Peak(s):  Lone Eagle - 11,920 feet
Date Posted:  03/18/2008
Date Climbed:   09/08/2007
Author:  lordhelmut

 Lone Eagle - summer climb  

Wanted to document a long overdue report regarding a special climb up Lone Eagle Peak via Monarch Lake. Even though this one of the most amazing mountains I‘ve climbed to date, I‘ll keep it brief, most of the details are kind of hazy anyways.

For those of you unfamiliar with the Western Indian Peaks region, do yourself a favor and get acquianted with it very soon, its a unique place to say the least. The drive to the trailhead is even a treat, winding along the southen end of Lake Granby, you cross over a couple bridges and reach the rather large parking lot in front of Monarch Lake. Here‘s a view of the lake in the morning :


There were a ton of waterfalls along this approach, tons, here are a few, including one with sunlight on the way out :





The approach was rather long, I believe the RT distance for this climb via the standard route is 19-20 miles, but to be honest, the views and terrain is so mesmerizing, it really didn‘t seem that way. Here is a glimpe of what the Lone Eagle Cirque looks like, it was a bit overcast and I couldn‘t get decent lighting, but here it is nonetheless, indeed a true alpine setting with Crater Lake in the foreground :


And a solid view of the North Face technical route.


The Solo Flight standard route is around to the left, a roundabout route, the north face route straight up. I somehow found a tentative route to the right of the photo, along some grassy ledges with some somewhat sketchy ledges and slippery dirt and loose gravel. Here was my entrance to the face :


Once I found safer ground and a somewhat decent route to the southeast side of the peak, I looked back and got a pic of the valley from where I approached :


It was a beautiful day for the most part and after rounding and traversing my way around the mountain, I almost began a traverse I was unaware of at the time, known as the Mohling Traverse. It was bone chillingly imposing and had my attention for the better part of the climb :


I found a small ridge that connected Lone Eagle to the middle of the Mohling Traverse (called Limbo) and some excellent class 4, low 5 scrambling to gain the high point of the ridge leading to Lone Eagle‘s summit. Here‘s an idea of what I stumbled upon :


And then looking down, it was pretty damn steep :


I reached the highpoint of the ridge, forgetting that Lone Eagle‘s summit is the lowpoint of the ridge. The thunder in the distance to the west started up and I lost my concentration and focused more on getting down. Here‘s the view looking down at the summit :


The views all around were typical for the IPW, dramatic and surreal. Despite being lower than most of the peaks accessed from Long Lake, it was still a summit that could very easily become etched in your memory :

Pawnee Pass region

Apache Peak

I found the Solo Flight route to be reasonable descent route, a little bit of loose rock here and there, but it beat heading back down the way I came up. Once I reached Crater Lake, the thunder started to get close and by the time I got into the trees, it was real close. The hike out was a bit anxiety riddled cause the weather seemed to be hunting me the whole way, luckily it never got too close and I was pretty thrilled when I finally reached me car. It was pouring at this point, but I managed to get a decent shot of Lake Granby from the Monarch Lake road :


it was a fitting view to a great day, I‘ll be coming back to this region again this summer and many to come. Sorry this wasn‘t a winter report, felt since no one else has put anything out there about this great peak, I‘d be the first.

Thumbnails for uploaded photos (click to open slideshow):

 Comments or Questions

02/05/2011 00:22
Thanks for posting lordhelmut. This peak has been on my ”list” for a while. And your pictures encourage me to get up there!


03/19/2008 16:14
d_baker, its a great Cirque, have at it.


Thanks for Posting This
03/19/2008 16:48
I‘ve been up to the lake a couple of times, it‘s one of my favorite areas. Have yet to attempt to climb this one, but it is definitely on my short list.


08/28/2008 00:37
I love this peak, it‘s on my list as well and I look forward to it with great anticipation! Nice photos!


Nice report, great pics
03/19/2008 17:13
Lordhelmut: Beautiful photos, sounds like you had a great adventure that day. I tried the North Face of Lone Eagle with a buddy but bailed near the top, ran out of time. I think it‘s one of the world‘s most beautiful mountains, your photos reminded me of that.


When a mountain is that pretty
03/20/2008 16:03
it doesn‘t matter how tall it is.


looks like fun...
03/22/2008 05:58
I‘ve never been in there, though I‘ve meant to for a while. I‘m inspired. Call me when you go Darrin.


Thanks for the comments
11/30/2010 17:28
Tom - thanks for the comment on the pics, i've been blessed with a great Canon camera (sd1000) which takes remarkable pics despite its small lense and size. I'd agree when you the "The World's" most beautfiul mtns, well deserved and a fun climb too.

Floyd - its one of my favorite areas too, if not my favorite and very close, such a luxury.

Mark - we should definately look into climbing this sometime this summer and since you are skilled with ropes, maybe we could do the North Face if you are so willing?

Cheeseburglar - couldn't agree more, despite being the lowest point of the Cirque, it demands the most respect and awe.

sgladbach - it is fun, do yourself a favor and make that trip, no reason to keep putting it off, its a climbers paradise.

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