Peak(s):  "West Partner Pk"  -  13,041 feet
Date Posted:  05/24/2012
Modified:  03/30/2013
Date Climbed:   05/20/2012
Author:  d_baker
 A Tale of Two Partners   

A Tale of Two Partners:
Great Times, Great Climbs

SW Face of West Partner
May 20, 2012

En route to S ridge on West Partner

September 5, 2011

This is a tale about West Partner.
Not so much a tale, but an interpretation of two different routes with two different partners, both of which are worthy climbs but more importantly -- two great climbing partners!


Terri Horvath

Kimo Boeche

Darin Baker
(Photo by Terri)

"West Partner Peak"/a.k.a., Peak U (13,047')
Gore Range


Trail head: Booth Lake
Route: snow - SW face
rock scramble - S ridge
Distance: ~10mi's (per Dave Cooper's Colorado Scrambles guidebook)
Elevation Gain: ~4600' (see above credit to Cooper)
Difficulty: snow - moderate snow climbing (mid to maybe upper 30 degree range) followed by snow covered class 3 scrambling
rock scramble - class 3


*Gear: daypack w/Essentials, helmet, crampons, ice axe
*seasonal gear dependent

Resources Used For Trip Planning: Dave Cooper's Colorado Scrambles, NOAA weather forecast, recon/observations I made of snow route while on a separate climb of The Fly


I first went to a summit of a Gore Range peak in August of 2011. Good stuff, it was. I want more. I might be hooked. After that first trip up Mt Powell (formerly known as Peak B), I visited a few more summits.

One of those summits was West Partner, and with me was Kimo. Eight months later I returned, but this time with Terri. After an ascent of "Snow Peak" (13,024') the day before, we were hoping for better weather!

(Photo by Terri)

Moreover, my return to West Partner was for a different route than the one Kimo and I had climbed. Three days previous, I had made an attempt at The Fly, a 12er that is perched above Booth Lake. While on that trip, I noticed a snow line on W Partner that I thought might "go."

Terri was game. So we went and checked it out.....

(Photo by Terri)

Our line is the couloir in the center, kind of like a backwards 'S'.
While not really steep, it afforded us a great time, with fantastic views! I think this is a very aesthetic climb, and one that I would repeat.

What follows is a compare/contrast picture report.
Captions are on top. I hope you'll enjoy them without being too confused or distracted by the different seasons in which the particular climb took place.
I think the snow will give it away!


Steep grass grunt to gain the S ridge

The grunt is over; the fun begins

Before Booth Lake, we cut NE to reach the tarn

We wrap around the E side of the knoll above the tarn
(Photo by Terri)

Let's climb!


But let's also take a moment to soak it in

(Photo by Kimo)

Can it get any better, Partner?


Yeah, it gets better
(Photo by Kimo)


Leave only footprints

(Photo by Terri)

Summer time ramp down-climb

Same ramp, spring conditions

Topping the snow climb

But more snow waits on ledges


Meanwhile, when there's not any snow there

(Photo by Kimo)

Stay right there, I want to take your picture

What's around this corner?
(Photo by Kimo)


Could that be the summit?
(Photo by Terri)


The summit is not ours, but we can stay for a while and reflect on our ride
(Photo by Terri)


In search for Partners, please 'Q' up


Upper Piney Lake

A close-up of my highpoint (center of picture) on The Fly, three days previous


(Photo by Terri)

(Photo by Kimo)

The Spider & The Fly (r. & l., respectively)

(Photo by Terri)

At the tarn, one looks NE, while the other looks S

(Photo by Kimo)

(Photo by Terri)

Summertime flora

(Photo by Kimo)

Rock on

(Photo by Kimo)

I hope you enjoyed our tale, now go out and create one of your own!!

Thanks for coming along,

Thumbnails for uploaded photos (click to open slideshow):
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30

Comments or Questions

It's hard to beat the Gores...
05/24/2012 14:08
West Partner is one of my favs. Nice report, Darin! I especially like the way you contrasted the two climbs.

When is Terri going to join ?
05/24/2012 15:23
I remember when she emailed me when she found (Mad) Mike's snowshoes and asked me to inquire about them on

Thanks for sharing!


If you happen to ever need a partner...
05/24/2012 15:23
You people do cool stuff.


Very Pulp Fiction-esque
05/24/2012 15:28
Trippy TR Darin. You certainly found a great line on W. Partner. You seem to be becoming a Gore snob like the rest of us. Once you go Gore, you don't go back!


Are you serious
05/24/2012 15:34
These pics are way cool! Great TR man!

I second Ryan (monster's) comment.

Boggy B

oh nice
05/24/2012 19:44
Cool TR! And I've been looking all over the internet for a couple of the photos you just shared. Thanks!


good stuff
05/24/2012 20:03
Cool idea to do a two-in-one report, Darin. Very clever. And I agree with Terry M., it would be nice to see Terri H. over here.

Looks like a heck of a fun day... both of them!

The ”take a moment to soak it in” shot is sublime.


re: Terri H
05/24/2012 20:21
Last I knew, she's ”been there and done that” internet/forum biz. But maybe she'll stop lurking and join in on the goods. ?? ;)

Thanks for the comments everyone!

And thanks to Kimo & Terri for two great days in the mountains! There will be more....


05/25/2012 03:23
Gore Cores Unite!!! Thank You for this added push I needed to get back into the Gores.


05/26/2012 00:02
There certainly will be more.

That was a great day last fall. The flowers were still healthy and bountiful, like a mad mad painter had taken his color palette and threw it against the canvas not in anger or frustration but to make a masterpiece. What a special place that is.

And the scrambling is pretty good too!

Looks like you and Terri enjoyed a fun snowclimb. Nicely done with that climb. I enjoyed the sets of photographs that were taken from nearly the same vantage point but clearly showing the difference in season. Thanks for the great write-up, Darin.


d_baker standard issue TR...
05/26/2012 18:55

Like the compare and contrast - excellent pics by all 3 of you.
Congrats on successful days out!

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