Peak(s):  Isolation Pk  -  13,118 feet
Mahana Peak - 12632
Date Posted:  12/09/2013
Date Climbed:   12/07/2013
Author:  Kylie
Additional Members:   FireOnTheMountain, Boggy B
 Isolation Peak  

Time: 15 hrs, 25 minutes

Mileage: 17.3

Gain: 5735'

We met Abe at the winter closure for Wild Basin Friday evening at 8400' and slept a few hours before our early start. We began hiking at 1:41 a.m. to make the most of the gloomy forecast and set out for the remote Isolation Peak.

We followed a packed trail for about 2 miles and then strapped our snowshoes for the untouched snow ahead.

We continued to follow the trail to Ouzel Falls. The bridge at the falls was demolished but we didn't have trouble crossing with the deep snow.

We planned to hang a left towards Ouzel Lake at the first trail junction after the falls but missed it in the dark and took the next junction which required a short but strenuous bushwhack through the trees to gain the base of the east ridge at around 9800'.

In the trees at first light

The snow depth eventually began to relent as we emerged from treeline and gained elevation on the ridge so we removed our snowshoes and stayed on top of the exposed talus for the remainder of the hike to the summit.

The most we saw of the sun

We ran into a herd of bighorn sheep on the ridge!

The herd


From the plateau at around 12500' we took a brief detour to the summit of Mahana Peak at 12632'. From Mahana we descended about 350' into basin above Isolation Lake and stashed our snowshoes before climbing the remaining 800' of aesthetic rime covered talus to the summit.

The boys on the summit of Mahana with Isolation ahead

Climbing the rime

Rime Reaper

We summited at 11:30 a.m; just under 10 hours from when had started that morning! The summit was an impressive, exposed block of boulders blanketed in rime. After a few celebratory photographs we began our long descent.

Summit disperski

My 140th 13er!

The rime covered summit ridge

Exposure from the summit


We skirted the summit of Mahana and followed our tracks down the ridge, through the trees and back to the trail.

Following our tracks through the snow

In the heart of the bushwhack on the way down

Crossing back over the broken bridge at Ouzel Falls

We arrived back at the trail head at 5:04 p.m replete with aches and pains but happy to have been able to withstand the frigid temps and successfully day trip such a distant peak in winter conditions! Happy December!

Our route!

Thumbnails for uploaded photos (click to open slideshow):
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16

 Comments or Questions

12/10/2013 05:21
Well done guys!

mike offerman

A very impressive hike
12/10/2013 12:39
Bet it doesn't see too many ascents in December!

Brian C

Great work!
12/10/2013 13:04
That's impressive and a serious haul! Slopes look to be holding a bit less snow than I would have imagined too. Thanks for posting!


Kevin Baker

12/10/2013 14:22
A rare TR from Kylie! Heck of an effort, guys. That's a long day in summer!


Damn fine report!
12/10/2013 14:37
You guys are animals! I love this report!
Keep 'em coming, please.


12/10/2013 16:10
Super effort, people, and excellent report! I assume the bridge was broken from the flooding? Haven't been back there in quite awhile. Thanks for your post!


well done gang!
12/10/2013 16:17
this is awesome.


12/10/2013 16:33
Thanks guys! It was good day! Haha - Abe put me up to it Kevin!


Two TRs in a row!
12/10/2013 16:45
Now who's the A-lister, ali

Nice beta Kylie. You'd make a good engineer. Tough conditions. Can't say I'm too disappointed to have missed out - I might have pulled a Sarnelli and turned back prior to the 12er


Gotta love those RMNP 13ers!
12/10/2013 19:47
Long approaches, lots of bushwhacking, 12 hour days. What more could you ask for? Oh yeah, do it in WINTER! A great effort with nice pics to boot.

Boggy B

Good job!
12/10/2013 20:17
No nonsense here.


Looks like fun
12/10/2013 22:55


well done
12/11/2013 04:16
but it must have been tough to do all that in those conditions, and not have it be counted as a calendar winter ascent


Amazing job guys!
12/11/2013 18:08
It looks cold.
Abe are you rocking a gaper gap in photo 9?


Very nice!
12/11/2013 19:18
What a great surprise to see a TR from Wild Basin right now, not surprisingly Abe was involved in a death march

Thanks for the bridge picture also. Great effort all around and a well written report, Kylie


Excited for the rest of the season!
12/12/2013 00:15
Thanks Andyouseeme! I don't really mind Cougar

It was chilly Kay but we pretty much were moving the whole time and did a good job of snacking frequently to stay warm - next time you'll have to join!


12/12/2013 01:47
Thanks John! Can't wait to see you!


Awesome pictures
12/12/2013 18:51
See title.


Nice! Slotski disperski
12/13/2013 18:17
You guys are amazing!
Congratulations on 140 Kylie!
Excellent report and photos.
I hope to see you two around Christmas


12/14/2013 15:55
Dillon, Dave, Brian and I did that route in November, with far less snow - your trip was much tougher. Great work! Isolation's summit block is pretty sweet! I couldn't tell from your report if you got there from the east ridge or if you went the more direct south ridge. We did the east ridge, then returned over Mahana.


12/14/2013 21:19
Thanks! We traversed across the face and then went up the south ridge. The summit block was great! The exposure with all the rime was perfect


wow . . .
12/16/2013 12:35
My eyes got tired just following your route on the map. Impressive.


12/23/2013 17:44
And only two peaks!


12/23/2013 20:49
Hahaha I like your profile picture Barry! Michael just showed me that video! Only two peaks, only one 13er and NO which o' wich!

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