Peak(s):  "Fancy Pk"  -  13,192 feet
Savage Pk  -  13,139 feet
Unnamed 12940
Unnamed 12898
Date Posted:  06/22/2012
Date Climbed:   06/18/2012
Author:  mennoguy
 A Savagely Fancy Ridge  

"Fancy Peak" 13,192
Savage Peak 13,139
Unnamed 12940
Unnamed 12898

TH: Fancy Creek/Missouri Lakes
~12 miles 5100 Feet

I had eyeballed these peaks for quite some time, but always put off climbing them. That had to change, it had been nearly four years since my last visit to the Holy Cross Wilderness. I had very little beta on the connecting ridge between these peaks other than the topo map and the knowledge that it was possible to traverse it. In the spirit of Chicago Transplant I will not give exacting details of this fine traverse, but give a more general overview of the climb.

Having a perfect forecast allowed me to get a later start, I headed up the Fancy Creek trail at 7:00 am. There are a lot of downed trees on the trail, which slowly gains elevation until Fancy Lake. The steepness picked up shortly after the lake and soon I was climbing on snow. Even in a relatively dry year this northeast facing gully retains snow. Luckily for me the snow was in good condition and I made quick work of it to the pass. I recommend having an ice ax or trekking poles while climbing Fancy Pass. From Fancy Pass I located an old mining trail and followed it to the ridge crest where it was a class 2 traverse to the summit. I summited at 9:30.

Waterfall on Fancy Creek

Fancy Lake

Snow on Fancy Pass trail

Snow Conditions on upper portion of pass

View NW from Pass

S Ridge of "Fancy Peak"

Upper Ridge

After a short stay I headed towards 12940. There are two ridge bumps to navigate around to arrive at the summit. The first is easily traversed on grassy ledges to the west (class 2+), the second is just a talus hop on the NE slopes. The final ridge to 12940 is class 2+ if you stay on the ridge crest, I summited at 10:45. This was my first chance to view the crux of the route, the SW ridge of 12940.

Ledge System

View west from 12940

On the topo map the SW ridge of 12940 looks like a simple ridge run. This is not the case, I had wondered why so few people combined these peaks considering their short mileage. This intimidating ridge might be the answer. I was able to find a class 3 way down the ridge, my being 6' 4" probably helped. The descent went fairly quickly considering the terrain. The rock is solid and I was always able to see an easy way down. Once I reached the saddle I was greeted with the prospect of climbing 12898. I found a class 2 way up to the summit ridge where it was an easy stroll to the summit it was 12:15 when I summited.

Upper SW ridge crux

Looking up at the class 3 ridge

Looking down the ridge

All that stood between me and Savage Peak were a few ridge bumps. I didn't encounter anything noteworthy on the traverse and arrived on the summit of Savage at 1:00. While planning this traverse I had entertained the idea of climbing 12448 and 12546 to the south, I decided against it and descend Savage's NE ridge and then bushwhacked to the Missouri Lakes trail. If you're looking for a beautiful waterfall hike this is it. I arrived back at my car at 3:15.

One of many waterfalls on the descent


Final waterfall on Missouri Creek

Thumbnails for uploaded photos (click to open slideshow):
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15

 Comments or Questions
Steve Knapp

Memorable ridge
06/22/2012 18:09
Great set of peaks, got to love the Holy Cross Wilderness. It's too bad most people never climb more than one or two peaks in there. I recall some difficulties on that traverse, I ended up downclimbing some scary stuff. But with good route selection it's certainly doable.


06/23/2012 03:19
I like the Holy Cross Wilderness! One of the finer areas in the state that I've been to. Thanks for posting on a fine looking route.

I did this linkup in reverse
06/26/2012 21:56
I started with Savage. The advantage of going this way is that route finding up the intimidating appearing west ridge of 12940's 12867 subpeak is easier; the reciprocal downside is that descending the steepest section from 12898 to the pass north of Missouri Lakes appears more daunting than it is. At any rate, I was able to find a fun, hands-free, comfortably dog-passable line at class 2+.

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