| Deep Weminuche: Homecomming. Part 3
Continued from Part 2
Buffalo Peak returning to rock Lake.
Day 5: July 28th
~18.8 Miles, ~7,500 Gain
"Soso" 13,417, Point 13,310, Point 13,340 A, Point 12,911, Point 13,169, Point 12,673.
I knew I was going to have to start working my way north back to Beartown and I had 6 summits between me and Beartown; however, I still needed 3 thirteeners near Moon Lake south of camp. The alarm went off early at 3:15 AM and I was hiking up the familiar Rock Lake-Half Moon Lake pass trail. From the top of the pass, I continued on upward and back into the valley toward the "Soso"-12,641 saddle. It was tedious talus travel in the dark. I arrived at the saddle and continued up the class 2 east ridge of "Soso" where I arrived on the summit just moments after the sunrise at 6:15 AM.
Sunrise on "Soso"
Sunrise on "Soso"
Sunrise on "Soso"
The sunrise alone on the summit was worth getting up at 3:15 AM. After a short break, I headed southeast towards 13,310. At first, it was easy travel and as soon as the ridge bent south, things got a bit more interesting. I started descending down a loose class 3 gully to the right (west) of the ridge. About 100 feet below the ridge, I traversed back to the ridge only to find out they didn't go. I continued downwards for at least 200 feet below the saddle, traversed on some janky talus, and then worked my way up a talus gully to the south side of the saddle. Whew, that ate some calories up.
Class 3 descent gully on "Soso"
Problematic ridge from Soso to 13,310
Unfortunately, the north ridge of 13,310 didn't look any better. I started climbing on the ridge proper, class 3, and worked my way to the east side of the ridge working my way up class 3 gullies and cliffs until I regained the ridge proper higher. Above the class 3 scrambling, it was an easy hike to the summit where I arrived at 7:30 AM.
Class 3 on 13,310
Problematic traverse from Soso to 13,310
Class 3 on 13,310
Looking back on the class 3 on 13,310
Easy summit stroll on 13,310
It was an easy class 1 hike from 13,310 to 13,341 where I arrived on the summit of 13,340 at 8:15 AM. After absorbing the expansive views to the south, I returned to the 13,310-13,341 saddle and proceeded east downward toward a small lake. Initially, I had to hike north on a grassy ledge to avoid a cliff band, then I hiked down a grass slope to the lake. From the lake, I worked my way to a small lake south of Moon Lake. After some thrashing around in some willows, I arrived at Moon Lake. I intercepted the trail and returned to my camp above Rock Lake at 10:40 AM The weather was holding out well.
Class 1 on 13,340
Pretty lake on descent to Moon Lake
Lake south of Moon Lake
I packed up all my stuff and found the trail heading toward Twin Lakes, hiked the trail toward Middle Ute Lake. About ˝ mile after crossing the Continental Divide on the Middle Ute Lake trail, I headed off trail at ~12,200 toward the 12,911-13,169 saddle. While hiking toward the saddle I saw my first Colorado moose. The moose was big and it scared the crap out of me as I wasn't expecting it. The weather was looking good, maybe today, for the first time, I would not get rained on.
From the 12,911-13,169 saddle, I headed up the talus north slopes of 12,911 arriving on the summit at 1:00 PM. My stay was brief and I headed back to the 12,911-13,169 saddle and up the talus class 2 slopes up 13,169. I arrived on the summit of 13,169 at 1:50 PM. The weather was still holding.
Steep talus ridge on 13,169.
Again, I returned to my pack at the 12,911-13,169 saddle and worked my way toward the 13,169- 12,673 saddle. The climb up 12,673 was an easy class 1 stroll from the saddle where I arrived on the summit at 3:20 PM. I was shocked the weather was still holding out.
Unique summit block on 12,673.
Rio Grande Pyramid from 12,673.
13,320 from 12,673
After returning to the 12,673-13,169 saddle, I hiked directly west to a small lake and filled up my water bottles and then continued to the 13,169-13,230 where I bivyied. As you might have guessed, it began to rain around 6:00 PM and didn't let up until after midnight.
Day 6: July 29th
~7.1 Miles, 3,400 Gain
Point 13,230 B, Mt. Nebo 13,205, Point 13,110, Hunchback Mountain 13,136
The last day. I woke up at 4:00 AM and started hiking up the steep class 2 talus slopes of 13,230. I reached the summit at 5:45 AM before the sunrise. There was an overcast layer, so I am sure the sunrise would have been uneventful. I started down the northwest ridge of 13,230 and worked my way over to Mt. Nebo where I arrived on the summit at 6:30 AM. Unfortunately the overcast skies put a damper on the light on the Guardian and Mt. Silex. I'm sure they would have been quite impressive with some alpenglow on them.
13,230 from bivy number 5. The night prior.
Ridge climb up Nebo.
Guardian, Silex and Storm King from Nebo.
13,230 from Nebo. Rio Grande Pyramid in the background.
I had to re-climb back 200 feet to the northwest ridge of 13,230 and from there headed north towards 13,110. It was class 1 to the summit where I arrived at 7:50 AM. Some sunshine was beginning to shine through the overcast layer. I descended the steep talus north ridge of 13,230 and headed for Hunchback Pass.
13,230 on the descent towards 13,110.
When I arrived at the pass, I dropped my pack and quickly hiked the east ridge of Hunchback Mountain to the summit where I arrived at 9:20 AM. The overcast layer was turning more into a cumulus layer. Hum... I returned to my pack and headed down Hunchback Pass to the car arriving at 10:00 AM. Very rewarding trip and unique area of the Weminuche. I can't wait to return for the Guardian and Mt. Silex.
Hunchback Mountain from the pass.
So.. I'm driving on the 4WD road home and I am greeted by this. I didn't see that on the way up. WTF!
Thumbnails for uploaded photos (click to open slideshow):