Peak(s):  PT 13,295  -  13,295 feet
PT 13,232 B  -  13,232 feet
Date Posted:  08/25/2017
Date Climbed:   08/16/2017
Author:  bergsteigen
 Pressing the easy button  


Pt 13,295 & Pt 13,232 B


Trailhead: North Fork Clear Creek
Mileage: 9.08
Elevation Gain: 3,535'
Partners: Solo

When I first read Chicago_transplant's TR on these 2 peaks many years ago, I figured I would just do them in reverse, since up climbing is a lot easier than down climbing. So I was a little surprised to see another TR from Piper14er in my pre trip research. Though he went without remembering the details, so also went from Pt 13,232 to Pt 13,295 and found the cliff. Mennoguy mentioned that he went the opposite way (the way I went), but was 'happy to get back onto easy terrain'. This didn't exactly instill confidence that I would like this hidden class 4 ledge system that exists. But I was willing to give it a go, if conditions allowed.

Day of, I was still planning to find the ledge system and document it. With the early start, I could tell there were some clouds, but they also weren't too bad. The trail up the drainage is very nice, and I was almost sad to leave it to head up to the upper valley below 13,295. I left just as a bunch of cairns were showing up along the trail. I had thought the trail petered out well before I wanted to exit it, but maybe hunters or others have extended the trail as shown on the maps I have.

Above the trees, I get a first view of the terrain ahead. Looks pretty easy, as even the willows are small and easy to navigate. A young deer was curious about my presence, until I moved towards it. Then it bounced away.

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Shrooms

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Looking west

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Exiting out of the trees

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13,295 beyond the mini willows

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Like some weird angler fish

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The saddle to 13,295


Getting closer to the saddle, I had to hang a bit to the right to avoid the marshy center of the stream valley. The snow was still solid as I walked up on it. A little strange for mid August, but I'll take it! From there the ascent to the saddle is reasonably steep, but all on grass until the very end near the left over cornice snow. A short talus/tundra hop to the first summit of the day.

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Approaching the saddle

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Looking back down valley

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Ridge cornice still there

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Looking over to 13,232 B

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Summit pano


I had wanted to sit on the summit for longer than I did, but the very cold wind was chilling me thoroughly. Is it fall already? I layer up and contemplate the ridge notch. On the ascent I had noted the easy work around options, just in case. The longer I sat there contemplating, the more cold I was getting. I decided that with the cold wind, which had already frozen my gloved fingers, and the thickening clouds, it may be faster to just run around and back up to the ridge on the other side. Did I mention I was freezing? I don't make good decisions when I'm shivering.

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Zoom of the notch in ridge

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Someone had an accident...


So I quickly made my descent down to the valley below, and hug the east side of the valley on the grass. I thought about contouring on the talus, as I made my way across, but figured I could make better time by moving around on the grass to the other side. My talus crossing speed is half that of easy grass, or worse. So for me, dropping a little elevation was faster than trying to keep it. My reascend point had the least amount of loose talus to go up, and that was a good thing, as it was very much one step up, partial step sliding back down again. Another reason to go the "easy long way".

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Red snow tracks

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Back up to the ridge, the easiest way


Back up on the grassy shoulder, the walk up to the other saddle was very easy. My end around only took 52 minutes, and could very well be faster than having to navigate and route find on the ridge. So pick your poison! Doing the hike in reverse, would mean descending the loose talus, which is much easier too.

Once back on the ridge, it was a simple talus hop to the summit.

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Pt 13,232 B

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Back on the ridge, and looking at next summit

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Zoom of ridge notch

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Remainder of ridge to summit

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La Plata through the rough ridges

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Looking over at 13,295

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Almost to the next summit

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La Plata and Sayres BM


Spent a little more time on this summit, as the wind seemed to have eased up a bit, and I wasn't getting cold as fast as on the last peak. Some great views of all the surrounding 13ers I've done is past years. Plenty of fond memories!

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Summit Pano

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La Plata zoom

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13295

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Grizzly to Jenkins ridge from a few years ago

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The Virginia skyline

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The valley home


As I descended the ridge, I was quite pleased to find a grassy, but steep slope to descend back down to the valley below. From above, near the summit, the options looked quite bleak! The descent went quickly, and even the slope down to the trail below wasn't too overgrown, except by large flowers in a few places. Once back on the trail, the exit was quick!

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The steep descent

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Drop to the lake

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A look back up at the steep grassy slope

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The second grassy slope down to the trail

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A look up valley from the trail head

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




Thumbnails for uploaded photos (click to open slideshow):
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36


 Comments or Questions
benners

Funny
08/25/2017 14:42
I was planning on heading up to do these two on Sunday with my wife and dog, and was contemplating the same workaround. So this is timely

Nice job!


Trotter

nice
08/26/2017 10:23
great photos and route


bergsteigen

Thanks
08/28/2017 14:55
benners - Glad I got this one in under the wire then! Hope you had a great hike with the family!

Trotter - Thanks, finding the easiest way is sometimes the best!


piper14er

memories
08/31/2017 15:43
I had to go back to look at this one to remember the spot, and you know...



and not my brand



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