Cleveland Peak 13,414
“Dead Man” Peak 13,050
Day 3 of 3
June 30, 2013
~12.9 Miles, ~5,400 Gain
TH: Music Pass TH (High Clearance Recommended)
Max difficulty: Class 2/3
Oh the early alarm. Steve, Al, Ryan and I left camp at 3:10 AM. Tired and groggy we almost went in a circle making our way towards the north slopes of Point 13,369, a false summit of Point 13,401. I was hoping for a weakness through the lower cliff-band on the north slopes of 13,369 but darkness didn't provide an easy alternative.
Unable to locate a weakness in the cliff band resulted in some serious bushwhacking. Tall thick willows are almost as good as strong cup of coffee at 4 AM. We should have just aimed for mellowest section (east side) of the north slopes of 13,369 as we lost an hour bushwhacking and navigating around cliff bands.
Those are some fine willows with a mix of pine at 4:00 AM.
Once we climbed through the cliff band, the climbing was much better on grassy slopes. Eventually the grass turned to talus and we traversed to the 13,369-13,495 saddle. Luckily, mellow slopes on the 13,495's southeast face allowed us to traverse below 13,495 to the 13,495-13,401 saddle as climbing up and over 13,495 would have been higher than our first 13er.
At the 13,495-13,401 saddle, we started climbing up 13,401's north ridge. Staying on the ridge crest kept things interesting with some minor class 3 scrambling. Traversing on ledges on the east side of the ridge would have kept the climbing at class 2. We arrived on the summit of 13,401 at 6:15 AM.
Alpenglow on 13,401
Hiking towards 13,401. (Photo by Ryan)
Al working his way up 13,401.
Ryan and Steve nearing the summit of 13,401.
Despite our willow bushwhack, we made fairly decent time to 13,401. Our stay was short and we descended 13,401's south ridge to the 13,401-Cleveland saddle. Once again, staying on the ridge crest provided more interesting class 3 climbing as easier scrambling could be found on the northwest side of the ridge. We arrived on the summit of Cleveland at 7:00 AM where the views of the Crestones were amazing. After a short break, we started our way towards “Dead Man” Peak.
Descending to the 13,401-Cleveland saddle. (Photo by Ryan)
Cleveland from the 13,401-Cleveland saddle.
Sand Dunes from the summit of Cleveland.
Crestones from the summit of Cleveland.
Point 13,384 from the summit of Cleveland.
“Dead Man” from the summit of Cleveland.
Descending down Cleveland's west ridge provided some fun hiking on a solid knife edge-like ridge. Near the end of Cleveland's west ridge was large flat area, the “Punting Green,” where we ditched our packs for the short out and back for “Dead Man.”
Looking for marmots on the “Punting Green.” (Photo by Ryan)
Cleveland's west ridge.
Class 2 talus led us down to the Cleveland-”Dead Man” saddle and back up “Dead Man” where we arrived at 8:00 AM. We returning to the “Punting Green” and started our out and back towards Point 13,384. Some very minor scrambling from the “Punting Green” to the 13,384-Cleveland saddle was encountered. Al led the way to the summit of 13,384, his Sangre 13er finish. Arriving on the summit at 9:30 AM we celebrated Al's finish. He was ecstatic.
Al on “Dead Man”
Point 13,384 from the summit of “Dead Man”
Al's Sangre finish.
The weather was holding but we could see clouds starting to build so we quickly returned to the “Punting Green,” the summit of Cleveland, and back up and over the summit of Point 13,401. Nearing Point 13,401 for our second time, the weather had deteriorated and thunder was in the distance. On our traverse back across 13,495's southeast face we enjoyed a nice sleet/hail storm. A short clearing in weather allowed us to dash back over the 13,369-13,495 saddle towards camp. In the daylight, we found a class 3 weakness that allowed us to take a shortcut back, without willows, to Lower Sand Lake.
Weather rolling in.
Tijeras on the left. Descending back towards Lower Sand Lake. (Photo by Ryan)
We packed up camp and started our trek back towards the Music Pass trailhead where we arrived at 3:15 PM. Once back at the cars, we started discussing our beer/food consuming options in Westcliff and when I went to return to my car, I learned that my car had locked my keys in the car. Violent cursing commenced, sorry about that Al, Ryan and Steve, as I weighed my options for breaking into my car.
Tijeras Peak on our hike out.
My wonderful keyless entry with auto-lock had locked my keys in the car. Knowing that my car loves to do that, I even had a set of keys in my hand but they were the wrong set! Using a metal tape measure, I cut it up trying to make a Slim Jim. That was unsuccessful.
About to break my car window with Al's mountaineering ax, Ryan had informed me that his AAA coverage would rally a locksmith from Canon City to open my car. 3 hours later the locksmith was trying to open my car in a torrential downpour. I felt bad for the poor chap. Within a few minutes, he had opened my car concluding a fine 3 day outing without any broken car windows.
Thanks Ryan for the AAA call out. I owe you. Al, congrats on a fine Sangre 13er finish! I owe you a new tape measure.
My GPS Tracks on Google Maps (made from a .GPX file upload):
Thumbnails for uploaded photos (click to open slideshow):
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