Peak(s):  Pk 10  -  13,633 feet
Pk 9  -  13,195 feet
Pks 1-8 - 12,987 feet
Post Date:  10/03/2010
Date Climbed:   10/02/2010
Posted By:  rpb13

 Tenmile Traverse  

Living in Keystone I see the Tenmile Range every day and I finally decided that it was time to do the traverse of all of the numbered peaks on the long ridge that makes up the northern half of the range. I was joined by two other brave souls, Neal and my roommate Travis.

We all met in Breckenridge and left Neal's truck at the Peak 9 restaurant. We then packed into my car and drove to the Mt Royal trailhead in Frisco. The hike up the Mt Royal trail was a steep trail that wasted no time gaining elevation. We made a small detour off a spur trail to check out the summit of Mt Royal and then went back to the trail which became a steep, loose grind devoid of switchbacks. Eventually Peak 1 came into view.

Starting up Pk 1

We hiked up the ridge to the summit of Peak 1 and took a short break before continuing on the ridge to Tenmile Peak (Peak 2).

Hiking towards Tenmile Pk

From the summit of Tenmile Peak we surveyed the task ahead of us.

Pks 3, 4 and 5 from Tenmile Pk

We descended the ridge off Tenmile Peak and soon encountered an impressive gendarme.


We bypassed the gendarme on the right and continued our scramble on the ridge.

Travis downclimbing in an overly dramatic fashion

Neal and Travis on the ridge

Me with my game face on

We got our first look at a feature on the ridge known as "The Dragon" and headed for it.

Looking down the ridge at the Dragon

We found some incredible lichen on the way, took some pictures and continued scrambling towards "The Dragon".

Flourescent lichen

Me scrambling on the ridge

The Dragon

After playing around on "The Dragon" for a couple minutes we bypassed it on the right and continued up to Peak 3. On top of Peak 3 we checked out the ridge towards Peak 4.

Pk 4 from Pk 3

We hiked down to the Peak 3/Peak 4 saddle. At the saddle we were confronted by a narrow ridge which we scrambled up.

Starting up Pk 4's ridge

Neal and I scrambling up the ridge

Neal and Travis scrambling on the ridge

At the summit of Peak 4 we looked at the route to Peak 5. We were faced with a total change in terrain.

Pk 5 from Pk 4

We hiked over easy, flat terrain to Peak 5 and continued over gentle tundra to Peak 6.

Neal hiking towards Pk 6

We hiked down Peak 6 to the Peak 6/Peak 7 saddle and were confronted with stiff hike up Peak 7's slopes.

Pk 7's ascent slope

Once on Peak 7 we continued our hike up to Peak 8. We descended Peak 8's South ridge and were soon faced with another stiff hike up Peak 9's North ridge. From Peak 9 we descended towards Peak 10. We wearily looked at our final peak of the day.

Pk 10

We elected to hike up the road that went up to Peak 10's East Ridge. We hiked up the ridge to the summit, celebrated our achievement and took in the views.

Bald Mtn from Pk 10

Gore Range from Pk 10

Holy Cross Wilderness from Pk 10

Holy Cross Wilderness from Pk 10

We eventually forced ourselves to stand up and hiked down the road in the dark to the Peak 9 restaurant where we had left Neal's truck many hours earlier. It was a long, grueling day, but we all had fun on the scrambling and enjoyed the non-stop views and challenge of this huge traverse.

Final numbers at the end of the day: 8300 vertical feet and 16.4 miles.

Thumbnails for uploaded photos (click to open slideshow):

  • Comments or Questions

10/03/2010 20:08
That traverse is such an awesome time, glad you enjoyed yourselves.


Well done
10/03/2010 21:15
Nice work guys, I did the traverse a few weeks ago, sounds like quite a bit of traffic on it this year. That final climb up PK 10 rates an 11 on my ”Loose Rock-o Meter”.


Good Job!
10/04/2010 14:58
That is a fun hike, I did it last weekend.

GravityPilot - I agree about Pk 10, the 1000' up that loose rock is a tough way to end the day!


Nice report
10/04/2010 15:18
How long did it take you guys? Thanks!


To-Do List
10/04/2010 17:01
After reading your report, this has made it's way to the top of my To-Do list for next summer. Thanks for posting !


More pictures
10/04/2010 21:04
After living in the Colorado for over 30 years and the high country for 22, I've spent way too much time staring at that ridgeline from Tenmile Canyon on I-70. Thanks to Ryan & Travis for joining me on a fun traverse, and staring down at I-70 instead of up. Here's some more pictures


Thanks for the comments
10/06/2010 18:51
jillaye - It took us about 14 hours moving at a moderate pace, taking some breaks to enjoy the view. Our timing worked out perfectly, watching the sunset from Peak 10 was amazing!

MtnHigh - I'm glad you joined us it, this trip was one the highlights of this year for me!


Great Job
10/09/2010 00:59
Congratulations on completing this traverse. We've been living in Breck since April, and have been admiring the range all along. We were fortunate to complete the 14ers in early September and now are focusing on more stuff local to Breck before heading back to NY. This was tops on our list and it didn't disappoint when we did it the weekend before you did. It was an awesome day. A true ridge traverse the entire way and you echoed our feelings of how tiring the climb up Peaks 7, 9 and 10 were. That downclimb off 9 with 10 looming up ahead was a bit demoralizing. It's so true that in order to know mountains you have to climb them. Now when we drive between Breck and Frisco we can name 'em all and point out the Dragon. Very cool 8)


03/16/2013 02:10
Thank you for posting. I plan on trying it this summer. I have been wanting to do it for years!

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