Peak(s):  PT 13,660 A  -  13,660 feet
Date Posted:  03/29/2009
Date Climbed:   03/28/2009
Author:  Furthermore
 Cristo Spring Slog on 13,660  

Point 13660 A
~9.1 Miles, ~5,200 gain.

With the recent snowstorm, I was limited in my choice of high peaks. I had scoped out the northwest ridge of 13,660 A, near Blanca, from Twin Peaks in December and it looked like it had some decent scrambling. Since 13,660 offered a ridge climb, relatively short approach and a snow free drive down I-25 my climbing partner, Justin, I and were sold on climbing it. We left after work and drove down to the Zapata Falls trailhead where we camped.

We woke up at 5:50 AM and started hiking up the Zapata Falls trail by 6:30 AM. After about a quarter mile, we left the Zapata Falls trail and started up the South Zapata Creek trail where there was a good 6 inches of fresh powder. The South Zapata Creek trail was easy to follow where we followed the trail to ~10,500. The snow progressively got deeper, but there was no need for snowshoes. Even at 10,500 the snow was only 8-10 inches deep. Not quite enough for snowshoes. Justin stashed his snowshoes below a cliff at ~10,400 and I stashed mine shortly after leaving the trail.

When we left the South Zapata Creek trail, things went downhill fast. The snow was deep and steep. We slowly made our way onto the northwest ridge and worked our way up where the snow was waist deep at times. Snowshoes wouldn't have helped much as we thrashed in the rocks and trees. The deep snow sections were short lived but they sure took a lot of energy. The trees with such fine powder didn't let up until ~11,900. It was slow going.

At last, we made it out of the trees and the traveling became faster, but we were drained. The ridge was fun solid class 2 with some sections of class 3. The longest section of class 3 was ~50 feet and the class 3 crux reminded me of the class 3 crux section on the South Arapaho - North Arapaho traverse. After plenty of good scrambling, we finally arrived at the false summit, 13,470, where the true summit looked far away. The views were excellent and the weather was great.

After some more class 2 travel between summits, we arrived at the true summit around 12:45 PM. It had been a long tiring ridge run. The views of the Blanca group were sobering and astonishing with the fresh snow cover. We slowly made our way down the rocky ridge, post- holed back to the trail, and slogged back in slush to the car. We arrived back at the car at 5:00 PM.

I wouldn't recommend this route in the winter or spring; the scrambling wasn't all that rewarding for such a terrible approach in the snow. Excellent summit views, however.

Ellingwood from the northwest ridge of 13660A
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Twin Peaks
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Out of the trees at last!
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Northwest ridge.
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Class 3 crux.
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Class 3 crux.
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Working our way up.
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Good ridge climbing.
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Good ridge climbing.
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The false summit.
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Working our way up but higher.
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Unfortunately, the true summit.
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True Summit.
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Blanca from the summit.
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Lindsey from the summit.
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Blanca.
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Little Bear and Ellingwood from the summit.
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Looking back down from the false summit.
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Point 13,660 from South Zapata Creek trail.
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Thumbnails for uploaded photos (click to open slideshow):
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 Comments or Questions
Furthermore

no crampons
03/30/2009 13:26
We brought crampons but didn‘t use them. The snow was damp and not hard packed so the rock just ended up being wet.


Yog

Nice
03/31/2009 15:57
Great report & pics, looking forward to this seldom climbed peak!


stlouishiker

Good Job!
04/06/2009 20:56
How long are you are on South Zapata Creek Trail and where do you cut off the trail?


Furthermore

Distance on S Zapata Trail
04/07/2009 00:55
We stayed on the South Zapata Creek Trail for ~2.5 Miles. We left the trail to the northeast just prior to the second creek crossing at ~10,500. I would recommend leaving the trail AFTER the second creek crossing as there are cliffs that block easy access to the ridge. Hope this helps!


stlouishiker

Thanks
04/07/2009 20:24
for the info.


Presto

Brings back memories ...
11/30/2010 17:28
Been quite a few years since we've done that one ... thanks for posting a less than popular peak! Happy trails!


COmedic04

Nice!
02/05/2011 00:22
Beautiful pics, and what looks to be a great climb! I‘ve been meaning to get down to the Sangres this late winter/early spring, but haven‘t managed to do it yet. Perhaps I‘ll have to try this climb! I was trying to squint and see...did you use crampons on/near the crux move? Just curious!


bangerth

Good to know
09/04/2020 11:32
Nice to find this TR -- I've long wondered whether that ridge gives access to 13660A. I walked up all the way to Zapata Lake last year and really enjoyed that approach, now for summitting everything that is accessible from that direction!



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