Peak(s):  PT 13,110  -  13,110 feet
Nebo, Mt  -  13,205 feet
Post Date:  11/27/2013
Date Climbed:   08/23/2013
Posted By:  docjohn

 Part 2 Weminuche Wilderness West Ute Creek Walk  

12300 Lake Mt Nebo

The watch alarm went off at 4:15, but I was already half awake listening to the rain on the tent. It lessened and I lit
the stove for cereal and coffee. Rain at four o'clock in the morning is never good at 12000 feet. I let the gruel settle
while the caffeine kicked in. Well, no pain no gain, up and at 'em.

Sunrise over Rio Grande Pyramid

The sky overhead was clear, to the east clouds hovered over the Pyramid. I decided to step it up a notch, took
off quickly and moved along.


Mt. Nebo

I hiked directly up the north northwest ridge and summited 13110, The sky west was clear. To the south, mare's tails
and cirrocumulus warned me not to linger.

The Grenadier Range

Mt Nebo Summit of 13110

Another fabulous view of the Grenadiers and Stormy Gulch west, White Dome northwest, presented itself, and I
rewarded myself with a Power Bar.

South Slopes 13110

Southward I descended to Nebo Pass, the scenery better than the day before. Moving along in the early morning
like this is invigorating, and even though breathing heavily, the psychological uplift helped to push me up the slope.

North Ridge 13230 Mt Nebo Mt Silex

Mt Nebo

13110 13308 13342

I had to ascend what I downclimbed the day before to the near thirteen point, then crawled down the two hundred
feet to the saddle. The five hundred foot climb up Nebo's east ridge is similar in layering to the Grenadiers, but
relatively gentle in gradient.

NeboLake 13169

Summit Mt Nebo

13230 Nebo Lake

Summit Mt Nebo Grenadier Range

On the summit of Nebo, I watched the clouds forming, with no wind. Very early morning monsoon weather, I
guessed a front was near.

Sunlight Peak Vallecito Mountain

Storm King Peak Stormy Gulch

Rio Grande Pyramid 13230

Mt Oso

Time to go, I wasn't interested acting as an early morning lightning rod. I screed down the slope, to the south of the
ridge, back up the ridge below the point, crossed below it on a lousy littered slope then scampered back to Nebo Pass.

Descent Slopes 1230 Mt Nebo

I slowed, taking more pictures on the game trails. The clouds remained stable, building then dissipating.
I wandered into camp.

Rio Grande Pyramid

12326 Lake

So now a decision had to be made. Pack out now or go tomorrow. The weather got better. So I continued to read
and sleep, thereby allowing the default option. Besides eating the rest of my food would lower the weight of my pack, right?
Only the rabbits were more bold. That evening at twilight, the tent door was open, with the netting zippered down.
The rain had come and gone. I thought I was just overly concerned and the next day would be wonderful as I drowsed.
Suddenly I opened my eyes, looking at the rabbit six inches away, trying to chew through the netting! Again this behavior
kept on until dark: what the hell?
So of course it rained in the morning, finally relenting so I could pack up a wet tent, thereby adding back the weight I
dropped by eating all my food.

Bad Weather Rio Grande Pyramid

I hit the trail, contoured around and up to Starvation Pass.

Camp Area 12000 ft West Ute Creek

West Ute Lake

Upper Basin West Ute Creek 13110

The weather was definitely all
downhill, so I booked it down the trail. At treeline three quarter miles from my truck I passed a squawking hawk in a tree. I
yelled at it that there was a tasty meal of two rabbits just the other side of the pass, and it should take advantage of my
scouting. The hawk ignored me. I reached the truck and, sliding the backpack into the bed it began raining.

Storm Brewing over 13342

All in all, a good few days of hiking!

(It rained the next three days in Silverton, closing off good hiking for the while. A tropical storm was crawling up the coast
of Baja, with its counterclockwise flow, pushing Pacific moisture into the San Juans. Along with the usual monsoonal flow of
Gulf moisture, this accounted for the unusual conditions I encountered that week. I consider myself lucky to accomplish
what I did when I did. The prospect of sitting in a tent for three or more rain days is unpleasant at best!)

Thumbnails for uploaded photos (click to open slideshow):

  • Comments or Questions

How hard is Mt Nebo?
06/19/2016 20:02
I will be backpacking with 3 other guys in late July. We are considering climbing Mt. Nebo because it isn't too tall and it's not too far off the trail. However, we are a little concerned about off-trail climbing. Some of the guys have climbed several 14ers, but I think they all had trails. I have climbed only Mt Yale, which had a trail until just before the summit. What can you tell me about the difficulty of the climb to the top of Mt Nebo?


Up Nebo
06/20/2016 07:16
Off trail hiking up Nebo is mainly finding a comfortable route. I don't use GPS points, just topo map and compass (batteries on a map don't die), this hike is on the Storm King Peak and Rio Grande Pyramid quads.
Assuming you are on the pass, 12450, which is on the CD Trail, N of 13000 point. You walk up the slope, there are two minimal rock bands with hidden but straightforward moves up or down. I recommend continuing up to the 13000 point. One can consider cutting west to avoid the elevation which you lose, I do not recommend it, the trip report shows the picture. If your companions are not comfortable with being off trail they would certainly not like it. Back to the 13000 point, walk, scramble down the ridge West to the saddle, 12700, then up the ridge to summit Nebo. There are really no techinical difficulties, just rock and grass. Moving left south of the ridge is more dirt and grass, I descended that way, and cut back to the 12700 saddle, up near to 13000 point, doing the nasty traverse, then retracing my route to the pass.
The Part1 report of this trip shows the southeast slopes of Nebo. If for some reason you are at Nebo Lake, the route is easy and fully visible.
This is a wonderful area, be careful of the weather (go early and fast). You might see someone on the CD trail, but you'll be alone, enjoy. Let me know if I can be of more help.

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