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 Peak(s):  Little Horn Pk  -  13,143 feet
 Post Date:  02/22/2009 Modified: 02/23/2009
 Date Climbed:   02/21/2009
 Posted By:  piper14er

 Little Horn Peak   

13,143 Elevation
530th ranked peak
Trailhead 8975'
Vertical 4200'
Roundtrip 7.5 miles +/-
Class 3

South from Westcliffe to Schoolfield Road, west to Macy, south on Macy to Horn Creek Road, right 3.5 miles past the Horn Creek Ranch (bear right), 1/4 mile to trailhead. There is a sign there that says Rainbow Trail 0.25 miles.

Started at the Rainbow Trail parking and headed to the intersection of the Rainbow Trail. Took a right for 100 feet and then took a line straight up and along the ridge to Little Horn Peak (see map below). The dashed line takes you to the saddle using the Horn Creek Trail. Not knowing how much snow there would be on the steeper south slopes I opted for the ridge. My route follows the red dots.

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It was a perfect day, blue skies, no wind and a nice temperature for working your way up the slopes.

Snowshoed through 6" to 18" of powder and some hardpack through most of the treed section after leaving the Rainbow Trail. Deeper snow on the steeper parts. There were two areas along the way where I had to take off the shoes and then put them back on.

Are we sure about this?

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Looking back through trees.

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Critter paws.

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Ridge snow.

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First look at Little Horn Peak with Fluted Peak to the right.

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Finally out of the trees at about 11,700' and the first look at the ridge. I did not stash my snowshoes (thanks dbaker) until I got to the next bump in the ridge where the trees basically ended.

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Okay this is a look at the ridge but not the summit. If you like false summits you will like this climb. If you love false summits you will really love this climb.

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First look at the Class 3 section. This is not the summit. I followed the ridge top at first but then it back and forth from north to the south sides and back on the ridge top.

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Heading for the snow gulley.

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Rock dog.

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Up the gulley towards a false summit.

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I think that could be the summit.

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Sun dog on the top.

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The obligatory tube picture. I need to remember to put a pen or pencil in the pack. There was not a register in the tube so I left the trip report pages I was using for a guide in the tube.

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Looking back down the ridge. I had so many good pictures of the ridge and the different false summits but too many for one report.

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The Crestones, Humbolt and Mount Adams were amazing on this day. Here are some pictures.

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Horn Peak.

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This was a shorter distance climb but it was a tough one. Hiked out in the dark the last mile or so. The combination of steeper slopes, breaking trail from 9100' up to 11,800' or so and then the Class 3 scambling added up to a longer day but well worth the effort.



Thumbnails for uploaded photos (click to open slideshow):
 


  • Comments or Questions
Kevin Baker


Little Horn is tough in winter     2009-02-22 21:06:57
Kudos on a tough solo climb in winter. I really despised those false summits too!


piper14er


Thanks.     2009-02-23 06:18:59
I used your trip report from SP for the inspiration. After looking at your report again you had 8.5 miles which seems probably closer than my 7.5 mile approximation plus the weather you had was certainly not ideal. I could not have had any better weather.


Furthermore


Nice Work!     2009-02-24 09:13:33
Nice work. I have been looking at this one for a winter outing.


sgladbach


Great job     2009-02-24 09:14:52
I know that ridge can be toughie in the winter. Looks like you caught it pretty dry. You should be proud of that one!

Steve

PS.

For those of you who have not climbed it in the winter, the alternate (regular summer route) shown on the map as a dotted line is much easier.


piper14er


Much appreciated     2009-02-24 10:42:02
I did like this climb.



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