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Peak(s):  San Luis Peak  -  14,023 feet
Date Posted:  07/08/2010
Date Climbed:   07/04/2010
Author:  bergsteigen
 A forest wonderland and wildflower slopes   

San Luis

Hikers: Darrin (kansas) and me
Route: Northeast Ridge: Stewart Creek
Mileage: 13
Elevation Gain: 3.6K'
Start: ~6am

On to Plan C
With our plans foiled to do a couloir climb of Conundrum due to bear activity, we head for the only other peak on Darrin's list that we can most easily hit. Too bad it was hundreds of miles or a 4 hour drive away. I would have liked to do an alternate route on this one, as I have done the standard route from Stewart Creek 4 years ago. But with Darrin falling asleep on the navigating job, I figured it would be easiest to go to the trailhead that I will remember. Of course the 40 miles of dirt roads seemed to go by a lot slower than they did last time.

After what seems like an eternity, we arrive at the trailhead, and quickly ready the back of the truck for sleeping. Now if only the other inhabitant of the trailhead would shut off his headlights.... how rude! (Thankfully he eventually did, but we may have been too tired to notice)

The majority of the distance of this route is along a nice forest and meadow trail, with very little uphill gain. 3 or 4 miles go by, and you barely notice that you are gaining a thousand vertical. A nice trail for the second day out.


Shadow and light


Once out of the trees the upper meadow and summit ridge becomes visible. The remaining vertical to the summit will be accomplished in the final mile or so. The flowers are really popping out all the way to the summit. I was amazed to see tiny purple flowers at 13.9K!






Some pretty purple flowers

Purple flowers and San Juans. The unmistakeable Uncompahgre in the distance

As we near the summit, we see a few couples make their way down. For the most remote of all the 14ers, we saw less than 20 people all day. The influx must have been the holiday!

Baldy Alto & Stewart Peak

Organ Mountain

The western San Juans - pano

La Guerita mountains - pano east


On the way down, I took a little time to photograph some pretty flowers I noted on the way up. Also a few strange trees, that looked half alive and half dead. It was like the seeds from the dead tree, germinated in the rotting sections to create new life around the old.

Strange Trees... half dead, half alive

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

Comments or Questions
your tr‘s are pretty cool
7/8/2010 10:33pm
a lot of these 14er standard route tr‘s get really really old. Yours are unique, with great pictures. It seems like you have a standard point and shoot and a really good eye for the right angle and scene.

Nice bristlecone pine shot, probably the most interesting looking tree in the universe (then again, I haven‘t really gotten out much outside the USA).

7/8/2010 11:14pm
Excellent pic‘s! Enjoyed following your trails...

what lordhelmut said
7/8/2010 11:16pm
Freaky tree, I missed it!

7/9/2010 9:01pm
lordhelmut - Your tr‘s make me look forward to the day where I can focus on the 13ers and fun routes again. ‘The List‘ is getting old! I sometimes wonder if I should post these standard routes, so thanks. I figured the photography was enough.

My current camera is a Canon S90, a lightweight compromise from my 6lb Canon 30D DSLR. I also have a filter attachment and can run full manual settings (when I have time). So not exactly point and shoot. I think its good enough for basic climbs. Don‘t need the extra training weight!

doggler - I did my best impression of your running trip on San Luis... ie I went as fast as I could! Even Darrin was tired by the end, and both our shins hurt from the ‘speed hiking‘.

EatinHardtack - I was wondering if all those streams and ponds produced much. Lots of wildlife spotted in the area on both of my trips out there.

7/12/2010 5:50pm
Great write up and fantastic pics!

Ramsey Boys
7/15/2010 4:47am
Enjoyed the report. I think this will be our climb on Friday!

Busy weekend
8/20/2010 1:19am
ha! We actually hiked San Luis on the 4th of July weekend last year. I think we too saw about 20 people total. We had a nightmare of a drive getting there....whatever you do, dont hit up that road after a rainstorm.

Garden of Eden?
11/30/2010 5:28pm
I was there the day before and that area might be one of my favorites in this state. I attempted the peak on the 3rd but I had problems with my boots for some reason that day and didn't make it up. I'll be back and it wasn't a total loss. I caught many brookies up there and some browns.

2/5/2011 12:22am
Nicely captured with the lens! Colorful! Beautiful day!

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