Buying Gear?  Click Here
Buying gear? Please use these links to help 14ers.com:

More info...

Other ways to help...
 Peak(s):  Unnamed 11180 - 11,180 feet
Unnamed 11328 - 11,328 feet
 Post Date:  10/18/2012 Modified: 10/19/2012
 Date Climbed:   10/14/2012
 Posted By:  Kevin Baker
 Additional Members:   sstratta

 Return to the Lost Creek Wilderness   

Unnamed 11180
Unnamed 11328
Lost Creek Wilderness
18 miles RT, 5200’ gain
From Twin Eagles TH (8560’)
October 14, 2012
Participants: Sarah Strattan and Kevin Baker


Every shoulder season, I make it a point to hit some remote peaks in the Lost Creek Wilderness. The journey through the list of 37 ranked summits has been a ton of fun. Not many duds in this list at all as these peaks hold a ton of intrigue and the views never disappoint! Three years ago I was in the McCurdy Park area hoping to sweep the 3 11ers nearby plus McCurdy Tower, but we ran out of time. I had to “orphan” Unnamed 11328 to the southwest, leaving a huge hike to include it with 11180. 11180 is one of the most remote peaks in the the LCW and it indeed is well worth the 8.5 miles or so to get back there!

I sent out a few invites and Sarah was up for some fun, which would be her maiden voyage in the LCW. She has just got back from a work related trip to Ecuador and she climbed 4 volcanoes at the end of the trip. This little LCW romp will be a cake walk compared to that! We set out from the Twin Eagles TH at 6:15am on a crisp, fall morning. The long 6 mile approach to McCurdy Park went fairly quickly despite the endless switchbacks and we were soon enjoying a nice break with some pretty sweet views.

Image

Image
McCurdy Park


We knew the rest of the day would not be near as easy, because you’re usually in for a beatdown in the LCW when you bushwhack. The first obstacle is to skirt the huge swamp in McCurdy Park on the west side. It is tempting to cut straight across, but even late in the year it is quite wet. We then went over 3 small saddles on the east slopes of McCurdy, which was a nice little handrail to stay on course to 11180. There were towers on each of these saddles, which made the navigating easier.
We finally got a view of 11180 as we descended from the final saddle and headed up to its west ridge.

Image
11180 finally in view and it's a beauty!



Image
The beautiful approach to the west ridge


Image

We were surrounded by walls of rock and blue skies with just an inch of snow on north facing slopes. The weakness on 11180 is a narrow 3rd class gully on the north face. We wrapped around and traversed some low angle slabs to reach what we thought was the crux, but it turned out we didn’t go far enough east.

Image
Looking for the weakness on the north side.


The gully we climbed had a couple moves of 4th class near the bottom before relenting.

Image
Sarah at the crux in the wrong gully


Image
Me at the same spot looking down


Downclimbing that would have been a bit awkward, so we thought perhaps we didn’t climb the correct gully. The summit area is sort of a plateau of rock with tons of little towers above the south face. If you look closely, you can see what looks like 3 faces in the rock!

Image
See the faces?


The crux is a short 4th class move to get on the summit block with a little gap underneath. We topped out around 11:45 and soaked in the views on a gorgeous day. There were only 29 entries in the register and I knew everybody!

Image
The vast summit area


Image
The short 4th class crux to the summit


We weren’t looking forward to the next part of the hike, which is a long 3 mile bushwhack to 11328.

Image
Looking back at the long slog over 3 saddles to McCurdy Park


We were able to find the correct gully descending finding some webbing in this 3rd class gully.

Image

Image
Looking up the correct gully



We reversed tracks back over the saddles and traversed around McCurdy Park’s swamp on the east side this time, passing underneath magnificent McCurdy Tower. I did my first multi pitch climb on that face and it was a blast. The true summit requires a shoulder boost unless you’re a really creative climber!

Image
McCurdy Tower


Image



We went over the saddle s.w. of McCurdy Tower, and headed east for 11328. I didn’t read up on this one at all and didn’t realize it was 4th class!


Image

We scrambled up some big blocks to the south side of the summit block end decided to climb a little tunnel to access the final summit moves. We had to take out packs off because it was so tight!

Image
The pack had to come off


Image
Sarah climbing up the tunnel


11328 is sort of a mini Sunlight with a 4th class slab climb being the crux. We ended up doing a harder line on the east side of the summit block that was very unique. It was quite exposed for an 11er! For the downclimb, we dropped onto a chockstone between the two big blocks.

Image
The summit block


Image
Downclimb from the summit


Image
Dropping down to the chockstone


We topped out at 4:15 and knew we would be hiking out in the dark. The descent was uneventful until just after dark when we turned on our headlamps. We noticed a tent on the hike in about 2 miles from the trailhead and it was still there when we returned. The trail is probably only 100 feet away, so we passed by quietly as we turned on our headlamps so they knew there were people walking by. They were laughing and carrying on, perhaps drunk. All the sudden one of them yells at us and the last words were, “and we have a loaded gun!” I told Sarah to pick up the pace and one of them started following us from a distance! It was quite the Deliverance moment and I had banjos playing in my head. We got back to the trailhead around 8pm, a nearly 14 hour day in the LCW. I must say those are two very cool 11ers with a lot of bang for the buck.



Thumbnails for uploaded photos (click to open slideshow):
 


  • Comments or Questions
Jay521


Gotta love the LCW     2012-10-19 08:11:43
Nice report, Kevin!


rajz06


Awesome...     2012-10-19 09:44:56
...climbs and a nail biting finish to boot!


Mindy


The LCW!     2012-10-19 10:00:10
First, Derek’s recent report, and now yours. Looks like a lot of fun to be had there. I have Bison planned for tomorrow and am excited. Wasn’t to excited to read about your “Deliverance moment” though. Fingers crossed nothing like that comes my way.

Thanks for sharing.

Mindy


MtnHub


Lost Creek ...     2012-10-19 10:14:15
won't be lost much longer with Derek's and your great reports! What a fabulous area! Thanks for the report, Kevin!


wooderson


Cool stuff...     2012-10-19 11:12:37
...and I see Mr. Blue Skies enjoyed his namesake weather conditions again!

Looks like a fun day. Gotta get to the LCW one of these days!

That story at the end is pretty spooky... very glad to hear you two escaped unscathed from that encounter.


Kevin Baker



publicity     2012-10-19 12:18:32
I kind of feel uneasy giving publicity to the LCW, but in the end I don't think there's a huge influx of visitors from TR's. 99% of the people who hike in the LCW stick to the trails, but there are few trails that go to summits! Kevin/Sarah, you should get up there for sure! Hope you have a great first hike in the LCW on Bison, Mindy. Heck of a peak.


Monster5


Awesome     2012-10-19 12:58:29
I think I know where I'll be all winter.

Congrats to Sarah on the volcanoes and the trip.


Kane


11180     2012-10-19 13:20:31
Hi Kevin, nice to see 11180 again. I love that peak. I'm curious, how often does it get climbed these days? I remember maybe 7 entries on the register when I first climbed 6-7 years ago.


Derek


Thanks for posting     2012-10-19 13:32:51
Still have my eye on these two for this fall, so it is a very timely report. I guess this clarifies that there really is a class 3 route up 11180. I remember the discussion on 14erWorld when someone found a route under class 5, never knew how accurate that was. Seems to be pretty accurate! Did you happen to check out the chimney route while you were there?

Looks like you and I will be down to just the 2 technical 9ers on our lists before too long, huh?

--D


Kevin Baker



good one to explore     2012-10-19 20:08:20
Kane-I think the register was placed in '98 or so by Garratt and there were 29 entries, so that averages out to about 2 visitors per year. As on many of these obscure peaks, there have been more visitors since LOJ started.

Derek-Yes, those 2 technical 9ers are on my short list for sure. I've been trying to get a friend to lead me up them before it gets too cold. Can't wait to do those! The ”chimney” we downclimbed was more like a gully. The true crux is right below the summit, and I would call it brief 4th class. Here is Sarah downclimbing it.

https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?v=10151267508891796


Mindy


It was Fantastic...     2012-10-21 21:26:21
The Bison Peak area was amazing. After I broke out of the trees, I couldn’t help but throw my pack down and play! Ran into a group of “cowboys on horses” but didn’t see any guns. Thanks again for sharing your adventure.


randalmartin



Nice Report     2012-10-24 14:04:55
Excellent trip report. Lot's of tasty options in that Wilderness. LCW is always nice in the shoulder seasons when snow might prevent access to other areas.



   Using your forum id/password. Not registered? Click Here


Caution: The information contained in this report may not be accurate and should not be the only resource used in preparation for your climb. Failure to have the necessary experience, physical conditioning, supplies or equipment can result in injury or death. 14ers.com and the author(s) of this report provide no warranties, either express or implied, that the information provided is accurate or reliable. By using the information provided, you agree to indemnify and hold harmless 14ers.com and the report author(s) with respect to any claims and demands against them, including any attorney fees and expenses. Please read the 14ers.com Safety and Disclaimer pages for more information.

© 2014 14ers.com®, 14ers Inc.