Tijeras Peak (Elevation 13,604 feet)
Music Mountain (Elevation 13,355 feet)
Sangre de Cristo Mountain Range
Tijeras CO Peak Rank: 189 (Bi-Centennial)
Music CO Peak Rank: 336
Mileage: 10.3 miles
Trailhead at parking area below Music Pass
Vertical: 4900 feet with 800 feet +/- to Music Pass (1.0 miles), 2650 feet from the bottom of Music Pass to Tijeras, 1000 feet +/- from bottom of ramp to Music Pass and 500 feet +/- back up to Music Pass.
Roundtrip Time: approximately 10 hour’s roundtrip
Directions: from Westcliffe south to Colfax Lane (left at the turn to S. Colony Road), follow CR 119 to Music Pass.
I set the alarm to 3:45 am, dressed and headed out at 4:20 am for the 3 hour drive to Music Pass. It had been a busy week since the previous Thursday when I took a flight back to PA for some bicycle riding. I ride my mountain bike some but this was several days of road biking of about 50 miles each day. I can attest that you use different muscles riding than hiking. It seemed I had come out of that relatively unscathed, albeit sore in places. The hardest part was that the trip back was delayed and all in all I spent 10 hours travelling, not arriving home until after midnight Monday night. Well maybe the hardest part was having to get up at 4:30 am to go to work Tuesday. Oh and the other surveyor at work broke his foot the Wednesday before so I was out stomping around in the field all week working almost 40 hours even with a day off on Monday.
So after work Wednesday I had to pick up hay for the sheep, which I normally grab the big bales and move them with the tractor. However this time I picked up small bales (75 pounds each) and while loading them in the truck I was able to tweak the old hamstring, no doubt due to the soreness from riding.
Okay so why would that keep me from heading out to climb two peaks, 10 plus miles and about 5000 feet. Well I guess nothing (wife goes “what are you thinking” or something innocuous like that).
I arrived at the trailhead and head out at about 7:20 am and immediately take off on the wrong trail (well it did look like a trail), which I walked a short way and then took a right turn and hooked into the real trail.
We were making time now up the trail to Music Pass.
The hamstring was tight to start and then turned to just a “pull” for a good part of the climb. I would step toe-heel and that worked okay for a while to lessen the “pull”, then heel-toe for a while. It actually did not seem to bother me on the downhill parts, except for the fact you have 500 feet to get back up the pass, it was not terrible.
Once down the pass I met a forest service guy walking up the pass. He was carrying two 12” by 3 foot long corrugated metal pipes strapped to his back. I should have taken a picture but I was focused. I did have a passing thought like “why didn’t I think of that, I could have saved money on a pack.
The trail to the lower lake is marked with a nice metal sign. I took the left and crossed the creek. Look left at the creek and there are two nice logs to cross over, you don’t need to try crossing the log dam.
The nice trail continues and switches several times as it gains 400 feet or so to Lower Sand Creek Lake.
The lake looking towards Tijeras.
The lake looking towards Music Mountain.
I headed around the northerly side of the lake avoiding the marshy areas and gaining elevation up to about 12,400 feet to the base of a narrow snow gulley, which I climbed.
The lake from above.
The narrow snow gulley which did not go as far as I thought it might but it was a reasonable slope up.
I am looking up here.
A closer look (this is not the standard ramp).
I then went directly up towards the summit of Tijeras and the snow below the summit.
A look at Music Mountain.
Tijeras Peak summit and guard dog. We had taken the “shears” to the peak (someone else used scissors already). Okay Tijeras means scissors or shears, did you not see that in the pictures?
The Crestones with musical groups The Del-Tones and the Cleftones.
So after “cutting it up” and cutting a rug” (dance energetically and extremely well) we, Billie Jean (as close to Norma Jean as I will get) and myself headed down to the standard ramp. Looking down.
A good look up.
Another good look up.
A long look back to Music Pass and the trail.
The still partially frozen Upper Sand Creek Lake.
Things and bad music quips to follow:
The ridge to Music Mountain and it was no “waltz”.
The ridge itself had me “singing the blues” because if you really want to stick to the ridge crest maybe think twice about it. I had several let’s try this, well maybe back that way, um how about this, hmm a “slow air” (try this link if you like the Great Highland Bagpipes) where it is a knife edge and a lot of air beneath you.
A little rock and roll here a little grass there (not to smoke of course), a little “gypsy punk” to top it off. Okay I don’t really know what “gypsy punk” is.
A bit of “pagan rock”
Pagan Rock chic from Incubus Suckubus (sic) (hopefully it doesn't mean anything bad)
A little hip-hop and there you are standing on the summit. Picture from almost there.
Seriously though the best way which I took on the way down was on the left side (going up the eastern ridge) or the right side as you descend. Also when coming over from Tijeras I would head up this gulley to the notch to save some ridge rock.
One last look, I am going to make you notice…
I mean who wouldn't like Chrissie.
It’s better to burn out than to fade away!
Note: There were a few oops in the gpx which I edited so it should work okay.
My GPS Tracks on Google Maps (made from a .GPX file upload):
Thumbnails for uploaded photos (click to open slideshow):
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