| Wayah Gaia is it raining and hailing and...
September 14, 2013
Wayah Peak (Elevation 13,284 feet)
Sawatch Mountain Range
Wayah Peak CO Peak Rank: 411
Unnamed 13212 CO Peak Rank: 474
Mileage: 6.5 - 7 +/- miles
The trailhead is at the end of the road for Fryingpan Lakes. The trailhead from Leadville, take CR 300 south of town, that turns to CR 5A to CR 5, turn left to CR 4 and Hagerman Pass. It is 11 miles to the pass and another 17 miles to the left turn to Fryingpan Lake trailhead. The turn is where the pavement begins. The trailhead from Basalt is on 104 heading east 40 miles +/- to the right turn just before the pavement ends.
Vertical: 3700 feet.
Roundtrip Time: approximately 8 hour’s roundtrip including started on the wrong trail, went up the wrong ridge for a ways and slow going due to wet conditions (snow, hail, rain).
I took the road over Hagerman Pass. The first 7 miles or so are good and then it gets a bit rougher but not too bad. High clearance for sure but I made it up in 2WD.
Ivanhoe Lake from just below Hagerman Pass.
Unnamed 13,212 from the road.
I parked at the end of the road at the gauging station where the trail starts to the left and crosses over a wooden bridge.
It had rained most of the night Friday, so I wasn’t sure how it would look in the morning. I waited until it was light to take a look at the skies before heading out. I was hoping for a window of time to make it to the two summits.
I followed a trail that went along the creek a few feet and headed left into the trees. This did not seem to work so maybe I should have stayed along the creek farther. After meandering a bit, crossing the creek and re-crossing the creek I started up the ridge. This was not the correct ridge for these peaks as I discovered a ways up. Looking to the east I saw the ridge I wanted and traversed that way, losing some elevation before starting back up.
A look ahead after reaching tree line.
The hike up the ridge was not bad, easy bushwhacking but it did get steep as you approached tree line.
The 12er to the west.
A look down to the end of the road and trailhead.
A closer look.
It started okay despite a sketchy start. The sun was shining on Unnamed 13,212 early on and that was a good sign. As Billie Jean and I made our way across the initial grassy slopes and then the rock, clouds were coming in from the south bringing a slight snow squall, then rain.
It was a concern that it could be slick and slow going with all the rain lately, on the climb to the peak.
I noticed the clouds coming from the north. This is not what I hoped for as my thoughts were “a long, long drive only to get turned back”.
The clouds rolling up Marten Creek.
We (Billie and myself) decided to keep going for a little bit farther to see if the rain would stop.
The rock hop ahead.
The first look at the peak makes you wonder what the best route might be. As I said I was concerned about taking a fall on the wet rocks but it did not seem to be too bad.
I decided to skirt around to the south side of the peak to take a look at the possibilities and also to avoid the harder parts of the north ridge.
We ended up just below the summit.
So far the weather was holding out and our window to summit was still there.
Up to now there had been mostly Class 2 with a bit of Class 3 and it looked as if it would stay at most Class 3 to the summit, which it was. I had avoided the exposure and Class 4 climbing that Furthermore had detailed in his report, which considering the conditions I was ok with.
Billie Jean working her way to the top.
The very waterlogged register that I tried to put in the broken glass jar to maybe but most likely not dry out.
We knocked that one off, time to reflect.
The ridge to Wayah Peak.
A look back to Unnamed 13,212.
The drop down the ridge towards Wayah Peak was a bit of a scramble but it does go despite the less than obvious route.
The ridge to Wayah Peak is broken and a bit rough but with careful route finding not too bad. There is some Class 3 and I had one Class 4 crack I down climbed. Maybe it would traverse easier below the ridge but I generally stayed on or near the ridge most of the way. There was one spot along the way where I backtracked 100 feet or so and dropped to the east to go around the last few vagaries.
This is where I regained the ridge after dropping off to the east.
The summit looking south.
A look back.
Another wet register but I was able to sign this one. The register had opened up to this sheet and Billie Jean wondered if she was only the second dog to summit here and how Cooper might be doing? I said I wasn’t sure but probably just fine.
The window closed, clouds rolled in, it hailed for quite a while, then rained again. We were sent scrambling back down to the saddle and down the gully to Marten Creek which Furthermore did not recommend. I wasn’t really interested in going back over Unnamed 13,212. There were a few waterfall cliffs heading down but with some more scrambling left or right it went all the way down.
A look up at the lower section of gully.
Once back down we stayed along the east side of the creek, along the trees and by following the game trail we found it was ok. It was wet but except for very little we avoided getting entangled in the willows and brush. I would say stay away from the creek itself.
The game trail dropped to the creek after a while, so we crossed over and found the main trail. The trail was strong in sections and just trampled grass in others but it went all the way back to the trailhead, except at the end. Funny but we popped out and headed to the car but on the wrong side of the creek and the gauging station. We had to cross the creek, again, to reach the wooden bridge and cross over.
I imagine the trail may go further up Marten Creek but don’t know. We intersected it at, and I am guessing a mile or so up.
One soggy puppy dog.
After looking at the pictures while putting the report together it seemed to look like better weather than it did at the time.
I added the report to add the south side summit route for Unnamed 13,212 and Marten Creek data.
My GPS died a few weeks ago so sorry no gpx this time but basically the same route as the Furthermore report.
We took the road to Basalt going home. It was longer than I had anticipated (40 miles +/-). I at first turned on the Eagle-Thomasville Road but the sign said “Impassible when Wet” and so since it was wet and I had not been on that road before, I went to Basalt. It is a nice drive.
Thumbnails for uploaded photos (click to open slideshow):