Buying Gear?  Click Here
Buying gear? Please use these links to help 14ers.com:

More info...

Other ways to help...
 Peak(s):  Navajo Pk A  -  13,409 feet
Apache Pk  -  13,441 feet
 Post Date:  09/12/2010 Modified: 02/20/2014
 Date Climbed:   09/11/2010
 Posted By:  Brian C
 Additional Members:   ulvetano, Scooby Koob

 Tour of Navajo and Apache   

Stats

Peaks Hiked:
Navajo Peak - 13,409'
Apache Peak - 13,441'

Peaks Looked At:
Dicker's Peck - 13,140'

Mileage: about 10 miles

Elevation Gain: around 3,400'

Routes Used:
Airplane Gully - Class 3
West Chimney - Class 4
South Ridge - Class 3
East Ledges - Class 3

-------------------------------------------------------

A Failed Attempt

Two weeks earlier I was high in airplane gully planning to climb Navajo, Dicker's Peck and Apache. Long story short, we had a slight incident just below the top of Niwot Ridge and were forced to make a hasty retreat. After a long day I quickly found myself making plans for a return trip to complete the route.

Image
First attempt


-------------------------------------------------------

Try, Try Again

I was soon able to convince one of my regular climbing buddies to retrace the route with me. We were also joined by a 14ers member, Chuck (ulvetano). With a nice forecast for 50+ degrees up high and slight winds only gusting up to 30 mph we set out loaded with hiking and climbing gear from the Long Lake TH.

It quickly became apparent that the nice forecast and the awesome warm weather of last weekend is quickly giving way to fall. A freezing wind was coming down from the upper cirque chilling the 30 degree air into the teens. It's been a while since I've been so happy to be in the sun! As we passed the upper lakes and streams we noticed they were covered in thin ice. It took some care to cross the upper stream above the final lake due to a nice layer of ice on the rocks.

Image

Image
Route in the shadow


The alpine tundra is quickly changing colors and is ahead of the trees below. The air was also getting colder as we moved up below airplane gully. We took a short break right at the shadow line and enjoyed the sun before plunging into the cold of airplane gully. Our thermometer was reading just below 30F in the sun.

-------------------------------------------------------

Navajo - My 100th Summit

As we entered the shade of airplane gully the cold became our motivation. We pushed quickly up as the wind funneled down the gully. My hands felt colder than they have since last winter! This route gets a bad rap of being terribly loose but it is not bad if you choose carefully. You can follow the gully straight up to the ridge but we took the shorter line right past the airplane crash. We hit the sun right at the plane and stopped for some quick photos. It is strange to see the wreckage and even stranger that it's been there about 60 years.

Image
Wreckage


Wanting to get past my last turn around point, we moved up to the ridge and were happy to find that Navajo was blocking the wind. The ridge up to the summit was easy hiking until the summit cap. We chose to ascend a narrow chimney on climber's right (class 3+?) and quickly topped out.


Image
Happy to be out of the wind


Image
Forbidden fruits...


Image

Image
Optional chimney (class 3+?)


Image
Scrambling at last!


Image

Image
My 100th US summit


-------------------------------------------------------

Traverse to Apache

After chilling (literally) on the summit for a while we started scoping out how to get down the other side of Navajo. I decided to add another layer to help battle the shade and wind waiting us on the other side and was so glad I did. It was freezing down there!

Image
Finding a way down


It is a little intimidating going down towards the west chimney because of Navajo's summit cliffs and the steep crumbly gullies. We knew we were aiming for the northern-most of the gullies and soon found our way to the top of it. The west chimney would be pretty simple going up but was an attention-grabber climbing down. It drops quickly and steeply and the rock is not always trustworthy. With some care we managed to move down without any issues and found ourselves by Dicker's Peck.

Image
Steep


Image
At the crux


Image

We had planned on climbing Dicker's Peck and had carried all the gear up with us. Standing in the cold, shade and wind about 50 feet from the warmth of the sun was depressing. It was going to be a finger-freezer for sure and after staring up for a while I simply could not bring myself to lead it. The Peck would have to wait for next time and a warmer day. Tired of the cold, we pushed up onto the south ridge of Apache and into the sun.

Image
Looking back at Dicker's Peck. Next time! Good view of ledge that leds to west chimney as well.


After a few moves of class 3 the ridge easy to a simple stroll up onto Apache's summit. The wind was still chilling the air and kept us moving and we quickly topped out.

Image

Image
Hiding from the wind


-------------------------------------------------------

Down and Out!

The views from Apache are excellent. It is the 2nd highest peak in the IPW and has great views in all directions. We took a short rest, a few photos and headed down towards the east ledges hoping to miss the wind.

Image
Lone Eagle


Image
Iroquois


Image

The east ledges is very straight forward. The upper slopes are loose but are easy to walk down. Angling down and right we moved through the rock bands without troubles. Below the bands, we aimed for the meadow below airplane gully and it worked very well.

Image
Climbers on Navajo



Image
Walrus!


Image

Image

Image

Image
View of East Ledges


Image
A bit loose


Image
Looks like fall


Glad to be back on the trail we quickly booked it to the car. Considering it was a Sat. in the IPW the trails were fairly open until the last 2 miles. It was a great day and a good wake up to the upcoming colder weather. I'm loving the Indian Peaks more every time I get in there!

Image
Beautiful day



Thumbnails for uploaded photos (click to open slideshow):
 


  • Comments or Questions
ulvetano



Thx gents - great day!     2010-09-12 19:47:12
Nice circuit out there yesterday. Good to meet you guys.
Still worried about that rock I accidently knocked loose!!!! good times though. nice report Brian!!


Rich H


congrats on the trip     2010-09-13 09:23:09
and great pics - that picture image 15 I think of Dickers from part way up apache...the vertical crack 2/3rds of the way up - is that the 5.5 crux? that roach talks of?


Brian C


Reply     2010-09-13 09:29:29
Rick - Thanks. That crack is the crux Roach mentions. Looks pretty thin for 5.5 but the cold was definitely influencing my judgment.

Chuck - Great hiking with you. Don't hesitate to give me a buzz if you're looking for partners.


Rich H


ok thanks     2010-09-13 09:43:22
it does look rather thin from the picture...I must admit that is the first pic I have seen from that angle it is a great pic as are some of the others you took. well done

and thank you


rpb13


Nice!     2010-09-15 12:30:53
I've been meaning to do these for a while now. Your report makes me think I need to to more in the IPW!



   Using your forum id/password. Not registered? Click Here


Caution: The information contained in this report may not be accurate and should not be the only resource used in preparation for your climb. Failure to have the necessary experience, physical conditioning, supplies or equipment can result in injury or death. 14ers.com and the author(s) of this report provide no warranties, either express or implied, that the information provided is accurate or reliable. By using the information provided, you agree to indemnify and hold harmless 14ers.com and the report author(s) with respect to any claims and demands against them, including any attorney fees and expenses. Please read the 14ers.com Safety and Disclaimer pages for more information.

© 2014 14ers.com®, 14ers Inc.