Peak(s):  Horn Pk  -  13,450 feet
Date Posted:  11/10/2011
Date Climbed:   11/09/2011
Author:  Furthermore
 Sugar in Sangres.  

Horn Peak 13,450

November 9, 2011
~9.1 Miles, 4,800 Gain
Trailhead: Horn Creek trailhead.


My wife and I drove down Tuesday night and camped at the Horn Creek trailhead. When we arrived, there was close to 4-8 inches of new snow making the final few hundred yards to the main trailhead interesting. We set up camp and went to bed. It was a cold night with temperatures around 4 degrees Fahrenheit and since it was so cold, I wasn't very motivated to get up. I decided to sleep in and started hiking, late, around 7:30 AM.

I didn't take the normal trail to the Rainbow Trail but rather a more direct one. The less trail breaking I did the better. Within 100 feet of the tent, I put on the snowshoes. I made decent time heading north along the Rainbow Trail and within about a mile I intercepted the Horn Peak trail. The uphill began.

It appeared that someone had broken trail a few days ago but with the new snow, trail breaking was still a chore. As I gained elevation, the snow got deeper. I've seen less snow in the Sangres in February. I reached the ridge around 9:15 AM and spent another hour breaking trail to treeline. To my dismay, there was still plenty of snow above treeline since the wind hadn't had a chance to blow it all away.

Horn Peak from near the trailhead.

A deep trail break.

A deep section of powder.

Getting out of treeline.

From treeline, it took me almost 2 hours to reach the summit. The stretch of ridge between the summit and 12,665 was extremely time consuming as there were many boulders hidden below the deep powder. I finally reached the summit at Noon. Along the way, and to my surprise, I saw some bighorn sheep just below the summit.

Looking back down into the valley.

Looking at the ridge ahead.

Looking back down the ridge.

Summit push. Notice the Big Horn Sheep?

Deep snow along the ridge.

Deep snow along the ridge.

Time consuming snow covered ridge.

Looking back on the time consuming ridge.

Another look at the summit.

When I reached the summit, the views were outstanding; especially the views of the Crestones, Adams and Fluted. All of my hard work paid off. I spent close to 20 minutes on the summit before I started my descent. Originally, I was planning on climbing Fluted and Little Horn but with the snow cover, it would have been too time and energy consuming to get back to my car in time to get home at a reasonable hour.


View to the south.

Adams from the summit.

Crestones from the summit.

Looking back the valley.

Zoom of the Crestones.

Crestones, Kit Karson, Adams from the summit.


Comanche Peak from the summit.

Fluted Peak from the summit.

With the trail blazed, travel downhill was much quicker and I returned back to camp around 2:30 PM. I look forward to going back to climb Little Horn and Fluted. Hopefully with just a little less snow.

Looking back up the ridge from the descent.

Route Map.

Thumbnails for uploaded photos (click to open slideshow):
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 Comments or Questions

Now that is a good looking ridge-line.
11/11/2011 06:20
Thanks for the report. Looks fantastic right now.


11/11/2011 13:20
Great photos. Well done.


Lots o snow!
11/11/2011 20:52
You really busted it to do all that trail breaking solo! Strong work and great photos.
Thanks for posting.


11/11/2011 23:15
i enjoyed your effort amidst having a beer and sitting on my rear


Great work!
11/13/2011 19:58
Derek, as always, superb pictures! That looked like a LOT of work!


11/13/2011 21:15
that's what I think when I read a trip report like this one . . . someday I want to do that . . . someday I will do that.


11/15/2011 13:33
for all of the comments. It was well worth the effort.

Mad Mike-Weather depending, I will hopefully take advantage of your trail on Little Horn Friday.

Dad Mike

Little Horn
08/12/2014 23:13
If you go soon, you can take advantage of my track. I climbed Little Horn on Friday (11/11). I was hoping to climb Fluted too, but the trailbreaking destroyed me. Didn't have much left when I got to the summit. To find it, just take Rainbow Trail to the Horn Creek Trail. Then look for where I broke off into the trees on the right. I wrote ”L. Horn” in the snow...maybe it will still be there.

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