| The Long Way to13085
I wanted to take advantage of the early climbing season this year to get into an isolated area of the Holy Cross wilderness and still use snow to move faster. This peak, aka Ribbed Peak, has a nasty south face from Lime Creek, is rarely visited and route descriptions rare. The CMC book is helpful only to remind you to take a rope.
Reviewing my pictures from other peaks in the area, and close reading of the USGS topo and corresponding images from Google Earth, I thought there would be a nice route in the region of the East face. I was right! To follow this report, use the topo maps--Mount of the Holy Cross and Mount Jackson.
So I packed into Treasure Vault Lake over Missouri Pass on the Missouri Lakes trail, and made camp. I had considered making my way over to Blodgett Lake, but decided to cut the backpack short. Did I mention I hate backpacking? Also the bare ground made for speed, so the extra half hour in the morning more than compensated for lugging stuff over yet another mile.
Treasure Vault Lake from Missouri Pass, 13085 distant
After fighting off a deranged marmot I spent a warm night. The sun was up early and so was I. The hike over to the action on 13085 took longer than anticipated (of course) and only provided game trails at times. Try to stay between 11800 and 12000 feet after passing Blodgett Lake and contour to a shallow pass overlookng West Cross Creek ENE of 12935.
North of Blodgett Lake, Savage Peak distant
Drop about 300 feet or so to the ponds below, grass is easy walking; don’t contour into the basin like I did—wasted about 45 minutes crawling over talus, and so on.
11700 feet, Upper West Cross Creek
I worked my way westerly, on rock, snow, grass and the occasional ptarmigan to a nifty lake at 12200 and now my route clarified itself.
12200 lake, east face 13085, route in red
I took the northerly snow couloir and did not require crampons. The southerly snow would be feasible in better snow conditions, but leaves you on the East ridge with more than a few difficulties. Two-thirds up I traversed to the north on stable rock and dirt which took me to the north ridge (surmounting one quarrelsome snow collection when I needed to traverse back to the south).
Upper east face 13085, route in red
The final two hundred some feet was decent rock, 3rd class, with two moves I considered 4th class. I had to move to the ridges’ right side for the last hundred or so feet to avoid the slabs.
North ridge 13085, route in red, broken line behind ridge line
I topped out about forty feet from the summit cairn, then looked 2400 feet down to Fairview Lake. Yep, I definitely found my kind of route on 13085—no rope needed!
Fairview Lake, down there about 2400 feet
No summit register—about half the peaks I do now don’t have one. Personally I think someone takes them away, especially in wilderness areas—something to do with the liberal idea that a summit cannister is permanent human evidence, yadda yadda.
Summit 13085; 13192, Fancy Pass, Missouri Pass distant
13100, Gold Dust Peak, 13346 from 13085, East Lake Creek below
I ate something, took more pictures and reversed my route down. I enjoy tracking myself, as I figure if where I made it up I can usually make it down. Soon I glissaded the snow couloir and quickly walked to the 12200 lake. I just reversed my route with the exception that from the lake I followed a ridge just south of east all the way to the ponds around 11700.
So after about 7.7 miles and 3150 feet elevation gain round trip I was back at camp. Found four holes in my tent from the deranged marmot. The damned thing continued to accost me and I tried to kill it, but all I had were my walking sticks. The sonuvabitch just laughed at me and finally left to fool with other marmots.
The next day I packed out over Fancy Pass, past Fancy Lake and down to the same trailhead. I really like to do circle tours like this, see more country and so on. I did the 13192 on the way. This web site has decent route descriptions for that summit.
13085 from Fancy Pass
So for the price of a backpack hike, I ventured into an untracked area, found a straightforward route up a remote summit, and saw no one for two days. There were no man made tracks of any sort in the West Cross Creek basin, which emphasizes the isolation and beauty of this area.
Almost makes the marmot conflict worth it...almost…
Thumbnails for uploaded photos (click to open slideshow):