Peak(s):  San Luis Peak  -  14,014 feet
PT 13,155  -  13,155 feet
Date Posted:  05/26/2009
Date Climbed:   05/19/2009
Author:  jesse
 San Luis postholing nightmare   

Erik and I left from boulder late at 6:30pm, after a long drive to Creede we arrived at the West Willow Creek TH at 1:20am. Two beers later I was asleep and ready for the 4am alarm.

We quickly left the car grabbed our light packs and ran to catch sunrise.
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Its always nice to be above treeline as darkness fades.

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We thought the going would be faster but alas the snow didn‘t freeze all night so we were treated to sunrise at the first basin.

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At first light we were already waist deep in bands of mashed potatoes, snow for 300ft then rock then rotten snow again, postholing BAHH!

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The morning air was crisp and clean early light on San Luis made it beautiful.
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Fresh Mt Lion Tracks?

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After the 2nd basin traverse through more slush and snow we were very happy to be on dry ground.

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Erik climbing the last let to the soft summit, here we decided that a traverse around the 2nd basin was needed to avoid postholing for hours again.

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Has anyone climbed all the 14ers in a bear suit?

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Obligatory Wich-Wich summit picture.

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After descending to the 12620ft saddle I was treated to a Class 4 scramble to tag PT 13155. The conglomerate rock reminded me of the Crestone massif and was quite enjoyable.

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An impressive tower sits on this quiet peak the echos were amazing!

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Traversing towards PT 12562 to avoid the basin, we got to get a short amount of Class 3 moves along the briefly thin ridgeline.

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Erik‘s 1st San Juan scramble, the rocks there are so stark it reminds me that the San Juans are excellent adventures every time.

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The only other person we saw that day, Matt, decided to follow our lead and avoid the basin. Here you can barely see him amongst the towers.

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Another shot of Matt nearing PT 13,155.

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Shots from PT 12,562 with San Luis

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Just a few more to go!

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After this we descended back down to tackle the 1st basin it was warmer and thus the postholing increased dramatically.

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Matt was able to avoid some of the snowfields and took the lead away from us not sure how he stayed on that snowfield though it was steep.

After 2hrs of struggling with a lack of calories and through wayyyyy too much snow we made it back to dry ground and raced back to the Santa Fe. There wasn‘t enough snow to be carrying skis or a board here it was all mushy terribleness. However another one bites the dust and any day above treeline is the best!


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Thumbnails for uploaded photos (click to open slideshow):
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Comments or Questions
BAUMGARA

Ah a bear.
05/27/2009 00:36
That bear suit rocks!


JB99

Interesting title...
05/27/2009 18:17
On the day you posted your trip report Jessica and I were having a similar post hole nightmare on San Luis. You were more determined than us though, we turned back after too long. I thought it was pretty funny to come home and see your trip reports title since my name is Jesse too... Congratulations on a hard fought summit.


ksegasser

The Bears!
05/29/2009 01:33
Great suit! I am hoping to do San Luis this weekend. Do you think snowshoes would be at all helpful?


jmfarris
Snowshoes for a May attempt?
04/28/2010 18:34
Question guys, I am planning on doing the San Luis Peak at the end of May. Would you suggest this and also I am guessing from your pics you would also suggest wearing snowshoes? Any advice would be great since I am coming in from out of state. I am familiar with the area though since I went to college in the San Luis Valley.



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