| A Booby Prize Batch
"Booby Prize" 13,312
Prize Benchmark 13,348
Middle Mountain 13,100
June 23, 2010
~9 Miles, ~5,000 Gain
Trailhead: South Fork Lake Creek, Lake Pass Trailhead. High clearance vehicle should do.
I drove down the night prior, camped at the trailhead and woke up at 4:30 AM. I made some good o' delicious oatmeal and started up the old closed mining road up South Fork Lake Creek basin around 4:50 AM. The road was easy to follow and around ~12,000 took a turn south heading for the mellow Booby Prize - 12,750 saddle.
Sunrise on Point 13,460.
Once I reached the Booby Prize - 12,750 saddle, I ascended about 200 feet and traversed southwest above a small lake to the Booby Prize - 12,862 saddle. Some snow was encountered but overall was pretty easy. After reaching the Booby Prize - 12,862 saddle, I strolled south up the blocky class 2 ridge of 12,862 where I arrived on the summit at 6:40 AM.
Point 12,862 from the Booby Prize - 12,862 saddle.
Booby Prize and Prize BM from 12,862.
The views were excellent of Taylor reservoir and I made good time back to the saddle and up the class 2 south ridge of Booby Prize. I arrived on the summit at 7:30 AM. The weather was perfect.
Point 12,862 from Booby Prize with Taylor Reservoir.
After my short stay on the summit, I headed down the north-northwest ridge of Booby Prize. About 100 yards down from the summit I bypassed some cliffs on the west side of the ridge. I dropped about 100-200 feet below the ridge proper and traversed below the cliffs to the Booby Prize - 13,090 saddle (class 2).
To save some energy, I was able to bypass the summit of 13,090 by traversing along its southwest face. Once on the blocky west ridge of 13,090, I descended the 13,090 Prize BM saddle. The climbing up the east ridge on Prize BM was the most enjoyable climbing of the day. Some short class 3 sections were encountered and the rock was generally pretty solid.
Class 3 section on Prize BM.
Looking down the class 3 section on Prize BM
I arrived on the summit of Prize BM at 8:40 AM and had excellent views of the Elk Range. I returned back to the Prize PM - 13,090 saddle and couldn't avoid the inevitable. Climbing up and over 13,090.
Booby Prize, 12,862 and other Sawatch favorites (Huron, Apostles) from the summit of Prize BM
Now for the least enjoyable part of the day. The traverse from 13,090 to 13,460. Some class 3 moves were required which wasn't a problem but the rock was pretty janky. Most of the nasty towers and cliffs along this traverse were avoided on the southeast side of the ridge. If I had to do the traverse again, I would just drop 100-200 below the southeast side of the ridge proper and traverse low.
Point 13,460 from Point 13,090.
Booby Prize from Point 13,090.
Janky ridge on the 13,090-13,460 traverse. Just go low.
Ascending the upper portions of the southwest ridge of 13,460 was an improvement from lower portions of the ridge and I arrived on the summit of 13,460 at 10:10 AM. The bright red color on Red Mountain reminded me of the San Juans.
Middle Mountain from Point 13,460. The snow field I traversed on can be viewed.
Prize BM from Point 13,460.
From the summit of 13,460 the traverse to Middle Mountain looked brutal but I knew it would go low. I descended ~400 down the east ridge of 13,460 and then glissaded south down a snow field to ~12,600. Once I hit somewhat level ground, I completely bypassed the towers and cliffs of the ridge by just hiking on packed snow along the south side of the cliffs. It worked out great.
Cliffs on the Point 13,460-Middle Mountain traverse.
When I could, and after the nasty portions of the ridge, I returned to the ridge proper and climbed the class 2 southwest ridge up Middle Mountain. I arrived on the summit at 11:25 AM and stayed on the summit for almost 20 minutes as I took in the views. There wasn't a cloud in the sky.
The southwest ridge of Middle Mountain
Point 12,862 and Booby Prize from Middle Mountain.
After my summit sojourn, I headed directly east down the grassy slops of Middle Mountain back to my car. For the most part it was easy until I hit some willows down lower. After a quick feud with them, I returned to my car at 12:15 AM. A very enjoyable day.
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