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 Peak(s):  Animas Mtn  -  13,786 feet
Thirteen, Pk  -  13,705 feet
Monitor Pk  -  13,695 feet
Twelve, Pk  -  13,140 feet
 Post Date:  07/05/2009
 Date Climbed:   06/30/2009
 Posted By:  Furthermore

 The Ruby Creek Sweep The San Jan Jaunt Pt. 2   

Continued from Part 1.

Day 3-4
Ring. Ring. The alarm went off early again at 4:00 AM and we were hiking by 4:30 AM up the grassy south slopes of Animas-13-Monitor cirque. Once we reached the high basin at 12,600, we headed directly below peak 13 heading for a ramp leading to the Peak 13-Monitor saddle. There are three ramps visible and we took the highest ramp which again, was recommended by Victim #1 and Martin and Garret's book. The ramp starts on the left side of Peak 13 and is nothing more than a class 2 hike up some boulders.

Reaching the Peak 13-Monitor saddle, the sun began to rise, and we ditched our packs where we were immediately confronted with the crux on Monitor. A 30 foot class 4 climb. The rock was solid and the climbing wasn't that exposed. After the class 4 crux, we traversed on the west side of Monitor on class 3 terrain bypassing some gnarly points on the north ridge of Monitor. Instead of descending below a large buttress, I climbed through a small gap to gain a gully leading to the north ridge proper. D'Arcy decided to descend ~50-100 feet to avoid the gap. Climbing the gully was class 3 on loose rock and once gaining the ridge proper, was a fine class 3 scramble to the summit where we arrived at 7:00 AM. The views of the Peak 15, Sunlight and Window were excellent not to mention Jagged.

We descended our ascent route off of Monitor and began our climb of unranked Peak 13. From the Peak 13-Monitor saddle, we did a small descending traverse on the east side of the peak until we could no longer traverse. Only one direction from here. Up. The climbing was class 3-4 up ledges on San Juan scree and was very enjoyable. We arrived on the summit abruptly at 8:00 AM. From the summit, we descended on the very faint north ridge for about 100-150 vertically and slightly below a white painted arrow. We then traversed an exposed snow slope heading west to the north ridge where we descended on class 3 terrain to the saddle.

Easy going now as we traversed on the west face of 13,620 directly toward the summit of Animas. We headed towards the summit of Animas aiming for a gully on the right side of the face. After climbing this gully, we encountered a headwall. This was the crux of Animas. At the base of the headwall, there was a small chimney leading to class 3 ledges which led to the summit. I would rate the chimney as one move of 5.0 followed by fun class 3 scrambling, not exposed, on very solid rock. For me, this was the most enjoyable climbing of the trip. The summit arrived quickly at 9:30 AM.

Our descent off of Animas was uneventful. We returned to the 13,620-Animas saddle, descended south down a scree gully until reaching some cliffs, headed southwest on top of a some cliff bands, into a couloir which then descended us into the Animas-13-Monitor cirque.

Since D'Arcy had already climbed Peak 12, he headed back to camp while I descended to ~12,300 and traversed southeast on the north side of Ruby Basin avoiding some cliffs below Monitor's south face. Once I was around the cliffs, I proceeded up to the Monitor-Peak 12 saddle. From the saddle I made the class 2 hike to the summit where I arrived at 11:45 AM. The views of Monitor's north face and Jagged were impressive. I returned to camp where I met D'Arcy.

Finally, we were able to sleep in; we woke up at 7:00 AM, broke camp and made the long hike out of Ruby Basin. The trip had been a success with good weather and seven summits, six ranked. Without a problem, we caught the train back to Durango, I crashed at a friends house, left my car at the airport and caught an early flight back to Denver the next day.

Overall, I didn't think the Ruby Creek approach was all that brutal. I would suggest climbing Peak 15 from the Little Finger saddle and not the Pigeon-Turret saddle as Martin and Garret suggest. The traverse from the Pigeon-Turret saddle to Peak 15 is brutal, and I wouldn't recommend it. The rock quality on Peak 15 is mixed with some good rock and poor rock with slim pro. Nevertheless, I enjoyed these peaks more than the Chicago Basin Peaks, as the views were outstanding, fun climbing, and of course, solitude.


Early light on Peak 15, Turret and Pigeon.
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The ramp to the Peak 13-Monitor saddle.
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D'Arcy on the class 3 gully leading to the ridge proper on Monitor.
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Ridge proper on Monitor.
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Animas and Peak 13 from Monitor.
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D'Arcy on class 3 terrain on Monitor.
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Crux on Monitor.
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Class 3-4 climbing on Peak 13.
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Class 3-4 climbing on Peak 13.
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Animas.
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Animas.
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Peak 13.
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Looking down on D'Arcy on the the crux of Animas.
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Class 3 on Animas.
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Looking down on the class 3 climbing of Animas.
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Class 3 on Animas.
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Class 3 on Animas.
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The one 5.0 move on Animas.
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Crux headwall on Animas.
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Monitor from the our descent off of Animas.
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Couloir off of Animas leading back to the Animas-13-Monitor cirque.
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North Eolus from Peak 12.
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Impressive north face of Monitor.
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Jagged from Peak 12.
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Peak 15 and Turret returning from Peak 12.
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Thumbnails for uploaded photos (click to open slideshow):
 


  • Comments or Questions (2)
Chicago Transplant


Thanks!     2009-07-06 08:37:53
Thanks for posting this great 2 part TR, I have a feeling this will be very useful when I head down that way for these peaks myself in the future!


lordhelmut


good stuff     2009-07-10 17:04:35
I just noticed this back from my short trip to WA. Awsome trip man, you always seem to be one step ahead of me in planning these epic trips cause I vaugely remember seeing your name on just about every register I‘ve come across. Very good beta, thanks a lot!! Hopefully Kiefer and I can nail these plans down this summer, this will surely be our guidebook.



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