Anderson and the Truros

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Truro and West Truro Peaks seen from a small pond north of Petroleum Lake, Sawatch Range, CO.

Peaks

“Anderson Peak” (Ranked, 13,631′, #179)
“Petroleum Peak” (Ranked, 13,505′, #252)
Larson Peak (Ranked, 12,908′, #708)
Truro Peak (Ranked, 13,282′, #413)
“West Truro” (Ranked, 13,140′, #536)
Unnamed 13,090 (Ranked, 13,090′, #577)

Stats

11.5 miles
6,500 feet
8 hours


A few weekends back Anna-Lisa, myself, and a few friends added another chapter to our annual Twin Lakes camping trip. We normally look to pull this trip off in August but this year schedules dictated it’d have to be late-June. As has become customary, Anna-Lisa and her friend Melina set off to summit another 14er (Mt. Yale this time) while I looked for 13er options in the area.

After much deliberation I decided to head over Indy Pass and up the Lincoln Creek Road to check out the Anderson/Truro area. I had only been up Lincoln Creek once previously to ski the Grizzly Couloir in 2011, so I was excited to revisit the area and check out a few lesser-traveled peaks. 

“I’m going to enjoy tagging your summit, Mr. Anderson!”

To give credit where credit is due, my plan originated as a spin off of Steve and Ryan’s very similar day in which they climbed Anderson’s east ridge and combined it with Petroleum before hopping across the Galena Creek drainage and tagging the Truros. Other than their TR, I hadn’t seen an account of anyone combining these pairs of peaks, but from a topographical and efficiency standpoint, it makes perfect sense.

I figured I’d start things off in identical fashion as them and add resident 12er Larson Peak in addition to the Unnamed 13er directly north of West Truro. Steve, thanks again for all the beta!

Anderson Peak’s east ridge before things got a little more interesting.

I was able to get up the Lincoln Creek Road with relative ease and continue past the reservoir along the “4WD” section for a mile or so. I could have made it even further but elected to park at the base of the gully coming off Pt. 13,090, as that was where I intended to end my day provided I had the weather to pull it off. From my parking spot the road walk to the Lincoln Creek crossing went quickly. I removed the shoes and forded Lincoln Creek and before long I was making good time up the east ridge of Anderson Peak.

True to form, Steve and Ryan wound up taking the path of most resistance up Anderson’s east ridge, tacking it directly which required some class 4 scrambling. After I rounded the corner to the south I could see their route in front of me. The undertaking looked fairly complex and with intermittent snow drifts still lingering high on the peak, I opted for an easier traverse over to Anderson’s south ridge (i.e. the path of least resistance). This worked out well, and despite a series of loose gravel covered ledges which did their best to hamper my progress, I was able to gain the ridge and top out on Anderson a few minutes later.

Anderson’s summit, looking north towards the rest of the day’s work – Petroleum Peak, Larson, and the Truros.

Anderson’s summit is a cool one, with front row views of the Elks and a very real sense of solitude in the western-Sawatch. Peering down a few of the couloirs on Anderson’s northeast face had me thinking a return trip with skis might be a good idea, although I’d imagine getting up that road in spring might suck.

Closing in on “Petroleum Peak”.

From the summit of Anderson it took less than an hour to run the easy ridge over to Petroleum. From it’s summit, I was able to foot glissade down a few patches of snow into the large basin between Anderson and the Truros. It was still early and Larson Peak looked too close to pass up. For the record, I do not have an LOJ account.

Larson Peak’s southwest ridge.

The ridge on Larson was fun and went quickly. The best views of the day were had from Larson’s summit, which is arguably the best reason to climb it if you have the time and energy. The Truros appeared wild and rugged from my vantage point. Very reminiscent of Gore Range peaks.

Anderson and it’s aesthetic northeast face from Larson’s summit.

Looking north at the Truro Traverse from Larson’s summit.

After downing some fluids I reversed the route down Larson’s ridge and descended north to the small pond that feeds Galena Creek. From there I was able to traverse the grassy basin and work my way up to the Truro/West Truro saddle at 12,180 ft with relative ease. From the saddle, I traversed up and across Truro’s loose, blocky northwest face and topped out around 10:15pm.

Truro Peak’s summit, looking north.

With clouds building to my east I didn’t stay on top of Truro for long. I knew I had to make good time across the traverse and was able to do so by skirting below a majority of the towers on their south side. Staying true to what I had read in other reports, I hopped over to the north side of the ridge just east of the final tower and had a relatively straightforward route to the summit from there. “West Truro” sure is a cool summit. I wish I could have stayed a tad longer.

Looking back at Truro from West Truro’s summit.

At this point I had stopped enjoying my hike and was just motivated to beat the weather over to my final peak of the day and get down to the car. The ridge from West Truro out to Unnamed 13,090 went quickly. I was able to save some elevation by skirting below a few sub-points on the east side of the ridge.

Ridge run out to Pt. 13,090 from West Truro’s summit. That’s Truro Lake down below.

Getting closer to 13,090.

“Tabor Peak” to the west, seen from the West Truro/13,090 connecting ridge.

“Anderson Peak” (far back), “Petroleum Peak” (back right), and the Truro Peaks (foreground) seen from the summit of Unnamed 13,090.

A couple thousand foot talus/grass knee bash fest had me down my target gully I parked at the bottom of in a jiff. There I took a moment to enjoy an Independence Pass Ale (I figured why not) before embarking on the long drive back down the road to Highway 82.

Done and done.

Back at the campground I was happy to discover that Anna-Lisa, Melina, and Jax were successful on Mt. Yale. After a peaceful evening of corn hole and hops we traded in early and managed to beat traffic back to Denver the next day, keeping the “stress free” trip alive for one more year.

Google Earth rendering of the entire loop from the southeast.

All in all this was a fun loop and a great way to combine a grouping of fine peaks in the western-Sawatch. If you’re camping in the Twin Lakes area and don’t mind an hour and a half drive from there to the TH, you should check it out sometime 🙂

8 thoughts on “Anderson and the Truros

  1. Natalie Moran

    Mr. Anderson is a popular guy this spring 🙂 I tagged along with the Konsellas earlier this June once the road opened to ski one of those lovely NE couloirs. Frank called it Morpheus (but please don’t tell Marsters that, he gets offended). That sucker was steep, but not according to Frank, of course. We stopped about 300 ft away from the summit, where the snow stopped. My peakbagging tendencies were crushed, but I didn’t mind as much since I knew I’d have to come back for Petroleum anyway 🙂 Also, climbing C4 choss in ski boots didn’t sound so appealing.
     
    Was eyeing the loop (and easy way up Mr. Anderson) from another Grizzly A ski just a week or so ago. Sooo….Thanks for the stoke, I may just have to make the 3rd trip up Lincoln creek road in a month. This area is truly spectacular.
     
    https://14erskiers.com/blog/2016/06/anderson-peak-6-11-16/

    1. Ben Post author

      Thanks for the link Natalie. Looks like a cool ski, definitely! Seems like part of the challenge in skiing Anderson would be timing a trip up there early enough for good snow coverage on the peak, yet late enough to where you could still get up the road. For us Denverites, that sure is a long drive to find out 🙂 Looks like you guys timed it well.
       
      Was that couloir the best one from a skiing standpoint and in your opinion, not an option from the summit even if in better/bigger conditions? Just wondering if there’s a good line that goes from the summit, or if it’s more of a climb as high as you can on the face and ski down type outing, regardless of coverage.

      1. Natalie Moran

        Ben, it was definitely a cool line (probably just above my pay grade, frankly). We picked it based on snow quality (it just looked the cleanest), and it definitely doesn’t go to the summit, ending in some lovely overhanging crap above it.. But there are several other lines that do indeed go, to at least the summit ridge. I went up a bit to investigate, which involved some chossy C4 climbing in ski boots with aluminum crampons :), and found my way to the top of the other line. There are lots of options there indeed.

  2. Floyd

    Ben, an impressive loop to say the least. Tabor Peak was the subject of a Summitpost article years (decade?) ago and that area has intrigued me ever since. Mike was going to save either these or the Billy for me for his Sawatch finisher – it looks like we chose unwisely. That many peaks in a day may be a requisite for a LOJ account but this must have been near the solstice for it to be that light at 10:15pm! Nice work Sir!

    1. Ben Post author

      Hey Scot! Tabor and Tellurium looked really cool from the Truros. I’d like to head back there relatively soon, maybe we can get a trip on the books? So Billy Traverse wasn’t all that great in your opinion? I’ve heard mixed reviews.
       
      10:15pm…haha. Did I mention the Truros are in Alaska?

      1. Floyd

        Billy is incorrectly advertised as a ridge traverse., It’s more of a up and down slog with brief moments of enjoyment due to impassable towers. Better bang for the buck on so many other options, in my opinion. I doubt I can get back there this year, but looking forward to getting out with you and AL in Sept, with my little one if that trip is still on??

  3. Steve

    Cool to see how you augmented our loop with Larson and the unnamed. I like that area – definitely nit your collegiates’ Sawatch! The shot of Tabor looked cool. Also, nice IPA choice: with a trip to that area, only the Indy Pass will do!

    1. Ben Post author

      Thanks again for the beta shots of the area Steve. Agreed, Truros are more like Gore peaks or something. I read in another TR that Tabor/Tellurium used to be considered Elk Range summits.

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