Support 14ers.com
Buying gear? Please use these links to help 14ers.com:

More info...

Other ways to help...
 Peak(s):  Chief Mtn A  -  13,014 feet
Point 12,620 - 12,620 feet
Hossick Benchmark - 12,967 feet
PT 13,010  -  13,010 feet
Point 12,940 - 12,940 feet
 Post Date:  06/16/2013
 Date Climbed:   06/15/2013
 Posted By:  Furthermore

 Deep Eastern Weminuche        


Chief Mountain 13,014
Point 12,620
Hossick BM 12,967
Point 13,010
Point 12,940
Point 12,860


June 15, 2013
~29.0 Miles, ~7,600 Gain
TH: Squaw Creek TH, 2WD (~5-5.5 hours from Denver)
Max difficulty: Class 3.


Image

Mid June weather is great and after some thinking while climbing the “Baldy Lejos” loop, I decided to change my day two plans. Originally, I wanted to do South River as a day trip on day two but decided to leave that long, but easier day, for my third and last day.

After completing the “Baldy Lejos” loop, I made the short drive from Creede to the Thirty Mile Campground. I ended up going to bed at 7:00 PM just outside of the campground. Tired, I woke up at 1:20 AM, made breakfast and the short drive to Thirty Mile Campground/Squaw Creek trailhead.

Quiet, dark and still, I started hiking up Squaw Creek trail at 1:50 AM. ~2 miles up the Squaw Creek trail, I hit my junction for the Fern Creek trail. Being dark and tired, and at times, the trail was hard to follow; particularly in the grassy areas. During the day, I am sure the trail would be easy to navigate. I prefer to do as little thinking as possible at 2-3 AM.

I lost the trail around ~11,800 and started my trek south towards Chief Mountain cursing at a few willow patches along the way. Chief Mountain's grassy north slopes were mellow until I reached the the first false summit ~0.6 miles short of the summit. During my ascent, I ran into a heard of elk that climbed toward the summit.

North ridge of Chief Mountain.
Image

As the sun started to rise, I encountered two baby elk on the ridge crest creating a surreal moment. Their mothers were close and not to disturb them, I descended off of the west side of the ridge and continued to the true summit. Solid class 2 slopes led me to the true summit of Chief Mountain where I arrived at 6:35 AM. Whew, that was a long dark approach.

Baby elk. The mother can be seen on the lower right.
Image

Baby elk with the sunrise.
Image

Baby elk with the sunrise near the summit of Chief Mountain.
Image

True summit of Chief Mountain.
Image

Hossick BM and 13,010 from the summit of Chief Mountain.
Image

Easy ground guided me off of the south ridge of Chief Mountain as I headed towards Point 12,620. I hiked on the west side of Point 12,404 to avoid extra gain. A short notch in the ridge between 12,404 and 12,620 had to be bypassed which was easily done on the south side of the ridge. The blocky class 2 east ridge led me to the summit of 12,620 where I arrived at 7:35 AM.

Grassy south slopes of Chief Mountain.
Image

Chief Mountain from the summit of 12,620.
Image

Looking at Point 12,620.
Image

When I returned to the south side of 12,404 after climbing 12,620, I contemplated my options for climbing over to Point 13,010. The best option was to intercept the Continental Divide trail and follow the trail to Squaw Pass and then to the east side of 13,010 and Hossick. Descending towards Squaw Creek to intercept the trail, I encountered some miserable willows.

Squaw Creek basin.
Image

Once on the trail, I was able to rack up the miles quicker. As I made my way to the lakes southeast of Point 13,010, I saw a possible option to gain the 13,010-Hossick saddle. From the upper lake, I climbed up some grassy class 3 scrambling to gain the saddle. From the saddle, I climbed up Hossick's class 2 northwest ridge to the summit where I arrived at 10:35 AM.

Working my way up the Continental Divide trail with Hossick BM and 13,010.
Image

One of the lower lakes southeast of 13,010.
Image

Hossick BM.
Image

Route to the Hossick-13,010 saddle.
Image

Class 3 action to gain the saddle.
Image

Looking down the class 3 section.
Image


Looking up the ridge towards Hossick.
Image


Neat 12ers from the summit of Hossick.
Image

I returned to the Hossick-13,010 saddle and climbed up 13,010's class 2 southeast ridge arriving on the summit at 11:15 AM. Thinking about how far away the trailhead was from my current location was a bit depressing.

Southeast ridge of 13,010.
Image

Hossick from the southeast ridge of 13,010.
Image

Hossick from the summit of 13,010.
Image

Dead baby elk near the summit of 13,010.
Image

Although not difficult, 13,010's northwest ridge was a time consuming venture towards Point 12,940. The southeast ridge of 12,940 was mostly grassy except for the last 200 feet which was on talus. I arrived on the summit of 12,940 at 12:15 PM.

Somewhat long time consuming north ridge of 13,010.
Image

Southeast ridge of 12,940.
Image

Point 13,010 from the summit of 12,940.
Image

Picking up in speed, the wind became annoying. I descended 12,940's class 2, talus northeast ridge where I re-intercepted the Continental Divide trail. My enjoyment of the trail was short-lived as I left the trail and made the short trek to Point 12,860's summit where I arrived at 1:00 PM.

Talus northeast ridge of 12,940.
Image

Gentle slopes to the summit of 12,860.
Image

Considering my mileage, gain and summits for the day, I felt satisfied as I originally planned on adding Point 12,300, 12,334 and 12,045; however, that would orphan Point 12,505. Also, I wanted to save some Wheaties for my South River day trip which was going to be another +20 mile day.

Without much thought, I continued to follow the Continental Divide trail south but with further review of the topo, I figured out that the Squaw Lake trail was already behind me. I traversed back southwest to intercept the Squaw Lake trail.

Squaw Lake descending off of 12,860.
Image

Wild Iris.
Image

Not exactly a picnic, the Squaw Lake trail seemed to drag on forever with switchbacks as it headed east back towards the Squaw Creek trail. Eventually, I regained the Squaw Creek trail, hiked north and went on autopilot back to the car where I arrived 4:30 PM. Feeling satisfied, I was a bit worried about my South River day trip.

Route Map.
Image



My GPS Tracks on Google Maps (made from a .GPX file upload):




Thumbnails for uploaded photos (click to open slideshow):
 


  • Comments or Questions (3)
Kevin Baker


Huge day!     2013-06-16 17:55:15
Huge day, Derick! 29.5 miles in 14.5 hours is quick!


Monster5


Bambi II     2013-06-16 18:13:19
The mileage is impressive and all, but you didn't really have to kill little baby elk dude on top of it.


Floyd


Baby/Dying Elk     2013-06-17 09:29:14
You seem to be coming across a lot of those lately. Coincidence or cause?

That place begs of a week trip someday. I'm not much of a sprinter.



   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.