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Weminuche Peaks

Colorado 13er questions, conditions, and other info should be posted here. Also includes topics related to 13ers.com. 13er Trip Reports

Weminuche Peaks

Postby highplaces » Tue Jun 26, 2012 10:06 am

I’m planning a 5 day backpack loop in the Weminuche starting from Molas Pass heading east along Elk Creek Trail, then south at Peak Two, winding along Peak Three/Storm King/Peak 8/Leviathan, heading down to Sunlight Lake, then east along Sunlight Creek to Valecito Trail, and north to connect back to Elk Creek Trail to Molas Pass.

I’d like to climb a few peaks along the way. Ideally I’d like to keep the climbs under Class 2 so I don’t have to carry a helmet. But, if I carry the helmet, I’d want to keep them Class 3 or less.

I’ve been doing research and it seems that many of the peaks in the area are Class 4/5 which is beyond what I want to do on this trip.

Any suggestions for Class 2 or Class 3 routes on peaks I’ll be walking past?

Any don’t miss peaks or passes along the way?

From what I’ve seen in photos, it seems any spot in this area is pretty darn fantastic, I’m just trying to find some of the easier routes up.

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Re: Weminuche Peaks

Postby Floyd » Tue Jun 26, 2012 10:37 am

To meander through that area, you're going to hit some class 3 terrain. Unless you are comfortable with a map/compass and straight forward class 3 stuff, you're probably best to stick to the trails. For how to navigate it, check out these 2 trip reports (1/2 and 2 continued) and this one.

Class 2 peaks? Peak 2/3, Peaks 7/6, Leviathan and there are others (Hunchback Group). If you are in Sunlight Basin, Knife Point sounds and looks ferocious, but is Class 2. But, yes, the bigger guys are going to require some minimal scrambling on even the easiest of routes.
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Re: Weminuche Peaks

Postby SarahT » Tue Jun 26, 2012 10:37 am

Peaks Two & Three are 2nd class and straightforward and can both be accessed from the saddle between the two. Storm King is a good one, SW ridge is 2+. Peak Seven via its N Ridge is very reasonable, maybe a spot or two of 3rd class. Leviathan SW ridge is class 3 and fairly straightforward.
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Re: Weminuche Peaks

Postby MtHurd » Tue Jun 26, 2012 10:45 am

Silex goes at class 3 with good routefinding, might even be easier as I was enjoying the scramble and wasn't looking for anything easier. I still would wear a helmet. I wasn't able to get over to The Guardian but it looked similar to Silex. I haven't done Peak 1, but it looks pretty easy and would have a spectacular view of the Grenadiers from the summit.

Re: Weminuche Peaks

Postby highplaces » Tue Jun 26, 2012 6:28 pm

Thank you everyone for the ideas and suggestions. Definitely helpful in narrowing down what to look at.

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Re: Weminuche Peaks

Postby oldschoolczar » Tue Jun 26, 2012 8:02 pm

Rio Grande Pyramid:
http://www.summitpost.org/the-rio-grande-pyramid/151491

I haven't done it yet, so can't attest to the difficulty but this is where I would go
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I'll cut the hearts from pharoahs"
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Re: Weminuche Peaks

Postby gdthomas » Tue Jun 26, 2012 8:17 pm

Just got back from climbing Rio Grande Pyramid from Weminuche Pass. RGP is a bit far for the OP's itinerary but its only class 2+ by the standard route so well within his difficulty tolerance. Can't say if a non-eastern approach would be more difficult or not. The view from the summit is priceless.

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Re: Weminuche Peaks

Postby PaliKona » Tue Jun 26, 2012 9:03 pm

Pics?

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Re: Weminuche Peaks

Postby gdthomas » Tue Jun 26, 2012 9:39 pm

Yep. One of these days I'll post a trip report.

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Re: Weminuche Peaks

Postby reshp1 » Wed Jun 27, 2012 10:46 am

We're doing a similar trip next week. Can someone provide some more beta on Storm King and Leviathan? Most of the trip reports are from people climbing more technical peaks nearby and only mention these peaks as an afterthought. Best I could find were the few sentences on SP.

Also, we are attempting to cross into Chicago Basin from Sunlight Lake, anyone have any info on this? Based on topo/google earth, it looks like the saddle between Windom and Sunlight Spire is doable. What about the Sunlight Spire - Sunlight Peak saddle? That option looks steeper but maybe less loose.

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Re: Weminuche Peaks

Postby MtHurd » Wed Jun 27, 2012 12:07 pm

I climbed Storm King via the Beartown Trailhead and accessed it via Stormy Gulch. You pass by Lake Silex on the west side up to the Storm King/Peak 9 saddle. Then you traverse over northwest a short ways and then there is a gully that will take you to the summit at loose class 2. This route will require a wade of Vallecito Creek and a little bit of bushwhacking and routefinding.

For Leviathan, the best way to climb it is to hike up into Noname Basin to the Jagged/Leviathan saddle and climb the ridge to the summit. I didn't climb this one, only looked at it but it looks like class 2, maybe class 3 in places.

PM if you want more detailed info.

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Re: Weminuche Peaks

Postby reshp1 » Wed Jun 27, 2012 12:36 pm

Barry Raven wrote:I climbed Storm King via the Beartown Trailhead and accessed it via Stormy Gulch. You pass by Lake Silex on the west side up to the Storm King/Peak 9 saddle. Then you traverse over northwest a short ways and then there is a gully that will take you to the summit at loose class 2. This route will require a wade of Vallecito Creek and a little bit of bushwhacking and routefinding.

For Leviathan, the best way to climb it is to hike up into Noname Basin to the Jagged/Leviathan saddle and climb the ridge to the summit. I didn't climb this one, only looked at it but it looks like class 2, maybe class 3 in places.

PM if you want more detailed info.


Thanks, our backpacking route takes us right next to those peaks so approach (hopefully) won't be an issue. We're heading up Elk Creek from Elk Park, turning south up the drainage between Peak 1 and Peak 2/3 to Trinity lake, around Lake Silex, between Peak 7 and Peak 8 and over to Leviathan Lake. Then zig-zagging around Leviathan Peak and Jagged over to Sunlight Lake, over the Windom/Sunlight Spire saddle to Chicago Basin, out to Needleton.

I'm probably over-thinking it, I'm guessing the reason not much is written about those routes is they're pretty straightforward. The "Once inside the bowl near the top of the mountain there are large piles of wasting talus- the kind that move for 20 feet in every direction if you step on it." part about Storm King on SP is a bit alarming though. :)

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