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Easier Gore peaks or passes/saddles?

Information on peaks other than the CO 14ers and 13ers.
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Easier Gore peaks or passes/saddles?

Postby PaliKona » Sun Jun 23, 2013 12:02 pm

I've climbed Buffalo and Red Peak..are there other Gore Peaks that have easier approaches and climbs (class 2 max) than most of the gnarly peaks there, that are reasonable day hikes? Any from the Piney Lake area? I would like to get up high and take in some of the ridiculously beautiful views of this amazing range but don't have the skills or stamina to take on an epic.

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Re: Easier Gore peaks or passes/saddles?

Postby TravelingMatt » Sun Jun 23, 2013 1:30 pm

Snow Peak (13045) and Grand Traverse Peak (13041) are both Class 2 via Deluge Lake. Snow has looseish scree and Deluge is steep but mostly grassy.

I suspect there's a Class 2 way to do North Traverse by itself via Bighorn Creek.

The Vista/Solitude/Climbers Point trio can be done with only moderate scrambling down low if you go up Vista first and backtrack over the ridge from the subsequent peaks.
So pleas'd at first the towering Alps we try,
Mount o'er the vales, and seem to tread the sky,
Th' increasing prospects tire our wand'ring eyes,
Hills peep o'er hills, and Alps on Alps arise!
-- Alexander Pope

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Re: Easier Gore peaks or passes/saddles?

Postby boudreaux » Sun Jun 23, 2013 3:28 pm

Deming Peak is a good one on the Meadow Creek Trail, although you will have to either follow ridge from Buffalo Pass or pick a line up the east slopes. I think all the peaks from Piney Lake are beyond class 2. But T-matt mentioned a few that are good on Pitkin Creek, with Pt 12,710 at the head of the east fork and Pk X (13,085) just beyond that from a pass, that one may be class 3. Uneva Peak from Vail Pass is another good one!

Piney River: I think pts 12,709 & 12,626 might fit in there too, just north above Piney River trail before you get to Kneeknocker Pass. Maybe called Corner Mountain(s), Pt 11,825 south of the river at the head of the ridge above the lake to the right may be good, but a bushwhack for sure. And I know will have a great view of the Ripsaw Ridge. I never climbed any of these, but they are in close proximity to where you want to go!
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Re: Easier Gore peaks or passes/saddles?

Postby d_baker » Sun Jun 23, 2013 4:09 pm

TravelingMatt wrote:The Vista/Solitude/Climbers Point trio can be done with only moderate scrambling down low if you go up Vista first and backtrack over the ridge from the subsequent peaks.

I don't think you would really have to go much beyond class 2+ for this group.
Here's a couple of TR's for those, the first is solely for Climbers Pt and Solitude, the second has the XYZ & Z Prime tour w/Solitude tour at the end of the report:
In Search of Solitude
&
Ridge Runs in the Gore

boudreaux wrote:Piney River: I think pts 12,709 & 12,626 might fit in there too, just north above Piney River trail before you get to Kneeknocker Pass. Maybe called Corner Mountain(s), Pt 11,825 south of the river at the head of the ridge above the lake to the right may be good, but a bushwhack for sure. And I know will have a great view of the Ripsaw Ridge. I never climbed any of these, but they are in close proximity to where you want to go!


These peaks that boudreaux mentions do have great views of surrounding peaks (e.g., Eagles Nest -> Powell; Pk C and gang), but the route I used was beyond class 2+, although there might be that kind of terrain available for an ascent. Route finding would be key.
Corner of the Gore


A late summer or early fall season hike of Powell from Kneeknocker could probably go at class 2+ once the snow is gone on the N side of the aforementioned pass.

Pk H from Piney could be kept at class 2+ easy, with some route finding and knowing where and what slope to go up. That's another nice peak with cool perspectives on the range.

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Re: Easier Gore peaks or passes/saddles?

Postby TravelingMatt » Sun Jun 23, 2013 4:32 pm

d_baker wrote:
TravelingMatt wrote:The Vista/Solitude/Climbers Point trio can be done with only moderate scrambling down low if you go up Vista first and backtrack over the ridge from the subsequent peaks.

I don't think you would really have to go much beyond class 2+ for this group.


I did the combo last year in early December and was chasing my available daylight. I went down Climbers Point the fastest safe way I could find, which involved a short small Class 3 slot gully.

I recall the first few hundred feet after leaving the trail had some steep bits through mixed grass and willows but nothing particularly loose or exposed.
So pleas'd at first the towering Alps we try,
Mount o'er the vales, and seem to tread the sky,
Th' increasing prospects tire our wand'ring eyes,
Hills peep o'er hills, and Alps on Alps arise!
-- Alexander Pope

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Re: Easier Gore peaks or passes/saddles?

Postby JeffR » Sun Jun 23, 2013 4:49 pm

I personally felt that Powell (from Piney Lake) and North Traverse (from Bighorn Creek), while tough, are reasonable day hikes. As far as class, the north ridge of NT has some 2+ but nothing rougher. Powell doesn't go above 2, although going up and over Kneeknocker Pass is annoying scree and gravel.
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Re: Easier Gore peaks or passes/saddles?

Postby Scott P » Sun Jun 23, 2013 7:53 pm

Meridian Peak is a good one with very scenic views:

http://www.summitpost.org/meridian-peak/152486

It's not a rugged peak, but the views of the rugged peaks around it are really good. Both times we did it we saw lots of wildlife as well.

It's 12 mile round trip, but never steep and always gentle since you start up high and walk the ridge. A good trail reaches the top and there is no scrambling.
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Re: Easier Gore peaks or passes/saddles?

Postby PaliKona » Wed Jun 26, 2013 11:36 am

Interesting TRs.
I'm looking at Corner Peak or Pt. 12,626’ but wondering if there's an easy way to keep it class 2. Also, what would the route be up Powell, other than from Kneeknocker Pass?
What is the approx. distance on the Piney Lake Trail to turn off for Corner/Pt. 12,626'?

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Re: Easier Gore peaks or passes/saddles?

Postby Floyd » Wed Jun 26, 2013 11:59 am

PaliKona wrote:Interesting TRs.
I'm looking at Corner Peak or Pt. 12,626’ but wondering if there's an easy way to keep it class 2. Also, what would the route be up Powell, other than from Kneeknocker Pass?
What is the approx. distance on the Piney Lake Trail to turn off for Corner/Pt. 12,626'?


If you're looking to do this any time soon, I'd hold off on Powell. Chicago Transplant went over Kneeknocker last weekend and there is still a ton of snow and a cornice to negotiate. There is a mellow (looking) couloir going up Powell from near the saddle with E. Corner. I don't know anyone who's climbed it but it looks like fun. PM if you're interested as I have pictures at home. I believe Keifer and Chicago Transplant climbed the ridge direct from Kneeknocker Pass years ago and I think they reported class 3.

Corners are VERY fun snow climbs, Chicago Transplant and I did a loop of all them + Meridian a few Junes ago and it's still my favorite day trip I've ever taken - albeit a very tough 14 hour day. I would imagine you could keep NW Corner class 2 by following our descent route which was descending from the peaks to the west and we picked up the spur trail coming off Piney to the north - it's well marked on the Piney Trail. If I remember correctly, the ridge between NW Corner and Corner was easy class 3. Corner to E. Corner would be tough - we dropped all the way to 11,600 and had another snow climb (our second 1k+ couloir of the day - hence why it was so fun)

Other peaks to look into that are class 1/2 are:

Outpost (best done in winter by the south ridge IMO) but it is a Roach Classic: http://climb.mountains.com/Classic_Peaks_files/Colorado_Classics_files/Outpost.shtml
Bald Mountain (again, best done in winter) http://www.summitpost.org/bald-mountain/153718
Deming Mountain via Meadow Creek/Eccles Pass (Eccles Peak could also be added from the pass)
Silverthorne is class 2. East Thorn is a Class 4 subpeak and looks menacing from the town below. http://www.summitpost.org/mount-silverthorne-aka-willow-bm/611620
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Re: Easier Gore peaks or passes/saddles?

Postby Chicago Transplant » Tue Jul 02, 2013 11:03 am

You can start up Powell before you get to Kneeknocker and follow some grass ramps/ledges until you can get to a break in the ridge, cross it, and pick up the upper standard route and avoid kneeknockers snow and keep it 2+/easy 3. Kiefer and I picked up the ridge somewhere along there as the ridge right out of the pass is harder. We ended up going down one of the gullies Floyd mentions as a possible snow climb, it was a loose mess dry.
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Re: Easier Gore peaks or passes/saddles?

Postby Aug_Dog » Tue Jul 02, 2013 11:28 am

Powell is one of my most coveted peaks right now, but I'm going to hold off until it melts out a bit more. That said, what is the best approach for Eagles Nest? I'm just dying to get my Gore feet wet. I've got a couple of trips into the Gores planned and want to get started soon.

Also, I've seen some varying opinion on the class of Peak C. Is it 4 or 3? I thought I saw somewhere that the downclimb of the class 4 wall can be bypassed on decent, too, is that correct?

So many questions, so little time ...

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Re: Easier Gore peaks or passes/saddles?

Postby Scott P » Tue Jul 02, 2013 1:18 pm

That said, what is the best approach for Eagles Nest?


Probably Cataract Lake/South Ridge (at least if "best" means easiest):

http://www.summitpost.org/cataract-lake-south-ridge-route/160648

It is probably the easiest route. The East Ridge is more rugged and the Elliot Ridge is longer. I haven't done the Piney Lake route, but it is probably harder than the Cataract Lake/South Ridge route.
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