Peak(s):  "Anderson Pk"  -  13,631 feet
"Petroleum Pk"  -  13,505 feet
Sayres BM  -  13,738 feet
PT 13,460  -  13,460 feet
Date Posted:  10/01/2016
Modified:  10/24/2018
Date Climbed:   09/30/2016
Author:  Mtnman200
Additional Members:   RandyMack
 Then Came the Last Days of September  

Anderson Peak (left) and a 13,500' ridge bump (right) from a 13,105' ridge bump

Wednesday, Sept. 28, 2016
My older son, Randy, didn't have to work on Thursday and Friday and his shift was scheduled to end at 7 PM on Wednesday. That should allow enough time for a three-hour drive to the Sawatch, where we planned to climb Sayres Benchmark and "Anderson Peak" (bicentennial peaks) along with Unnamed (UN) 13460A and "Petroleum Peak" (tricentennials).

Then Randy's shift was abruptly revised to continue until 10:15 PM, which would result in a very late arrival at a campsite and not much sleep. Decision time: proceed with the trip, or postpone it?

It was close to 1:00 AM by the time we headed into our tent along South Fork Lake Creek road near Twin Lakes. That ought to tell you what we decided.

Thursday, Sept. 29, 2016
Due to our late arrival, we slept in an extra hour before breaking camp and driving a mile to the trailhead for Sayres Benchmark. We crossed South Fork Lake Creek on a foot bridge. A short distance later, we reached the intersection of the Sayres Gulch jeep road and the now-closed road up Sayres Benchmark. After walking past the gate, we reached the crossing of the creek that flows north out of Sayres Gulch into South Fork Lake Creek. No bridge here, but the water was low enough that it was easy to rock-hop across the creek.

Looking NW from the Sayres Benchmark road

We followed the road as it switchbacked south toward Sayres Benchmark, stopping to explore an old cabin with a scenic view. Someone had left a couple of MREs and a full propane canister in the cabin.

Well-built old cabin at 12,020' on the Sayres Benchmark road. The window even has a screen, a rarity on a miner's cabin

At a road intersection at 12,640', we opted to take the high road that climbs to a 13,430' ridge point, 0.4 mile south of UN 13460A. Because Eddie had already climbed UN 13460A, he relaxed on the 13,430' ridge point while Randy trekked over to UN 13460A and back.

Eddie is almost up the 13,430' ridge point. Sayres Benchmark is in the background

Randy is returning from his stroll over to UN 13460A (far left)

Skies got cloudier, the wind picked up, and snow occasionally fell as we headed SSE along the ridge toward Sayres Benchmark (13,738'). It was a bit foggy by the time we reached the summit. The benchmark on Sayres is no ordinary benchmark; it's a very accurate benchmark with the elevation off by 1,000'.

12,738'?? Is it too late for USGS to get their (our) money back?

La Plata Peak from the summit of Sayres Benchmark

UN 13460A from the summit of Sayres Benchmark

Looking WSW from the summit of Sayres Benchmark

After descending along the ridge northwest of Sayres, we did a descending contour until we intercepted a mine road that ends at 12,400'. When the road began to climb to the road intersection at 12,640', we took an informal trail that contoured to a switchback at 12,400' on the road we'd hiked this morning.

This tree decided to grow in the middle of an old mine road

Beautiful colors on the hillside

Blue = ascent route to Unnamed 13,460' and Sayres Benchmark; red = descent route

We followed the road back to our car and drove over Independence Pass to the Lincoln Creek road. The road was full of potholes for 6 1/2 miles and then got a lot rougher (high clearance required) for the final 3 1/2 miles to the trailhead for Anderson Lake and Petroleum Lake. We had the area to ourselves. Tomorrow's goals: "Petroleum Peak" and "Anderson Peak."

Thursday, Sept. 29, 2016
It was nice to get a full night's sleep. It wasn't nice to hear rain during the night, however. When we started up the trail, the rain had become light drizzle. At a trail intersection just below Anderson Lake, we took a trail north and then WNW to Petroleum Lake. We left the trail and headed up an obvious grassy ramp immediately west of Petroleum Peak. Eventually the grass ended, and we continued up the talus until we stepped onto the summit of Petroleum Peak (13,505'). Finding a CMC summit register was a pleasant surprise.

Larson Peak (12,908') from our ascent route on Petroleum Peak

The grassy ramp climbs west to Petroleum Peak's summit

The weather deteriorated by the time we reached Petroleum Peak's summit, and light snow was falling

The 'view' of the ridge to Anderson Peak from Petroleum Peak's summit

Given the weather, we didn't spend much time on the summit of Petroleum Peak before heading SE along the ridge toward Anderson Peak. When we reached a 13,105' ridge bump, the ridge turned south and then SE. We didn't take any photos along the way because the fog prevented us from seeing much. The ridge wasn't difficult and routefinding wasn't an issue, however.

The summit of Anderson Peak. Nice views from up here, right?

We signed Anderson Peak's summit register and returned west on the ridge to a scree gully that descended north toward Anderson Lake. After investigating the gully, however, we decided it was too steep for our tastes. We continued along the ridge back to the 13,105' ridge bump. By the time we got there, the fog had lifted enough that we could get a view of our surroundings.

Petroleum Peak (left) and the 13,105' ridge bump (lower right) where the ridge makes a 90 degree turn

Petroleum Lake

Anderson Lake

Anderson Peak (left) and a 13,500' ridge bump (right) from a 13,105' ridge bump

The ridge to Petroleum Peak from the 13,105' ridge bump

A nice gentle grassy descent from the 13,105' ridge bump brought us down to the basin, where it was an easy walk to the trail just below Anderson Lake.

Our descent route toward Anderson Lake (far right) from the 13,105' ridge bump

An oddly shaped lone tree along our descent route toward Anderson Lake

Blue = ascent route; red = descent route from Anderson Peak

Once back at our car, we endured the tedious drive (more than an hour) back to pavement. Thoughts of pizza awaiting us in Buena Vista made the drive more tolerable.

(NOTE: Bonus points to anyone who catches the reference in the trip report title...)

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

10/03/2016 01:07
At our similar goals! I doubt I'll ever seek out the Tri's in their entirety - I just picked 460, 300 D, and 12,601 because of their ease of access from the Indy Pass area. I was just north of 300 D's summit when I spotted the 1st of you headed to 460's summit. I made a little noise & waved my hiking poles in the air... not sure if you spotted me. In any case - I made it back to the 4Runners surprised that you hadn't beaten me back (the low traverse back after 12,601 was almost half a mile of nasty, shifting rock).

Another note for anyone wanting to gain 460 - I bailed off the mining road at the first major switchback near treeline (about 11,520') & proceeded to the west slopes of 460. Mainly class 2 with some 3, 4, & 5 options available. I kept it at 3 for the most part as I was alone, without my helmet, and the rock quality was all over the board (some of the lower stuff I found was of a loose almost conglomerate style - think Sangres with all the rocks pulling out). Thanks for all the recent TR's! If you ever need a random partner for a climb PM me... I have no care about lists (read: I'm down to climb whatever) past the 14ers - & I'll wrap those up - eventually!

BTW... I love the license plate frames "I'd rather be mtn. climbing"!


Very nice...
10/03/2016 10:22
A busy couple days for sure.


Brad and Jay...
10/03/2016 16:01
Brad: You have a very cool user name. Randy saw your signature in the 13460 summit register but didn't see you. I had the license plate frame custom-made in the mid to late 1980s, and it's been on five different 4x4s. I've never seen another one like it.

Jay: Thanks, as always. September was a busy month because I was trying to make up for my subpar peak count in 2015. It's been fun to get out more this year.


Every month should be
10/05/2016 05:22
September! I wish it would last just one more month. Glad to see Randy still out there nabbing peaks with you.

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