Halfway on “Huerfanito”

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Blanca Peak

Morning light on Blanca Peak.

This past Saturday Anna-Lisa, Jax, and I made the morning drive down 25 and across to the Lily Lakes TH. Our objective – 13,081 ft “Huerfanito”, a small and often overlooked peak that resides smack in the middle of the dramatic high summits of the Sierra Blanca. “Huerfanito” was the only peak above 13k in the area that I had yet to summit, which was fitting as the word huerfanito translates to “little orphan” in English.

The short day allowed for a leisure 8am start from the upper-TH. We followed the well-traveled Mt. Lindsey trail to around 12,400 ft, then broke off and headed up gentle slopes to the small pass between “Huerfanito” and the Iron Nipple.

Saddle

“Huerfanito”, seen from the south side of the pass. Our route went around the rock outcroppings on the left and up to the summit from there.

The day was gorgeous, nothing new for this fall season really. I suppose it was fitting to close out one of the warmest Octobers on record with a day in the hills more reminiscent of July. Neither of us were complaining.

Al and Lindsey

Anna-Lisa with Mt. Lindsey in back.

Jax

And Jax, always so concerned about our progress. We only have 2 legs buddy!

A nice breeze greeted us at the summit and invited us to stay for awhile. The best part about hiking “Huerfanito” is no doubt the views it grants of Blanca, Ellingwood, Lindsey, and the California group from the top.

Summit

“Huerfanito” summit.

Now to explain the post title…all summer long I’d been closing in on a milestone of sorts. For those who don’t spend their time researching lists of big rock piles, there are 584 13ers in the state of Colorado (10x more than there are 14ers, amazingly). “Huerfanito” was summit 292 for me, the exact halfway mark. Kind of cool to now be on the back half of such a massive list.

Al and Blanca

Zoom shot of Anna-Lisa and Blanca Peak from the summit of “Huerfanito”.

We descended the north ridge back into Huerfano Creek, making for a nice little circular tour of the mountain. Our descent route was for sure looser than what we came up, so I’d recommend the backside route from the pass for anyone looking to hike this peak in the future.

Mt. Lindsey from a unique angle.

Deproach

Waning sunlight bathed the landscape in a nice golden brown hue.

Once back on the Mt. Lindsey trail we cruised on down to the TH under the afternoon sun. But not before stopping to fiddle around with the camera some more…

Waterfall

Water features on the way out, not even close to frozen yet.

Deer

Resident fauna, probably confused about whether or not they should start gearing up for winter.

Dinner at Rudy’s capped off a great day in the hills with my two favorite hiking partners. I’m hard pressed to believe this won’t end up being the last day of Indian Summer up high for Anna-Lisa and I, but who knows. Either way, i think we’re both looking forward to ski season.

img_0776

On the summit of “Huerfanito”.

Happy November.

2 thoughts on “Halfway on “Huerfanito”

  1. Floyd

    Congrats on the half-way mark Ben and glad you could share it with those closest to you. I remember Mike hitting 292 on “L” a few years ago so there is still plenty of work left to do! I assume that road has recovered from the washout a few years ago?

    1. Ben Post author

      Thanks Scot! Was one of those milestones that didn’t really feel like there was much to celebrate. I guess still having 292 peaks left to theoretically finish has a way of doing that.

      The road is now passable. They constructed a workaround that gets you past the landslide, but access to the actual TH is no longer 2WD friendly (if it ever was).

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