Pitkin Creek TrailPosted On:
2016-08-18, By: piper14erInfo:
I read about heading to Peak Q from Pitkin Creek Trailhead, rather than the more standard Slate Creek approach and gave it a go.
It starts at 8400 feet or so and with the gain from Pitkin Lake Basin over the West-East Partner ridge, down into the next basin and
back out it adds another 1000 feet or so for about a total of 6100 feet. The distance on my gps said 16 miles or so, thus not a short trip.
I had thought it was going to be more like 13-14 miles before I started.
The boulder hopping on each side of the notch was tedious with boulders as large as a bus and holes that you might not get out of if you happened to fall in.
The notch is steeper than the picture looks, with loose dirt/scree and crumbling rock. It takes some care in going both up and down.
Stay left going down for somewhat better rock and handholds.
The ascent to the Q-P ridge is okay, some loose scree.
Once up the ridge you get to the West Summit rock where you will want to get close to the top if doing the work around or climb
up the West Summit to the knife edge that connects to the East Summit.
There are some pictures from a Lord Helmut report showing the knife edge. It does not go level but drops down before going back up.
The work around is not apparent until you actually get around to the left of the West Summit. Once there you will see it as it drops down a loose and
steep slope that takes you to a gully below the East Summit. It is as stated in a report on the West Ridge Route at Summitpost.org that once on the other side
of this stretch it is "less treacherous". I would agree that it is a sketchy drop past the gully.
Another tough Gore peak that is for sure.
Here are a few pictures: