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 Peak(s):  Taylor Pk B  -  13,153 feet
 Post Date:  01/11/2013
 Date Climbed:   01/10/2013
 Posted By:  AndYouSeeMe

 It took me a long time....   

.....To get back on the train" PHISH

Peak: Taylor B(13,153ft)
Distance: 13miles
Vert: 4,000


When I started this report I was under the impression it had only been a month since I had been out in the hills. Imagine my shock when I checked the date on pictures from the last trip up Aetna and Taylor and it was back on November 18th! Despite reasonable excuses of exams, bad weather, work, a trip to Michigan, Christmas, 3 concerts around New Years Eve, and a horrible cold, 7.5 weeks off is not acceptable and will not be repeated in the future.

I have had my eye on Taylor Peak B in RMNP for awhile now and with the current weather window closing and the fact that I was feeling a little better I thought I would give it a go yesterday. My extended break, gluttony, and overindulgence in the past month and half had me not planning on setting any speed records and just hoping to get back to the car with a summit.

Image
Hitting the trail


The drive from Broomfield was very quick with no traffic and I was pulling into the Glacier Gorge TH parking lot at 5:50. There was one other car in the lot whose owners I ran into at the end of the day, they had climbed the classic ice route, All Mixed Up. The weather was a balmy 22 degrees and calm when I set off under clear skies at 6:05.

Lost in my thoughts I forgot to count how many bridges I had crossed and was afraid of missing the shortcut to The Loch. Luckily the area I needed was all tracked out and there were a ton of different trails that all funneled into the official climbers shortcut/winter variation. Knowing this area would be well traveled I left the snow shoes in the car, hoping that I would not regret that decision past The Loch, fortunately I did not. Reaching the Loch right at sunrise was a real treat and it was nice to have microspikes and ice to make a beeline for the opposite shore.

Image
The Loch sunrise


Image
The Loch sunrise


A few minutes after The Loch the trail split again, with the left going towards Sky Pond and the right ascending Andrews Creek towards the Gash. To my relief it looked like a few people had been up that way since the last snow so my decision to leave the snowshoes wasn't going to ruin the day, just make it more slow-going. It was here that I threw on my gaiters and the postholing and random falls off to the side of the trail were the name of the game for the next hour or so as I worked my way up into the Gash and towards the headwall below Andrews tarn. My decision to head to the right side of the obvious clearing was horrible and I would take the other side on the descent and realized I wasted about 30 minutes sparring with the boulders and powder.

Image
Heading up The Gash


Image
Looking towards The Sharkstooth


Image
The Sharkstooth


Eventually I reached the headwall that needs to be climbed to access Andrews Tarn and the glacier itself. Kicking steps was easy up the left side of the slope and before long I was at the tarn and looking up at the final climb up the glacier to Andrews Pass and the Continental Divide. Crampons would have been nice for the glacier, but microspikes did the job well enough. I ascended the steeper left side on some great snow in order to avoid the massive ice sheet that I had seen covering the entire middle of the glacier from down below.

Image
Looking down from the top of the headwall


Image
Andrews Glacier


Image
Looking down at Andrews Tarn and The Loch from top of Andrews Glacier


Image
Andrews Pass and Continental Divide


Topping out on Andrews Pass was bittersweet as I was off the snow with only 1200 ft vert of tundra walking/talus hopping remaining until the summit, but the wind was a constant pain. This last grunt is when my extended hiatus from climbing began to rear its ugly head. The amount of times I had to remind myself that standing there resting was not in fact helping me get any closer to the goal at hand were endless and annoying. Eventually I pulled my lazy ass to the summit, arriving at 10:45. The views where great as to be expected and after some pics and snacks I bundled up and started to head down.

Image
Final slog to summit


Image
View through a notch on ridge


Image
Glacier Gorge and Wild Basin 13ers(and Longs)


Image
Mummy Range


Image
You know who


Image
Looking down to Sky Pond from summit


The descent was uneventful for the most part and I was surprised to see so many people from the Loch back to the car, at least 25 snowshoers/hikers. I made it back to the car at 1:45 feeling like a million bucks, albeit a little tired. My favorite part of the day was the season's first full on face-plant due to a surprise posthole. I came up with a face full of snow laughing out loud and swearing at the same time, ahhhhh winter The physical challenge of this hike was awesome and it felt great to finally be out in the mountains again. That said, the mental benefits of this hike far outweigh the physical. The Freedom of The Hills is most certainly NOT just the title of a book!

Image
The Loch on descent


Image
Icicles


Image
On the drive out


Thanks for reading!



Thumbnails for uploaded photos (click to open slideshow):
 


  • Comments or Questions (9)
dillonsarnelli


THE PARK     2013-01-11 11:55:22
RMNP, such a great spot! And the Loch, at sunrise, and in winter... Sky Pond in winter, awesome. Nice work man.


SilverLynx


Beautiful!     2013-01-11 12:26:14
Great pics of my favorite area in Colorado. You're almost done with the Front Range 13ers!


ChrisRoberts



Nice summit     2013-01-11 12:33:09
Great shots


I Man


Lame Title     2013-01-11 13:59:48
Very happy that you finally got out again. As Lynx Said, you're almost done with the FR 13ers!!


Lemmiwinks


Pic 15     2013-01-11 16:11:13
Nice shot of Longs


geojed


Great to hear     2013-01-11 20:17:09
You finally got out. Hey buddy, I've been wondering where you've been since you hadn't posted anything in quite a while. Thanks for some great conditions beta on some not so nearby peaks!


lordhelmut


must be nice     2013-01-11 20:19:10
thinking you are so much.....

Ok, I'll stop. I really must be nice being able to climb this stuff mid-week. Nice sunrise shots over The Loch.

5 hours for Taylor? Someone needs to monitor your 2 Hearted intake for the foreseeable future till you get those climbing splits down. (kidding)


taylorzs


Nice Aaron!     2013-01-12 06:54:26
Glad you got Taylor, I remember you talking about it last time I saw you. I need to wander up there now that I live in the front range, it is my family's namesake after all.


milan


Great     2013-01-17 08:12:29
Howdy Aaron. lad to see more TR from you, they are always very informative and your pictures are beautiful. Hope to get there next summer and meet you again. M



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