Peak(s):  Baldy Cinco  -  13,383 feet
"Baldy no es Cinco"  -  13,313 feet
PT 13,162 A  -  13,162 feet
Date Posted:  02/08/2015
Date Climbed:   02/07/2015
Author:  piper14er
 Baldy Group - no es 13510  

I was in need of an above tree line and 13,000 foot experience. 12ers are okay and you can get by with the lower peaks at times but the 13ers are where my real interest lie at the moment. After doing some research I decided on the Baldy Cinco group that is south of Lake City. The trail starts at Spring Creek Pass which is several miles south of Slumgullion Pass on Highway 149 between Lake City and Creede. There is a parking lot there and it is signed.

Originally I was going to have Friday off and so I was thinking I could get down there Thursday night, hike Friday, hang out Friday night and then drive home Saturday but that changed. Then I was going to work half a day Friday and leave but I ended up working all day and since I had planned on going, I left anyway. I got down there late and didn't get enough sleep for me.

Anyway you cross the road to the east side and follow a thiokol snowcat groomed trail that is 12 feet wide. After a few hundred yards take the left hand trail that goes by a sign and map.

The trail heading up after the left turn.
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The trail climbs up through the trees at a moderate slope.

I was feeling a little groggy (without the grog even) and it was a bit hard to get going. Once the sun started up I was feeling somewhat better.

The sunrise on peaks to the west and a waning moon.
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The cliff.
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I followed the groomed trail onto the plateau (or mesa if you like) and then left the trail heading straight towards Baldy no es Cinco (on the left with Baldy Cinco to the right).
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I was packing snowshoes and so I put them on from the trail to just below the peak. You probably could get by without the snowshoes since I did not use them after that. The snow was generally windblown and hard packed but there were some stretches where it was soft. There was not a lot of snow up higher and maybe 12-18" through the trees and on the plateau.

The groomed trail continues along the Colorado Trail.
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A view to the west.
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After crossing the flats, skirting around the deep drainage and climbing the lower slopes you get to the rocks and this view of Baldy no es Cinco.
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I believe another report mentioned the cairn (must have taken a wrong turn and reached Culebra).
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A closer look.
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Baldy Cinco 0.6 miles away.
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A view to the west.
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Boot tracks below Baldy no es Cinco.
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Note: as an side I believe the "no es" means not as good.

The slopes below Baldy Cinco.
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The summit looking towards Unnamed 13162A.
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The line to Unnamed 13162A is a curvy one. It bends around quite a ways before you are actually heading straight to the peak.
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The wind that was non-existent to start had been picking up all along the way. The wind was trying to knock me over on Unnamed 13162A.

The summit such as it is.
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I started for Unnamed 13510 but my foot was killing me (plantar faciitis). I had that in my left foot before and after a while it with treatment and wearing a boot at night it stopped bothering me. I seem to have it in my right foot now and it was really hurting.

A look towards Unnamed 13510.
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It dropped 500 feet or so of 13162A and then you need to gain 900-1000 feet to 13510. After that there would be some more elevation gain to get back up to the groomed trail elevation. Reluctantly I left Unnamed 13510 for another day and headed down to the trail. It was going to be a bit of a return trek even with the groomed trail. The plateau looked fairly flat from above but there were four or five downhill uphill sections on the way back.

A closer look at the saddle. It doesn't look too bad really.
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An uphill section as I limped back.
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The groomed trail flattens out.
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I continued on, reaching the spot where I left the trail for "no es" and continued on down from there. The gully is only about a 100 yards from that spot.

It really warmed up after dropping down out of the wind.

It was a really nice day and three 13ers are good despite my disappointment in passing up the last one. Maybe I should have headed to the last peak and worked my way back (which is contrary to the norm) but that is hindsight after all. If someone has a snowmobile and wanted to get that peak I would be happy to go along and shuttle the machine back while they hit the other three, just a thought. Otherwise I think it will be a relatively easy peak to grab this summer (long distance but not too much vertical).

My gps tells me 13 miles and 3900 feet. It did add a bit on the return.

My GPS Tracks on Google Maps (made from a .GPX file upload):




Thumbnails for uploaded photos (click to open slideshow):
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 Comments or Questions
Marmot72

bummer about the foot!
02/09/2015 03:25
You’ll just have to start sleeping in your boots,Al! Nice route description, as always, though I was hoping for one of your hallmark literary references.


piper14er

Hmmm
02/09/2015 14:21
I will have to think about that thanks


Papillon

Billie Jean...
02/09/2015 15:41
A lot of chicks on the forum aspire to be the princess of 14ers.com but Billie Jean has them all beat.

Snow Mesa would be a pretty terrifying place in total whiteout conditions. They have those big wooden poles in places but still. Hope you are back to 100% by the time summer rolls around. I’ll look for you.


piper14er

Thanks Pap
02/09/2015 18:17
I was thinking the same thing about the weather thing on the Mesa walking out there.
Billie Jean sends a big thank you on the princess thing. I try to keep her humble but sometimes it isn’t easy controlling those "chicks".

I am starting some treatment today, I can’t have the foot slowing me down, the older age thing does that all by itself.
Look forward to crossing trails sometime too.


Jay521

Another enjoyable one
02/09/2015 20:28
I always enjoy your reports. Thanks for posting this one – it’s a good excuse to head to Creede and beyond.


piper14er

Thanks Jay
02/10/2015 01:04
Always appreciate your comments.



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