| 14ers.com Halloween Climb/Fall Gathering: Huron Peak (Northwest Slopes)- South Winfield TH
Date: Sunday, October 28, 2007
Team: Cheesehead, JB (+ friends Emily and Lisa), csuram, USAKeller, comin2getcha, wildbrookie, mtnmike (+ Ben and Dex), CarolinaMtnGuy, ScottP and Kessler, MountainHiker, MountainHikerette, mountaingoat-G, Vermont, and colospgsbryan
Route: Northwest Slopes from South Winfield
Total mileage: ~6.5 miles (3,500ft. of elevation gain)
Lance and I left Boulder Saturday afternoon to meet MountainHiker, MountainHikerette, wildbrookie, mountaingoat-G, Scott P and Kessler for lunch at Rosie's Brewpub in Leadville. SKIBREC (Mike and Gail) had stayed at the Leadville Hostel and dropped in to say hello and give us conditions of the road to Huron. Scott mentioned that he and Kessler had also been staying at the hostel; after lunch, we all walked up the road to check it out. Thoughts of waking up in a warm environment prevailed and our group decided check in there for the night. comin2getcha and I drove to Winfield to post signs letting the people who were planning on camping overnight know where we were. That night, we enjoyed good conversation and went to sleep fairly early.
We left the hostel at 5:30am Sunday morning to Winfield. The road up to the trailhead had several icy spots, but we all made it up there without any problems. JB, Emily and Lisa (JB's friends), csuram, Cheesehead, CarolinaMtnGuy, and mtnmike met us there. Surprisingly, it was much warmer out than we thought it would be.
The 14ers.com group at the trailhead:
Our group started up the trail at 7:15am (temperature: 31 deg.). The trail was nearly dry with a few icy spots here and there. Five year-old Kessler lead the first half of the climb. Most of us also were surprised at how little snow there was below treeline - the trail remained dry. In the basin northwest of Huron, the snow gradually became deeper.
mountaingoat-G, colospgsbryan, CarolinaMtnGuy, wildbrookie, and Cheesehead hike up through the forest:
Part of our group hiking towards the basin (taken from 12,100ft.):
mtnmike (with Ben and Dex), Kessler, Scott P, csuram, JB, and Emily lead the first
group through the basin towards the steep pitch below the north slope of Huron:
From about 12,600ft. and up, the powder snow was mostly continuous along the slope and trail. Although it was deeper in some areas (at least 6 inches), there was no need for any traction or flotation. Trekking poles were nice to have though. The entire group dispersed once we hit the giant slope north of and below Huron. From the ridge crest to the summit, we climbed on a snow-packed trail with icy talus underneath.
Part of the group climbing up the slope towards the ridge crest just below Huron's summit. Huron Basin (where most of the snow started)
can be seen in the upper left part of the photo (taken from 13,000ft.):
Browns Peak (13,523ft.) from the ridge (taken from 13,400ft.):
The first group summited in 3hrs. 15min. (at 10:30am). Again, we were all pleasantly surprised with the temperature, and a lack of high winds on the summit. We ate some snacks and chatted, while the rest of the group joined us 15-20min. later. The views weren't spectacular, however, due to the haze from the California fires. The east sides of the surrounding peaks are pretty much snow-free.
14ers.com group summit shot on Huron Peak:
Back row, left to right: CarolinaMtnGuy, Cheesehead, colospgsbryan, mtnmike, USAKeller, comin2getcha, JB, and wildbrookie
Front row, left to right: csuram, Vermont, mountaingoat-G, Emily, Lisa, MountainHikerette, and MountainHiker. Missing: Scott P and Kessler
Another photo of the group on the summit:
comin2getcha handcuffing me on the summit; the prisoner (wildbrookie) is coming up next!:
After a 45min. summit break, it was getting cold and we started to head back down (at 11:15am). We met Scott P and Kessler at 13,600ft. on their way up. They decided to head back down with us.
mtnmike leading back down the ridge:
Kessler telling his dad he wanted to turn around:
The majority of the group coming down from Huron:
La Plata Peak from treeline:
We made great time on the way down, blazing our own trail and glissading (sort of!) down the north slope of Huron. Kessler had a lot of fun with this! Most of us arrived back down at the cars 2 hours later at 1:15pm (temperature: 55 deg.). Huron was a great climb this time of year for a Halloween Climb/Fall Gathering. Thank you to all of those that came out- it was a wonderful day meeting new people!
Thumbnails for uploaded photos (click to open slideshow):