| Badger Mountain Group in Lost Creek Wilderness
Badger Mountain (11,294')
Point 11,053B (11,053')
Point 10,568 (10,568')
Approx. 7.50 miles, 3,100' gain
Trailhead: Wilkerson Pass Visitor Center
Since last weekend was kind of a long weekend of climbing, at least for me, we decided to do something a little lower and closer to home. Neither of us had done anything in Lost Creek Wilderness since the "Alphabetizer" back in November, so I thought this would be a great way to revisit that area and pick up 3 more ranked peaks.
We left Colorado Springs at 7:00am and headed on up toward Wilkerson Pass and arrived at 8:00am to clear skies and warm temps, so we knew it was going to be a hot one!! It was the first time I have started hiking with shorts on in such nice weather in a very long time. We parked at the Visitor Center, crossed the highway, and started heading up Badger Mountain at 8:25am. Badger is that peak directly in front of you, with the communication towers on it, and the other 11er is just behind it, to the northwest.
Badger Mountain from Wilkerson Pass Visitor Center
Point 11,053B from Wilkerson Pass Visitor Center
The first crux is crossing Hwy 24 without getting run over by passing vehicles. From there we just headed straight up a gully that leads more or less just west of the summit where we didn't run into any snow until around 11,000 feet or so, and even where there was snow, it was very shallow.
Just a few downed trees on the summit of Badger Mountain, okay where do we go now?
Once at the communication towers we headed east to the eastern most tower and then continued for another 75 feet or so east to a rock outcrop with a metal box attached to a tree. We arrived on the summit at 10:25am with great views of McCurdy Peak and Bison Peak to the northwest.
Bison Peak and McCurdy Mountain in distance from Badger Mountain.
Congrats on yet another Colorado Peak Susan!! Is this one of the Tower Peak summits you're working on? After taking a brief break for 15 minutes on the summit we started heading for Point 11,053B. At one of the communication towers we noticed a warning sign and after reading it I wondered if I was going to start glowing in the dark or grow a third eye or something from hanging out on the summit, hopefully not.
Thee warning sign, maybe I'll get lucky and grow a third lung
From Badger Mountain we almost thought about just doing some more enjoyable bushwhacking through the trees directly to Point 11,053B, but changed our minds and decided to make the hike a little longer and more enjoyable by just following Badger Mountain Road, which later we discovered was a very good decision since the snow in the trees on the north side of Badger Mountain was very deep requiring probably lots of post holing and without the snowshoes that were resting peacefully in the car we didn't want any of that if we could help it. We followed the road until we reached the saddle between Badger Mountain and Point 11,053B, about 1 ¼ miles down the road from Badger's summit; it is pretty hard to miss as you can see an old campsite along the side of the road here.
Looking up at Point 11,053B from Badger Mountain Road, just above there
From the saddle we just did an ascending traverse up to the south ridge of Point 11,053 and shortly after leaving the saddle we heard some ATVers drive by on the road so we weren't completely alone up here, kind of detracts from the wilderness experience. As we neared the summit it gets a little rocky, but that makes for some fun scrambling instead of a dirt hill side.
Where are we going Doug!!
We reached the summit at 11:38am and it seemed quicker then we expected and actually found a glass jar containing the register where we recognized some the names….. where have I seen those names before?
Who are those guys? It really is a small world!!
Susan and the summit behind, oops didn't get any summit photos again . Congrats on peak #2 today Susan!!
The views were very limited from this summit since all we could see is a little down into South Park. After a nice lunch and some photos on the summit we left at 12:06pm to head for Point 10,568 since both of us weren't ready to head back yet.
From Point 11,053B instead of backtracking toward the Badger/Point 11,053B saddle we just headed down the north ridge which was pretty much snow free and required a little bit of contouring off the ridge to miss rocky/bouldery sections. Once back on Badger Mountain Road we continued north to where the road starts to head hard west. From there the views over to 10,568 didn't look all that pleasing due to all the downed timber, but we thought we would try it anyway so we left the road and followed the ridge down to the saddle that extends to Point 10,568.
Looking east toward Point 10,568 from Badger Mountain Road
This part was the second crux for the day since there was some pretty intense bushwhacking and deep snow to fight our way through and soon enough we hit the bottom at a nice little meadow, just before we had to start hiking back up yet again and once over a little bump in the ridge we could finally see Point 10,568 for the first time and as we neared the summit it got a little rocky like Point 11,053.
OH I bet that feels good . How often do you get to post hole in a sports bra and shorts?
We arrived on the summit of Point 10,568 at 1:28pm, which had a tree growing right out of its summit and surprisingly there was a register with only 2 names on it, signed in 2004, by none other than Mike and Julia Garrett.
Thee summit register
Susan on summit of Point 10,568. Congrats on your 33rd summit this year, 3rd peak this day, and being the 3rd person to sign the register!! Something about threes today…
Me near the summit with Badger Mountain off in distance, now the long slog back
So I am thinking this peak doesn't get climbed much. After a nice little break we left at 2:06pm and started the descend while retracing our route back to Badger Mountain Road, which I really wasn't looking forward to, but ended up being not as bad as I thought. At Badger Mountain Road we headed north to the saddle between Badger Mountain and Point 11,053B and decided to turn down here instead of reclimbing back up Badger Mountain since it looked like it could rain at any minute. As we descended down the gully from the saddle we could eventually hear the cars buzzing up and down Wilkerson Pass from along Hwy 24 and we knew we were close to home. From the bottom of the gully we followed along the highway back up to the visitor center. What a great way to get in two 11ers and a 10er and we enjoyed the great weather for once.
Susan I had a wonderful time and enjoyed your company. Looking forward to hiking with you again someday.
Thumbnails for uploaded photos (click to open slideshow):