| Wet Day on the Whale
April 08, 2011
13 Miles/9 Hours
Participants: Brian & Nick
After a rough day on Evans B two weeks ago, and with a week off, I was ready to get back to the mountains. Not really sure of what to hit, Brian, (Smokey), recommended Whale Peak. Looking over the TR’s, the only one that would be relevant was a route description from May, 2008. The approach was from CR-37 that leads to Jefferson Lake and had a winter closure at 9900’.
Not real excited about a snowy 16 mile day, Brian again recommended seeing how far up CR-60 (Grant, CO), we could make it and trying it from the Hall Valley /Gibson Lake side. Although we would be giving up the option to hit some 12ers on the way, we decided with the length and time of year, Whale would have to do. As long as we could make it at least 2 miles up CR-60, it would be a shorter day than the other approaches; we made it 3.8 miles, just before a plow drift.
The 4x4 road up to and past Gibson Lake and the Hall Valley Campground is a popular snow mobile trail and snow shoes weren’t needed.
We came to a little clearing where the snow mobile tracks split up, about 10,900, we soon left the road at about 10,980 and headed for the trees just to the north of an east facing coulior. We exited the trees on just on top and made our way to Pt 11,948. This is probably what I'd call the "crux" of the day,(both ascending & descending). There is a safe way through the trees if time is taken to pick your route carefully, but the snow was extremely wet, and was glad when we were past.
A little behind schedule we hustled over to Pt. 13,001. (a soft-soft ranked "peak" on the Continental Divide).
From there it was a short trip over to Whale Peak.
Lookin back at Pt. 13,001
And back at the whole route to Pt. 11,948.
Weather was great, winds held back, best day out since last October.
A look over to Breckenridge.
Rosalie & Epaulet??
Thumbnails for uploaded photos (click to open slideshow):