Peak(s):  Rinker Pk  -  13,783 feet
Garfield Pk A  -  13,780 feet
Twin Pks B  -  13,333 feet
Twin Pks B Northeast  -  13,270 feet
Red Mtn B  -  13,500 feet
Date Posted:  10/01/2015
Modified:  08/31/2017
Date Climbed:   09/19/2015
Author:  bergsteigen
 Sawatch Orphans  


Rinker, Twin Peaks B, Twin Peaks B NE


Trailhead: Big Willis
Mileage: 10
Elevation Gain: 5,000'
Partner: Solo

With very little time to plan peaks and the weather being a bit iffy on the temperatures, I decided to just go for some Sawatch orphans. Better something than nothing, right? I had originally wanted to ski Rinker, but the exit looked heinous as the drainage narrows into a canyon. After my failed attempt to ski 13,460, I wasn't too keen to keep saving this peak for the same outcome.

So I packed up the entourage and got on the road late. Found both FS campgrounds closed, so had to go for a decent camp nearby to the trailhead. A short night later and I found myself at the trailhead at about sunrise gearing up. Here is where I found that I had forgotten my memory card in my camera. Again... Dang! At least then I could leave the big camera in my truck for the day, instead of carrying the dead weight up and down 5K!

I decided to follow piper14er's route and go up the Big Willis trail, and then come down Furthermore's route on the Twin Peaks. Being a big fan of that TV show, I had to summit those unranked peaks and sing the theme song to myself all day. The trail is quite nice, and even follows the CT for a short while. Yet another reminder that I want to hike the entire trail one of these days, as I've already hiked or biked many of the segments here and there.

Getting close to tree line, I started to get an idea on how steep the ascent up to Rinker would be. Slow going for sure! The willows looked worse than they were on the trail, but at the time I wasn't sure entering them would be a good idea. Once above that 13er annoyance, I became entranced with going up the lower angle slope, just beyond Rinker. It looked ever so much more pleasant than a steep slog. A bit longer, but I figured it would be more efficient as well as nicer to my ego. I'm slower than I'd like to be, but that's recovery for ya.

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Sunrise reflections

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Need to hike this in its entirety - eventually

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Fall colors

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Golden trail

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Willow tunnel

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Rinker pano

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Pano with Rinker in center


Once on the summit, I thought the worst of the work was over, as the ridge to Twin Peaks looked gentle. For the most part it is, and can be kept class 2. But after the initial Twin Peaks, the ridge becomes a bit more interesting. It was some of the most exciting hiking I've done in a while. Also some of the most tiring! Steep talus kept me on my toes to prevent an ankle roll. The super steep descent wore me out completely. I was ecstatic to come upon the trail. So much so, I decided to divert off the ridge to get to the trail sooner. Along the way I almost got pulled in by a lovely flat meadow. After the super steep, walking in a flat sunny meadow looked so pleasant. It was too bad that it was in the up-drainage direction, and I had to walk away from it.

Only people I saw all day were along the last mile of the trail to the trailhead.

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Pano south

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Pano north

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LaPlata's north face... almost skiable

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Ridge to Twin Peaks

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Rinker from Twin Peaks

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Ridge on the Twin Peaks

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Ridge down to the lakes/trail

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Rinker - Twin Peaks ridge from town



Red Mtn B, Garfield (attempt)


Trailhead: Peakabo Gulch
Mileage: 4.5
Elevation Gain: 2,029'
Partner: Solo

After a nice long sleep, I started driving up the road from my posh campsite near 13,460. Sunrise was so lovely, I actually drove back down the road to get the first image. I felt quite lazy starting so late, but my legs were still sore from the 5K from the day before. Guess I'm not quite back to the express recovery I'm used to. At least today was supposed to be easy. Not much distance or elevation gain. A "short" ridge between Red and Garfield. Or at least that's what I thought many years ago when I drew a squiggly line on Topo! planning out this trip.

The road isn't bad, but it did get a bit steep, so I put it into 4WD low for fun. I could have driven all the way up to the mine, but chose the pullout just before it. Scoped out my route and got to bushwalking from the start. The ascent up the red scree was - less than ideal. Steep and loose. But slowly pulling my own version of 4WD low, I got up to the ridge. From there it was an easy stroll up to Red Mtn.

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Sunrise reflections

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Red Mtn pano

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Approaching Red Mtn

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Ridge up to Red Mtn


Of course, as soon as I got up to the summit of Red Mtn, I realized why no one pairs Red and Garfield - the ridge in-between looked unpleasant at best to impossible at worst. But the day was young, I figured I would go at least go as far as I was comfortable with.

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South ridge to Garfield

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Pano west

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Pano east

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Garfield looks not quite possible from here

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Early part of ridge to Garfield


After a nice trailed traverse, I got to the steep talus-scree, but I kept going. It was loose and it had been awhile since I've done the scree dance, but I still felt comfortable. Well - mostly. I couldn't stay ridge proper, since the rock was too friable and loose to trust hand and foot holds, so I kept a descending traverse on the loose scree. That was until I got to the major SW gully that come off near the summit of Garfield. It looked horrible and it may not have a viable exit. So I turned around. Only 0.15mi from the summit, but it wasn't worth trying anymore. A good reminder that what looks OK on a topo, may not be ok in real life. It's not an adventure, if you know you will always succeed!

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Where I said NOPE!

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Descending the steep grassy slope

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Mine polluted stream

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


 Comments or Questions
piper14er

thanks
10/02/2015 07:59
for including something from one of my reports in one of your adventures, congrats, although taking one of Furthermores return routes can be challenging, ha ha. (The new standard route)


bergsteigen

Thanks 4 the beta return!
10/02/2015 16:15
piper14er - I was glad to see your TR with map. With my original plan being to ski it, my route would have been heinous! I would have found the "difficult cliff" Furthermore mentioned. At least one of them!



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