| San Juan Pointer
Itinerary: Williams Creek TH (9160') to PT 13832 to PT 13811 back to TH
Party: scotthsu (Scott) and Nice Axe (Amy)
Stats: ~13.8 miles RT, ~5700', 8 hours car-to-car
Difficulty: mostly class 1 with a little bit of class 2 here and there
This was day 2 of our brief San Juan sojourn. After a sizable day doing Half and "Quarter" Peaks the day before, the stats for this hike didn't really sink in until 5:30am the morning of, when I looked at the route description again readying for the hike. For some reason, I thought it was closer to 12 miles RT and 5100', which is bad enough already! Well, here we were, and we were gonna go for it!
We hit the trail at 6:10am, bright enough to see w/o headlamps, and followed the good Williams Creek TH as it climbed and climbed and climbed and climbed some more. It was an enchanting place that had it all: forest, creeks, talus fields, beaver dams, sub-alpine meadows. View of Half and "Quarter" Peaks from a meadow at 10380':
Then it was a relentless steady climb all the way to 11500', including this bit of steep nastiness:
At ~12100' we were treated to nice views of our objectives. PT 13832 peeking out:
From the saddle at ~12100', Roach's description says to follow the "continuing road" to cross the east fork of Bent Creek. We didn't see any signs of a "continuing" road either coming or going, so we just walked down toward the (dry) creek through a widely spaced forest. Looking down the east fork of Bent Creek drainage:
After crossing the creek-bed, we headed up a steep slope with some loose rocks and saw this:
We kept climbing steep grass and then stopped for some much-needed calories. It was around 9:15am, and we had already hiked ~5 miles and climbed ~3700' by this point! More steep grass, heading toward PT 13632 (which we eventually skirted to the south):
A view toward PT 13811 with a herd of elk in the lower-right:
Once we could see PT 13832 from just south of PT 13632, it was a bit disheartening to see how much farther and higher PT 13832 appeared. We kept at it and made it to the summit around 10:20am, 4 hours and 10 minutes after starting out. View toward PT 13811:
View to Sunshine (14001') and Redcloud (14034'):
Amy walking back toward the 13460' saddle:
We skirted PT 13632 again to the south and descended to the ~13240' saddle below PT 13811. From there, it was a steady but easy hike to the summit of PT 13811, which we reached around 11:20am. Gratuitous summit shot:
I heart San Juans:
We took another snack break on the summit for about 15 minutes and then headed back toward the 13240' saddle. From there, we headed straight down steep grassy slopes and picked up the Williams Creek trail around 12480'.
It was a looooong hike back, but not without some soulful views along the way:
We made it back to the car at 2:10pm for an 8 hour RT. It was a great 2 days in the Lake City area where we tallied up just under 25 miles of hiking/scrambling and ~10900' of elevation gain.
Thumbnails for uploaded photos (click to open slideshow):