Steve Gladbach

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Steve Gladbach

Postby Perea » Sun Jun 23, 2013 3:48 pm

This is probably jumping the gun and I hope it is but if in fact Steve Gladbach does need help I think somebody in the area may be able to help. Britt Jones Jim "Yikes" and Steve were all on Thunder Pyramid today when Steve went missing from the group about 11am on the way down. Steve is the most experienced climber I know which is why the level of concern that he has not shown up yet. SAR has been called and they will not dispatch until they have confirmation there was an accident or 24 hours whichever is first. Steve has his spot with him and has not hit the ok button since 9am. Any ideas what to do next? Is anyone in the area willing to go up the trail and or up the mountain to try to locate him?

Like I said this is probably jumping the gun but if he does need help time is crucial. I believe Britt and Jim are heading back up but this is their third centennial in 3 days and are probably toast.

Paul Perea

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Re: Steve Gladbach

Postby d_baker » Sun Jun 23, 2013 3:51 pm

Has someone given SAR the coordinates from Steve's last SPOT message? Is Britt & Yikes in contact w/SAR? If so, they should at least be able to give them a "last seen" location. Hope all is well with Steve.
Keep in mind his wishes from a post of his a few years back. Let's not speculate.

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Re: Steve Gladbach

Postby Perea » Sun Jun 23, 2013 3:59 pm

They do have the coordinates however they wanted the password to his account to see if there was any movement. Last update from his device was about 9am up high on the mountain.

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Re: Steve Gladbach

Postby MonGoose » Sun Jun 23, 2013 4:01 pm

Can you provide any information on the route and location last seen?

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Re: Steve Gladbach

Postby kushrocks » Sun Jun 23, 2013 4:04 pm

I dont want to get in the way of SAR but if anyone is going up to look tonight please let me know. i can be at the park in ride in an hour ready to go.

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Re: Steve Gladbach

Postby amnicola » Sun Jun 23, 2013 4:11 pm

I received an "all OK" SPOT at 1:41 PM Central Time (12:41 Mountain Time). Then the following came in at 2:25 PM Central (1:25 PM Mountain Time):

Britt's SPOT
GPS location Date/Time:06/23/2013 14:05:27 MDT

Message:I NEED HELP! Come to my aid or Contact Sheriff/Search & Rescue immediately. Not life threatening--yet!

Click the link below to see where I am located.

If the above link does not work, try this link:,-106.97130&ll=39.07354,-106.97130&ie=UTF8&z=12&om=1
Have I not commanded you? Be strong and of good courage; do not be afraid, nor be dismayed, for the LORD your God is with you wherever you go.
-Joshua 1:9

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Re: Steve Gladbach

Postby amnicola » Sun Jun 23, 2013 4:16 pm

This is the itinerary Britt emailed me before he left Friday. I have topo maps marked up if anybody in Aspen would like to see their route--email me at and I'll forward them.
Robert Kramer
Chesterfield, MO 63017

Dear Family…

(Paul, Jim...feel free to forward to any family members you wish.)

(Robert & Barry, I am also sending to you since you will be getting my SPOT's and your names/phone numbers are on my emergency contact list. You could easily forward this email to Search & Rescue if ever contacted.)

Here is our trip itinerary for Thursday through Sunday, June 20-23, 2013.

Paul Perea (only climbing on Friday)
Vehicle: silver 2012 Nissan Xterra
El Chupacabra on

Jim Yaiche (only climbing on Saturday & Sunday)
Salida CO (he also has a house in Denver as that's where he works)
Yikes on
Vehicle: Nissan Xterra (he will meet us Friday night at the Lead King Basin TH

Partner: Steve Gladbach
Vehicle: gold Toyota Corolla (he will leave it in Hartsel, CO at the gas station there)
"sgladbach" on

Me: Britt Jones (climbing all 3 days)
globreal on
Vehicle: white 2004 Jeep Grand Cherokee Laredo

We are heading to the Elk mountains in central Colorado and are planning on climbing:
Cathedral Peak (13,943') on Friday.
Hagerman Peak (13,841) on Saturda.
Thunder Pyramid (13,932') on Sunday.

Yes…I know, this is VERY ambitious to get 3 hard peaks like this 3 days in a row. (I am hoping to make up for my last attempt on Thunder Pyramid which I felt so bad over.)

Today, (Thursday) I am driving to Aspen, CO and then out to the trailhead (TH) for Cathedral Lake/Peak. I am leaving Colorado Springs around 4:00pm and driving Hwy 24 west through Woodland Park, to Hartsel. Here in Hartsel I will meet Steve around 6pm. He will ride with me to Buena Vista…. turning right up towards Leadville…turning left or west on Hwy 82 going over Independence Pass and down in to Aspen.

Route to Cathedral Lake TH:
The trailhead is at 9,880 feet & provides access from Cathedral's east side. From Aspen's north side, leave Hwy 82 and turn west (left) on on the Maroon Lake Rd. After 30 yards, turn south (left) onto Castle Creek (paved) road and measure from here. Pass Aschcroft, CO at mile 11.0 & turn west (right) onto a dirt road at mile 12.0. Go west on the dirt road until it switchbacks up the hill & reach the TH at mile 12.5

We will camp here at the TH tonight (Thursday).

Friday-climb Cathedral Peak-EAST GULL/SOUTH RIDGE route:

Here is the info from

Steve, Paul, and I will start hiking around 4 or 5am Friday morning. Our route starts off southwest on the Castle Lake trail and goes 3.2 miles up to Castle Lake at 11,866.
Cathedral's south ridge has two distinct towers 0.25 south of the summit. The route ascends the east-facing gully to the north of the northern tower. We will hike around Cathedral Lakes northern rim and up this steep gully. From the saddle at the top of this gully we climb 0.25 miles north (right) up the ridge to the summit.

We should be back to the car/TH around 1-2pm. At which point we will tear down tents and head into Aspen.
Here is a map from the the TH to the lake:

Here is our route from the lake to the summit:

Route to Lead King Basin TH:
Friday evening will drive from Aspen to Carbondale by going north on Hwy 82.
Here is the info from, for Snowmass Mountain's west route, which is the same for Hagerman Peak south face route:
From Carbondale, drive 21.5 miles south on CO 133. Turn left on Gunnison County Road 3 toward the town of Marble (this road may be labeled as FR 314 on some maps). Measure the mileage from here:
- Drive 5.5 miles to the center of Marble and continue through the town.
- Pass a church at 5.8 mi. and Beaver Lake at 6.2 mi.
- At 7.0 miles, the road becomes rough.
- At 7.7 miles, there is a junction. Turn left on FR 315 for Lead King Basin.
- The remaining 6 miles is rough and narrow. 4wd vehicles only.
- At 9.7 miles, there is another junction. Stay left on FR 315.
- After a long drive with many switchbacks, reach the trailhead at 13.8 miles. It's on a corner, near a meadow, just after you cross a small stream.
- The trail starts just below the small parking area. A short distance up the trail there is a set of signs.

Saturday-climb Hagerman Peak--SOUTH FACE route:
Here is the info on

Steve, Jim, and I plan to climb Hagerman via the South Face and using the Geneva Lake approach. To get to Geneva Lake, we leave the TH hiking a trail north that parallels the Crystal River North Fork. After about a half mile, we turn west (left) at a junction with the Fravert Basin Trail. We climb switchbacks up the steep slope and follow the trail up the drainage for Geneva Lake which is a 10,936. We hike around the west side of the lake. At the lake's north end, we circle around to the east (right) on the trail that goes to Trail Rider Pass. We head into the trees and follow the trail as it goes around the bottom of Hagerman's south-west ridge heading south. The trail will turn back east & climbs gently to cross the creek at 11,480 in the small drainage under Hagerman's south face.

We leave the Trail Ride Pass Trail at 11,480, hike 0.1 mile north up a small trail on the creek's west side, pass a campsite & enter the narrow drainage. Stay on creek's west side & hike 0.4 mile northeast then north up drainage to 12,000 feet. There are two small valley's above this point. Turn north (right), hike 0.15 mile up rocky benches followed by a short, steep gully to reach a grass bench at 12,500. The introduction is over.

Hike 0.1 mile northwest up a steepening slope to 12,800 at the base of the face, then ascend it. The 1,100 foot climb up Hagerman's south face is consistent in angle and difficulty. There are a little rock steps, which you can usually avoid at the expense of staying in looser gullies. Near the top of the face, angle east (right) to avoid some cliffs & reach Hagerman's east ridge at 13,800. On the ridge you will have a stunning view of Snowmass Mnt. Turn west (left) and scamper 200 yards across a minor summit to reach Hagerman's highest point.

We plan to start our Saturday morning climb at 5am. This should have us on the summit around 10 or 11am. If we spend an hour on the summit and 4 hours down, we should be back to the car around 3 or 4pm.

Route to Maroon Lake TH:
The trailhead is at 9,600 feet. From Aspen's north side, leave Hwy 82 and turn left on Maroon Lake road going 9.4 miles. We plan to be car camping in the Overnight lot (first one on the left) shy of the lake.

We will camp here at the TH for Saturday night.

Sunday-climb Thunder Pyramid mountain--WEST FACE route:
Here is the info from

Steve, Jim and I plan to start hiking around 5:00am. We will hike southwest on the trail that will take us past Maroon Lake, then past Crater Lake, past the "bent" tree, past the turn to Maroon Peaks' standard route for a total of about 3.5-3.9 miles. We will be looking for a place (snow bridge hopefully) to cross the creek to the east. This will be around 10,500-10,600 feet and we should be to this creek crossing around 7:00am or so.

From here we hike 1.1 mile east…straight up 3,400 feet!

In Roach's book it says: Hike 0.3 mile northeast to 10,800 feet in a small drainage. Hike 0.4 mile southeast up this drainage to 11,700 feet, where the drainage flattens, opens and heads south. Leave the drainage and climb 0.25 miles east to north and get into a large, WHITE GULLY just above a cliff band. Finding this gully is key to the climb. Climb along the north (left) edge of these white gully to 13,400 (Class 2+). Cross to the gully's south side and climb south out of the gully on very loose blocks (Class 3). Scamper up to the ridge above. This is the upper south ridge of "Thunder Pyramid."

Climb north on or just west of the ridge over two steps to the summit (Class 3). This 3,400' of vertical will probably take us a good 4 hours for an approximate summit time around 11am.

If we spent an hour on the summit, I would guess we would be back to the TH (parking lot) around 4pm. I will plan to call or text from Aspen before 6pm.

Here is a map of our intended route:

Again, I plan to send SPOTs so you can follow us along the way and track our progress.

County Sheriff: Pitkin: 970-920-5300
National Forest: White River
Wilderness Area: Maroon Bells - Snowmass
Another number the Pitkin County Sheriff is: 970-920-5310.

Please pray for our safety and success!

I love you family.
Last edited by amnicola on Mon Jun 24, 2013 6:17 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Have I not commanded you? Be strong and of good courage; do not be afraid, nor be dismayed, for the LORD your God is with you wherever you go.
-Joshua 1:9

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Re: Steve Gladbach

Postby Kiefer » Sun Jun 23, 2013 4:25 pm

Ryan. I'm LEAVING ESTES NOW for Maroon Lake. I have extra gear, rope and med supplies packed. Gonna try and help SAR anyway I can. I know that mountain and whole ridge pretty damn well.
I'll call you when I'm on the road.

Thanks Amnicola for that beta.

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Re: Steve Gladbach

Postby Greenhouseguy » Sun Jun 23, 2013 4:34 pm

Steve, Britt, and Jim are all in my thoughts. Wishing the best outcome for Steve.
"May your boulder be your blessing." - Aron Ralston

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Re: Steve Gladbach

Postby kushrocks » Sun Jun 23, 2013 4:37 pm

heading up to search in about 2 hours. does anyone have gps points for thunder pyramid?

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Re: Steve Gladbach

Postby seano732 » Sun Jun 23, 2013 4:44 pm

Positive vibes to all involved..... Pray everyone's ok. Peace.
" I want to be more like the Ocean, no talking and all action"- Jane's Addiction
"Where is the love, to be found?"- Bob Marley
"It's just a ride..." Bill Hicks

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Re: Steve Gladbach

Postby travis19877 » Sun Jun 23, 2013 4:52 pm

My family and friends are all praying for these guys. Thank you guys for the updates..


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