A weekend trip for Dallas Peak from Denver? That’s a crazy bunch of driving for one summit. So Ryan and I looked for some new mountains somewhere sort of en route, and landed on the Truros, which most place in the Sawatch though one old CMC book I have considers them part of the Elks.
Kevin K and I drove over Independence Pass, then north/east on Hwy 82 to the turn for the Lincoln Gulch 4×4 road to Anderson Lake, where we roused Ryan from his dreamland. My old CMC book said “the average passenger car” could make this road. We quickly determined the average passenger car would be messed up. But my RAV 4, aka the Honey Badger, didn’t give a shit about what went bump in the dark. Anyhow, we drove up the road four miles or so to to the “T” junction – not knowing whether to continue straight (east) or turn right (south) — pulled off the track and found a flat place to pitch the tent at 1 am.
Kevin decided to rest and save his energy for Dallas the next day, so Ryan and I headed up the road and quickly found ourselves at a rather wide stream crossing. I decided to introduce a power lifting element to our hike by hauling a heavy stone (thankfully a short distance, as I feared my stones would burst) to drop in a gap between rocks, thus securing our dry-footed crossing.
We continued up the road. This is our morning view of Anderson Peak, the jagged point in the center, about a quarter to 7 am. The more rounded summit to the left must not be a ranked 13er; otherwise, I don’t think Ryan would have let me bypass it. As the road gets into the trees, it turns westward, and we veered off to bushwack toward Anderson Peak.
It was easy enough gaining the low saddle and then heading up the ridge.
This part of the ridge went quickly. It was when we came to that little bump ahead, the first of Anderson’s three summits, that the hike became a class 4 climb.
The climb up Anderson was a lot of fun and required full concentration, with plenty (but not unnerving) exposure, and moves ranging from class 2 to the occasional low 5. The valleys to both the north and south provided inspiring scenery: lush green basins surrounding brilliant blue lakes, ringed by rough mountain ridges.
We topped out at 8:53, about 2 hours and 20 minutes from our start. We admired the stupendous views of not only these surrounding peaks and valleys, but also Castle Peak far to the west. The way ahead of to Petroleum promised to be easy: no scrambling but just a simple walk across the ridge as it arced west before curving more sharply north.
A pretty uneventful little trek to Petroleum; it took just under an hour. Here’s a shot along one of the grungier parts; but this was definitely the “fast break” between Anderson’s scramble and the scramble ahead of us from W Truro to Truro.
From Petroleum’s summit, we turned our attention eastward to the Truros.
I proposed staying on the ridge, but Ryan sensibly pointed out that we’d shave time by dropping into the basin. The only thing that was odd is that the terrain to the left of the lake was some angled and loose, treacherous talus. So we walked along the right side of the lake on even ground, making much better time to more than make up for the additional distance.
Once back on the ridge and facing W Truro, we had some more fun scrambling to do. It was much shorter and less difficult than the east ridge to Anderson. I’d checked a couple other reports, and Ryan knew even more as some of his friends had recently traversed the Truros, so we knew not to bother trying to scale the high towers along the traverse from W Truro to Truro.
We threaded our way straight, down, then up and around to the right (south) of the prominent tower in the center of the photo. Below is our descent around this tower, with Truro looming directly ahead (left of center).
Here is a sequence of the final leg of the traverse to Truro.
This was the final peak of the day, and we took more time to savor it than we had on W Truro or Petroleum. We had made a nice horseshoe tour and I admired the view southward back to our first summit from early morning, Anderson, with Larson in the foreground like some child clamoring for attention between two parents.
We turned our attention to the descent, which was straightforward across easy terrain. It was 12:48, very close to four hours on the dot from when arrived at the top of Anderson.
We didn’t know it, but the most dangerous part of the day was still before us. Kevin had packed up the car so we were set to go upon our return, and we came across a three SUV caravan at the crux of the road: a narrow, steep section. Luckily the occupants of the third vehicle were not as bone-headed as the leaders and sensibly pulled to the side before this section, so that we didn’t need to put the honey badger to the crash test. We still had several hours of driving ahead to reach our dirt road campsite for Dallas the next day.
I enjoyed this single day jaunt into this little pocket of pretty mountains nestled in obscurity between the massive but rolling Sawatch to the east and the ragged and brittle Elks to the west. The views were splendid; the rock solid.