Peak:  Bent Peak (13er)
 Route:  Via Wager Gulch
 Range:  San Juan
 Posted By:  supranihilest
 Date of Info:  11/28/2020
 Date Posted:  11/28/2020

Wager Gulch Road is currently impassable to vehicular traffic. From the bottom to Carson Pass it's about 5 miles. I started from the car in microspikes, figuring there'd be ice under the snow. There are old tire tracks for the first .9 miles or so past the parking area, and I was able to boot another .75 miles past that. I put on snowshoes at that point. Snow on the road was variable. Down low it was almost entirely shin deep hoar. Up higher it was anywhere from glassy hoar to punch crust to solid slabs to wet mush. From Carson Pass I took the now closed 4WD road up. The route description on the site is wrong - the road is closed to vehicular traffic. (Also the route description is plagiarized from, but that's another matter.) I kept my snowshoes on for the first few hundred feet up Bent, then when things dried out more I took them off and booted the rest of the way to the summit, which went from tundra to talus. The summit is flat, somewhat large, and has like 10 summit cairns on it. I don't know which one has the register. I continued over to Carson Peak but if Bent is the only peak of the day just return the way you came. Someone please go make use of my trench!

I found microspikes useful for the lower road and believe flotation to be mandatory. You'd have a super long sufferfest without it since the snow is deep in this area. I brought an ice axe and used it on Carson Peak but it wasn't useful on Bent. There are also moose in the area - the road was absolutely plastered with moose tracks and moose poop, so keep your eyes peeled for any moose that might want to ruin your day.

Photos (click for slideshow):
#1) End of the tire tracks. I trenched the next four miles.#2#3) Carson Pass from near Carson townsite.#4) Last bit to Carson Pass.#5) Bent Peak.#6#7#8

 Comments or Questions

11/29/2020 06:11
I did those plus Tundra Top earlier in the fall. Great area. Moose everywhere. I‘m going back to do the peaks on the other side of the valley (climbers left) one of these days. Can‘t imagine hoofing it up from the bottom of Wager Gulch! Good job!


11/29/2020 18:17
Thanks, Richard! It was indeed a brutal day but it was nice to get back in that area again. I think I'll end up doing the rest from Cataract Gulch. I can do the peaks to the east (including 12ers) one day and 13,164, Half, and Quarter another. Seems like a good use of a summer weekend!


Thanks for the trench!
11/29/2020 18:53
Yes also to brutal moose poop everywhere.

Jon Frohlich

11/30/2020 14:50
There is one on Bent but it's in a tiny jar so it probably would have been tough to find with snow. We only found it because someone else up there gave us a heads up on where to find it.

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