| Music - South Ridge
This trip took place at the beginning of the summer (2013,) my apologies for the delayed report.
Headed to Music Pass over the weekend with my wife, a couple of her friends and my long time climbing buddy Braden. We took off for the Music Pass area that Friday night as soon as work would allow with the plan to camp at the Music Pass trail head that night. I was quite excited for this particular trip as this would be my first time to this special area of the Sangre's - our experiences over the weekend would not disappoint. A revisit is a must.
The plan went as follows:
Saturday - Backpack in to the lower lake, climb Milwaukee and Pico.
Sunday - Climb Tijeras and Music, backpack out
All went according to plan - truly a blessed weekend. Will cover Milwaukee and Pico in another report, this one specific to our day on Tijeras and Music.
Braden and I felt a bit lethargic heading into Tijeras and Music Sunday morning. We had quite the adventure the day before huffing it through the snow that still swamped the trees up towards Milwaukee Pass. Milwaukee and Pico = super fun. Snow clogged trees = no fun. However, better than loads of caffeine was our view of Tijeras from the lower lake - waking up was no problem from here.
We plowed upward through some intense willows above the lake and on to the lower cliff bands which guards easy access to Tijeras' broad eastern facing slopes. The access ramp was further to our right but we headed on straight up the cliff band via a small "break" in the cliffs. This proved to be a bit spicy with a bit of wet, exposed class 4 but nothing serious. *Note to self, use the ramp next time.
Tijeras was straightforward, we cruised on up to the ridge described in Dave Cooper's scrambles book for some fun Class 3 to the summit. Music's south ridge was the real gem of the trip, looming ever-so ferociously over our shoulders as we ascended the Tijeras' Ridge. From on top of Tijeras our view of Music's south ridge was unobstructed...and dauntingly calling our names.
We headed on down Tijeras' ridge and on to the small saddle between Tijeras and Music. This saddle offers a great spot to contemplate your comfort level with exposure...
The steepness of the ridge ahead of you relents a bit the closer you get to this saddle - as seems to be the case with many mtn experiences. Regardless, it does stay quite steep.
So I eat some food, drink some Powerade, high-five Braden and head up the ridge.
You'll notice right away that the rock is amazing, very solid. The route heads up some initial steps just to the right of the true ridge crest. You'll find yourself pushed up to the true ridge shortly, once pushed to the ridge proper you'll find the exposure to be quite "obvious." However, we found the rock to be fantastic and the angle to never really reach overwhelming levels. Now mix with a real aesthetic "knife-edge" profile and you may see how I found this ridge to quickly became what may be my personal favorite to date.
Along the ridge you'll run into two "notches" where some lower class 5 moves are required. These would be the crux's of the route. We stayed true to the ridge through these notches as handholds and stable rock surrounds you. Staying true to the ridge is the name of the game and proved to be a very fun and successful route for Braden and I. To be honest, there really isn't many options besides staying true to the ridge. One down-side: this ridge goes quite quickly, you'll find yourself topping out and cruising on over to Music's true northern summit in no time. Some fun class 3/4 will take you from the the top of the southern ridge to Music's true summit. Mind your steps here as exposure is still prevalent!
We took photos, high-fived many times and headed on down the east ridge which holds some fun class 3 scrambling.
Bushed-whacked through some snow-laden trees, met up with the rest of our group and backpacked up and over Music Pass.
All around this a most excellent area with superb peaks which offer wonderful scrambling.
I'll have to say it again, Music's South Ridge may just be my favorite to date.
Thank you for reading!
Thumbnails for uploaded photos (click to open slideshow):