Peak(s):  West Spanish Pk  -  13,626 feet
Date Posted:  06/02/2021
Modified:  06/04/2021
Date Climbed:   05/27/2021
Author:  gpeoples
 Legends of Cordova Pass   

RT Length: 7.6 miles

Elevation Gain: 2597

Trailhead: Cordova Pass SW Ridge

The drive to Cordova Pass was very pleasant now in late May. From Cuchara, drive south on SH 12 to the top of Cuchara Pass. You will see the signage for Cordova Pass from either North or South directions (6 miles on CR46). Google Cordova Pass Campground if desired to get exact directions. The views are stunning and I personally forgot how beautiful this area in the Sangre de Cristo is.

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I encountered several snowfields, but never needed to use my snowshoes for the entire climb. You will breakout of the tress quickly and see West Spanish peak from a large meadow. It is stunning and gets your juices flowing immediately.

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You will enter the forest again and keep following the great trail. After many switch-backs a trail junction sign pointed me in the final direction, left or SW. 21061_09

It is not long until you reach tree line and the final ridge comes into view. The real climbing starts here, and as Bill likes to say, the warm-up is over. Because of the snowfields it was easy for me to lose the trail several times. I kept going to climbers right and ended up in the scree fields, which is very unpleasant and NOT recommended. If in doubt stay to climbers LEFT and you will see the cairns. Staying on the ridge will make it a much nicer experience for sure.

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I enjoyed booting through the snow for the last 750' to the summit. The summit is great and you will see the Blanca Group and of course Culebra over your shoulder behind you.

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Plenty of snow on the SW ridge.

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From the summit you can see all the "Dike" rock formations that that came up through the cracks in the earths crust when the Spanish Peaks were growing. East Spanish Peak was snow free and lookes invitinig for a future climb. You can see the Dike striations from my summit picture, very impressive when you see them up close driving along HWY 12. You can also take a side trip on the Dikes Trailhead near the town of Cuchara, like I did, for a short hike and some bouldering opportunities, if you are staying around for another day. I wanted to savor the climb, since it was my first 13er or 14er of the season and spent the night in Cuchara.

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It had been too long since I got back into the Sangres and even though I disliked the scree on the way down the SW ridge, it was certainly a worthy mountain. My Garmin Oregon clocked about 7.6 miles give or take .1 of accuracy I would imagine. Was a great day and the drive in on the Highway of Legends from Trinidad added to the trip. Cheers...




Thumbnails for uploaded photos (click to open slideshow):
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Comments or Questions
ltlFish99
cool report
06/02/2021 12:13
Nice report with wonderful photographs.
These 2 mountains were part of the first backpacking trip I ever went on.
Thank's for the memories.



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