After the end of ski season and a few trail races in June, it was time to switch gears and start focusing on bagging some peaks around the state. Races are fun, and they make for a nice change of pace (ha), but the truth is I still find hiking to be more enjoyable. It’s easier on the body with less of a fitness timetable required, destinations are usually more spectacular, and to be perfectly honest, running just gets old after awhile.
Anyway I digress…as is the case most years, the month of July went by in a flash. Between working, heading to the hills, a road trip to Sante Fe with Anna-Lisa, and starting a few projects on the house, I simply wasn’t able to keep up with writing trip reports. So I figured a quick recap with some of the better photos from the month would be a good way to catch up…
“Tabor Peak” (13,282 ft)
To kick off the month of July, Steve and I motored on down to the Lincoln Creek Road to explore a tributary drainage, Tabor Creek, as well as it’s namesake peak. We originally intended to tack on the Telluriums as well, but the afternoon monsoon and a lingering cold of mine had other ideas…
Steve heading up the Tabor Creek trail towards the head of the valley. As expected, this area was incredibly green as a result of plentiful rainfall over the few weeks prior. Click to enlarge.
Wildflowers, particularly columbine, dotted the landscape. Gotta love July wildflower season in the Rockies.
After a few mile hike up valley, we left the trail and headed for a small saddle north of Tabor Peak. Here’s a shot looking southeast at the Truros and other high peaks of the Lincoln Creek drainage.
Tabor Peak seen from the north. From here we gained the ridge on the right and hoofed it up to the top. The ascent is easier than it looks. Click to enlarge.
Steve descending after a short summit stay with late-morning storms building all around us.
Looking north on descent at the monsoonal rains. Time to get out of here!
Broncho Mountain (12,834 ft)
Henry Mountain (13,254 ft)
Fairview Peak (13,214 ft)
July 9th and 10th
One week after Tabor, Steve, Jax and I headed over Monarch Pass to the Ohio City area north of Gunnison where we camped for two nights and picked off three peaks. It made for a leisure trip and a fine intro to summer camping season.
Welcome to the Fossil Ridge Wilderness – 14,000 acres of beautiful forests, rolling tundra, and high peaks.
Jax on the summit of Broncho Mountain after a scenic ascent.
Steve on route to 13er Henry Mountain, which is easily and often combined with Broncho. That’s Lamphier Lake down below.
A nice one of Henry Mountain from Square Top. Though still technically in the Sawatch, this peak is so far west of the southern part of the range it’s basically in no man’s land.
Henry (back left), Square Top (left) and Broncho (right) seen on the ascent of Fairview Peak the following day. An interesting approach up disappearing Jeep roads eventually led to the high rolling tundra that makes up Fairview’s south ridge. From there it’s an easy stroll to the top along one of the best kept trails I’ve seen on a 13er. Click to enlarge.
Fairview was 13er #300 for me. Although we wondered if the true summit was considered to be the highest rock? Or the roof of this building that sits on top of the peak?
A pair of noobs back at camp.
London Mountain (13,194 ft)
Mt. Evans B (13,577 ft)
Next up was a short day in the Mosquito Range with Zambo to nab a few easy peaks that had eluded me for years. Good weather made up for our later-than-prudent start time and allowed for a great day out while Anna-Lisa and a few friends ran the Tough Mudder in Copper.
Zambo and Jax descending London Mountain with Evans B next on the agenda. That’s Bicentennial Mosquito Peak on the right.
After an easy and scenic ridge run to the south from London, we topped out on Evans B. This shot is looking west towards Leadville. A fine afternoon to be up high in the Mosquitos. Click to enlarge.
Mariquita Peak (13,405 ft)
De Anza Peak (13,333 ft)
Beaubien Peak (13,184 ft)
Francisco Peak (13,135 ft)
Lomo Liso Mountain (13,128 ft)
UN 13,565 (13,565 ft)
UN 13,229 (13,229 ft)
Towards the end of the month Steve and I, along with a great crew, were fortunate enough to pick off the rest of our remaining peaks on Cielo Vista Ranch land. All in all, there are a dozen summits on the property above 13,000 ft (including Culebra and Red), and we had always viewed the seven peaks north of Culebra as one of the bigger puzzles for aspiring 13er finishers to solve. All the stars aligned just before the ranch’s August ownership change, and thankfully we had good enough weather for a successful linkup of all seven peaks.
Summit of De Anza Peak B at 4am. We left camp at Whiskey Pass extra early on this one to hedge our bets with the weather.
Coming off Mariquita Peak, the northernmost 13er on private land, at sunrise.
The Pappersons, along with Sean “Wolfcastle” on the ridge just after sunrise. That’s Trinchera Peak back left, which Steve and I hiked last summer.
The road ahead, Culebra can be seen way in the back. Click to enlarge.
A few hours later on the descent from Lomo Liso Mountain with Culebra looking a lot closer.
Steve with unranked Miranda Peak in back, as well as the Spanish Peaks in the distance. Only two more to go from here…
On the summit of the last peak looking north at the ridge we traversed. The finish line wasn’t close however, as we still had to descend down to 10,300 ft in the Carneros Creek drainage and catch a vehicle shuttle back around to our camp at Whiskey Pass.
A rendering of the entire ridge run from Mariquita to UN 13,229. Click to enlarge.
July went by fast but it was a good month. Looking forward to whatever else the summer has in store.