Peak(s):  Whale Pk  -  13,078 feet
Date Posted:  07/07/2009
Date Climbed:   07/04/2009
Author:  givemejava
 Whale of a first 13‘er  

Forgive the brag please. This is my first post on bagging my first 13'er at 51.

There are a few items anyone heading up for this very pleasant hike should be aware of. First, the only difference between the trail and the road leading to the trail is a footbridge (you actually need to drive through a stream on the road but the trail has a bridge) and about 1 feet of width - though the trail may actually be wider. You will certainly need a vehicle with 4 wheel drive and very good clearance to drive all the way to the trailhead.

Second, between the snowmelt and the rather wet year we have had so far, the upper portions of the trail are muddy and the mosquitoes are out in force for the entire trip below the timber line.
Bring your gaiters for the mud and your bug repellant. Since the snow melt runs through old mine tailings, your gaiters will look like someone sprayed them with glitter from the small amount of gold and silver dust you will collect on them.

The trail is reached off Park County Road 60, about 4 miles east of the summit of Kenosha pass. The trail is labeled "Gibson Lake" and is easily followed to the lake.
We expected to find a "social" trial from the lake to the top of Whale, but it was not there. Whale is the peak to the southeast. There is a pile of mine tailings near the stream that exits the lake. We skirted up the left side then made our own switch backs to the saddle,
then hiked up the easier ridge line to the summit.
The clouds to the west started looking pretty grim when we got there, so we skedaddled pretty quickly to get below the tree line.

Thumbnails for uploaded photos (click to open slideshow):
1 2 3 4 5 6

 Comments or Questions

Well Done!
07/07/2009 22:39
Congratulations on your first 13er! Whale Peak is an interesting choice, you probably had the summit to yourself.

A lot has changed in the past month...


nice one
07/08/2009 18:53
And thanks for posting, with good pictures. Just because the name is so cool, Whale has been on my long-term to-do list for some time now. Thanks for providing some good route data. (There are lots more neat 13ers out there, calling both your name and mine!)

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