| Fine Views of the Grenadiers: Silverton 6 Pack
August 11, 2010
~ 13.3 Miles, ~4,900 Gain
Starting TH: Kendall Gulch 4WD road at ~12,200
Ending TH: Deep Park Creek 4WD at ~11,700
Hopefully today the weather will be better. At last we wake up and make the drive up the Kendall Gulch 4WD road without a cloud in the sky. Around 5:30 AM we started up the grassy southwest slopes of Kendall Mountain and arrived on the summit at 6:15 AM. Just in time for sunrise.
Sunrise on the Grenadiers.
From the summit of Kendall Mountain, we headed southeast down the gentle ridge. That didn't last. Close to the saddle of Kendall Mountain - Kendall Peak we encountered a nasty cliff that wasn't down-climbable. We searched for a way down but nothing looked good. Unfortunately, we ended up returning to the car and hiking up the mining road towards Titusville Mine. That stupid notch cost us 600-800 feet of gain. Near the mine we observed a grass ledge that might go, but the ledge certainly wasn't obvious from the ridge going down.
Nasty notch on Kendall Mountain
At the Titusville Mine we climbed a standard nasty San Juan scree gully to gain the south ridge of Kendall Peak. We arrived on the summit of Kendall Peak at 8:00 AM. Almost 2 hours for that stupid traverse, but things got better from here. We headed down the south ridge of Kendall and dropped about 100 feet into Arrastra Basin traversing southeast.
Standard San Juan scree gully to Kendall Peak.
Mellow ridge to Kendall Peak.
Kendall Mountain from Kendall Peak
Gentle south slopes of Kendall peak.
Once we arrived at the Kendall Peak - 13,409 saddle, we were surprised by a trail that traversed around the north side of 13,409. The trail was very convenient as neither of us were looking forward to traversing the talus covered south slopes of 13,409. It's too bad our traverse from Kendall Peak to Kendall Mountain took so long or Little Giant Peak would have been in the cards. On the east side of 13,409 Little Giant looked far away and would have certainly taken a few hours to nab. Both John and I decided it was a good peak to orphan and that climbing our last 12ver was a better option since it would have been harder to climb alone.
The view of the traverse around 13,409. Luckily there was a trail.
Point 13,434 from the northeast side of 13,409.
Grassy slopes from the east side of 13,409 led to the northwest ridge of 13,434. We arrived on the summit of 13,434 at 9:10 AM. Much better time considering the distance. The weather still appeared to be holding for a change. From the summit of 13,434, we descended south towards Rhoda.
Easy slopes to 13,434.
Grenadiers are getting closer.
The ridge up Rhoda was easy and towards the top we just climbed a short 10 foot cliff band to the summit where we arrived at 9:30 AM. Even better time for another summit. We walked off the grassy south slopes of Rhoda towards unranked Whitehead and after hiking over Whitehead, we ended up a hiking down some grassy slopes towards 13,109.
13,434 from the ridge up Rhoda.
Rhoda from Whitehead.
Another short traverse for a ranked peak. We arrived on the summit of 13,109 at 10:05 AM where it appeared weather was starting to build so we hurried back down the easy east slopes of 13,109. From the 13,109-Whitehead saddle, we headed southeast to intercept a trail that would go around Whitehead Gulch towards 12,936.
Neat Lichen on 13,109.
Grenadiers from 13,109. Point 12,963 can be viewed.
After intercepting the trail, we made good time around Whitehead Gulch and at the end of the trail we headed west up the east ridge (class 2) of 12,936. The views of the Grenadiers were amazing and quite sobering. We arrived on the summit of 12,936 at 11:20 AM. From the summit, we headed back to the Whitehead Gulch trail which took us back toward our car shuttle.
12,936 from Whitehead gulch.
Grenadiers from the end of the trail.
East ridge up 12,936.
Grenadiers from the summit of 12,936.
Vestal and Jagged from 12,936.
4.5 miles later we arrived at our car shuttle in Deep Park. Of course on our way back to the car, we had got rained on. We just couldn't get lucky for 1 day without rain in the San Juans.
12,936 from the other side of Whitehead Gulch.
Thumbnails for uploaded photos (click to open slideshow):