White BM - 13,401 feet
White Rock Mtn - 13,540 feet
White BM - 13,401 feet
White Rock Mtn - 13,540 feet
|Whiterocks from Teo Trailhead|
Sorry for posting this a little late but I was feeling motivated today
Anyway, on 8/14/17 I rolled out of the ol homestead in Crested Butte at 7:30am with the intent of bagging the White Rock group, that being White Rock of course and the Benchmark. West Brush Creek road was actually pretty slick since it had rained earlier in the morning and I actually had to help a car on a muddier off camber part of the road. After that, it was all good and I drove my 4runner up to the parking lot by the Teo Ridge trail, arriving at 8:30.
To access these mountains, you gotta head up the Teo Ridge trail maybe like .5 miles and then you will see a random wooden pole with a wilderness sign on it and behind that is a tiny footpath which is what initially takes you back into that basin. However, I got totally screwed by the rain earlier that morning and literally every plant and piece of flora fauna on the trail just had water sitting on it so everything below my waist was soaked... The first loss of the day has been taken early.
So this "trail" actually ends probably .75 miles later at a creek that you have to cross and it left me wondering where do I go from here.
Pro Tip: if you hike North, or take a right up the creek, from where the trail ends, there are some logs that have fallen across it that can help you cross it problem free. Across the stream is where the fun begins!
Once across the stream, I had to fight hundreds of soaking willows, but finally made it to a place where I could do some real ascending. On my left facing up the basin, I had a nice boulder field, and on my right was a forest. Did not even come close to feeling like finessing my way through a bunch of wet pine trees, so I chose the inviting looking boulders instead.
I basically skirted along the outside of the forest until I got higher and higher up.
And it was at this point that I realized I did not know this topo as well as I needed to. It's kind of weird, but there is like the main basin, but then there are about 3 more smaller basins inside of the main one, and apparently if you climb too high up on the South wall then it puts you in one of those basins which is not the correct one.
#2 is the basin that you try and aim for, but I accidentally ended up in #1 which may not seem like a big deal, but it's just more loose rocks you gotta crawl over.
I needed to be more center of that pic ^^ but I kept trying to gain elevation too early.
If you get to this flowery ramp, congratulations, you have climbed too high too fast! I had to drop down from that ramp and basically try and get off of the slope of the basin wall in order to re-position myself
After I re-positioned myself, I made my way further into basin #2
I aimed pretty much for the little valley to the left of the BM which is like almost dead center in this pic...
It is once that you get into this valley, you aim for that grassy headwall near the back and then it easily becomes apparent how to access the ridge because there is an easy slope to the South that will make getting the ridge to White Rock BM super easy. PLUS I got 4G cell service up there too, nice win/win
Heading up the ridge is pretty self explanitory and never exceeds a difficult class 2. However there is one extremely savage false peak that came out of nowhere.
From the false peak, obviously go to the real peak where I found a summit register that had been put there the day before me actually, thought I had been seeing some footprints...
Overall, getting up to Whiterock BM was pretty easy class 2 stuff
Next, I had the pleasure of trying to figure out how I was going to get myself over to the peak of Whiterock. The ridge over there looked kinda nasty, but might as well go for it and see what happens
Some parts got pretty exposed
OK this next part is where ish got real for me. So there is this pretty epic sized notch carved out of the ridge which would definitely require some class 4/5 stuff if I was going to stay high up on the ridge. I enjoyed a nice laugh at that thought before looking around to see what I could do next
It probably wasn't the best place to do it, but I started climbing down off the ridge to the East. This face was pretty damn steep and very loose, however, it did not last long and I knew I could be down relatively quick. What I should have done is go back along the ridge to near the peak and see if there was another place to bail off of
Also, the gully going down from the notch is even steeper, and believe me when I say that because I actually climbed over the wall into it and immediately regretted that decision before I climbed back onto the East face.
So hardest part of the day was over when I got down off that face. I then saw that even if I had somehow magically stayed on the ridge I would've had even more problems shortly after the notch
I was kinda bummed at this point because I had EVEN MORE scree to hike up to get back to that elevation I was at only 30 minutes ago
This part really did suck because it felt so long, but once I was able to get back up to the ridge, things did mellow out
The last part of the ridge was kinda weird because there were these 2 tiny rock outcroppings sticking up and I thought 'ha what tiny rocks! I will climb right over them!' Yeahhh just go ahead and save yourself some time and skirt around them to the West side...
The last part up to the summit is pretty loose but super short and the view is not too bad either
I then descended back down the scree field I went up leading up to the ridge to Whiterock I was on earlier, and I dropped down into the basin which would soon connect with basin #2.
AND apparently there is a trail in the middle of the basin kinda near the creek, it is super faint and it is easy to lose at points, but if you have a decent sense of direction, then the trail will take you all the way down through the forest to the very first creek I crossed earlier that morning. Not a bad thing to look out for, but not a big deal at all if you don't find it.
Overall, these peaks were pretty cool and I would probably do them again. Just don't get too cocky with that ridge and all will work out!
|Comments or Questions|
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