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Peak(s):  Cleveland Peak  -  13,404 feet
Unnamed 13403  -  13,403 feet
"Dead Man Peak"  -  13,048 feet
Unnamed 13392  -  13,392 feet
Date Posted:  07/26/2019
Date Climbed:   07/18/2019
Author:  bergsteigen
Additional Members:   B[3]
 Cleveland ridge run, more fun than expected!   

13,401, Cleveland, Dead Man Peak, 13,384

  • mileage: 10.47 (pack out 3.34)
  • elevation gain: 5806' (pack out -1207 +485)
  • trailhead: Music Pass
  • partner: Ben (Bethany and Erin on pack out)
  • Previous days: Tijeras and Music

After the big day on Tijeras and Music, it was decided that Bethany and Erin would stay in camp, while Ben and I went for the Cleveland group. I anticipated it would be much easier, but yet longer with the extra mileage and vertical. I figured the route would take all day, and it did! The plan for Pico and friends, would have to wait another day, or for another trip, depending.

The route up to the the talus slope of the unranked 13er above was less than obvious, and we once again wanted to hit that part in the light. We were treated to another spectacular sunrise along the way!

Tijeras reflections - Photo: Ben

Morning reflections

Beyond the little pond, we had spotted a potential ascent route up the cliffs. It was LESS than ideal. Since we didn't think it would be this bad, we didn't have helmets or any gear. But we made do, and went slowly and carefully up some exposed cliffs.

Ben on an airy traverse

Above the cliffs, we ran into bushwhacking HELL. No other way to describe it. We crawled and forced our way though monstrously thick vegetation, accruing broken branches in our shirts - to be later found on summits much later in the day! We were convinced we had to find a better way on the descent, and spent much time looking back for options.

Ben in the easy bushwhack section

Once above the bushwhack, it was a rather slow ascent up the talus ridge to the first false summit. Luna was learning how to walk on talus.

Tijeras, Music and Milwakee peak

After finding Luna a suitable camp spot, we made our way along the ridge to our first objective

Luna's first 13er

3 of the days summits in view
We easily contoured around the next unranked peak below the snow field

After the contour to avoid the next false summit, we were on our way up 13,401. Though I didn't know the elevation of the peak till I got onto it. Too many unnamed peaks!

Fairly easy ridge up to 13,401 Though, there are some hidden scramble spots...
Ben making the last steps to the summit

On the summit, he pointed out the elevation (and name), then asked me if Music was my 400th peak. It was. OMG Pt 13,401 was my 401'st 13er?!?!?! Dang I didn't even plan that coincidence!!!!

13401 pano
13401 pano 2

After a snack break, it was onto summit 2, Cleveland. The descent was easy class 2, until just above the saddle. Ben took a more sporting ridge proper scramble, and I took exit stage left, for an easy scramble descent.

Cleveland from 13,401
Looking back on descent from 13,401 and the minor scrambling at the base

The ridge over to Cleveland offered some scrambling, airy ridges and plenty of options for choose your own adventure!

Ben in a blocky ridge section
Ben scrambling the ridge proper, while I took a grassy ramp around.

After plenty of ridge bumps, we found ourselves on peak 2 for the day: Cleveland

Cleveland Pano

Ridge to 13,384

Me on ridge - Photo: Ben

We got to the grassy high flat meadow west of Cleveland. Here Ben decided he didn't want all the elevation loss and gain to get Dead Man Peak, so he took a nap and watched me as I ran the ridge.

Flowery high meadow, 13,384 behind

Ridge to Dead Man Peak

The initial drop off to Dead Man was loose scree and very annoying, It improves as you go along, but this section was more loose and unstable than the rest of the ridges.

Ridge up Dead Man peak from saddle
Ridge back up to meadow

I got over to the peak in about 30 minutes, and took a short break.

Dead Man peak pano

Me on the summit - Photo: Ben

I made my way back up to the meadow, and Ben and I continued on to the last peak of the day.

Flower break

It looked like the ridge to 13,384 would be easy. But the initial drop from the meadow involved some good scrambling. There appeared to be a class 2 route to the north, but it looks loose and less than ideal. Easy choice. Scrambling!

Ridge to 13,384
White forget me nots?

Ben on final approach to peak 4 of the day

The views from the last new peak of the day were spectacular in north and south directions!!!

Blanca group and sand dunes
Crestone group looking spectacular!!!

13,384 pano

13,384 pano 2

I wanted to say on this summit for much longer than we had time for. As it was, we would be getting back to the last unranked peak and Luna after 6pm. Cruel ridge run that wasn't quite so run-able!

Scramble back up to meadow below Cleveland
High Meadow with Crestones behind

Narrow ridge to Cleveland
Going down Cleveland with grassy ramp to left of ridge in middle ground, I took on way up
13,401 behind Ben, peak 6 of the day, even if a repeat

Descending 13,401

We were in auto mode one we got down Cleveland and enroute to 13,401. My camelback was out of water, and I was down to the half liter of electrolyte solution in my Nalgene. Not dehydration level, just dry mouth. Darn sipping on camelback on a hot day!

We got to Luna and drank more water. We had discussed going down an east ridge or a bit further right of our ascent path. I was convinced that tall trees don't exist in concentration with steep cliffs, so we went to the snowfield (in a later photo) and descended into the tall trees in the fading light. We would be well past any difficulties by full dark. I had a liter and a half of water awaiting me at my tent, but we were delayed when Ben dropped his water bottle in the bushwhack back to camp. Couldn't find it. We arrived to slightly worried camp mates, but there wasn't any way to communicate our delay. When the first summit happens at 10:30am, it's gonna be a long day! We also were not aware that the ridge run would be as difficult as it was. Not tough, but anytime there is scrambling, it takes longer to traverse. So don't under estimate this ridge run like us. Or assume by other fast trip report writers that it's an "easy day". It will take ALL DAY.

Despite the aches and pains, I woke up pre sunrise to watch the moonset and sunrise from the lake one last time.

Moon set

Fish ripples sunrise

Back at camp, I crawled back into my bivy tent, as others began stirring from their slumber. I was always going to pack out on Friday, but the others had enough food into Saturday. Due to the popularity of the lake and our exhaustion, we decided to have a slow morning and exit the horrific BUGS and unprepared hordes of people.

All trip I had been talking about an infestation of aphids. Everyone looked at me like I was on Substance D. Well, when I picked up my Ursack, they had covered almost every inch of it. When a wildlife biologist says something is disgusting, it truly is!!! Get me outta here!

I'm not hallucinating like Jerry Fabin

Luna is tired!!!
Can you be as Zen/exhausted as this dog to ignore that mosquito?

Got a good view of the route(s) up Cleveland group on the pack out. The zone below the center snow field is manageable!

Slope up Cleveland on left
Non cliff zoom

We had a pleasant but hot pack out amongst the flowers and the hordes of fisherman hiking in to the lakes.

Flowers galore!
One never exits the wilderness the same way you entered with friends!

After the pass, it was a short stretch down to the 4WD trailhead and my truck. When I heard my friends groan, I feared my truck had rolled downhill and smashed into some trees (a recurring nightmare of mine, despite chocking the tires). Nope, my slow leak turned into hard flat! Uggg. Just what we need to delay us from our ice cream celebration! So I grabbed out my power tools and we all got to work on changing the tire. Had some water and soap to clean up with afterwards, cause we were filthy

I like power tools - Photo:Bethany
That's a real floor jack, not that POC the truck came with - Photo: Bethany

Overall a great trip into the wilderness. I got 6 of the possible 9 peaks. The Pico group was too much elevation gain and distance with possibilities for lingering snow for us to even try it on this trip. Ahhhhhh PICO, we come for you another day!

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

Thumbnails for uploaded photos (click to open slideshow):
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Comments or Questions
Congrats on 400!
7/28/2019 11:38am
As always, love the ridge run reports! Thanks for sharing!

"I like power tools"
7/28/2019 2:17pm
You can fix my flats anytime, Otina! ;>) Great job!

Racking them up
7/30/2019 8:03pm
ctlee - Ridge runs are fun, this was extra spicy!

Doug - Haha, wouldn't be the first time I've changed others tires. I've fixed lots of flats in my time! For a while I had to do it almost daily, till I figured out the problem (a disgruntled worker "fixed" my tire poorly).

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