Peak(s):  Meeker, Mt  -  13,911 feet
Date Posted:  06/13/2020
Modified:  06/28/2020
Date Climbed:   06/07/2020
Author:  nmedica
 Mount Meeker - SW Ridge  

I woke up to the sound of my alarm at 4am (in Denver), made coffee, packed the day pack, and I was off. This day was going to be my first experience in the Wild Basin area, and I was stoked to go hike a well-known peak in the park. I was planning on scouting out Lambs Slide and the Dragon Egg Couloir for future endeavors, and I was not disappointed. I knew the view of Longs would be special, but it over-delivered. The view of Longs from Meeker Ridge was truly special and worth the bushwhacking and trail finding necessary to navigate up the Hunter's Creek drainage to the Southwest bowl of Meeker.

20191_01
View of Longs Peak from Meeker Ridge. The loft and lambs slide are photo center and right center.

The weather was calling for some gusts in the 20-30mph range with sustained winds around 15mph; but, otherwise, it was going to be a bluebird day with 20-30% cloud coverage. As I hiked, alone, with the rising sun, I couldn't help but wonder how long of a day this was going to be. I knew it was ~12 miles with ~5K gain, but I was making great progress on the highway trail miles of Sandbeach lake trail. That all changes once you hit the drainage up Hunters Creek.

Downed trees, slick rocks, patches of snow, and the indiscernible trail (at times) makes the progress up Hunters Creek arduous to say the least. From the turn at Hunters Creek, you have to earn every mile and foot of vertical gain for the rest of the day.

20191_02
Finally emerging from Hunters Creek with Snowfield and South Bowl of Meeker in the background.
20191_03
Talus leading up to the South Bowl of Meeker

After a few hours of slogging up the drainage and Southwest bowl (and snowfield) of Meeker; I found myself at the top of the snowfield at ~13,000 feet. Unknown to me, as I thought I was about to be on the summit, I had another ~800 feet and loose talus slogging to get to the Summit. Having hiked/climbed all of the 14ers; I definitely found these trail and hiking conditions to be some of the more challenging hiking terrain I had experienced relative to the normal routes on other/'higher' 14ers. Get ready for a long day; if you're planning on hiking the peak. It took ~9 hours car-to-car to get to the Summit and back down (~13 miles; 7 of which are essentially off trail).

The final "highway" miles back to the care on Sandbeach Lake Trail.

20191_04


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




Thumbnails for uploaded photos (click to open slideshow):
1 2 3 4


 Comments or Questions
Ritzn1

Beautiful Pics
11/20/2020 13:51
So picturesque! Truly amazing! Nice photographic eye! Can't wait to do this one!



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