| Wonderful day in the Sangres on Eagle Peak
Eagle Peak (13,205')
Partner(s): Susan Paul
Trailhead: Approx. 8,700'/3/4 miles past Rainbow Trail Camp
Distance: Approx. 11.50 miles
Elevation Gain: Approx. 4,700'
The weekend weather reports were bleak; however I thought we might have a chance to make it up a cool looking 13er in the Sangre de Cristo Mountains.
To get to Eagle Peak we headed southwest on Hwy 115 to Hwy 50, then west to Hwy 67, then south on Hwy 67 to the town of Hillside. From there we located CR198 and drove west to about ¾ mile past Rainbow Trail Camp. The road was pretty rocky and slick with fresh snow. Even though it was just 10 degrees, there wasn't a cloud in the sky, and within 10 minutes we were already down to our base layers. What a great day for a climb!!
Eagle Peak (second peak from left) as we drive up CR198 toward Rainbow Trail Camp.
Eagle Peak from along CR198.
We followed the road for about 3.5 miles to Rainbow Lake. The snow up to this point was excellent as it supported our weight quite nicely with snowshoes, with only the top several inches being powdery from the recent storm(s).
Eagle Peak from Rainbow Lake.
From the lake we left the road and contoured around its north side and hit a saddle to the east of the lake to start the very exhausting ~600 foot, steep climb through the trees, with many large snow drifts in route.
After plowing through all that snow, we were happy to finally break tree line. Susan graciously offered to break trail – on the way down.
Once on top of the ridge it became much easier and pretty straight forward. Noting the spindrift rising in the distance, we donned shells and facemasks, and traded our glacier glasses for goggles, before continuing southwest toward the summit.
Eagle Peak northeast ridge.
Nearing the first steep bump along the ridge to summit Eagle Peak.
As we neared the final summit ridge the nice tundra gave way to tedious talus, it started to snow, the wind picked up, and visibility dropped to nothing.
Working up the first steep bump as the weather moves in.
Looking down the northeast ridge with Rainbow Lake below.
Above the first steep bump in the ridge we could finally see the summit a short distance away along a sometimes narrow, heavily corniced ridge.
The final summit ridge.
The weather started to clear quite nicely as we neared the summit allowing for wonderful views!!
The final steps to the summit.
Me on the summit.
Congrats on a hard-earned summit Susan!!
Looking southwest with the cool looking connecting ridge to Thirsty Peak.
A few panoramas from the summit:
Looking southeast toward Spread Eagle Peak (13,423' – center) and Electric Peak (13,598' – far right).
Looking south toward Electric Peak (just left of center) and Lakes Peak (13,375' – far right).
Looking southwest toward Lakes Peak (left), Thirsty Peak (13,213 – center), and Point 13,123 (far right).
Looking south-southwest toward Point 13,123 (left) and Cottonwood Peak (13,588' – center).
The wonderful descent. Want to go hiking again? Like next week
Thanks again Susan for joining me on yet another trip since I greatly enjoyed your company.
Thumbnails for uploaded photos (click to open slideshow):