Peak(s):  Pennsylvania Mtn  -  13,006 feet
Evans B, Mt  -  13,577 feet
Date Posted:  11/27/2017
Date Climbed:   11/26/2017
Author:  Ptglhs
 Rarely hiked traverse Penn - Evans B   

This is my 1st Trip Report so pardon me if the photos aren't linked properly. Also, they're from my cell phone so not all of them are sharp. :/

I had been wanting to hike a few more peaks in the mosquito range for a while now. I did Sheridan/peerless/Horseshoe before Thanksgiving and now that I was back from family festivities it seemed like a good time. I left CO Springs about 0445, intending to start the hike right at 0700 (sunrise). I followed US 24 to CO 9 to CR 14, which was paved for the 1st mile and good quality dirty road (est 1/6) for the next 4 miles, the last mile or so was ~2/6, but easier than Kite Lake or the road up to the TH of Sherman. There is a private residence at the very end of CR 14. I parked in a turnaround outside of their property. Elevation gauge said 11,350ft. The basin from which Sacramento creek drains was beautiful in the pre dawn light.
Sacremento Basin at Dawn
I was also treated to a gorgeous shot of Pikes in the glowing eastern sky.

I started at 0706. I skirted around the fence with signage
I skirted around the edge of the mining property (I think)
and headed up an old ATV road. I saw two sets of snow shoe tracks and dog prints which did not go more than 1/2 a mile up. After that I didn't see any sign of people all day.

Around 11.8k and after ~1mile I left the ATV track and started up the southern face of Pennsylvania.
Approximate route up Sth face of Penn
It was steep and the rock in places was loose. It was mostly snow free and I went from rock to rock where possible to minimize damage to the tundra. I popped on to Penn's broad summit plateau and found it snow free
Penn's summit plateau
. I enjoyed spectacular views of the other Peaks in the Mosquito and Tenmile range. I saw a pair of peaks which I assumed was Red Mountain and Hoosier Ridge. From my height of 13,002 mt Silverheels was an impressive sight to the east!

It was 0930 and after a break I was ready to head over to Evans B. I looked down the ridge from Penn and saw the power lines near the saddle, running perpendicular
Route from just below Penn's summit plateau
. Once I hit the saddle between the two the snow was continuous and, in places, deep. It looked solid enough to hold me so I put on crampons for the ascent up Evans. In retrospect this was a mistake as the snow was not yet consolidated enough to hold me. I used snowshoes on part of the descent which was MUCH better.
Closer shot of the upper route. Avy danger in the cirques!

The going up Evans was long and arduous. I kept putting my cramponed feet through the snow in places. There were several false summits, which is demoralizing.
False summit fun!

The final summit push was steep in the snow. Slope angle lists it at less than 27deg but it felt much more steep. The snow was very deep, I could push my 75cm ice ax in all the way at several places. I slowly zig zagged my way up the last 200 ft to the summit. I enjoyed spectacular views of the Sawatch range!
Sawatch from Evans B's summit

It was now 1245. My plan had been to head over to Dyer mountain, then tag Gemini to get 3.5 summit for the day. However, I knew that the basin would be in shadow by 1530 and the stars would be out by 1800. Considering I was by myself, and making my route up as I went I had given myself a 1300 turn around time. I knew I wouldn't be up on Dyer's summit til 1400 at the earliest, probably closer to 1430 given how slow it was to go in the snow on the steep slopes. I decided to play it safe and call it a day. I took the easiest route out: I minimized avalanche risk, kept to the snow where it was firm, put on snowshoes ~13.1 and left them on until ~12.2.
Red is route to Evans, Green is route out.

I returned to my car just before 1500. I resolved to head back and get Dyer and Gemini at some future date. Maybe I'll head up from the Iowa Gulch trailhead and tag Sherman again, just for fun! The file image is my google topo map with approximate route. According to google and this website I hiked 7.6 miles and did about 3k of vertical elevation gain.
Approximate route form google maps

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

Interesting route
11/30/2017 11:09
Looks like a good time! Pennsylvania is a fun peak that I wouldn't mind repeating. May have to look more into Evans B.


12/11/2017 19:54
good beta

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