below.
The summit pitch was a fun, easy class 2 scramble, and the kids forgot that they were tired for a bit and thoroughly enjoyed themselves.
After about 1.5 miles and 2000', we topped out on the Trinchera Peak summit!
It was still kinda early, not a cloud in the sky and just the hint of a breeze on the summit. Erin and the kids were cool with hanging out and exploring the summit top while I went for a Sangre ridge run to the south, hoping to pick up the "Leaning Peaks" and add another section of the Culebra Range ridge to my portfolio. In a few minutes I was off of the Trinchera summit and in the midst of the elk that had come up earlier to graze on the saddle. I also noticed that there was a nice sized herd of Bighorns hanging out. Leaning North Peak was right in front of me
I was on the summit in no time, looking at Leaning South
Leaning South took a few minutes more to attain than Leaning North, with a short, fun pitch of c2 to summit.
Looking north back at Trinchera
Looking south at Cuatro
I paused for a minute on Leaning South to enjoy the beautiful day and reflect on the fact that I was in my home range, on a section of ridge that I look at every day (and wish i was on!), and more importantly, my wife and kids were able to participate in my above tree-line adventures and they had a BLAST! Coming down off of Leaning South I received a text from Erin that they had descended Trinchera and were hanging out on the saddle. This saved me a re-summit of Trinchera, and I was just barely able to comfortably skirt around the east face. Had there been snow hanging ten feet lower on a few aspects, I would have needed axe and crampons. I met back up with the group (napping in the sun) a lot quicker than I anticipated.
A stellar day! Congrats to Erin and the kids! A big shout out to Abbey and Ethan for bagging a remote Sangre 13er!!
Thumbnails for uploaded photos (click to open slideshow):