Download Agreement, Release, and Acknowledgement of Risk:
You (the person requesting this file download) fully understand mountain climbing ("Activity") involves risks and dangers of serious bodily injury, including permanent disability, paralysis, and death ("Risks") and you fully accept and assume all such risks and all responsibility for losses, costs, and damages you incur as a result of your participation in this Activity.
You acknowledge that information in the file you have chosen to download may not be accurate and may contain errors. You agree to assume all risks when using this information and agree to release and discharge 14ers.com, 14ers Inc. and the author(s) of such information (collectively, the "Released Parties").
You hereby discharge the Released Parties from all damages, actions, claims and liabilities of any nature, specifically including, but not limited to, damages, actions, claims and liabilities arising from or related to the negligence of the Released Parties. You further agree to indemnify, hold harmless and defend 14ers.com, 14ers Inc. and each of the other Released Parties from and against any loss, damage, liability and expense, including costs and attorney fees, incurred by 14ers.com, 14ers Inc. or any of the other Released Parties as a result of you using information provided on the 14ers.com or 14ers Inc. websites.
You have read this agreement, fully understand its terms and intend it to be a complete and unconditional release of all liability to the greatest extent allowed by law and agree that if any portion of this agreement is held to be invalid the balance, notwithstanding, shall continue in full force and effect.
By clicking "OK" you agree to these terms. If you DO NOT agree, click "Cancel"...
Trailhead: Big Willis
Elevation Gain: 5,000'
With very little time to plan peaks and the weather being a bit iffy on the temperatures, I decided to just go for some Sawatch orphans. Better something than nothing, right? I had originally wanted to ski Rinker, but the exit looked heinous as the drainage narrows into a canyon. After my failed attempt to ski 13,460, I wasn't too keen to keep saving this peak for the same outcome.
So I packed up the entourage and got on the road late. Found both FS campgrounds closed, so had to go for a decent camp nearby to the trailhead. A short night later and I found myself at the trailhead at about sunrise gearing up. Here is where I found that I had forgotten my memory card in my camera. Again... Dang! At least then I could leave the big camera in my truck for the day, instead of carrying the dead weight up and down 5K!
I decided to follow piper14er's route and go up the Big Willis trail, and then come down Furthermore's route on the Twin Peaks. Being a big fan of that TV show, I had to summit those unranked peaks and sing the theme song to myself all day. The trail is quite nice, and even follows the CT for a short while. Yet another reminder that I want to hike the entire trail one of these days, as I've already hiked or biked many of the segments here and there.
Getting close to tree line, I started to get an idea on how steep the ascent up to Rinker would be. Slow going for sure! The willows looked worse than they were on the trail, but at the time I wasn't sure entering them would be a good idea. Once above that 13er annoyance, I became entranced with going up the lower angle slope, just beyond Rinker. It looked ever so much more pleasant than a steep slog. A bit longer, but I figured it would be more efficient as well as nicer to my ego. I'm slower than I'd like to be, but that's recovery for ya.
Once on the summit, I thought the worst of the work was over, as the ridge to Twin Peaks looked gentle. For the most part it is, and can be kept class 2. But after the initial Twin Peaks, the ridge becomes a bit more interesting. It was some of the most exciting hiking I've done in a while. Also some of the most tiring! Steep talus kept me on my toes to prevent an ankle roll. The super steep descent wore me out completely. I was ecstatic to come upon the trail. So much so, I decided to divert off the ridge to get to the trail sooner. Along the way I almost got pulled in by a lovely flat meadow. After the super steep, walking in a flat sunny meadow looked so pleasant. It was too bad that it was in the up-drainage direction, and I had to walk away from it.
Only people I saw all day were along the last mile of the trail to the trailhead.
Red Mtn B, Garfield (attempt)
Trailhead: Peakabo Gulch
Elevation Gain: 2,029'
After a nice long sleep, I started driving up the road from my posh campsite near 13,460. Sunrise was so lovely, I actually drove back down the road to get the first image. I felt quite lazy starting so late, but my legs were still sore from the 5K from the day before. Guess I'm not quite back to the express recovery I'm used to. At least today was supposed to be easy. Not much distance or elevation gain. A "short" ridge between Red and Garfield. Or at least that's what I thought many years ago when I drew a squiggly line on Topo! planning out this trip.
The road isn't bad, but it did get a bit steep, so I put it into 4WD low for fun. I could have driven all the way up to the mine, but chose the pullout just before it. Scoped out my route and got to bushwalking from the start. The ascent up the red scree was - less than ideal. Steep and loose. But slowly pulling my own version of 4WD low, I got up to the ridge. From there it was an easy stroll up to Red Mtn.
Of course, as soon as I got up to the summit of Red Mtn, I realized why no one pairs Red and Garfield - the ridge in-between looked unpleasant at best to impossible at worst. But the day was young, I figured I would go at least go as far as I was comfortable with.
After a nice trailed traverse, I got to the steep talus-scree, but I kept going. It was loose and it had been awhile since I've done the scree dance, but I still felt comfortable. Well - mostly. I couldn't stay ridge proper, since the rock was too friable and loose to trust hand and foot holds, so I kept a descending traverse on the loose scree. That was until I got to the major SW gully that come off near the summit of Garfield. It looked horrible and it may not have a viable exit. So I turned around. Only 0.15mi from the summit, but it wasn't worth trying anymore. A good reminder that what looks OK on a topo, may not be ok in real life. It's not an adventure, if you know you will always succeed!
My GPS Tracks on Google Maps (made from a .GPX file upload):
piper14er - I was glad to see your TR with map. With my original plan being to ski it, my route would have been heinous! I would have found the "difficult cliff" Furthermore mentioned. At least one of them!
Caution: The information contained in this report may not be accurate and should not be the only resource used in preparation for your climb. Failure to have the necessary experience, physical conditioning, supplies or equipment can result in injury or death. 14ers.com and the author(s) of this report provide no warranties, either express or implied, that the information provided is accurate or reliable. By using the information provided, you agree to indemnify and hold harmless 14ers.com and the report author(s) with respect to any claims and demands against them, including any attorney fees and expenses. Please read the 14ers.com Safety and Disclaimer pages for more information.
Please respect private property: 14ers.com supports the rights of private landowners to determine how and by whom their land will be used. In Colorado, it is your responsibility to determine if land is private and to obtain the appropriate permission before entering the property.