“Baldy Lejos” 13,100
June 12, 2013
~17.0 Miles, ~5,500 Gain
TH: San Luis Pass TH. 4WD highly recommended (~4.5-5 hours from Denver)
Max difficulty: Minor class 3.
Sunrise over Point 12,580
Podcasts made the solo drive to Creede a non event as I arrived at the trailhead late afternoon on the 11th. My alarm went off at 4:40 AM and I started hiking up the San Luis Pass trail at 5:00 AM. Enjoying the trail, I made good time to San Luis Pass where I left the trail heading northeast on grassy slopes towards Point 12,580. The final stretch, class 2, south ridge led me to the summit of Point 12,580 where I arrived at 6:00 AM.
The talus ridge of Point 12,580.
View to the south on 12,580.
Point 13,111 from the summit 12,580.
San Luis from the summit of 12,580
My summit stay was short and I returned to San Luis Pass. To save some elevation gain, I contoured west then northwest staying on the east side of the ridge between “Baldy Lejos” and Point 13,111. Traversing on the slopes wasn't too difficult since the slopes were covered in grass. Once on the south ridge of “Baldy Lejos,” I followed the grassy class 2 ridge to the summit where I arrived at 8:00 AM. San Luis Peak dominated the view to the east.
Grassy contour to “Baldy Lejos”
True summit of “Baldy Lejos”
The ridge between “Baldy Lejos” and 13,111 is long but an easy grassy ridge romp. I didn't want to do any extra gain on my venture to 13,111, so I bypassed any bumps in the ridge to the east except for a false summit of 13,111 which I bypassed on the west.
Crossing the Continental Divide Trail, I started up the final, class 2, loose talus cone of 13,111 where I arrived at 9:15 AM. I returned back to the Continental Divide trail where I followed the trail west down into East Mineral Creek. As the trail ascended over a small pass between East Mineral Creek and Middle Mineral Creek, I left the trail heading south and made the short detour to climb Point 12,479 where I arrived at 10:20 AM.
“Baldy Lejos” from the summit of Point 13,111.
San Luis and Point 12,580 from the summit of 13,111.
On the Continental Divide trail heading towards 12,479.
Summit cone of 12,479.
Clear weather prevailed but a cold wind had started to pick up. My travel on the Continental Divide trail ended and I started a willowy bushwhack across Middle Mineral Creek heading towards the 13,034-12,952 saddle. To my surprise, the ascent gully to the 13,034-12,952 saddle from Middle Mineral Creek was fairly grassy and the loose talus was limited.
North side of 13,034 from Middle Mineral Creek.
Looking up at the saddle of 13,034 and 12,952.
Easy grassy slopes led to the summit of 12,952 where I arrived at 11:45 AM. I returned back to the 12,952-13,034 saddle and followed grassy slopes up the west ridge of 13,034 where I arrived at 12:30 AM. The brisk wind had not died down so my summit stay on 13,034 was short.
Long grassy slopes to 12,952.
Point 13,034 from the summit 12,952.
Next, I was confronted with a short scramble section which I wasn't expecting due to the mellow nature of the peaks. Heading down 13,034's northeast ridge, I found some short-lived loose class 3 scrambling before I regained easy terrain. Most of the scrambling was done on the south side of the ridge and was very limited.
Surprise on the northeast ridge of 13,034.
Looking at the short scramble on the south side of the ridge.
Looking back at 13,034.
To return to my car, I contoured the north end of Rat Creek basin at ~12,400 and intercepted a 4X4 road which took me back to the San Luis trailhead. A healthy warm-up for the following two days.
My GPS Tracks on Google Maps (made from a .GPX file upload):
Thumbnails for uploaded photos (click to open slideshow):
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