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Peak(s):  San Luis Peak  -  14,014 feet
Post Date:  07/06/2008
Date Climbed:   07/03/2008
Posted By:  Gabe K


 San Luis Peak: Stewart‘s Creek TH   

This is #22 for me! Yeah Baby! I am getting closer to my goal of baggin‘ them all!

I am out here in Colorado for my third summer of volunteering for the National Park Service at Curecanti National Recreation Area, and The Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park. All three summers I have a very small window of opportunity to bag as many 14ers as possible, because, realitistically, I only am here for 7-8 weeks. I got hooked on the 14ers during my first summer out here, and have been animent about trying to summit as many as I can. I was excited to see ALL the snow in the mountains, but knew that this summer might be a challenge for getting some peaks bagged. Also, I have begun section hiking the CDT as well, so that has taken up some of my few weekend trips that I have while I am out here. Anyway....

I heard rumors that the 30 or so miles of dirt/gravel roads to get to San Luis Peak were in great shape, so I attempted to summit San Luis Peak on my one day off during 4th of July week, hoping to bag my first 14er of the summer. The dirt roads from 114 to the trailhead are the most pristine gravel/dirt roads that I have ever driven on in Colorado. They rival some of the paved roads here. I was amazed at the condition that they were in, because there is really nothing out there worth taking the time to keep the roads in good condition for.

I slept at the trailhead in my Subaru Outback, and woke up at 4:30AM and was hiking by 5:00AM. I coworker went along with me. We hiked for about an hour by headlamp, through a wonderful forest along a stream full of beaver ponds. Ocassionally we‘d hear splashes of their tails warning other beavers of our presence. I noticed my friend, Veronica, was having difficulty as we neared the tree line. So, I would periodically stop, wait for her to catch up, let her rest, and check to see if she was alright. We got to the tree line at about 7:00AM. And I decided to go for the saddle, I got to the middle of the saddle and noticed that Veronica was having great difficulty. So I paused with my ascent and waited. She got to me, and we had a discussion if she felt good, and able to continue. She said for me to go ahead, and I did. I made it from the saddle to the summit by shortly after 8:00AM. It was an amazing view! Beautiful vista views all around, and still plenty of snow in the heart of the San Juans to the east near Lake City. I looked down to the saddle to see Veronica‘s status and noticed she made it to the saddle. I waited on top for about 1 1/2 hours for her to reach the summit. She did it! Her first ever 14er! I was proud she made it, but the mountain took a toll on her. I felt strong on the hike! And feel that I will be well acclimated within a week or two, for more 14ers or a BIG backpacking trip that my friend and I might attempt, which is a 48 mile trip beginning bagging Torrey‘s & Gray‘s, then continuing along a 13,000‘ ridge. We think we can do it in 2 1/2 days. Any advice on the conditions of this section of the CDT would be much appreciated. We are wondering if snow is still on the trail above 13,000‘.

AWESOME Hike up San Luis Peak! Very gradual ascent up the trail, the only "difficult" part, if you call it that, was the saddle. But, it was one of the easiest 14ers I had ever done. The most difficult thing was getting to the trailhead, because it is so remote.



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