Forum
Buying gear? Please use these links to help 14ers.com:

More info...

Other ways to help...

Opinions on Chiefs Head this Saturday?

Colorado 13er questions, conditions, and other info should be posted here. Also includes topics related to 13ers.com. 13er Trip Reports
Posts: 27
Joined: Sun Aug 05, 2007 10:04 pm

Opinions on Chiefs Head this Saturday?

Postby krishcane » Thu Oct 24, 2013 12:51 pm

Hey guys,

I'm thinking about a trip up Chiefs Head via Sandbeach Lake this Saturday. I don't mind cold and snow - forecast looks good - but I don't have snowshoes. Do you think it's deep enough up there yet to need/want flotation?

User avatar
Posts: 714
Joined: Mon Jun 18, 2007 10:30 am
Location: Fort Collins

Re: Opinions on Chiefs Head this Saturday?

Postby 12ersRule » Thu Oct 24, 2013 1:02 pm

I would say no to snowshoes, but a big yes to gaiters. Might want some traction like microspikes for Mt Orton part though. I've only done Chiefhead in the summer, but imagine with a little snow that part could be a pain.

Posts: 27
Joined: Sun Aug 05, 2007 10:04 pm

Re: Opinions on Chiefs Head this Saturday?

Postby krishcane » Thu Oct 24, 2013 2:57 pm

Cool. I'll go with gaiters and microspikes and check it out. I've only gone to Sandbeach Lake before, and Orton looks like the "crux", but nothing a little hard work won't handle. Thanks.

User avatar
Posts: 439
Joined: Sun May 06, 2012 3:56 pm
Location: Denver and Nathrop, CO

Re: Opinions on Chiefs Head this Saturday?

Postby Lemmiwinks » Thu Oct 24, 2013 3:22 pm

12ersRule wrote:I would say no to snowshoes, but a big yes to gaiters. Might want some traction like microspikes for Mt Orton part though. I've only done Chiefhead in the summer, but imagine with a little snow that part could be a pain.


Yep, from Sandbeach Lake to Mt. Orton, gaiters and microspikes would be highly recommended. Other than that, you shouldn't have a problem. Snowshoes would likely be overkill.
“If you're bumming out, you're not gonna get to the top, so as long as we're up here we might as well make a point of grooving." -Scott Fischer

Posts: 27
Joined: Sun Aug 05, 2007 10:04 pm

Re: Opinions on Chiefs Head this Saturday?

Postby krishcane » Thu Oct 24, 2013 4:10 pm

Do you guys generally pass Mt. Orton on the right (east) or the left (west)? Any certain route to pass the trees and boulders most easily, or just dead-reckoning and path-finding?

User avatar
Posts: 439
Joined: Sun May 06, 2012 3:56 pm
Location: Denver and Nathrop, CO

Re: Opinions on Chiefs Head this Saturday?

Postby Lemmiwinks » Thu Oct 24, 2013 4:15 pm

It's easiest to skirt Mt. Orton on the east side although you'll probably get within 50-100 ft of the "summit". There isn't really a defined trail, but the general direction you need to head is pretty straightforward.
“If you're bumming out, you're not gonna get to the top, so as long as we're up here we might as well make a point of grooving." -Scott Fischer

Posts: 27
Joined: Sun Aug 05, 2007 10:04 pm

Re: Opinions on Chiefs Head this Saturday?

Postby krishcane » Thu Oct 24, 2013 4:16 pm

That was my read too from my Sandbeach scouting trip. Thanks for the confirmation. Confidence in the mountains means a lot.

User avatar
Posts: 113
Joined: Mon Sep 01, 2008 4:07 pm

Re: Opinions on Chiefs Head this Saturday?

Postby tlerunner » Fri Oct 25, 2013 12:01 pm

Having gone over Orton before in snow as well as up Hunters Creek, I would recommend going up Hunters Creek from where the trail crosses on a bridge. There is a great social trail on the east side for a ways. Go all the way up the valley past a tarn to the saddle between Orton and Chiefs Head.
Last edited by tlerunner on Fri Oct 25, 2013 12:22 pm, edited 1 time in total.

User avatar
Posts: 5
Joined: Mon Jul 15, 2013 11:54 am

Re: Opinions on Chiefs Head this Saturday?

Postby SandyO » Fri Oct 25, 2013 12:05 pm

tlerunner wrote:Having gone over Orton before in snow as well as up Hunters Creek, I would recommend going up Hunters Creek from where the trail crosses on a bridge. There is a great social trail on the east side for a ways. Go all the way up the valley past a tarn to the sale between Orton and Chiefs Head.


FYI, that bridge was washed out in the flood.

Posts: 27
Joined: Sun Aug 05, 2007 10:04 pm

Re: Opinions on Chiefs Head this Saturday?

Postby krishcane » Sat Oct 26, 2013 7:38 am

Interesting additional considerations - thanks for the heads-up on the bridge. (postponing trip until tomorrow, which is why I'm not already on the trail)

I had heard about following Hunter's Creek up, but I didn't want to get stuck in a bushwack. What makes Mt. Orton irritating in the snow? And is the Hunter's Creek route much different in overall distance?

Also, anyone happen to know the mileage from the Sandbeach TH to Hunter's Creek, so that I can confidently follow it up without worrying that I've turned up one of the other creeks that crosses that trail earlier?

User avatar
Posts: 113
Joined: Mon Sep 01, 2008 4:07 pm

Re: Opinions on Chiefs Head this Saturday?

Postby tlerunner » Sat Oct 26, 2013 9:26 am

I found the boulders around Orton's summit to be treacherous when covered with a small amount of snow. The Hunters Creek area is much easier to navigate in my opinion.

User avatar
Posts: 5
Joined: Mon Jul 15, 2013 11:54 am

Re: Opinions on Chiefs Head this Saturday?

Postby SandyO » Sat Oct 26, 2013 2:57 pm

Camper's Creek is the first crossing. I assume that bridge is still there since it's not documented otherwise. Hunter's Creek is the second. Eyeballing the map it looks about 3/4 of the way to Sandbeach. Take the right/east side of Hunter Creek. When it branches, cross the right hand branch and follow the left branch. The creek will be on your left. I followed it all the way to a small pond, but it was rather crappy around there, so I would cross the stream and head straight to the North Ridge before getting to the pond. Let us know how it goes. I'm interested to hear about any trail damage and the condition of Hunter's Creek use trail after the flood.

Next

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 3 guests