| Savage Peak NE ridge
Holy Cross Wilderness Area
White River National Forrest
4.5 miles and 2900', must have been casual Friday.
A fine early spring Gore like peak with relatively easy close access.
Another so so forecast, another Friday, another 13er, SarahT and I left TRex PnR at 4:30, and were hiking by 7:05 up the last one half mile of the Missouri Creek road 704. From Minturn we took highway 24 south to the Homestake Road, then teed right onto Missouri creek road. We had learned from Teresa Gergen that these roads are plowed open early for access to the diversion dams which feed water to the massive Homestake water system that supplies the cities of Aurora and Colorado Springs. If you have ever wondered why the east border of the Holy Cross Wilderness has this huge weird indentation its for these roads and the water project.
The upper part of the road was icy and muddy with 6' cuts through the snow, Sarah was not in her normal gungho 4wd mode and pulled over about a half mile before the diversion dam, below a narly looking muddy uphill section of the road. We walked the road to its end, then snowshoed due west up a fairly steep ridge on relatively good snow, just a few minor post holing areas. Once clear of most of the trees the ridge went easy, a couple of humps and we were on the final pitch to the summit, I measured 35 degrees here, the snow was perfect, so the MSR's with heel elevators were just the ticket to make it a stairway. The views weren't the best because of the clouds but we could see a few miles, and for a few minutes here and there the sun popped clear. The wind was there and felt a little winter like at times, a change from last weekends blast furnace.
The north face of Savage has a great looking couloir, the snow face may be 6 or 7 hundred feet tall, probably not in perfect shape yet but its gotta be close. The rock of this rugged summit did remind me a lot of the Gore peaks. Summit Post has a few better photos and information on the peak and couloir.
We knew Teresa was attempting Holy Cross from somewhere near where we started, that had to be a long day, hope it all went well. She was somewhere north of Missouri Pass. Looked a little foggy up there.
We took a slightly different route down to facilitate a nice glissade, the new wet snow really kicked up and plastered me in the face, I had to stop and put my goggles on. The rest of the hike was fairly uneventful, even on this cool day though the snow had softened some but still no serious post holing. We were back at the car by 12:15, nice to have an easy one for a change.