Peak(s):  London Mtn  -  13,194 feet
Evans B, Mt  -  13,577 feet
Date Posted:  08/15/2015
Date Climbed:   08/14/2015
Author:  rajz06
 The Scenic Route to the Lesser Evans  


Starting Point: Mosquito Creek, Elevation: 11,560'
Peaks Climbed in order of ascent: London Mountain (13,194), Mt. Evans B (13,577')
Route: West ridge ascent of London, traverse via Mosquito Pass and north ridge ascent of Evans
RT Distance: 10.5 miles
Elevation Gain/Loss: ~2,800 feet (per Google Maps)
Group: Solo



My last adventure from Mosquito Creek was a couple of years ago on a snowed-in fall weekend when I hiked Kuss Peak, Mosquito Peak, Treasurevault and Tweto in a memorable peak raiding bonanza. My goal today was far less ambitious. I was looking for a fun scrambling outing. Of course, the Mosquito range is probably not the best choice for that but weather forecasts in other regions combined with the relative ease of access to Mosquito Creek made this the best choice for me.

London Mountain offers a fun scramble if you stay true to the ridge.

Image
London's west ridge from ~12.8K' on Mosquito Pass Rd.


London by itself would be a very short outing so I decided to throw in the "poor-man's Evans", Mt. Evans B as lagniappe.

The day started out warm without a speck of white in the sky but starting the hike at the ripe hour of nine a.m. I knew speed would be my friend as the forecast called for 50% chance of afternoon thunderstorms.

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Mosquito Gulch


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First view of London Mtn.


The route follows Mosquito Pass road (CR-12) as it climbs out of the basin.

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The Three "Mosquitoers"


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Approaching the London/Kuss saddle


The saddle between London and Kuss arrived momentarily and I was ready for my treat.

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Surveying the start of London's west ridge


There are multiples towers on London's ridge and they can all be bypassed by choosing easier terrain to climber's right. But I came for scrambling and I wasn't leaving without having sated myself.

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Tower No. 1


I stayed on the ridge proper and climbed every one of the towers head-on.

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Tower No. 2


The rock was stable and the towers were short so it wasn't sustained climbing by any means, but it was just what the doctor ordered.

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Tower No. 3


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Close-up of tower 3


I took my time savoring what I knew would be the best part of the hike today. Each rocky outcropping was a treasure to be cherished.

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Up and over...


The ridge looks steeper and narrower than it really is.

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Looking down the ridge


I counted four towers after which the ridge broadens.

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Tower No. 4


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Remaining ridge broadens


But there were still a couple of false summits to hop before the final talus pitch to the summit.

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Summit is the farther one


It was a rewarding summit if not for the views, certainly for the traverse.

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Surveying the ridge from the summit


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Mosquito gulch


The view south - Mt. Sherman peeking over the ridge connecting Dyer and Gemini.

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More notable Mosquito's


I then mentally mapped the route to my next quest, the lesser Evans. Return down London's ridge to the road...

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Saddle to Mosquito Pass road


...take the road to Mosquito Pass at 13,200' where it connects with Evans' north ridge...

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Continuing on the road to the ridge


...hike the gentle ridge to the summit...

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Final traverse to Evans


My return route down London's ridge was virtually the same as my ascent as I met every spur head on, cherishing the last bits of spice the ridge had to offer. On the road below, I spotted a procession of jeeps slowly grinding their way up the pass.

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Descending the ridge. Jeeps ahoy!


Capable off-road vehicles they may be but I think I could've given them a run for their money on that rough road!

Shortly after resuming my hike on Mosquito Pass road, I ran into a couple that had started their day hiking up the road with me not too long ago.

Couple: Hey, it's you again! Did you take a detour?
Me (pointing toward London): Well, I took a jaunt up to that peak.

Image
Pointing to London...


Woman: Nice! Did you see any goats on the ridge? We did when we last went up that way.
Me (bit disappointed on not sighting any goats): No, I didn't...
Man: Whereabouts you headed now?
Me: Oh, to Mt. Evans yonder...
Couple (looking puzzled): Evans? Is that even in this area?
Me (pointing to the "other" Evans): Oh no, not the 14er Evans. That lowly hump over there shares the same name.


Image
Pointing to "the other" Evans


Woman: Ah, I see...
Me (glancing at my watch): It's a quarter past 11. Think the weather will hold out for me to make it up and back?
Man (with a wink): The way you're goin', it should be NO problem.


I hoped he was right as I bid good bye and marched on.

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On the road to Evans...


The route to Mt. Evans was straightforward; I abandoned the road once I got to the start of the broad north ridge. I climbed the grassy slope encountering a small boulder field along the way.

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Grassy slope


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Route from the road to Evans' ridge


A false summit gives way to a grassy dip followed by a gentle ascent on the mix of tundra and rocks.

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Rocky outcropping can't match the stuff on London


I stayed below the ridge and angled toward the summit, eventually climbing a boulder field to gain the ridge.

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Skirting the ridge


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Boulder field below ridge


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Atop the Lesser Evans


The views of the Sawatch were murky as the peaks were already socked in.

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Murky skies o'er the Sawatch


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Sinister clouds


Image
Mount of the Holy Cross


I only spent 15 minutes on the second summit of the day as the winds were driving those dark clouds in my direction.

Shortly after I'd started my descent, the inevitable rain started followed by graupel.

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Graupel!


The graupel got heavier and soon I realized I was getting drenched. But that was a minor nuisance I could easily tolerate; the bigger issue was the rocks were now slippery and I had to test every step on the talus before committing.

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Slippey boulders...not good


Thunder soon followed and I instinctively veered off the ridge, choosing to skirt just below it. I dropped into a little gully where traction was less of an issue and then climbed a grassy slope to regain the ridge where it connected to the road.

Image
Dropping into more stable terrain


Thankfully, the graupel and rain stopped just as abruptly as they'd started and the weather gods were smiling on me once again. Back on the road, a jeep driver and I crossed paths momentarily.

Jeep driver (waving): Mighty nice day to you!
Me: And a lovely day to you sir!
Driver: Looks like we dodged that rain, eh?
Me: Yeah, it looked dicey for a bit, but I'm glad it didn't last.
Driver (looking skyward): It may be back, but who cares, it's just water right?


Indeed, it was just water after all!

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My, what gnarly towers you have!


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Yours truly by the London Mine Plaque below the west ridge

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




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 31 32 33 34 35 36 37 38 39


 Comments or Questions
Jvinro
ENJOYED THE PHOTOS
08/15/2015 16:27
Great Report. It made me feel like I was taking the trip. What’s next for you?


rajz06

Thank you...
08/16/2015 20:52
Jvinro. Glad you enjoyed the trip. I hope to make it to the Sawatch soon.


Jay521

Another good one...
08/17/2015 10:57
Another nice one, Raj. Good for you for going at the towers. Wish I had... Also, I seem to recall an old transmitter station or something on the road just before the final push up to Evans B. Is that still there? Or maybe my memory isn’t all that good anymore...

Edit: And you report made me expand my vocabulary which was a nice lagniappe for me.


rajz06

Thanks...
08/17/2015 21:26
Jay! And your memory is spot on. That transmitter station is still there – antenna, cables and all!



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