“Fancy Peak” 13,192
Savage Peak 13,139
TH: Fancy Creek/Missouri Lakes
~12 miles 5100 Feet
I had eyeballed these peaks for quite some time, but always put off climbing them. That had to change, it had been nearly four years since my last visit to the Holy Cross Wilderness. I had very little beta on the connecting ridge between these peaks other than the topo map and the knowledge that it was possible to traverse it. In the spirit of Chicago Transplant I will not give exacting details of this fine traverse, but give a more general overview of the climb.
Having a perfect forecast allowed me to get a later start, I headed up the Fancy Creek trail at 7:00 am. There are a lot of downed trees on the trail, which slowly gains elevation until Fancy Lake. The steepness picked up shortly after the lake and soon I was climbing on snow. Even in a relatively dry year this northeast facing gully retains snow. Luckily for me the snow was in good condition and I made quick work of it to the pass. I recommend having an ice ax or trekking poles while climbing Fancy Pass. From Fancy Pass I located an old mining trail and followed it to the ridge crest where it was a class 2 traverse to the summit. I summited at 9:30.
Waterfall on Fancy Creek
Snow on Fancy Pass trail
Snow Conditions on upper portion of pass
View NW from Pass
S Ridge of "Fancy Peak"
After a short stay I headed towards 12940. There are two ridge bumps to navigate around to arrive at the summit. The first is easily traversed on grassy ledges to the west (class 2+), the second is just a talus hop on the NE slopes. The final ridge to 12940 is class 2+ if you stay on the ridge crest, I summited at 10:45. This was my first chance to view the crux of the route, the SW ridge of 12940.
View west from 12940
On the topo map the SW ridge of 12940 looks like a simple ridge run. This is not the case, I had wondered why so few people combined these peaks considering their short mileage. This intimidating ridge might be the answer. I was able to find a class 3 way down the ridge, my being 6’ 4” probably helped. The descent went fairly quickly considering the terrain. The rock is solid and I was always able to see an easy way down. Once I reached the saddle I was greeted with the prospect of climbing 12898. I found a class 2 way up to the summit ridge where it was an easy stroll to the summit it was 12:15 when I summited.
Upper SW ridge crux
Looking up at the class 3 ridge
Looking down the ridge
All that stood between me and Savage Peak were a few ridge bumps. I didn’t encounter anything noteworthy on the traverse and arrived on the summit of Savage at 1:00. While planning this traverse I had entertained the idea of climbing 12448 and 12546 to the south, I decided against it and descend Savage’s NE ridge and then bushwhacked to the Missouri Lakes trail. If you’re looking for a beautiful waterfall hike this is it. I arrived back at my car at 3:15.
One of many waterfalls on the descent
Final waterfall on Missouri Creek