Peak(s):  White, Mt  -  13,667 feet
Date Posted:  11/20/2016
Modified:  11/29/2016
Date Climbed:   11/20/2016
Author:  Hoot
 Mount White (before it got white)   

Date: 20 Nov 16
Climbed: Mount White, 13,667', Colorado #164 (ranked bicentennial)
Area: Just south of Mt Antero in the Sawatch Range
Trailhead: Brown's Creek
Route: Trail 1429 -> CO Trail (1776) -> Little Brown's Creek Trail (1430) and back
Climbers: Mike and Hoot
Stats: 13.1 miles, 7 hours and 15 minutes, about 4800 feet elevation gain
Of note: This route was still mostly snow-free in mid-November

I had originally planned to climb Mount White last weekend but ice on Chaffee Co 277 changed our plan and we climbed Mount Mamma and Boulder Mountain instead. Still after Mount White, I committed to the longish eastern approach and really enjoyed it.

Mike and I left northern Colorado Springs at 4:30 am and reached the Brown's Creek Trailhead around 6:45 am. Dirt Chaffee County 272 was dry and in excellent condition for a 2WD. The well-marked trailhead at 8,900 feet has a good-sized parking lot and still open restrooms. Mike and I started hiking from the trailhead at 6:58 am on Trail 1429 which provides access to both the Brown's Creek drainage on the south side of Mount White and Little Brown's Creek drainage on the north side of Mount White. After 1.2 miles from the trailhead, the trail intersected the Colorado Trail. We turned right on to the Colorado Trail and took it about a third of a mile north to reach Little Brown's Creek Trail (Trail 1430).

We signed the trail log at this well-marked intersection and then headed up the excellent trail which parallels Little Brown's Creek through the trees on the creek's north side. The easy-to-follow trail was initially dry but became covered with an inch or two of dry snow around 11,000 feet. We reached tree line at about 10:00 am and put on another layer due the brisk wind. Above tree line the still good trail alternated between dry and snow-covered due to small drifts. At 12,100 feet we followed the trail across the dry Little Brown's Creek and continued to ascent the drainage on its south side hiking a little past Mount White's summit. At this point the sun was out and the skies were clear. But as we approached the White-Antero saddle, however, a dark cloud quickly blew in from the west and the strong winds began pelting us with snow. We both stopped to put another layer on our legs and prepared for a more challenging than expected climb to the summit. My toes were starting to get a little cold and I had not brought much heavy duty winter gear for the hike. But no sooner than we got started hiking again along an old mining road, the skies quickly cleared up. While it was nice to have the sun back, the strong cold wind remained.

A little before 11:00 am at 12,640 feet, we left the mining road which paralleled the trail below us and climbed up to White's west ridge through an area of old mining prospects. The slope was not particularly steep and the climbing was easy despite being buffeted by the winds. We hit the summit ridge about 600 feet west of White's summit. From there it was an easy 5-minute class 2 hike to the summit. I reached the 13,667 feet summit of Mount White, the westernmost of two summit points, at 12:06 pm after 5 hours of casual hiking. From the western summit, I hiked just 400 feet to the eastern of the two summits which looked to me to be about the same height as the western summit. We didn't stay on the summit long as there was no protection from the wind. While we had considered heading down into Brown's Creek draining on the south side of Mount White, we decided to head back the way we came for a faster return trip. We started back down at 12:37 pm largely retracing our short-cut route down the north slope of Mount White to a mining road and then down to the Little Brown's Creek Trail. From there we made good time hiking back down the Little Brown's Creek trail and back to the trailhead. We returned to the trailhead at 2:13 pm for a 7 hour and 15 minute round trip of 13.1 miles with an elevation gain of about 4,800 feet.

Mount White was my 43rd Colorado bicentennial.

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

Thumbnails for uploaded photos (click to open slideshow):
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