| Snow Free Sangre 13eener Galor
Comanche Peak 13,277
Spring Mountain 13,244
Venable Peak 13,334
~13.8 miles, ~6000 gain
Comanche and Venable Trailhead
Comanche Peak from Comanche Lake.
I was debating what to climb since I still had a few days off before I returned for work. I noticed Beth was looking for a partner for some 13eeners since she had Friday off. We decided to hook up and climb some peaks in the Sangres. I woke up at 2:20 AM and met her in Castle Rock at 3:00 AM where we made the uneventful drive to the trailhead. It was foggy and rainy over Monument Pass and we were somewhat concerned about the weather holding out for our climb; however, once we drove out of the Wet Mountains, the skies were clear.
We geared up and starting hiking at 5:30 AM and made good time as we worked our way up the Comanche-Venable trail, Comanche fork. The weather was perfect and we made good time to Comanche Lake where we took a short break. After the lake, the trail steepens as we headed towards the Comanche-Spring saddle. On our way to the saddle we encountered our only snow of the day. Two short sections.
Morning view down the valley on the trail to Comanche Lake.
First view of Comanche Peak
Good weather day.
Comanche Peak from Comanche Lake.
One of two short snow fields. Only snow of the day.
Once we reached the saddle, we ditched our packs and headed up Comanche's class 2 north ridge. A pretty neat ridge. We arrived on the summit of Comanche Peak at 9:15 AM where we had excellent views of the Crestones, Kit Carson and Adams. Shortly thereafter, we descended back to our packs and found some marmots checking out our packs. That didn't take long. Luckily, they didn't have enough time to chew into anything.
Looking back at Comanche Lake
Nearing the Comanche-Spring saddle. Comanche in the background.
Views of Crestones, Kit Carson, and Adams from the summit of Comanche.
Strangely, off to the east clouds were starting to build. We proceeded up Spring Mountains' south ridge, class 2, where we arrived at 10:00 AM. The views were still excellent, but the weather was becoming somewhat concerning. We took a quick break and started down Spring's class 2 northwest ridge. After reaching the Spring-Venable saddle, Beth decided to head down to Venable lakes since she wasn't feeling great and had some concern about the weather. I'm sure the 2:00 AM wake up call wasn't helping either.
Spring's south ridge.
Hiking up Springs south ridge.
Point 12,873 from Spring. Venable Lakes as well.
View to the south from Spring.
I continued upward on Venable's grassy southeast face where I reached the summit at 10:45 AM. The weather didn't change much but still had a somewhat threatening look. It was crystal clear over the Crestones. I took some photos and then hiked down Venable's gentle north ridge towards Venable Pass.
Spring, Comanche and Horn Peak from the summit of Venable.
Views from the summit Venable.
After I reached the pass, I skirted around the southeast face of Point 13,012 to the 13,012-12,873 saddle. From here, it was an easy class 2 romp to the summit of 12,873 where I arrived at 10:45 AM. The weather was breaking up and the sun was beginning to shine. There was a register on the summit but I couldn't open it for the life of me. I bet this peak doesn't get too many visitors.
The easy ridge to Point 12,873
Spring and Venable from Point 12,873
From the summit, I hiked directly toward Venable lakes down some steep grassy slopes. I reached the lake and headed down the trail and met up with Beth. As we got lower, it became uncomfortably hot. We arrived at the car at 1:15 PM. It felt good to get out of my new boots and to sit down. Unfortunately on our drive home we battled Winnebagos and the Friday rush hour traffic on the Springs. Overall, an excellent day.
Looking down valley from Venable Lakes.
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