| Jagged and the Noname Creek Sweep Part 2
August 4, 2009
Jagged Peak 13,824
Leviathan Peak 13,582
Vallecito Mountain 13,428
~8 Miles, 4,400 Gain
August 5, 2009
The Heisspitz 13,262
Peak Four 13,410
~10.4 Miles, 4,000 Gain
8 Day totals.
~65.7 Miles, 36,800 Gain, 19 13eeners, 1 12ver.
We woke up at 4:20 AM and starting packing up for the short hike up to Jagged Pass. I was going to bolt ahead and climb Leviathan Peak while Kevin and Mike took their time up to the pass; Kevin had sprained his ankle pretty bad crossing a stream descending from Knife Point. I hurried up to the pass and from the pass headed northeast on a faint trail towards Leviathan Peak. Once I reached the Point 13,475 - Leviathan saddle, I headed up the west ridge of Leviathan.
The climbing on the west ridge was fun and some class 3 moves were required, on solid rock. I arrived on the summit at 6:20 AM just in time for the sunrise over The Guardian. What a view. As I descended back to Jagged Pass, the alpenglow on Jagged was astonishing. I arrived back at the saddle at 6:50 AM where I met back with Kevin and Mike. Mike's knee was bothering him so he decided to stay at the pass and watch Kevin and I climb Jagged. Kevin's ankle was doing a little better after he was able to stretch it out a bit on the climb up to Jagged Pass.
After gearing up, Kevin and I started out on the climbers trail towards Jagged. The initial class 4 chimney was easy to find and we climbed the chimney without much difficulty and as advertised by Roach, it was wet. Nonetheless, the class 4 ramp leading to the left, after the chimney, with a pack was certainly interesting with the decomposing granite. Once we reached the grassy ledges after the first class 4 crux, we had no problems ascending the ledges and quickly arrived at the second crux. An ice axe was not required to reach the second crux as most of the snow had melted out.
I scouted ahead and we decided to rope up since the second class 4 crux was a bit more exposed. Within no time we reached the top of the second crux and followed more grass ledges to the third and final crux. I placed a quick anchor for Kevin and decided to climb the left hand branch of the right chimney, not the crack leading directly up. The climbing was easy, 5.0-5.2, and I only placed a #1 BD Camelot. Kevin followed and shortly thereafter we reached the notch to the right of the summit.
Since Kevin isn't as comfortable with exposure, we roped up for the class 3 traverse on the south face, which was certainly exposed. We finally reached the final class 3 chimney and started up. We arrived at the summit at 8:50 AM with clear skies and great views. Jagged was certainly a rewarding summit.
We descended Jagged fairly quickly rappeling down the three cruxes where we arrived back at the saddle at 10:00 AM. I had a very sick feeling as I opened my pack at the saddle; I left my rack of 3 cams and 4 nuts at the top of the third crux in the notch. Fortunately there was another party that was climbing Jagged after us; perhaps they would find my rack and bring it down. Kevin and Mike decided to wait at the saddle for the other party while I knocked out Vallecito and Point 12,890. If the other party didn't have my rack when I arrived back, I was planning on soloing back up Jagged to get my rack, weather permitting.
I continued back down the trail towards Point 13,475 - Leviathan saddle. Once I reached the saddle, I skirted Leviathan's south face at ~13,000 towards the Leviathan - Vallecito saddle. About halfway across Leviathan's south face, there was a nice grass ramp that led to the saddle where it was a class 2 hike up Vallecito's west ridge to the summit. I arrived at 11:20 AM.
The weather was holding out well with blue skies so I continued back down Vallecito's west ridge to the Leviathan - Vallecito saddle and then proceeded south down into the basin towards a lake where I traversed level at ~12,600 west around the lake towards Point 12,890. Once I was on the south side of the basin, I traversed east on the north slopes of Point 12,890. I tried to gain elevation, but granite cliffs from Point 12,890 prevented further progress. I reached a sandy gully between the two summits on the north slopes and then I climbed up the gully to the summit. What great views of Jagged, Leviathan, Vallecito and Oso. I arrived at the summit of Point 12,890 at 12:30 PM.
Sweet, Jagged Pass was higher than my current position. I descended back down the sandy gully and headed directly towards Jagged Pass where I arrived back at 1:15 PM. Kevin and Mike were still waiting for the other group to descend off of Jagged. Good news! They had found my rack and were bringing it down. Whew.
I received my rack and all three of us descended back to camp, cleaned up and hiked back down Noname Basin where we camped near Jagged Cabin at ~10,760.
When the alarm went off the next morning, I did not want to get up. I was tired, sore, mosquito bitten and really wanted to sleep in. Since I only had a two man tent, which Kevin and Mike gladly slept in, I had slept the previous 3 nights outside under the stars where I didn't sleep all that well. After a few curse words, and some frustration with the stove (the other half was stored in a bear sack - cold breakfast), I started my way up the south slopes of Peak Four at 5:30 AM. Since Mike's knee was bothering him and Kevin's ankle was in pain, neither Mike or Kevin were going to join me on these two peaks.
I headed up the steep slope towards the Peak Four - Point 13,342 saddle which was nothing too difficult. I arrived at the saddle, skirted west below the summit cliffs of Peak Four and then climbed a gully to the summit, class 2, where I arrived at 7:30 AM. The morning light on the Grenadiers was inspiring. At this point, it occurred to me that if I hustled I could get The Heisspitz, return to camp, and catch the 3:45 PM train back to Durango and arrive home a day early. I moved quickly.
Hiking down the west ridge of Peak Four went pretty quick as it was only class 2. I quickly made my way towards The Heisspitz climbing up and over Point 13,206 and Point 13,085. As I approached The Heisspitz, the southeast ridge looked interesting. When I got to the Point 13,085 - Heisspitz saddle, the southeast ridge looked fun to climb. I continued directly up the ridge, sustained class 3, and arrived at the summit at 8:20 AM.
Whew, it's all downhill from here. I returned back to the Point 13,085 - Heisspitz saddle and proceeded south down the rocky gully towards Noname Creek. I have to admit, this gully probably wasn't the easiest way back down, and I had to climb down 2 small cliff bands, class 4, to reach the valley floor. After reaching the valley floor, I bushwhacked my way back to camp arriving at 10:00 AM.
We broke down camp and started the long hike out of Noname creek at 10:20 AM, where we arrived back at the Needleton train station at 2:15 PM with plenty of time to catch the 3:45 PM train. I was beat, Kevin's ankle was swollen pretty good, and Mike was doing ok. Just a train ride back to Durango, and a 6 hour drive home.
Overall, Jagged was definitely worth the approach as it was certainly a classic climb. Mike did excellent for his first backpacking trip and summit and I am very fortunate to have such a good friend, Kevin, fly into town from Ohio to help climb these peaks me. Thanks for reading!
Sunrise over The Guardian from Leviathan.
Alpenglow on Jagged from Leviathan.
Sunlight on Jagged.
Hiking to the base of Jagged.
Grass ledges on Jagged.
Grass ledges on Jagged.
Kevin making the moves on the second Class 4 crux.
Class 3 grass ledges.
Looking down the short 5.0-5.2 crux on Jagged.
Final Class 3 moves on Jagged.
Final Class 3 moves on Jagged.
Sunlight, Eolus and Knife Point from Jagged.
Kevin down-climbing the final class 3 chimney to the summit of Jagged.
Exposed traverse on the south face of Jagged.
First rappel down the third crux on Jagged.
Second rappel on Jagged.
Second crux on Jagged. Down and right and then left up a small chimney.
Looking up the first crux as Kevin rappels down.
Third and final rappel.
Grassy ramp on Leviathan to Vallecito.
Jagged from Vallecito.
Point 12,890 from Vallecito Mountain.
Mike hiking out from camp 2.
Knife Point and Sunlight on our descent to camp 3.
Summit of Peak Four.
The Heisspitz from Peak Four.
Traverse to The Heisspitz.
Looking up the southeast ridge of The Heisspitz.
Looking down the southeast ridge of The Heisspitz.
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