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Chiefs Head Peak

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

Postby EXCRUCIATED » Wed Jun 05, 2013 10:52 am

In August I am planning a multi-day trip along the divide in RMNP. We will begin in wild basin up to Lion Lake and over Chiefs Head peak. I am trying to find information regarding the difficulty past Cheif's Head to McHenry's via Stoneman. We will camp near Lion Lake so we can start early and negotiate. Night two I was hoping to by shelf lake, but that looks like it may require technical to get down into from the divide. Anyone have experience in this area? Anyone experienced who doesn't have anything to do for three days in August? I am experienced with Long's Peak three times, but not many over nighters. I just want to stay up there for a few days to really soak it in, it's always so sad to leave such a beautiful place after only a few hours. Thanks for any insights.

Josh
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Re: Chiefs Head Peak

Postby viejo » Wed Jun 05, 2013 11:12 am

You might want to start by going to the NPS website and determining where you're allowed to camp. There are both designated sites and undesignated back country areas, all requiring permits. Shelf Lake, for example, would not be a legal camping location. Knowing where you can or can't legally camp will help put a spin on what routes you might want to take.

For example, if you wanted to end in the Glacier Gorge area, your camping spot would be down near Jewel Lake. It would then make sense to descend from Stone Man's pass. McHenry's would be done as a side trip from the pass. Stone Man's pass descent would be steep with a pack, but doable (snow conditions permitting).

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Re: Chiefs Head Peak

Postby Alpineair » Wed Jun 05, 2013 12:30 pm

Unless you're prepared for technical terrain I think you will want to go over Boulder-Grand Pass south of Mt. Alice to access McHenry from Wild Basin.
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Re: Chiefs Head Peak

Postby Floyd » Wed Jun 05, 2013 12:41 pm

EXCRUCIATED wrote:I am trying to find information regarding the difficulty past Cheif's Head to McHenry's via Stoneman.


Josh,
Here you go.
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Re: Chiefs Head Peak

Postby Alpineair » Wed Jun 05, 2013 12:47 pm

Thanks for correction Floyd. Sweet photos!
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Re: Chiefs Head Peak

Postby Brian Thomas » Wed Jun 05, 2013 2:43 pm

Can anyone advise on the difficulty and complexity of the approach to Stone Man Pass from above Black Lake, and if this would be easier/harder/impossible with snow? I read lordhelmut's TR and their group went up by an alternate route.

Thanks
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Re: Chiefs Head Peak

Postby Monster5 » Wed Jun 05, 2013 2:57 pm

Dry, it is pretty straight forward - head WSW somewhat towards Arrowhead and head left on the slabby ledges when it starts to get difficult. I recall a brief class 3 section. It's a class 2 talus hop up after that to Stoneman. Bit loose.

https://picasaweb.google.com/105978537438093356597/UtahandMcHenrys09252012#5792374435234881746

With snow or ice, I would probably avoid the slabby section and take the long way around: heading east from the lake up the gully towards Storm prior to pulling a U back to Stoneman. Class 2 all the way.

Brian Thomas wrote:Can anyone advise on the difficulty and complexity of the approach to Stone Man Pass from above Black Lake, and if this would be easier/harder/impossible with snow? I read lordhelmut's TR and their group went up by an alternate route.

Thanks
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Re: Chiefs Head Peak

Postby Papillon » Wed Jun 05, 2013 3:09 pm

I agree with everything Monster5 wrote above. I don't think you want to fiddle with the slabs to your right when you get to Black Lake if there is snow/ice. I thought the toughest move of the day was gaining the top of the slabs. There was one short section of easy 3.

The gully to stoneman is loose but not awful. The backside of McHenrys has a faint trail all the way to the summit. You can make it as difficult as you want. Staying ridge proper would be the most challenging.

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Re: Chiefs Head Peak

Postby Brian Thomas » Wed Jun 05, 2013 3:22 pm

Monster5 and Papillon, exactly the information I was looking for, thank you! We are thinking about going for McHenrys and Chiefs Head this weekend. When I made the BC permit reservation in early March, CO was still at well below average snowpack for the year, so not sure what to expect up there...
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