Peak(s):  Geneva Mountain - 12,335 feet
Date Posted:  12/07/2013
Modified:  12/12/2013
Date Climbed:   12/01/2013
Author:  Jay521

 Geneva Mountain - the hard way  

12ers can be fun! (part 2)

Approach: Abyss Lake Trail (aka Scott-Gomer Trail)
Length: A bit over 7 miles RT
Vertical: About 2700 feet
Ascent party: Solo

Needing some solitude after being with a lot of people on Thanksgiving led me to another sojourn into the Mount Evans Wilderness Area. Like many of the peaks in the MEW, I have climbed Geneva Mountain several times from several sides. This trip, I chose what I will call the "Francis Creek" route to do as a snowshoe route and got quite the workout.

My first climb up Geneva was quite by accident - probably 30 years ago. I had wandered up what appeared to be the remnants of a logging road and ended up on top of Geneva. I didn't even know what the mountain was called until I got home. Since then, I've done Geneva from the north side off the Rosalie trail, from the south ridge, and via the west ridge (see Derek's great trip report here), but the Francis Creek route is probably my favorite. It's a little bit of everything - following old logging roads, lots of bushwhack (not quite as bad as the LCW but close) and some willow thrashing. Add to that a couple feet of snow and the day became quite the workout - which was welcome as I had many calories to work off from my lack of willpower at the dinner table a few days earlier.

My recent Kataka report here will give directions to the trailhead and Francis Creek is the "feeder stream" I refer to in the 4th picture. You turn left just before crossing this stream and head into the woods heading WNW. You will gradually curve NNW.

The trail follows the solid line - you want to take the left fork (dash line).

If you see this, you have gone too far (image 4 from my Kataka report).

You parallel the creek most of the way up - starting out on the left side of the creek, following an old logging road much of the way.

There was definitely some logging activity in the past as seen by some of the tree cuts.

About 2 miles in, you cross over the creek and continue on the right side. (taken on the way down)

After another half mile or so, you will come across the remnants of an old saw mill.

More remnants (taken on the way down)

Continuing on, the terrain can go from an old logging road..

to something a little more challenging..

You can cut up to the right and follow the ridge if you like as there are some fairly easy access points that go up that way.

But, given the wind, I had decided to stay in the trees as long as possible.

My route continues...

You do get a chance for some views looking back down from the sporadic willows. I have stopped at this spot several times over the years to take pictures.

And then it's back in the trees for a while.

When you do finally break out of the trees, point 12,179 looks large and the first time up, I went up it only to look back east and realize that point (Geneva Mountain) was higher. That is 12,179 on the left (Geneva is not visible)

Heading up Geneva - summit not visible. And 12,179 is still beckoning to the left.

As with most Colorado mountains, the views from the summit are awesome.

Looking west to Squaretop.

Looking southwest.

South to South Park.

East to Kataka.

North to the Mount Evans Mastiff.

Another short and shaky 360 vid from the summit - and the wind was blowing again (imagine that!)

I chose to go down in generally the same way I went up - sometimes I like going down the ridge but the wind was getting very annoying and I was looking forward to getting back down in the trees for a bit of a respite.

This was the first time I have done the Francis Creek route on snowshoes and it certainly added to the challenge. But, like virtually every other mountain any of us have ever climbed, the result was worth the effort. And I got the solitude I was seeking - didn't see another soul all day.

Approximate route.

Thanks for taking the time to read this and be careful out there!

Thumbnails for uploaded photos (click to open slideshow):

Thumbnails for uploaded photos (click to open slideshow):

 Comments or Questions

12ers can be fun!
12/08/2013 17:04
I'm coming with ya on one of these. I'm telling you. Not even asking


Nice Pics Jay
12/09/2013 18:44
That one of Bierstadt reminds me I need to attempt it from the Abyss trail one of these days!


12/11/2013 17:40
Kay - You'll run me ragged but are certainly welcome to join me anytime.

Beau - I have done it from that side and it's a longish day. A car shuttle between Guanella Pass and the Abyss Lake TH would make it more tolerable, I think.

All - Thanks for the likes - they are much appreciated. I will try to do more reports on less traveled peaks.


he's on a roll...
12/12/2013 04:34
Nice report Jay!


yes he is...
12/16/2013 04:01
Nice job, Jay!


nice report
12/25/2013 17:03
I need to get out there and burn some calories too. Easier said than done sometimes. Great job and nice report!


Thanks, guys!
12/27/2013 02:44
Dillon - yeah - but my reports pale next to yours... Pagoda was unreal!

Jim - Thanks, man... We gotta get together one of these days...

Gary - Yep - the older we get, the more we have to work on calorie burning, don't we?

Thanks again for the comments, gentlemen. Much appreciated!

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