| The late season quincunx
Virginia Peak 13,088
West Virginia 13,140
"Sheep Rock Mountain" 13,255
November 18, 2008
~13.5 Miles ~4,900 Gain
With perfect weather forecasted and low snow levels, I couldn't pass up the opportunity to get out for a longer multi-peak day. I chose to do some less climbed thirteeners near Winfield. I left my house in Lakewood at 3:50 AM and drove to Winfield in just over 2 hours, where I starting hiking around 6:20 AM. Unfortunately, a large sheet of ice covered the beginning of the 4x4 road, so I didn't get to park as high as I wanted. It is nearing the end of November, so what could I really expect?
I hiked up the 4WD road to ~10,500 and headed west toward a gulch directly to the east of Winfield Peak. From the gulch I headed up a southeast to a ridge which took me to the point between Winfield Peak and Virginia Peak. On the climb up the ridge there was about 2-3 inches of snow in the trees and once I got above timber line, most of the snow had blown away. When I gained the north ridge, I enjoyed the class 2 hike to the summit of Virginia and summited around 8:30 AM.
The views of the Apostle's were excellent from the summit of Virginia, and after a short snack I headed down west ridge of Virginia toward "West Virginia." The ridge was Class 2 and shortly thereafter, I was on the summit of "West Virginia." The ridge to "Sheep Rock Mountain" looked interesting with snow but after climbing it, the ridge did not exceed class 2.
From the summit of "Sheep Rock," Point 13,235 and Point 13,253 looked far away. The weather was perfect and the wind hardly blew at all. After taking a break, I started the long traverse over to 13,235. There were lots of ups and downs as I made my way to 13,235 but it was easy going at class 2.
After reaching the summit of Point 13,235 I made my way to 13,253, which appears to have two summits at the same height. Neither one had a register and both had cairns. Go figure. After I summited both summits, I worked my way back to the saddle between 13,235 and 13,253. From here, I found a somewhat gentle slope leading to the northeast which I took into Silver Basin. Once I got lower in the basin, at ~12,600, I finally had to put on my gaiters. The snow was thigh deep in some spots but for the most part the snow was about 2-5 inches deep.
The bushwhack out of Silver Basin was somewhat time consuming with a few inches of snow and downed timber, but I managed to get back to the car at ~3:00 PM. I forgot how much just a few inches of snow could slow me down. Overall, it was an excellent November day with no snow or wind and was a sweet n' short combo for 5 peaks.
"West Virginia" from the north ridge of Virginia
Apostles from Virginia
Looking back at Virginia from "West Virginia"
Ridge up to "Sheep Rock Mountain"
Looking back at "West Virginia from "Sheep Rock Mountain"
Point 13,235 and Point 13,253 from "Sheep Rock Mountain"
Looking back up Silver Basin.
Looking back at up Silver Basin from the bushwhack I thoroughly enjoyed.
Thumbnails for uploaded photos (click to open slideshow):