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 Peak(s):  Colony Baldy  -  13,705 feet
 Post Date:  02/01/2011 Modified: 02/02/2011
 Date Climbed:   01/28/2011
 Posted By:  Furthermore

 Great Cristo View/Alternative.     


Colony Baldy 13,705


January 28, 2011
Trailhead: Horn Creek Trailhead
Total Mileage: ~12.4, Total Gain: ~4,600

Colony Baldy from the Rainbow Trail.
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Our last trip up Electric and Lakes was a bit brutal so we looked for something a little more reasonable and Colony Baldy fit the bill. I met Al in Colorado Springs at 5:30 AM and we made the short drive to the Horn Creek Trailhead where we were hiking up the Horn Creek Trail at 7:15 AM.


First mile up the Rainbow Trail. (Photo by Al)
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Due to the well packed snow, we were able to start up the trail without snowshoes but after joining the Rainbow Trail, heading south, the trail was not as well packed. We continued for another mile on the Rainbow Trail before we put the snowshoes on. Enough postholing. Our travel along the Rainbow Trail went quickly and after passing the Macey Creek junction we started up the northeast ridge of Colony Baldy.

Marcey Creek Junction on the Rainbow Trail. (Photo by Al)
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After leaving the Rainbow Trail, the snow became deeper and more powdery and the trail-breaking involved much more effort. Our pace slowed down dramatically but it was nice to share the misery of deep snow with someone for a change. As we slowly progressed upwards, we encountered a steeper area where the postholing was out of control. It was thigh to waist deep powder and the snow just crumbled below our feet. How much longer could this go? We switched off the enjoyment of trail-breaking and continued upward. Things got better.

Rough trail-breaking
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Never ending fun. (Photo by Al)
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Sugar snow.
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The trench we broke.
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Eventually, after a few hours of tough trail-breaking, we finally reached treeline where we ditched our snowshoes and continued upwards on snow covered talus. The southeast ridge broadened and became a mellow hike as we reached the summit at 1:10 PM. Wahoo! My 400th summit over 13,000. Even though it was a brutal 6 hour hike to the summit, the views were well above average. We were surrounded by Humboldt, the Crestones, Kit Carson and Adams. The views of the Crestones were rather sobering.

Al breaking out of treeline.
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Northeast slopes of Colony Baldy.
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Horn Peak.
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Al working his way up the northeast side of Colony Blady.
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Working up the upper northeast ridge. (Photo by Al)
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Kit Carson, Challenger from the NE ridge.
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Lower section NE ridge.
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Upper section of the NE ridge.
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Crestones!
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Crestones from the summit.
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Humboldt from the summit.
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We took a long break absorbing the views and then started on our descent. Now for the race against the sun. Since the trail was well broken from our ascent, our descent took half of ascent time and we returned to the car at 4:40 PM with lots of daylight to spare. A great winter climb with some of the best views around.

360 Summit View.
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Al descending the northeast ridge.
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Mt Adams.
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Mt. Adams.
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Route Map.
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Thanks to Al, for the GPX file.



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




Thumbnails for uploaded photos (click to open slideshow):
 


  • Comments or Questions
EmmaM


Indeed     2011-02-06 12:08:55
That was me. My plan was to make my own trail up to Spread Eagle but I misjudged my tentative route and it was near impossible to gain the ridge.

Horn was surprisingly well broken the first few miles. The last .75 mile to 1 mile, however, was very deep and I couldn't find the ”trail.” Although it took significant time, I was able to break trail until the ridge leading up to pt. 12~ something. That being said, I would advise snowshoes for this purpose. I think you could arguably boot it for the majority of the hike (barring whatever accumulation you've received in the last week), but without them for the section just below treeline it would be impractical.

Cheers


Furthermore


.     2011-02-05 20:53:50
Emma-
I think you ran into my wife when I was doing a 13eener traverse at the Gibbs Creek TH 2-3 days prior? Is the trail well broken to Horn? I still need that one.


EmmaM


Nice Day     2011-02-05 13:21:28
I was on Horn Peak the day before. It was absolutely gorgeous!


Matt


You're knocking off...     2011-02-01 13:30:05
...so many Sangre peaks I've slated for later this year.
Strong work, as always, and thanks for the TRs


Dancesatmoonrise


Wow.     2011-02-01 15:20:27
No kidding, you're after it, Derek.

Enjoyed the TR!

Jim


Johnson


Stout work!     2011-06-02 08:57:39
Again it's so cool to see places I've never been! You motivate me to get out and do it!


mtgirl


WOW !     2011-02-01 18:24:35
What a stunning view of the Crestones from the Baldy summit ! Gotta see it for myself....


Floyd


Nice work as always!     2011-02-02 08:25:08
Strong effort. Knockin them off pretty quick down there.


MtnHub


Bluebird day!     2011-02-02 12:18:31
Great climb; gorgeous pics! Yeah, that close-up of the Crestones is enticing! Thanks for posting!


mountainmicah83


Pinch me.     2011-02-04 13:06:44
You are giving me nightmares with that trailbreaking!
Well... Flashbacks really! Good job.



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