Milwaukee Peak 13,522
Pico Aislado 13,611
Day 2 of 3
June 29, 2013
~12.3 Miles, ~5,700 Gain
TH: Music Pass TH (High Clearance Recommended)
Max difficulty: Class 4
Since the thunderstorms rolled in early yesterday, we had an early wake up call. The four of us, Al, Steve and Ryan started our hike down from Lower Sand Lake to intercept the Milwaukee Pass trail at 3:30 AM. Luckily, Ryan and Steve had scouted the Milwaukee Pass trail the day prior when they attempted Marble Mountain before getting stormed off otherwise following the trail in the dark through the willow section could have been problematic.
Sunrise over Marble Mountain
The climb up to the Milwaukee-Marble saddle was on enjoyable grass slopes and once at the saddle, we followed the trail up to Milwaukee Pass. Now for the fun. From Milwaukee Pass, we scrambled south to the notch at the head of Milwaukee summit massive. Some 3rd class scrambling led us out of the notch to a very narrow ledge on the south face. The ledge was 3rd class but fairly exposed and everyone glided through the airy moves to the wider grass ledge.
Al working his way to Milwaukee Pass.
Alpenglow on Milwaukee.
Sunrise on Broken Hand and the Crestones (Photo by Ryan)
Al descending into the notch before Milwaukee's summit massive.
Ryan climbing out of the notch.
Ryan crossing the ledge.
Al about to cross the ledge.
Al on the narrow traverse on Milwaukee. (Photo by Ryan)
Climbing to the wider grassy ledge on Milwaukee.
Wide grassy ledge. We took the gully on the left skyline.
Steve and Ryan scouted ahead missing the easier 3rd class route to the summit. Ryan led up a grassy exposed 4th class section which led us to the summit ridge. The climbing was enjoyable, solid and exposed. We arrived on the summit of Milwaukee at 6:40 AM. Our summit stay was short and we started our way down Milwaukee's class 2 grassy ridge.
Looking for different alternatives on Milwaukee. (Photo by Ryan)
Al on the exposed class 4 gully.
Al and Steve near the summit of Milwaukee. (Photo by Ryan)
Pico from the summit of Milwaukee.
From afar, the east ridge on Pico Aislado looks daunting but as we neared the peak, the complex face revealed easy gullies to the summit. Two prominent gullies lead up the summit. Al and I took the gully on the left while Steve and Ryan took the gully on right. Both gullies went at class 3 with a few moves of class 4. There was high anticipation for airy exposed climbing but everyone was a bit disappointed at the scramble. Although the scrambling was good and solid, the scrambling was short and not as exposed as we had hoped. Maybe climbing further right or closer to the ridge crest might provide harder climbing.
Looking up the left gully on Pico's east ridge.
Steve on the upper portion of Pico.
Ryan in the right gully.
Al in the left gully.
We arrived on the summit of Pico Aislado at 7:45 AM. The weather was looking good so we continued onward to Point 13,020. We descended Pico Aislado's class 2 blocky ridge staying to the south of the ridge crest. When we could, we followed an easy gully down to the Pico Aislado-13,020 saddle and from the saddle, we enjoyed a class 2 hike to the summit of 13,020 where we arrived at 8:40 AM.
Crestones from the summit of Pico.
Time wasn't looking good for adding the 12er to the west since we had to climb back up to over 13,000 feet on Milwaukee Pass to get back to camp. Being caught in lightning on that pass would be less than ideal. From the summit of 13,020, we descended 13,020s west ridge to the 13,020-12,989 saddle and from the saddle descended north down a loose talus gully towards a small lake at ~11,800.
Climbing up Point 13,020's east ridge.
Crestones from the summit of 13,020.
Pico on the hike back up and over Milwaukee Pass.
Before reaching the lake, we traversed east in hopes of finding the Milwaukee pass trail. As we made our way eastward, we didn't find the trail until we were hiking up towrads the pass at ~12,800. The trail wasn't obvious in the basin but was fairly easy to locate on the ridge.
Thunderstorm clouds were starting to build as we made our way up and over Milwaukee Pass. Once we were back on the the trail headed towards Lower Sand Lake, the thunder and rain rolled in. It's a good thing we didn't tag on that 12er. I know Al was disappointed. A few sprinkles of rain on our hike back to camp kept things cool. We arrived back at Lower Sand Lake camp at 1:15 PM. Looks like another early rise for tomorrow's adventure. Al has to finish his Sangre 13ers.
Hiking back over Milwaukee Pass.
Another view of Pico.
Milwaukee from Milwaukee Pass.
My GPS Tracks on Google Maps (made from a .GPX file upload):
Thumbnails for uploaded photos (click to open slideshow):
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