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 Peak(s):  Little Giant Pk  -  13,416 feet
King Solomon Mtn  -  13,220 feet
 Post Date:  06/25/2012
 Date Climbed:   06/22/2012
 Posted By:  Furthermore

 Half Day Silverton 13er.   


Little Giant Peak 13,416
King Solomon Mountain 13,220 (unranked)



June 22, 2012
~2.3 Miles, ~1,900 Gain
TH: End of San Juan County Road 21A (High Clearance required, 4WD recommended)


Directions for the TH: From the junction of 550 in Silverton, take CO 110 for .9 miles through downtown Silverton. On the east side of town look for a “Mine Tours” sign, and make a right turn onto County Road 2 which is poorly marked. Once on County Road 2, follow the road for 1.9 miles and make a right turn onto SJ21 which is the first right turn after the pavement ends. Follow SJ21 for .8 miles and make a left turn. After another .3 miles make a hard left turn onto SJ21A. Passenger cars should park here. High Clearance and 4WD can continue another 2.9 miles to the end of the road.

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Little Giant, a lonely orphan. Somehow I wasn't able to combine this peak with others, but it worked out as it made for an excellent after work outing. I got off work around 3:40 PM, just outside of Bayfield, and started my drive towards Silverton. As with the previous days, the afternoon weather was impeccable. How could I not try for an afternoon alpine peak?

Making pretty good time towards Silverton, I was at the end of SJ County 21A, geared up and hiking up grassy slopes in Little Giant Basin just after 5:30 PM. Driving like a bat out of hell up the road, I missed the turn for the grassy trail that led to the King Solomon-Little Giant saddle. It is not very obvious from the road.

As I made my way for the King Solomon-Little Giant saddle, I found some neat rocks and was left with an undesirable choice: a steep San Juan scree gully or a chossy and blocky class 2 ledge system north of the saddle. I wasn't really feeling up for a scree flight so I stuck to the ledge system. If there was snow, the scree gully would make for a short but decent snow climb.

High in Little Giant Basin.
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Gaining ground to the Little Giant-King Solomon saddle.
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Wild flowers in Little Giant Basin.
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Little Giant Peak from Little Giant Basin below the saddle.
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Chossy, Blocky class 2 terran.
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Carefully, I made my way to the saddle and headed directly for the east ridge on Little Giant. I started up grassy slopes for about 100 feet then encountered some blocky terrain so I decided to bypass the blocks on the ridge on the south side. The traverse was on unstable talus as I made my way to the final slope to the summit. On the way back, I stayed on the ridge crest directly which worked out much better since the rock quality was better.

Little Giant from the Little Giant-King Solomon saddle.
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Bad traverse on the south side on Little Giant.
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For the final 200 feet up Little Giant, I climbed up the south side of the east ridge up unstable talus. I arrived on the summit of Little Giant at 6:15 PM. I enjoyed the views and returned back to the Little Giant-King Solomon saddle via the ridge crest which worked out much better.

Vestal Basin from the summit of Little Giant.
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King Solomon Mountain from the summit of Little Giant.
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Once at the saddle, I ended up climbing King Solomon's southwest ridge bypassing a small cliff on the east side. After bypassing the cliff, I returned to the ridge crest and reached the summit of King Solomon at 6:40 PM.

King Solomon from the Little Giant-King Solomon saddle.
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From the summit of King Solomon, I followed King Solomon's north ridge until I was able to take grassy slopes down to the trail which took me back into Little Giant Basin. The trail made for an enjoyable descent and I returned back at my car at 7:05 PM. I was surprised at the amount of smoke in the air which I later learned was from the Weber fire which had just started a few hours prior to my climb.

Summit block of King Solomon.
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Little Giant from the summit of King Solomon.
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Vestal Basin from the summit of King Solomon. Smoke from the Weber fire can be seen.
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Red skies from the smoke.
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Little Giant from where I parked.
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More smoky skies.
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More smoky skies.
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Route Map.
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Thumbnails for uploaded photos (click to open slideshow):
 


  • Comments or Questions (7)
Matt


Taking advantage...     2012-06-25 13:51:15
1. Working down in DGO
2. Long days
3. Conditions that allow for those spectacular last two pics.
Thanks for posting.


I Man


Well done...     2012-06-25 15:34:42
As usual my friend. Not that I'm happy about fires, which obv I am not, but some of your pictures are truly incredible!


FireOnTheMountain



In the Court of the Crimson Furthermore     2012-06-25 15:42:33
Pshhhh, don't you gain 1900' in your sleep? That would mean you slept up these. Cool report.


FireOnTheMountain



In the Court of the Crimson Furthermore     2012-06-25 15:42:00
Pshhhh, don't you gain 1900' in your sleep. That would mean you slept up these. Cool report.


sunny1


Fantastic pics!     2012-06-25 17:22:02
Congrats on the climb.
Bummed - but not surprised - to see the smoke. Seems to be an unfortunately too common phenomenon right now.
Thanks for posting!


Furthermore


RE: ITCOTCK     2012-06-25 21:59:47
Abe- 98% don't get it; but oh so good. Not my favorite album of theirs but still a damn good one.


piper14er


and I thought I was the ”piper”     2012-06-26 06:25:14
one small (or little) step for Furthermore one Giant leap for other men - nice to stay in Durango



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