| Lake Hope Thirteeners, San Juans
July 29, 2009
San Miguel Peak 13,752
"V 9" 13,260
Rolling Mountain 13,693
~12.2 Miles, ~6,900 Gain
July 30, 2009
"V 8" 13,300
Beattie Peak 13,342
~7.8 Miles, 3,800 Gain
After getting off work at 5:15 PM, flying into Durango, and making a quick detour drive to Telluride, I arrived at the Lake Hope trailhead around 11:00 PM where I ended up sleeping in my car. I woke up at 4:45 AM and was hiking up the Lake Hope trail by 5:15 AM. It was a nice change to hike on such a pleasant trail. Once I reached Lake Hope, I backtracked down the trail and hiked around the north side of Point 12,047. I walked across the Lake Hope dam and started up the grassy northeast slopes of San Miguel Peak and from there started up the class 2 northeast ridge. Prior to the summit on the east ridge, I bypassed a notch by climbing on some loose rocky class 3 terrain on the north side of the ridge. I arrived on the summit at 8:10 AM.
From the summit of San Miguel, the traverse directly on the ridge to "V 9" looked time consuming so I retraced my steps back to the grassy northeast slopes where I descended to ~12,600 and started traversing east then southeast toward the "V 8" - "V 9" saddle. After crossing a stream, I further descended to ~12,300 and traversed below some cliffs on the northeast face of Point 13,268. After bypassing these cliffs, I hiked directly to the "V 8" - "V 9" saddle. The hiking wasn't pleasant on talus but I wanted to avoid losing another 200-400 feet of gain.
Once I reached the "V 8" - "V 9" saddle, I started up the northeast ridge of "V 9." The climbing was class 3 on fairly "solid" rock and was enjoyable. The summit arrived abruptly at 9:50 AM where it appeared some weather was already starting to build. I didn't spend much time on the summit and quickly started to descend the class 2 southeast ridge of "V 9."
I reached the "V 9" - Rolling Mountain saddle in about 10 minutes and started up the loose talus northwest ridge of Rolling. When the climbing became steeper, the rock became more solid. The climb up to the west summit of Rolling Mountain became class 3 on some unique rock; I reached the west summit and headed toward to the true east summit which was class 2. I was starting to feel tired as I moved fairly quickly to avoid some building weather. I reached the summit of Rolling Mountain at 10:50 AM where I had some great views of Vermillion.
Weather was starting to build quickly, so I moved hastily as I headed back to the "V 9" - Rolling Mountain saddle. From the saddle, I was planning on traversing back to the "V 8" - "V 9" saddle; however, there was a large cliff band on the northeast side of "V 9" - Rolling Mountain saddle that prevented me from descending into the south fork of Mineral Basin. Nevertheless, I bypassed this cliff band by climbing back up "V 9" for about 100 feet, then down-climbing on some ledges, class 3, into the basin. Once I was in the basin it was a easy hike to the "V 9" - "V 8" saddle.
My original plan was to climb "V 8" and Beattie Peak with my other peaks but the weather didn't look like it was going to hold out. From the west, I could see blue skies so I decided to wait to see if the weather was going to improve. I took a quick nap below the saddle, and woke up to blue skies. I decided to give "V 8" a try so I started up the southwest ridge of "V 8;" the climbing wasn't pleasant on the loose talus. Just prior to the summit, I heard some thunder in the distance. I didn't feel like being a lightning cooked cadaver today so I started down. Bummer. I was so close.
As I started down, the clouds became dark and it started to rain as I passed the lake. I picked up my pace as I hiked down, and when I was below treeline, it began to hail pea sized hail. When I arrived back at my car, it was still raining. The only commitment I had tomorrow was to pick up a friend from the Cortez airport, so I decided to camp again near the Lake Hope trailhead and try for "V 8" and Beattie the following day.
Since my friends' flight arrived in Cortez at 10:30 AM, I had to get up extra early for these two peaks. I woke up at 3:50 AM and was hiking back up the familiar Lake Hope trail by 4:15 AM. Once again, I reached the "V 8" - V 9" saddle and started up the crappy southwest slopes of "V 8." The sunrise was excellent and the colors on the surrounding peaks were surreal. I reached the summit of "V 8" at 6:40 AM.
After a quick break, I started the enjoyable class 2 traverse to Beattie Peak where I arrived at 7:15 AM. Vermillion looked pretty cool with a light dusting of snow or perhaps leftover hail from the storm the day prior. I proceeded down the class 2 north ridge of Beattie to the Beattie-Fuller saddle and then proceeded west back into the basin towards Lake Hope. Unfortunately, I would have to say that climbing "V 8" and Beattie Peak alone are not worth the effort and that they should be combined with Vermillion to make a more rewarding outing. I
It was long talus hop back to the Lake Hope trail where I arrived back at my car at 9:00 AM. I made the drive to the Cortez airport on time and picked up my climbing partner for the next 6 days.
San Miguel from the grassy slopes.
Summit ridge to San Miguel.
"V 9" and Rolling Mountain from San Miguel.
East summit of Rolling from the west summit.
Vermillion from Rolling Mountain.
Interesting Class 3 on Rolling Mountain.
Interesting Class 3 on Rolling Mountain.
Looking up Rolling Mountain's north ridge.
"V 9" on the descent from Rolling.
Rolling Mountain from the "V 8" - "V 9" saddle.
Morning light on "V 8."
Sunrise on San Miguel.
Sunrise on Rolling Mountain.
Alpenglow on "V 9."
Sunrise over the summit of "V 8."
Vermillion from "V 8."
Beattie from the traverse from "V 8."
Beattie from the descent.
Vermillion on the descent from Beattie.
Wildflowers near Lake Hope.
Thumbnails for uploaded photos (click to open slideshow):