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

More info...

Other ways to help...
 Peak(s):  Venable Pk  -  13,334 feet
Spring Mtn  -  13,244 feet
Comanche Pk A  -  13,277 feet
 Post Date:  11/29/2010
 Date Climbed:   11/26/2010
 Posted By:  piper14er

 Venable et. al. via Venable-Comanche Trail     

Venable Peak climbed 11-19-10.
10.6 miles +/- and 4300 vertical feet.
6.5 hours roundtrip.

I have been wanting to get to Peak 9 and 10 but with all the snow that way and looking better in the Sangres I went south. Good weather and minimal snow. Windy on the ridge though, 40 mph.

The Venable-Comanche Trailhead is located by the Alvarado Picnic Area. Take the highway (69) going south out of Westcliffe sevearl miles to Schoolfield Road. Go west on Schoolfield past Macey and to the second stop sign. There is a sign that will say Alvarado 1.5 miles left. Follow the road as it snakes it way to a turn to the right a few hundred yards before the Alvarado Picnic Area (closed and gated now). There is a sign that shows the Venable-Comanche Trailhead to the right. The gate was still open. It would add a quarter mile and a few hundred more feet of vertical if you parked at this gate or the Alvarado picnic Area gate.

Park at the trailhead which is a large parking area with a restroom and hitching posts for your horses.

Parking area.
Image

The shortest route to Venable Peak is from the right side of the parking area as you are looking west.
Image

Cross a bridge and continue on up. The trail is wide and well used. There is a sign that directs you toward Venable Lakes (4.75 miles).

First look at Venable and continued trail.
Image

Merlin enjoying the day.
Image

Trail and snow from below Venable Pass.
Image

The ridge and Venable Peak.
Image

The Loop Trail below Venable. If you wanted to get Venable, Comanche and Spring you may want to avoid this stretch of trail or have an ice ax and crampons in case you needed them.
Image

The last part of the ridge to the summit.
Image

Spring Mountain, Comanche Peak and Loop Trail.
Image

Summit rest.
Image

Spring Mountain and Comache Peak A climbed 11-26-10.
The snow was still looking better south, although there was fresh snow that wasn't there last week.
Take the left trail out of the Venable-Comanche Trailhead parking.
12 miles +/- and 4600 vertical feet.
8+ hours roundtrip.
Good weather and newly fallen snow, 2" and up to 12" at higher elevations (11,000 feet). Windy on the ridge again, 30 mph. I did not take the snowshoes but in retrospect they would have helped higher up.

Heading to Westcliffe.
Image

There are signs 0.5 miles up the trail that direct you to Comanche Lakes (5 miles).
Image

The trail is well defined and wide. It is like a trough and the trough was filling in with snow.
Image

The trail and sun below the switchbacks. There appear to be several avalanche chutes below the switchbacks and several more above 11,300 feet. The snow was not sufficiently deep at this time to warrant any danger.
Image

The trail.
Image

Comanche Peak.
Image

The wind and blowing snow on Spring Mountain.
Image

The trail goes to the saddle to the right side.
Image

Comanche and the trail to the saddle.
Image

The sun and wind blown snow above me on the ridge to Spring Mountain.
Image

Looking back at the trail across the sideslopes below Spring Mountain with the ridge I followed and Spring Mountain above.
Image

The ridge to Spring Mountain is rocky but no problem to follow. Approximately 1.2-1.3 miles up and back to saddle.

Looking back down towards Comanche Lake and the plains below.
Image

The summit on Spring Mountain.
Image

Venable Peak 0.6-0.7 miles away.
Image

The loop trail between Spring Mountain and Venable Peak.
Image

Is that Kit Carson and Challenger?
Image

Humboldt.
Image

The Crestones.
Image

Back down the ridge and up to Comnche and just below the summit. Approximately 0.3 miles up to Comanche from the saddle.
Image

Looking back down to the saddle, the Loop Trail and ridge to Spring Mountain.
Image

Venable by itself would be easier than the Spring Mountain-Comanche combination even with the snow.

Testing out the GPX files. This one is for Spring Mountain.



My GPS Tracks on Google Maps (made from a .GPX file upload):




Thumbnails for uploaded photos (click to open slideshow):
 


  • Comments or Questions
Presto


Nice ...     2010-11-29 15:32:16
One of my favorite areas (love doing that loop trail) ... some of the loop certainly looks a bit more difficult with snow on it, to say the least . Good on ya for getting Merlin to wear the dog jacket. Thanks for posting. Happy trails!


JA_son27


Fun hike!     2010-11-30 08:24:06
I love the way the trail looks in picture 9, gives me that strong feeling of wanderlust!



   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.