Peak(s):  Whitecross Mtn  -  13,542 feet
PT 13,427  -  13,427 feet
Date Posted:  07/14/2015
Date Climbed:   07/12/2015
Author:  piper14er
 Whiteout on 13427 leads to Whitecross Mountain - the new standard route  

The History of Whitecross (thanks to and visit http://www.ghosttowns.com/states/co/whitecross.html
NAME: Whitecross
COUNTY: Hinsdale
ROADS: 2WD
CLIMATE: Cold winter with snow, cool summer
BEST TIME TO VISIT: Summer COMMENTS: A nice trip.
REMAINS: The mill, mines and cabin.

The peak population was seldom more than 300 persons. The reasons were the long, hard winters and cruel, tortuous roads. Even during its boom days in the 1890s, the town was virtually closed down in the winter and travel was dangerous most of the time. Mining began here around 1880. The camp was originally named Burrows Park for the area in which it is located. In 1882, the post office name was changed to Whitecross for the cross of quartz seen on the mountain nearby. Whitecross was never fully developed because of its handicaps. Today, the mill and the ruins of several mines and one of the cabins in which the miners lived still stand. Submitted by Henry Chenoweth.
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The quickening, running with the moose.
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(photo courtesy of Brenda)

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(photo courtesy of Brenda)

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(photo courtesy of Brenda)

We camped below Whitecross Mountain at Lat. 37.93373 Long. 107.51114 at 11,150 feet. A very nice camp spot on the edge of the meadow and by Lake Fork Creek. By we I mean a camping expedition with my wife which as usual did not disappoint. Our record is intact as we were once again snowed upon (me on PT 13427) and rained upon, downpour at camp, while I was in the whiteout above. Then it rained off and on all day even until tent time.

We drove down to Lake City and up towards Cinnamon Pass Friday night arriving at where I wanted to be, Wagner Gulch, at around 9:30. There was a construction type sign and cones at the road saying that the road was closed just ahead. Since it was late I decided on Plan C. A Cinnamon Pass start to nab four peaks along the ridge, PT 13427, PT 13540A, C.T. Peak and Gudy. So what the heck we parked and slept in the truck then got up early to find a camp spot, pitch the tent and then Brenda dropped me off at the pass. We were wide awake for the drive as I had locked the truck using the key fob, thus setting the alarm. I had slept in the truck before but had locked the doors using the lock on the drivers door. Unbeknownst to me if you don't unlock it using the key fob then opening the doors, any door sets off the alarm. Ouch. Sorry if anyone reading this report was awakened in such a bad way (although you should have been up and hiking already, right?)

I set off from Cinnamon Pass with the sun ahead but dark clouds behind.
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PT 13427 ahead.
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The route seemed clear but there were several obstacles in the way.
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I started to skirt the ridge on the Edith mountain side only to hit some loose shale and small cliffs. I returned back some and headed up towards Woods Mountain only to find the snow overhanging the ridge which did not look too inviting either as it was a good 10-20 foot vertical drop as seen above. I dropped back down the ridge about to where I turned around earlier but on the opposite side of the rock and dropped off and down the loose shale again.

A look ahead now that I was past the obstacles. You can see the "goat" track if you look hard enough.
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This is a look back at Woods and the darkening skies. It had already hailed on me several times and would once again.
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I made it to PT 13427 and started towards PT 13540A.
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Unfortunately the clouds rolled in and as I looked back I could see the snowstorm coming. I dropped to the saddle as the winds were whipping the snow sideways. I decided rather than getting caught up on the narrow ridge to PT 13540A I would wait out the storm. It is July. The hail had come three times and left before the snowstorm hit so I sat it out for a while. It seemed to be getting worse than better so I bailed out after hearing thunder by dropping off the saddle down Cleveland Gulch and hoofed it back up the road to camp.

5.6 miles, 1600 feet up and 3000 feet down.

That was on Saturday, to say the weather was a bit unsettled. As I sat at camp seeing white (not red) I was getting more and more vexed with myself for woosing out on the weather. I know that with the way it goes had I stayed up there the storm would have kept going and if I bailed the weather would clear, damned if you do and damned if you don't, and so it went. I decided that since I was so close to Whitecross Mountain that I would get up early and beat a hasty path to that peak. We would have a 6 hour drive home after that so I wanted to get another peak to assuage my feelings of failure and get an earlier start home.

Sunday morning 5:30 am start. I had scouted out some fallen trees upstream on Saturday for a creek crossing.
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Sunrise on the mountain.
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(photo courtesy of Brenda)

I hiked across Moose Meadow and found a trail that I figured might be there since there is a mine on the mountainside.
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The vertical shaft above the mine entrance.
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Me climbing up the rock.
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(photo courtesy of Brenda)

The sun coming up over Cinnamon Pass (curses).
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I went straight up above the mine and looked out over the basin below Whitecross Mountain.
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Since I missed the trail above the mine I ended up taking the tourist route that took me along the ridge on the southwest side of the basin and over close to the Handies trail.
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It was scenic enough.
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Look there is camp.
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The ridge and Handies Peak.
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The ridge to Whitecross Mountain although it isn't a direct shot from here.
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The remaining route.
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But before that you have to drop down, hike up and over this rocky ridge before dropping again so you are now on the correct ridge.
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A look once on the ridge proper.
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The top is in sight. Everything is Class 2 even though it might look otherwise.
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The summit area.
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A look down the ridge towards Handies Peak.
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Views all around.
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Another look down at camp.
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I headed a short distance down the ridge towards Handies, then dropped straight down towards the basin. It was pretty good and avoids going back the round about way. A look up.
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The basin.
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Okay this rattlesnake doesn't have anything to do with anything here but what the heck I had the picture.
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Camp.
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Camp Corgi.
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4.1 miles and 2650 feet, 3.5 hours more or less with stops at the mine and creek crossing detour. The new standard route. On the way back I found the trail and followed it back over to the mine as it came out of the basin. When sitting in camp it looks like you may have to navigate through the willows but that is not the case, they can be avoided.

Also turns out the road up Wagner Gulch to Carson was open but had several mud holes, otherwise I talked with someone who had driven up there.

The Whitecross Mountain gpx.

My GPS Tracks on Google Maps (made from a .GPX file upload):




Thumbnails for uploaded photos (click to open slideshow):
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 Comments or Questions
Jay521

Another nice one...
07/15/2015 08:33
You write very interesting reports, Al. My to-do list just keeps getting longer because of you...

My first dog when I was a kid was a Corgi. Great little dogs.


Monster5

Cool
07/15/2015 09:23
I’m surprised the CDMRS hasn’t had the shaft closed off. Somewhat popular area. Throw the snake in while they’re at it.


piper14er

my to–do list
07/15/2015 14:30
mine should have been shorter Jay, now those missed peaks are going to bother me until I get them

Ryan you would think it would have been closed off, I could see someone stumbling down through the willows and whamo, let sleeping snakes lie


Furthermore

Hahaha
07/15/2015 16:50
A new standard route.


Matt

Car Sleeping and Alarms
07/15/2015 18:47
It took me a few harsh awakenings to realize I could just lock the door... I bet we’re not alone in this.

"Now those missed peaks are going to bother me until I get them" Yes.
I just finished Jay’s report, and now you’ve done the same thing he did.
Thanks for putting some orphans I’d forgotten about back on the docket.
Did you ever see if Wager Gulch really is/was closed?


piper14er

yep
07/15/2015 18:58
I learned about "new standard routes" from the master...

Matt yes the road is open. I talked to several people who had driven up to the Town of Carson and met them at the bottom. I did not drive up but plan to in the next few weeks hopefully. I would believe you could get to the pass also. It was only a few mud holes and if it stops raining/snowing


DArcyS

funny picture
07/15/2015 19:31
All right, where exactly was that picture of the rattlesnake taken? Pretty funny . . .


piper14er

couldn’t help myself
07/15/2015 20:18
actually taken in Glendo Wyoming by my wife and when I downloaded her other pictures it was in there thanks for a asking



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