Peak(s):  White, Mt  -  13,667 feet
Date Posted:  05/18/2020
Date Climbed:   05/15/2020
Author:  WildWanderer
 From Browns Creek   

Mount White – 13,667

As seen from PT 13,712 (Mt Antero is in the background)

RT Length: 14.25 miles

Elevation Gain: 4945’

I arrived at Browns Creek Trailhead to one other vehicle in the lot. It didn’t look like they were sleeping in their car so I assumed they were either already on the trail or camping in the basin overnight. I didn’t pass anyone all day, so they must have been in Browns Creek (I was taking the Little Browns Creek approach). The road to Browns Creek Trailhead is an easy 2WD dirt road.


The trailhead had plenty of parking and restrooms (which are currently closed due to Covid-19: they had signs asking us to “recreate responsibly”). The trail starts at the north end of the parking lot, and follows trail 1429 west



I walked along the trail and quickly encountered a gate (not locked)



After hiking for 1.5 miles along a well maintained trail I came to a junction and turned right (north) and followed the Colorado Trial for a bit (not long) before continuing on trail 1430. There are well placed and visible signs at each junction.


For the first 5.25 miles of this hike it was an easy, class 1 trail that was both horse and bicycle friendly (I saw evidence of both)




The sun seemed to rise earlier than normal, and I was able to easily see where I was going. After 5.25 miles however, snow began to cover the trail at around 11,490’. This was punchy snow, and I couldn’t have crossed the area without snowshoes.


I strapped my snowshoes on and followed the ravine west.



There was one spot that was a little steep, but nothing I needed an ice axe for


It was clear there was a trail under the snow, as at times it would rise above the snow before sinking back down. Luckily it was still early and the snow was firm enough to navigate with snowshoes. I would not have been able to traverse this area without them, especially on the way back.


At 6.4 miles (12,670’) I left the trail to follow a 4WD road. I was supposed to take the road to the ridge, but what little snow there was here only seemed to be on the road itself, so instead I just hiked straight to the ridge



Once at the ridge I turned left (east) and hiked the third of a mile to the summit on rocky terrain. The was class 2.



There was a false summit (but it wasn’t too far from the actual summit)



I summited at 8:40am, after 4.5 hours of hiking and 7.2 miles


Mt White Summit:

It was quite windy but I still spent a few minutes getting a good look at the conditions of the local mountains: I intended to summit Unnamed 13,712 tomorrow and wanted to get a good look at the route. To be honest, I wasn’t exactly sure how I was going to summit, so I took a bunch of photos to study later tonight along with a topo map. Check out some of the surrounding peaks:



Time to head back down the ridge




I made a new friend


And turned right (north) and headed down into the basin


It was still morning, yet when I hit the area with snow it was already very soft. I put my snowshoes back on and headed directly down the snow, back to the trail. I was very happy to have lugged my snowshoes all this way: they weren’t always needed, but it would have been a miserable trek without them, if not impossible.








After taking off my snowshoes I followed the class 1 trail back to the trailhead. Little Browns Creek was dry the entire way.




It looked like this area had seen a fire in the past few years, but the trail was clear of debris


I made it back to the trailhead at 12:30pm, making this a 14.25 mile hike with 4945’ of elevation gain in 8 hours, 30 minutes.

Here’s a topo map of my route:


It was my intention to stay here tonight so I cleaned up, made dinner, took off my shoes, and enjoyed eating by the creek with my feet in the water. Well, I didn’t much enjoy the food (I have to force myself to eat after a hike) but it didn’t taste bad. It took me about 45 minutes to finish my spaghetti, but I’m proud to say I ate it all.


I did a physical check: I’d returned the boots I’d previously bought and wore my old boots today instead. They were full of holes but at least they didn’t rub my ankles raw (my ankles were still red and raw from last week, but nothing my old shoes and some rather large band aids couldn’t fix. Also, I’m in the market for good winter hiking boots). I had cell service, so I text my kids to see how their day was (my youngest rocked her online APUSH exam and was now headed to work), answered a few emails and checked the weather for tomorrow.

I was surprised at how many people were at the trailhead now. The parking lot was completely full. Everyone seemed to have kids or a dog. The creek was a great distraction for both.

After dinner I sat in the back of my truck with a glass of whiskey and my topo map, trying to figure out how I was going to summit PT 13,712 tomorrow. It might have been the alcohol talking, but I couldn’t help but think of how much I loved my new truck set-up! I had another hummingbird fly into the back: that’s twice in as many days camping out and I think it’s because they think my hanging lights are flowers. I was just glad the buzzing noise wasn’t a giant bumblebee. The mosquitoes started coming out around 3pm so I shut my tailgate.

It became cloudy and started to rain. I looked at the time: 4:30pm. I decided to read for a bit, and then get to bed early. I needed to be up around 1:30am to hike past the snow before it got too soft. I prepped my coffee for the morning so all I had to do was turn on the stove, set out my clothes for tomorrow, and closed and locked all my doors/windows. It was still warm and very light outside but I knew it would get rather cold tonight. I was pleased my blackout curtains did their job and despite the early hour I was able to fall fast asleep.

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 37 38 39 40 41 42

Comments or Questions

False Summit/True Summit
05/18/2020 12:24
My phone app measured them at the same height. They are pretty darn close that's for sure. Looks like a nice day!


05/18/2020 12:53
I just figured it would be the second summit because that seems to be my luck lately Either way, you're right, they're both very close!


2nd summit
05/18/2020 13:16
Is the one that seems to be considered the true summit. And, the summit is always the farthest possible point on every 13er ever!

Winter boots!
05/19/2020 07:16
Wonderful report, as always, and happy to see you out there already with your new truck set up!.
I bought this winter the Merrell Women's Thermo Rhea Mid Waterproof - Olive boots. I have a lot of issues in my feet but when I first tried them on, they were like slippers and my feet love them & stay very warm. Good luck getting new boots!.


05/19/2020 20:06
I'll check them out! Thank you


05/26/2020 14:29
Great summit beta. This looks like a fun route, also. I appreciate you posting the Trip Report

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