Peak(s):  Navajo Pk A  -  13,409 feet
Apache Pk  -  13,441 feet
Arikaree Pk  -  13,150 feet
Kiowa Pk  -  13,276 feet
Date Posted:  06/28/2010
Modified:  10/25/2011
Date Climbed:   06/25/2010
Author:  Furthermore
 Forbidden Fruit: Oh wait... Navajo and Apache.  

An Apricot 12,???, a Kiwi 13,??? and an Apple 13,???
Oh wait...

Navajo Peak 13,409
Apache Peak 13,441

June 25, 2010
~12.5 Miles, ~5,900 Gain.
Trailhead: Mitchell Picnic area (main lot was closed and opened when we returned later in the day)

It was going to be hard and it was going to be much harder than normal. It was the 12:30 AM wake up call that was hard so I could meet Steve at 1:00 AM. I can't say it was a good night sleep but more like a quick nap. Starting to wake up, I met up with Steve and we made the quick drive to the trailhead. Unfortunately, the lot was closed so we ended up parking at the Mitchell Picnic area and started our wander in the moonlit woods around 2:40 AM. We climbed south to a low point in the ridge and then descended towards our first fruit, the low Apricot.

Into the next valley we went. We hiked around the east side of a large lake that perhaps starts with the letter "A" and then started up a steep talus slope. After a few hundred feet, the sloped eased and the daylight began to appear. We continued upward and worked our way over several false summits arriving on our Apricot at 5:05 AM.

Sunrise in the Fruit Bowl

Its a funny drawing I saw once.

From the summit of the Apricot, we headed northwest towards our next fruit; the Kiwi. It was an easy direct line to the summit and mostly a talus climb. We arrived on the summit of the Kiwi at 5:50 AM. The sunlight on Arapaho peak was impressive. Our stay was short and we were off headed west-southwest down a long ridge towards our Apple. Nothing hard was encountered.

Unique view of Navajo. I just can't recall where it was taken.

Another view of Navajo.

To not be mistaken for a worm on this Apple, we climbed on west side of the south ridge. We arrived on the summit at 6:40 AM. Excellent weather and not a cloud in the sky. To save time and to get out the fruit bowl faster, we decided to descend the north ridge of the Apple. The ridge proper did not go but the north face did. The north face was sustained class 3 with a few moves of class 4. We moved slow and cautiously downwards since a fall would certainly be a killer.

The north face of Arikaree.

Once we reached easier ground we headed up some snow slopes directly toward the summit of Navajo. The summit looked so close and since I had to climb up and over a high ridge to get back to the car, Navajo was going to be a nice addition.

At this point, the snow was starting to soften up a bit and we hopped on areas of rock to avoid the soft shallow snow. We worked our way up to the final summit headwall and on the headwalls' right side we went up a chimney. The climbing was class 3 with maybe a few moves of class 4. It wasn't very exposed. The summit arrived abruptly at 8:40 AM with superb views all around.

The right hand chimney on Navajo.

Steve climbing up the right hand chimney on Navajo.

Steve climbing up the right hand chimney on Navajo.

Apache from Navajo's summit.

Looking down at Lake Isabelle.

Long's Peak from Navajo.

I still felt pretty good and Apache looked way too close to pass up. Since Steve had big day planned for tomorrow, and since Apache would have been a repeat for him, he decided to pass on Apache. It wouldn't make sense for me to leave Apache an isolated 13eener for a separate trip, especially since they bagged us 9 bucks to park at the trailhead.

The northwest chimney isn't as easy to find on the way down as it is on the way up. Steve knows since he climbed up the chimney once before. After some scouting around we found the class 4 chimney.

Since this wasn't part of the climb wasn't on the itinerary, we didn't bring helmets. I would highly recommend one for this climb or in this case down-climb. We went one at a time down the chimney and I started down first. The climbing was easy but the wind drying out my contacts didn't help matters. At the bottom of the chimney, it was a short traverse to the Navajo-Apache saddle. Dicker's Peck looked slick; however, I am not sure I would make a separate trip hauling gear to climb it.

Steve starting down the class 4 northwest chimney.

Steve climbing down the class 4 northwest chimney.

Steve climbing down the class 4 northwest chimney.

Dicker's Peck

Looking up at the class 4 chimney.

Steve decided to go ahead and glissade down Navajo glacier while I knocked out Apache. From the Navajo-Apache saddle, I climbed on the ridge proper, class 3, to a sub summit of Apache.It was an easy talus hike to the summit from here. I arrived on the summit at 9:30 AM and took a short break.

Class 3 start up the south ridge on Apache.

Talus summit stroll on Apache.

Navajo from Apache.

I returned to the sub-summit-Apache saddle and then glissaded down a couloir down into the valley where I met up with Steve. Only a few miles back to the car. The trail was mostly snow packed until Lake Isabelle and once we reached Lake Isabelle, we encountered the mobs of people. It was a freaking highway of people back to the car where we arrived at 11:20 AM.

Navajo on my descent.

My couloir I glissaded.

Navajo and Navajo Glacier.

Lake Isabelle.

Navajo and Apache.

Route Map.

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

 Comments or Questions

Well told
06/29/2010 02:57
...and very creative. There will be a time when the forbidden fruit is all that is left for me, and I will have to take a bite.

I love the Sunrise in the Fruit Bowl picture. It is mysterious like it should be. Great TR.

As for Navajo Peak, it‘s one peak of a handful I am considering for this weekend. Did you get a good look at Airplane Gully on your way out? It appears that image 19 shows some snow at the top left of the gully, but dry below. What did you see?


06/29/2010 03:10
I didn‘t catch to see if there was any snow left in Airplane Gully. I would tend to guess, no?
Kevin Baker did the climb 2-3 days prior to my ascent and would have a better idea of the conditions in Airplane Gully.
Sorry I couldn‘t help more.


Your TR was plenty of help
06/29/2010 04:12
Thanks for the info.


Cranking out the peaks.
06/29/2010 12:46
Don‘t you ever rest. Nice.

06/30/2010 00:09
Heading up the two exciting, yet legal, peaks in your report tomorrow. Thanks for the good beta and congrats on your stealth mission


01/19/2011 03:38


07/29/2013 18:29
Some great beta there!

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