Posted On: 2020-10-26, By: angry
Info: Snow rolled in a couple hundred vertical feet below summit and never stopped falling on hike out. The descent off East's summit is straightforward even with snow. Close to 4 inches accumulation at Molas Pass parking lot.
Route: West Gully
Posted On: 2020-10-04, By: Eli Watson
Info: Summited Arrow Pk, Vestal Pk, "West Trinity", Trinity Pk & "East Trinity" from Molas Lake TH on 2020-10-03. Followed Roach's description of "AVWTE Combo - Trinitas (29.9)" in Thirteeners with the addition of Wham Ridge Direct start to ascend Vestal. Overall, air quality wasn't great but it wasn't awful. Definitely put a damper on my photographs. Molas Lake to Elk Park Trail to Vestal Creek Trail approach: No snow. All stream crossings are mellow. Arrow Pk NE Face: Bone dry. No snow whatsoever. Vestal Pk Wham Ridge Direct start: Mostly dry. There is some snow to contend with higher up on the face, mostly on ledges above the crux. Careful placement of feet makes it very manageable. The direct start is not 5.3, as reported by Roach. It's easy slab walking for the most part if you have good grip on your shoes. I put on my rock shoes at the Ledge at start of the standard Wham Ridge route, but I could have waited a bit longer. There are a couple places off on climbers' right of the ridge crest that you can step off and relax. Vestal Pk S Face: Bone dry. No snow whatsoever. "West Trinity" W Ridge: Bone dry. No snow whatsoever. Trinity Pk W Ridge: Bone dry. No snow whatsoever. Trinity Pk E Ridge Gully: Bone dry. No snow whatsoever. "East Trinity" W Gully: Some snow. Avoidable for the most, especially if you're like me and hate dry, loose gullies so you stick to the rocks just to the left of the gully. Crossing over the gully to the ridge, there is some snow that I had to make a very committed move to avoid. Sketchiest move of the day, Wham Ridge included. "East Trinity" E Ridge: May or may not have spent a full 2 hours trying to find the line down "East Trinity" in the dark. I don't actually know which descent line is the route. It was dark and I was figuring things out on the fly on the descent. The N Face of "East Trinity" is holding snow, and the broad gully directly below the elbow of the N Ridge to Peak 3 looked like a no-go. First I turned east towards Storm King Pk on accident, then had to navigate the steep slopes down the N Ridge of "East Trinity". None of the lines west off the "East Trinity" - Peak 3 notches looked promising. Seriously considered re-summiting, descending the S Gully between "East Trinity" and Trinity Pk and curling back around to the Arrow-Vestal saddle to avoid putting myself in a dangerous position on that loose shale. I hate shale. Finally collected myself, and butt-slid down a bunch of loose scree that I think was the line. Splits: Molas Lake TH 3:47 AM Animas River bridge 5:19 AM Vestal Creek Trail 6:30 AM Vestal Basin and turn-off for Arrow Pk 8:21 AM Stashing pack in talus below Arrow Pk 8:49 AM Arrow Pk summit 10:31 AM Retrieve pack 11:45 AM Wham Direct start 12:31 PM Vestal Pk summit 2:34 PM "West Trinity" summit 5:33 PM Trinity Pk summit 6:35 PM "East Trinity" summit: 7:55 PM (2 hours of being super sketched out figuring out how to get off "East Trinity") Re-join Vestal Creek Trail at turn-off towards Arrow Pk 2:34 AM Elk Creek Trail 3:35 AM Animas River bridge 4:19 AM Molas Lake TH 6:38 AM Roach says it's 23.4 mi, 10.4k vert Strava said 29.4 mi, 17k vert Another app says 32.9 mi, 13.1k vert Take your pick, it was a big day.