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Peak(s):  Mt. Nebo  -  13,209 feet
Unnamed 13121  -  13,121 feet
Unnamed 13232  -  13,232 feet
Unnamed 13171  -  13,171 feet
Date Posted:  09/28/2021
Modified:  09/29/2021
Date Climbed:   09/10/2021
Author:  bergsteigen
Additional Members:   14erAddict
 No Nebo Orphans Allowed   

Mt Nebo, Pt 13110, Pt 13230, Pt 13,169

  • Mileage: 16.5
  • Elevation gain: 6,025'
  • Trailhead: Beartown (HC 4WD)
  • Partners: Nicole
  • Class: 3

After packing out from our camp up Trinity Creek, we discussed what we were going to do the next day. I had originally planned on taking a rest day, while the others did a trip I had done the last time I was up here, but plans changed, and there wasn't going to be a chance to take a break. I had zero expectations that anyone was going to join me, when the guyz started talking about the Hunchback-White Dome-Peak 1 group. But Nicole wanted a day without significant route finding and just wanted a day of hiking up class 2 peaks and being on trails potentially for the return (instead of an out and back on the ridge). I tried to warn her that it was going to be a much longer day mileage and elevation gain wise than the other trip. This was going to be an "enduro".

Both groups started off at the same time in the morning, despite me wanting to start an hour earlier. We saw sunrise as we hiked up the road to the trailhead.

Sunrise over Ute group

We hiked up to Hunchback Pass as a group, took a quick break, and then separated for our different peaks.

Hunchback shadows
A couple of bucks on our route

Start of Nebo route from pass

Nicole and I started up the first bump along the ridge after the bucks. This part of the route is quite easy tundra walking. We enjoyed the long shadows, and for a while, we could watch the guyz hiking up the ridge across from us.

Early morning shadow pano

Tundra walking
13110 with Nebo behind

Guardian, Silex and Storm King
Talus slope up 13110

After the morning easy grassy tundra walk, we started the talus day with the short ascent up 13,110. Nice early morning views from the summit.

13,110 pano

13,230 and Nebo
Ute group

After a short break, we started down the south ridge and crossed over the CDT. We saw some campers by the lake, and they packed up and started hiking as we went perpendicular to their route.

Nicole with island lake & Mt Nebo behind
Looking back on 13,110 south ridge

The route up to the saddle between 13,230 and Nebo was all talus, and soon we started to realize that it was going to get a little bit more complicated with a couple of rock bands to navigate. Not exactly the scramble free day that Nicole wanted, but it wasn't too bad. The first rock band has a loose scree work around, while I went up a short class 3 section. It had some loose rocks and was a bit down sloping.

Talus up to 13,230 - Nebo saddle

Nicole below the first rock bands
class 2 scree route
Scramble option

Looking down the scramble section

Nicole going up the scree

Looking at the second rock band

The second rock band was a lot more solid and Nicole ran right up it, without barely a second glance.

Nicole approaching the final rock band

Nicole scrambling

When we got up to the saddle between 13,230 and Nebo, we decided to go for 13,230 first, since the ridge to Nebo looked very unpleasant (loose steep talus). The route up to 13,230 was pretty standard stable talus.

13,230 from saddle
Nebo from saddle

Little Rock tower on route to 13,230
Nicole getting closer to the summit

Not much time was spent on the summit, since we had 2 more to go. But the views were quite nice!

Summit pano from 13,230

View of 13,169 - SOOOOOO Close!!!

We decided to drop down to the SW off 13,230 to get to the south ridge of Nebo on the other side of the little lake. It was very tedious talus. Nothing terrible, just slow travel.

Nebo from the tedious talus
Descent off 13,230

From the lake, the route up Nebo was on clinky slate. It looked like horrid scree from afar, but up close it was pretty easy terrain. So soon we were on the 3rd summit of the day.

Nicole heading up the slate
13,230 from Nebo

We took a nice break on the summit of Nebo, checking out our valley and backpacking peaks from the previous couple days.

Selfie in front of our backpacking peaks

Nebo summit pano

Descending off Nebo, with 13,230 and 13,169 in view

Since Nicole was much quicker on the descent, she decided to take a dip in the lake. Since she removed most of her clothing, I focused on hiking downhill. As I got near the lake she was about to exit from her swim, so I decided to go a little further away from the lake, so she could dress in privacy.

Nicole taking a dip

So I sat on a nice rock to wait for Nicole to get her clothing back on. But shortly after sitting, I heard her yell "HELP". I immediately though, uh... you need help getting dressed? So I went over to see what the problem was. Apparently the wind had taken her clothing and had flung it into the lake!!! So she was missing her socks. Thankfully she found her socks in the rocks underwater. Neither of us had any spare socks in our packs. Thankfully she has trail runners, and the socks dried out. In my leather boots, they would not have dried.

Fishing for socks!
Soaked socks

After getting dressed from the swim, it was a long traverse over to the north slope up to 13,169. Once we were off the talus, it was back to nice grassy tundra and willows for a short section.

Tundra walk over to 13,169
Rocky pitch up to 13,169

After the tundra walk, we navigated our way through the smooth rocks and up to the talus above to the summit ridge full of talus.

Looking back on Nebo and 13,230

It was late afternoon by the time we got to the final summit. I was never willing to orphan this peak, as it's far away from anything else, especially the Soso group. But it did mean we would have a very long trek back. After that tedious talus off 13,230 and the scramble from the saddle, we knew that retracing our steps could take longer than the trail to the east.

We In-Reached the Boyz, who I think were already well on their way back to camp.

Soso group

13,169 pano

I hoped the east ridge off 13,169 went easily without too much trouble. The topo showed a couple steps. I really didn't want to have to return back over the summit, in case we came to a difficulty, but thankfully the steps weren't bad. Just more, slow tedious talus, after a day filled with slow travel.

Starting down east ridge on 13,169
Looking at the notches on the east ridge

The biggest notch was easily gotten around by going a bit to the south. Pick your level of scramble or class 2.

Looking down from the west side
Nicole in the notch

Looking back on the descent into the notch

After that, the ridge of non stop talus eventually ended, as we dropped to the north back onto grassy tundra as we met up with the CDT trail. Woohooooooo TRAIL!!!

Final tundra descent off ridge
CDT trail, Ute group far ahead

Getting to the trail was a momentous occasion. We snacked and got ready for what we hoped would be fairly brainless walking. Which, for the most part it was. The willows are over grown in spots, so it was like being groped by a thousand willow hands as we passed through the remaining space that didn't hold willows. In other spots, the willows had been cut back away from the trail. The groping willows really hurt our sore and tired legs and bodies!

13,169 from CDT
West Ute Lake with Ute group behind

We left the CDT and went down into the valley to the north of the Ute group on stock trails. Plenty of hoof prints to follow as we meandered our way up to the north side of Starvation Pass. I had a pretty wild fantasy of being rescued by two hot cowboys on horseback. Not to be outdone, Nicole envisioned Ryan's Jeep waiting for us at the Ute trailhead (a 15 min walk from camp).

West Ute Creek valley
Willowy valley

The trails up to the base of the pass were good, if a bit overgrown in spots. As we started up the pass, a few downed trees blocked the trail and it became difficult to follow, especially as the kitty litter scree from the Ute group became more prominent. We followed what trail we could, but in a few spots chose to go straight up the slope and meet the next switchback where we could find it. The higher we got, the better the trail, and the more we had to follow it, as the kitty litter scree is the terrain now. It seemed like forever as we went up the never ending switchbacks, hoping for the last one. But finally we got to the last switchback, and made the long traverse over to the pass, as the sun was setting.

Sunset on RGP and the Window
Sickle moon over Wemi

We put on more layers as we got to the pass and on the other side, where we broke out the headlamps. The Boyz asked how we were doing, and we let them know where we were, and how much farther we had left. I had done this trail 3 years ago, and knew the upper section was steep with scree skiing, but at least it was well defined. As we got down lower, we accidentally followed a few game trails away from the trail as it enters the meadow area. After realizing this, we dropped down the ridge we were on and then traversed in the general direction of where the trail was on our maps. I knew we had to get to the trail before getting below treeline.

We started to see a very bright light from the trees. Did the guys come up looking for us? Or it that a hunter? We didn't know, but it looked close. (It was Ryan's headlamp, back at camp - WHOA)

As we neared the trees, we found the trail again, and things began to look familiar from my last trip up here. We followed the trail, and kept seeing the bright headlamp just ahead of us. We made the final looooong switchback that goes on forever and we then saw Ryan's Jeep headlights. Dang those things are bright. I knew we were close, but we were exhausted. Completely exhausted. Getting to the trailhead for this trail was a welcome sight, but the reclimb back up to the main road, even if it was only 10', was brutal. Even the last quarter mile back to camp was a slow go. But we got high fives when we got back to camp, completely and utterly exhausted.

  • Day 0: Canby Mtn
  • Day 1-3: Storm King, Mt Silex, The Guardian
  • Day 4: Nebo group (Boyz did Hunchback, White Dome, Peak 1)
  • Day 5: Stoney Pass Peak or Yoga (I let the young people run up a repeat for me)

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

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 43 44 45 46 47 48 49 50

Comments or Questions
As always very nice...
9/29/2021 7:18am
You always do such a nice job documenting your treks, Otina. Great pix although some aren't showing for some reason.

Thanks for putting this one up!

Love this!
9/29/2021 9:08am
Great report, Otina. I love that picture with Nicole & Island lake. And 13,230 looks like a cool mountain. Like you, I'm also interested more in some of these 'obscure'
peaks off the beaten path. It's like being in the Colorado that 'once was.'
I concur with Jay. The first few pics and a few others aren't loading FYI. Quite an outing!! Kudos!

SSL certificate
9/29/2021 10:31am
Jay & Kiefer - I needed to install a SSL cert on my cloud server, it should work now. I just updated the images. Bill said he would do ALL my other TR's. Now I get to do my complete website.... Here's where I hope I did good scripting, or else I get to update to it manually.

Kiefer - Love the obscure peaks, there's more adventure!!! As I'm getting down in the list, and having to do more of the popular peaks, I'm finding trails (even if they are overgrown game trails) and cairns every 20'. Eventually I'll have to find adventure in other areas/lists.

Plot Twist...
9/29/2021 2:04pm
...The rescue cowboys are the ones from Brokeback Mountain. Thus not giving you the attention you seek...

Great TR Otina! I'll have to convince myself to get back to Beartown to hike this group sometime. Thanks for sharing.

2nd Plot twist
10/7/2021 11:57am
... Become BFF with cowboys discussing a mutually favorite topic, much to a blushing Nicole's dismay. All I want is a ride to camp ;) The views from this group are worth the trek!

Nicole - I carry extra socks when ski mountaineering. Maybe I‘ll have to do the same hiking now! Haha

Oh man...
9/30/2021 4:13pm
I will forever carry an extra pair of socks now haha. And I'm still sad the guys didn't come to save us from that quarter mile walk! Thanks for the very memorable trip

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