Peak(s):  Edwards, Mt  -  13,850 feet
Argentine Pk  -  13,738 feet
Date Posted:  07/27/2020
Date Climbed:   07/23/2020
Author:  petal53run
 Make that Two  

Make that Two

Over dinner Wednesday evening, I was organizing my to-do list for my off days. It needed an additional entry: go climb a mountain. So I loaded up the Tiguan, checked for sunny skies, made chocolate peanut butter energy bars and in bed for a 430am start. Ruby Mountain was the dream plan. Parked (pic1) at the Argentine Pass TH (11050ft) lacing up my boots and exchanging goals with other climbers, a gentleman pointed to Mt Edwards, a centennial peak via Argentine pass with Argentine Peak a quick walk to the east. I changed my to-do list: go climb a mountain and make that two.

The weather was perfect, the peaks in sight and up the obvious trail I went. The hike started by passing the Shoe Basin Mine (11119ft) (pic2). You go through the gate and about 0.5 mile, a trail marker (pic3) marks the right turn to cross a wood planked bridge going over Peru Creek (pic4). Wildflowers bloomed (pic5) with gusto along the way and some of the sedimentary rocks had interesting layers, too. (pic6&7) From there, the rocky trail gently slopes through the willows (pic8) to treeline. (pic9) The grade dramatically steepens to curve left and from there the path is pretty much defined all the way to Edwards. On the way, you cross a couple gullies, scrabble in between (pic10), saw fur (pic11) of mountain goats & scat and more spectacular views of the northwest mountain skyline. Going above 13000ft (foot of the mountains) rocks litter the slopes and prominent cairns lead to the peaks. Along the ridge, the wind slowed the Class 2 pace to almost standing up. I summited Edwards (13850ft) first. The pile of rocks (pic12) on the peak served as a windbreak while I snacked, rehydrated and enjoyed the impressive views of Grays & Torres (pic13) colored by hikers celebrating on those peaks. It felt grand to see the front range peaks I have summited.

Next was Argentine, another class 2 climb. (pic14) It was mostly a tundra boulder field out and back hike. Turning left (sorry, the picture didn't download), the trail was fragmented, but pushed by a tailwind helped ease the hike a line to the top strategy. Argentine peak (13743ft) and pass (13207ft) were named for Colorado’s first major silver mining district called Argentine. Its name is from the Latin word Argentum meaning silver, for the silver ore found in the area. It shadows the eastern valley which houses the Stephens and Waldorf Mines discovered in 1868. It’s a ghost town on my hike-to-do list. Leaving the wind, the descent was almost too fast, so I used my walking pole to slow the pace to ease braking on the knees.

In sum, this was a well maintained trail, mostly a straight line with ample steepness challenge, full of spectacular views and mining history in the front range and a reasonable distance from Denver. Hiking on an easy to follow trail allowed my brain to decompress while my feet moved by autopilot which was a welcomed therapy. I met several people along the way, but saw no wildlife. They never left the city. They were at the Ward road and I70 exit(pic 15&16).




Thumbnails for uploaded photos (click to open slideshow):
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16


 Comments or Questions
JQDivide

The pass
07/28/2020 11:27
It's been years since I've been in that basin. I still need Edwards, the Pass might be the way for me to hike it.
Thanks for sharing.
Joel


petal53run

argentine pass
07/28/2020 17:26
You ll enjoy it. Peaceful and introspective. Becuz I have 2wd, the best part was driving the peru creek road to shoe basin mine. If I had a 4wd, I would have tried Leavenworth. Either way, it was a relaxing, but rewarding hike. Have fun.



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