Peak(s):  "Pk C"  -  13,220 feet
Date Posted:  06/05/2012
Modified:  05/18/2013
Date Climbed:   06/02/2012
Author:  d_baker
 C is for....  

C is for Climbers: Darin Baker & Terri Horvath

This episode is brought to you in part by Kinco gloves....
....not just for work anymore!

"Peak C" (13,200')
Gore Range


Trailhead: Piney Lake
Route: SW couloir
Distance: ~10mi's RT (round trip)
Elevation Gain: ~4300'
Difficulty: moderate snow climb (mid-30 degree range), with class 3 & 4 rock scrambling on the ridge after topping out at the col


Gear: daypack w/Essentials, ice axe, crampons, helmet

Resources Used For Trip Planning: Joe Kramarsic's Mountaineering in the Gore Range: A Record of Explorations, Climbs, Routes, and Names; TOPO! mapping software; NOAA weather forecast


For anyone that has hiked Mt. Powell (a.k.a., "Peak B"), it should go without saying that the views of "Peak C" are stunning. As you descend Kneeknocker Pass en route to Mt. Powell, the N face of "Peak C" commands your attention, and attention it deserves!

August 26, 2011

But as one drives along Red Sandstone Road on the way to the Piney River Ranch (which is where the trailhead is located), the south face of "Peak C" also looks deserving of a visit. (Besides, the N face is just damn steep and probably scary, so this sissy will look for a reasonable snow route to climb instead!)

It just so happens that Terri had a desire to climb "Peak C" since seeing it herself when she made an ascent of Powell.

Sweet, I have a partner in crime.

The Approach

We set out shortly after 5am, walking down the familiar trail as it heads NW towards our goal. Conversation and laughs come easy, and before we know it we're at the turnoff point for our approach to the climb.

Now, a word or two about that approach....

If you've never been in the Gore, and you look at the map to find the lettered peaks labeled or even "trails" to their summits, don't expect to find much. That is why Kramarsic's book is a vital part to any Gore adventure; at least I think it is. Anyhow, our approach uses the basin between "Peak C" and "Peak D." To find this basin, simply hike the Piney Lake trail until the first rise above the river grants the first views of The Spider & The Fly. Turn left.

There. I did it. Gore beta. Now, let's find out what "C" is for....

C is for Climb

Terri looks at our line while pumping water

Approaching the couloir proper

The snow was spotty, but firm. Our climb was still in the shade, so I was expecting more of the same.

Terri booting up the "apron"

At the base of the couloir, we decide to stop and put our crampons on, and get the axes out. The snow continued to be in great shape, with sun cups that provide good footing.

(Photo by Terri)

Terri & the maiden voyage for her neon Kinco's

C is for Clouds & Contrails

Getting close to the col

Class 4 section above the col

Stow the axe, stash the crampons - it's time to rock

(Photo by Terri)



(Photo by Terri)

The class 4 gives way to class 3, and then back to class 4, and then even some class 2 hill walking. ;)
No matter, it's all classy. This is the Gore.


Oh yeah. Almost forgot.

C is for Cumulus

Yup, the weather had been developing into something not entirely friendly looking. A short stay on the summit was in order.
But before we leave.....

C is for Crazy
Elaine Crazy

We retraced our steps with some grapple falling and rumbles in the sky for good measure; it all makes one focus a little more.




We're in luck. The weather threatens but does not fully unleash its power. Thank you!

Back in the basin, we sit for a while and think about "Peak D" and its W couloir. Should we climb it today? I did mention C is for Crazy, right? (A second peak? What?!)

We decide "D" will wait another day. Gotta work slowly at this alphabet stuff.

What is C for?

In July of 1932, Edmund Cooper and Carl Erickson recorded the first known ascent of "Peak C." According to Kramarsic's book and his extensive research, they're (Cooper & Erickson) also credited with the naming of the lettered peaks, appointing high peaks that surround the Black Creek Valley, starting with A and going through to O. In 1933, the letters P thru T were designated for peaks in the Slate Creek area.

In 1935, a map made by Kenneth Segerstrom "perpetuated the letter designations" (Kramarsic, pg 12) and the nomenclature lettering system of the Gore became the "norm."

There. I did it again. A little bit of Gore lore.

Back to Our Trip

Well, not much is really left to say. We hiked down and out, got rained on a bit, talked a bunch more, laughed too. All in all, a great day!

Last look at "Peak C"
(Photo by Terri)

And we saw a local resident
(Photo by Terri)

C is for Cherish

Lastly, I must say I do cherish my time in the mountains. Especially when it's in the Gore, but more importantly - when it's with good friends! Thanks Terri for joining me for another great Gore peak!

I also cherish these times because very soon I'll be in Texas for work. That, I don't think I'll cherish too much. ;)

Thanks for reading,

Thumbnails for uploaded photos (click to open slideshow):

 Comments or Questions

Cookie Monster never made it to the Gores
06/06/2012 13:23
For him, ”C is for cookie. That's good enough for me.” He's missing out.
Great report, Chock-full of great pics and a good vibe.
It was Clever to embed Elaine Benes' dancing. That made me Chortle and snarf my Coffee on to the Counter.
Peak C has been on my Checklist ever since seeing it from Kneeknocker, so thanks for posting.


”C” is for Classic
06/06/2012 14:57
So that's what the views are like up there? We had 10 feet (tops) of visibility unfortunately. Another stellar TR Darin. Incredible peak for sure.


06/06/2012 16:55
Thanks for the report, love the Gores



Nice TR Darin
06/06/2012 16:58
Peak C has to be in the top 3 best 13ers I've done and you 2 have done it justice! Glad the 100 mile drive from Vail to Piney is good to go!

Matt Lemke

Me likey...
06/06/2012 17:03
I really want to climb that one! Well done


Nice Report, Nice Partner
06/06/2012 18:30
Good to see you and Terri getting out again. FWIW, she rocks. I'd say you rock as well but I don't want you to get the wrong idea. You know, the internet and perceptions and stuff.

Drop me a line when you finish your sentence down south.

Kevin Baker

well done
06/06/2012 19:07
Well done TR as usual, Darin! You are turning into quite the Gore enthusiast. We'll miss you this summer while you're working in Dallas. Maybe you should pursue some county highpoints to keep you sane down there!

Looks like some fine scrambling above that col and a nice snow climb. Maybe I'll finally get around to C next spring.


Thanks everyone
06/07/2012 11:32
Thanks for the comments.

Kevin B, no Texas high-pointing for me! Maybe I'll take up golf. ;)

Matt, your comment is a bit clever in itself.

Papi, you're right. She rocks! Hopefully I'll get off early for good behavior down south. Until then, I think I'll put on some Pantera and become a Cowboy from Hell. Time to buy a stetson.


The Gore
06/07/2012 14:53
Like partners, some places just click. The Kingdom of the Gore is one of those places. It may not the big secret that we want it to be, but it's still rugged, wild, and super cool, just like your creative report. Good vibes all around. You may have inspired me to go back in there this weekend. Not sure where I'll end up but it's hard to go wrong. Those tall ridgelines do a remarkable job at catching the first and last rays of sunlight. Best of luck in Texas, see you when you get back.


Good Stuff
06/11/2012 19:00
Need to try that sometime. (hiking)


great report Darin
06/19/2012 02:19
and an even better Elaine reference. ”C” is for Classic


Clamoring for more Gore
06/22/2012 05:07
My condolences to you for your upcoming descent to Dallas (the city, not the peak), and my commendation to you on a fun adventure that lead to yet another witty and informative report.


06/24/2012 16:16
I was going back to reports on the Gores and saw this one, nice report but too bad about going to Texas...

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