Peak(s):  Edwards, Mt  -  13,850 feet
Date Posted:  05/27/2021
Date Climbed:   05/15/2021
Author:  PeakSixTD
 Lost rat ---> Edwards   

Hopefully this will be the final trip report I have to do on my phone. I am finally living in an area where internet service is attainable. It has been 8 years… photos will be at the bottom of the report.

As I progress through the centennial list, I find myself spending lots of time researching unorthodox ways to bag new peaks. Sometimes I steal an existing idea and tweak it, and sometimes I come up with something that there is no prior beta for. While I am 100% sure that plenty of people have bagged Edwards via Lost Rat, I could find no reports of any previous ascents. It seemed to be an obvious line when I was studying maps of the area. When picking obscure routes, I typically shoot for whatever seems to have the highest ratio of technicality and feasibility. Needless to say, I liked what I was seeing!

I headed out from my new house in Buena Vista around 2am. By 4:30 I was hiking up the road from the highway. A CR from the week before talked about seeing tow trucks pull multiple vehicles out of the snow during their descent. This information compelled me to park at the bottom despite having a feeling that conditions had improved from the previous week. No snow was encountered during the first half mile… I began to feel kind of dumb for parking so low. That feeling was compounded further when several low clearance cars past me. Shortly after that I reached a pull off with no less than ten parked cars, none of which looked as formidable as my jeep cherokee. Oh well. I came here to walk right? Might as well walk a little more!

I was very surprised with how much snow coverage I was seeing upon reaching the upper TH. Full on winter conditions! Last year I had climbed Cathedral on nearly the same date as this climb. There was far less snow! I guess the front range really got pounded this spring. Good to see that after a relatively mild winter. The morning snow was nice and firm so travel was smooth to the turnoff for lost rat.

Once I reached the junction, the snow changed entirely. It had already been sitting in the sun for a bit and was now a slushy mess. I didnt have that far of a trek to the couloir so I stubbornly neglected to put my snowshoes on. In retrospect I would have been much better off to have just put them on! You live and you learn I guess. Except for me, who had been in that exact situation too many times to count and still refused to put them on. Either way, I was climbing up the couloir by 730 after a nice little lunch break.

I began climbing up the couloir, very displeased with the snow conditions. I was post holing deep in slushy wet snow with every step. I actually contemplated turning around and heading up a less steep, shaded gully to climbers left. Still, I trudged on. My persistence was rewarded with the discovery of an old booter that made travel much easier. Fortunately, the snow became much better further up! The booter veered off the climbers right and I continued up lost rat proper. Now I was enjoying what I came here for! Fun climbing on fairly steep snow. Lost Rat only cruxes out around 45 degrees. Not overly steep by any means, but nice and sustained.

Little pieces of ice, snow, and rock were raining down more frequently that I like to see. I actually had to move out of the way of a large rock when I was ¾ of the way up. I saw it coming for a while so I wouldn't consider it a close call. Had I not noticed it, this could be a very different trip report. Got to love spring time in Colorado! I skirted some cornices and topped out with great views of my next objective.

Now to the part that I had no beta for. All of my research indicated that this should be a very fun snow covered ridge traverse, and lo and behold, it was! I took whatever lines looked to be the most difficult for added fun. There were lots of snowy ridges as well as some enjoyable scrambling lines up and over the bumps leading to Edwards. It is about one mile from lost rat to the summit.

I reached the top around the time that ominous clouds were beginning to loom overhead. It had been really hot and sunny all day leading up to this point. I kicked it into over drive just incase the weather turned ugly. Lost Rat had been baking in the sun long before that so I figured it might not be a good idea to descend that way. Instead I chose the slopes that I had alluded to earlier. There were lots of skii tracks down that line. When looking at lost rat from the basin, these are the wide obvious slopes to climbers left. They were shaded most of the morning so I figured it would be a safer descent. I was down at my snowshoes within 15 minutes from the high saddle. By this time it was snowing lightly with full sky coverage. I cruised out of the basin in a timely manner with my snowshoes. Once back at treeline, the skies cleared as I embarked on the final leg of my journey. Pretty uneventful, except for running into a group of guys just starting up from the highway at 1PM who told me they were going for the summit. They had one small backpack between the three of them. Not to mention they were all wearing tennis shoes. They asked me how long to summit grays from here. I looked at their feet and asked if they had any other shoes. They said no but they had climbed a 14er before in these. I very politely explained to them that this is not the time of year to be going for peaks in that clothing. Not to mention it was 1PM…

They were very nice and took my warnings seriously. They said they would hike until there was too much snow and turn araround. A much better plan. I had a great day and am looking forward to more fun snow lines this season!

Thumbnails for uploaded photos (click to open slideshow):
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