Peak:  Mears Peak (13er)
 Route:  South Face from Deep Creek
 Range:  San Juan
 Posted By:  supranihilest
 Date of Info:  08/02/2020
 Date Posted:  08/02/2020

Awful. Terrible. Heinous. Loose beyond words. Dangerous. Doubtless the loosest, most infuriating, most expletive-inducing peak I have ever been on. We didn't even summit because there's thousands of feet of 50 degree scree, talus, and hardpan and every step would slide back 2-3 feet, sometimes two times, three times, five (redacted) times until the rock stabilized enough that you could carefully scamper up. We were only doing between 200-400 vert an hour because most of it was lost sliding backwards. Anything "solid" would practically shatter at the touch. Save yourself the trouble and just do this route as a snow climb.

Photos (click for slideshow):

 Comments or Questions

08/02/2020 17:40
Tell us how you really feel about this one...


You should ask Whiley
08/02/2020 17:53
She was in a state of nearly speechless rage at how awful this peak was, and she loves the loose crap. I'm sure she'd have some very choice words for you about this one. Personally I found it rage inducing to the point of amusement, because what else is there to do but laugh at spending eight hours doing 3,000 vert to not summit something and getting your ass absolutely handed to you in the process? I'd have driven myself off a cliff (literally and figuratively) if I didn't have a sense of humor about these kinds of idiotic mishaps.


08/03/2020 07:17
Guess I'll skip this one!


Will skip
08/03/2020 07:32
I will make sure this Peak is never on my to do list. Thank you for the warning...

Chicago Transplant

A class of its own
08/03/2020 08:50
Yeah, Mears is not something I would repeat. Unfortunately, we didn't get the first time either as we got stormed off above the crux and had to down climb class 3 hardpan in graupel. We decided to do it the next day just because we were familiar with the approach.

You seem to have gone up an even worse way than we did though, lol.

Kevin Baker

08/03/2020 16:11
Yeah, Mears is the Choss 401 graduation class. It's best to avoid that one until you're well into the 13ers. It might go better with snow, but you will have a long traverse above cliffs, then you will have to downclimb steep snow.


Choss King
08/04/2020 08:17
@Judd and @Bill: Unless your goal is to climb every 13er then you can definitely skip Mears. It looks fantastic from near Dallas Divide and has some interesting north face routes (see Boggyb's report on the peak) but the south side is, as described, a total mess and not worth even thinking about unless you're doing all of them.

@Mike: We went up the main, central gully in the first photo. There was some "solid" rock we scrambled up on the right side but that quickly disappeared into hardpan. I'll be glad to have this one done!

@Kevin: We might try the out-and-back from "S 7" starting at Whipple to avoid both snow (though I don't mind snow; it's not Whiley's thing) and the loose slopes. After reading SarahT's report we ruled out doing the ridge from "S 6".

Chicago Transplant

08/04/2020 12:31
Maybe I should do a retroactive trip report to get our route description on the site. Not saying its the best route, but compared to some of the photos and TRs I have seen from others on this side of the mountain, we seemed to have found an easier way than I have seen published at least. We went in from Deep Creek, kept traversing on broken climbers (or game) trails past the mine and up an initially grassy slope, then scree to the bottom of some cliffs. Traversed right until a weakness (class 3) then above that some class 3 hardpan slabs cleared the cliffs. I have seen others in 3+ or 4 gullies (Liba's SP page and Furthermore's TR on the descent), I think they were somewhere in between our route and yours. Anyway above the cliffs we traversed loose talus then up to a 13020 low point below the west ridge and up the west ridge.

Judd and Bill - Its a Highest 300, c'mon, you know you want it...


08/06/2020 21:01
So Ben. When you go back to get it, hit me up! ðŸ
I also love loose crap.

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

© 2021®, 14ers Inc.