August 16, 2012
~6.9 Miles, ~3,900 Gain
TH: Fryingpan Lakes TH (Easy 2WD, ~3.5-4 hour drive from Denver)
Gerod and I left Denver Wednesday afternoon and made the quick drive to Leadville where we took the high clearance road over Hagerman Pass. On the west side of the pass, we enjoyed changing a flat tire. Unfortunately, I didn't want to return over the rocky Hagerman Pass going home so our drive home was going to take an extra hour.
We parked at the Fryingpan Lakes TH and camped out. The alarm went off at 5:00 AM and we were hiking up the Fryingpan Lakes trail around 5:30 AM. We followed the Fryingpan Lakes trail for a few hundred yards before departing the trail and climbing directly up the north ridge of 13,212. The bushwhacking wasn't too bad but at times, the hill was steep.
Climbing out of treeline, I was amazed at how hazy everything was from the fires in the northwest. Our first view of 13,212 at ~12,500 was rather stunning especially in the morning light. From the north, the peak appears very rugged and almost unclimbable. At ~12,600 on 13,212's north ridge, we encountered a short 50 foot class 3 section. I think it could be bypassed on the west side of the ridge.
Breaking out treeline on 13,212.
First view of the summit block on 13,212.
Morning light on 13,212.
Gerod making his way to the north ridge on 13,212.
First little bit of class 3 on the north ridge of 13,212.
More class 3 at the beginning of the north ridge on 13,212.
Nearing the summit block, we decided to enjoy some fine scrambling directly up the west side of the summit. After a short 100 foot class 3 section to gain the base of the summit monolith proper, we ended up climbing a short class 4 section followed by a steep 75 foot class 3 chimney section to the summit where we arrived at 8:05 AM. Gerod was pretty excited since this was his first scramble.
The west side of the 13,212 summit block.
The first class 3 scramble on the summit block proper.
Gerod on the first class 3 scramble.
Gerod starting the class 4 on the final bit of the summit block.
Gerod working his way up class 4 on the final summit block.
Exposed airy class 3 traverse.
The final class 3 moves to the summit.
Instead of down-climbing the class 4 section, we descended off the south side of the summit, very short class 3 section, and then down a grassy gully, class 2, that headed west. On our way to “Wayah,” we bypassed several rocky towers ~100 feet below the ridge line on the west side of the ridge. Once at the saddle, we bypassed 2 more short rock outcroppings on the east side of the ridge. We enjoyed the class 2 hike to the summit of “Wayah” where we arrived at 9:00 AM.
Class 2 grassy gully on the south side of the summit.
Gerod working his way to “Wayah” peak on the west side of the ridge.
Looking at “Wayah” peak from our traverse from 13,212.
Looking back at the rocky ridge to 13,212.
Perfect weather and hazy views. We descended back to the “Wayah”-13,212 saddle and then down a rocky gully west towards Marten Creek. I would not recommend this descent. Once we reached Marten Creek we couldn't locate the trail indicated on the topo. Continuing downward, we bushwhacked about a mile down river before we found anything that resembled a trail. We arrived back at the car at 11:50 AM.
The not recommended gully descending towards Marten Creek.
Pretty stream crossing near the car (off trail)
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