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 Peak(s):  Pigeon Pk  -  13,972 feet
 Post Date:  09/27/2013
 Date Climbed:   09/25/2013
 Posted By:  strudolyubov

 Pigeon Peak from Purgatory Trailhead   

Climbers: strudolyubov
Route: Pigeon Peak Southwest Slopes via North Pigeon Creek
Date: Sept. 25, 2013
Trip stats: Day trip, 28.2 miles RT, 9,800 ft. elevation gain, 17 hours car-to-car

Note: Winter conditions on the North and Northwest face of Pigeon Peak with 1"-7" of snow and some ice covering rocks and ledges. Some low-fifth class moves will be almost certainly required to avoid sketchy/slippery sections. Ice axe and crampons/micro-spikes come in handy, trekking poles might also help, especially on the descent.

The Route

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Route Map


Purgatory/North Pigeon Creek Approach

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First view of Pigeon Peak (left of center) from the Animas River Trail


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The bridge over Needle Creek south of Needleton


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The turn onto Ruby Creek Trail (shown in red) as you hike on the Animas River Trail. The Animas River Trail continues straight north.


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The "Columbine" tree at the intersection of the Ruby Creek Trail and the North Pigeon Creek "trail".


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Snow in the North Pigeon Creek drainage.


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Ascending talus slope on the way to the upper North Pigeon Creek drainage.


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West side of Pigeon Peak as seen from the slopes above the upper meadow.


The Southwest Slopes Route Climb

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Looking up the basin between NW and W ridges of Pigeon Peak. The goal is to get to the upper part of the broad gully on the right.


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A closer view of the steep NW side of Pigeon.


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Looking down into the North Pigeon Creek drainage with West Needle Mountains seen in the background (right).


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Granite slabs and grassy ledges in the upper basin.


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Winter conditions on the N/NW side of Pigeon Peak.


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Picture taken on the descent with approximate route I took. It starts west of the standard route and joins it below the summit tower.


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The snow on the rocks and ledges is 1"-7" deep and is not well consolidated.


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The upper NW ridge of Pigeon seen from the North Face.


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Looking down one of the low-fifth class sections.


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Joining the upper standard route.


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Panoramic view of Needle Mountains taken from the shelf on the Pigeon's North Ridge.


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At the base of the summit pitch. The standard route follows the snow-filled gully.


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Pigeon Peak summit panorama.


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A view toward Jagged Mountain. Monitor Peak and Peak Thirteen are seen in the foreground (center and left).


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Needles with Turret Needles in the foreground. Background (left-to-right): Sunlight, Sunlight Spire, Windom, N. Eolus, Eolus.


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A view toward Turret Peak.


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Summit view W-NW. West Needle Mountains are seen in the foreground, and Wilson Group is in the background.


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Looking back at the West Face of Pigeon Peak.



Thumbnails for uploaded photos (click to open slideshow):
 


  • Comments or Questions (4)
jblyth


Wow     2013-09-27 15:46:08
That's a heckuva day, thanks for sharing.


nkan02


Impressive mileage and vertical     2013-09-27 17:14:20
Roach says that Pigeon ascent gully rarely stays free of snow. , What did you think of the North Pigeon Creek approach?


sanjuanmtnguide


Good one.     2013-10-01 12:48:29
Love this peak, one of my favorites in the range - i think the North Pigeon Creek is the way to go. Looks like you climbed it in real alpine conditions! Had a similar climb on the same day of Sunlight. Cheers!


strudolyubov

Thanks     2013-10-02 13:00:20
Everyone: thanks for your comments!

nkan02: Though the North Pigeon Creek approach is steep and lacks a well-defined trail, its still the most expedient way of getting to Pigeon Peak from Needleton. After the ”Columbine tree” turn-off, the routefinding is relatively straightforward, as long as you stay on the right (south) side of the ridge well above the creek.



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