Peak(s):  Arkansas Mt  -  13,795 feet
Tweto, Mt  -  13,672 feet
Horseshoe Mtn A  -  13,898 feet
Sheridan, Mt  -  13,748 feet
Peerless Mtn  -  13,348 feet
Date Posted:  10/26/2016
Modified:  10/24/2018
Date Climbed:   10/25/2016
Author:  Mtnman200
Additional Members:   RandyMack
 Swatting a Few Mosquitoes  

The well-named Horseshoe Mountain from the road to Peerless Mine

My older son (Randy) and I decided to head to the Mosquito Range for a day-and-a-half peakbagging trip. Monday's forecast called for only a 30% chance of snow, but a 60% chance of snow was predicted for Tuesday, along with 15 - 20 mph winds. We made it a point to be prepared for Tuesday's snow and wind.

Monday, Oct. 24, 2016
Randy is mostly targeting centennials and bicentennials, while my primary goal is tricentennials and repeats of centennials. Randy had already climbed Horseshoe Mountain but not Mt. Sheridan, while I wanted to repeat Horseshoe Mountain but not Mt. Sheridan. We devised a plan to reach our respective goals today.

Randy and I left our home a little after 6:00 AM and drove toward Fairplay and up the Fourmile Creek Road to Leavick. After turning onto the road to the Peerless Mine, we parked below where snow covered the road. We hiked up the road past the Peerless Mine to the 13,180' saddle just above the mine. I turned left (south) and followed the ridge toward Horseshoe Mountain, while Randy turned right (north) and headed up Peerless Mountain.

The gentle ridge to Horseshoe Mountain from near the Horseshoe - Peerless saddle

Horseshoe Mountain from Peerless Mountain

Mt. Sheridan, Mt. Sherman, and White Ridge from Peerless Mountain

Looking east at Horseshoe Gulch from Peerless Mountain. Snow makes the road easy to see

I had an easy hike with minimal snow on the ridge to the summit of Horseshoe Mountain (13,898'). Meanwhile, Randy had a similarly easy, but much shorter, stroll to the summit of Peerless Mountain (13,348'). From there, Randy had a longer stroll along the ridge to Mt. Sheridan (13,748'), although any snow along the way was easy to bypass. Someone had built a sizable windbreak out of rocks on Mt. Sheridan's summit, but today it seemed to function more as a snow fence than a windbreak. After about 15 minutes on the summit of Mt. Sheridan, Randy headed back toward Peerless Mountain.

Mt. Sheridan and Peerless Mtn. from the summit of Horseshoe Mtn.

Peerless Mtn. and Horseshoe Mtn. from the base of Mt. Sheridan's summit block

Shelter on the summit of Mt. Sheridan

Dyer Mtn., Gemini Peak, and Mt. Sherman from Mt. Sheridan's summit

Peerless Mtn., Horseshoe Mtn., and Finnback Knob from Mt. Sheridan's summit

The relatively flat summit area on Mt. Sheridan

I returned to the Horseshoe - Peerless saddle and continued to the summit of Peerless Mountain. I could see an easy descent route from just north of Peerless Mountain to the Peerless Mine road, so I descended the north ridge of Peerless Mountain and met Randy there. We compared notes and concluded that none of today's peaks had summit registers.

We headed across the tundra to Randy's 4Runner, drove a bit below Leavick, and cooked grilled cheese sandwiches for lunch before finding a nice campsite at 2 PM on the Mosquito Pass Road between American Mill and North London Mill. We spent several hours relaxing at our campsite before dinner.

Tomorrow's goals: Mt. Tweto and Mt. Arkansas.

Blue = ascent route to Horseshoe Mtn. and Mt. Sheridan; red = descent route

Tuesday, Oct. 25, 2016
After breakfast, we left the Mosquito Pass Road at about 11,520' and followed a rough road another half mile NNW to an intersection at 11,800'. From here, a side road heads north into the basin below (south of) the Mt. Buckskin - Mt. Tweto ridge. In 2010, we climbed Mt. Buckskin from this basin, although the route is not described in the Roaches' thirteeners book or Garratt & Martin's thirteeners book.

The basin south of the Buckskin - Tweto ridge, with Loveland Mtn. at the far left. The Mosquito Pass Road is visible in the photo's center

We climbed northwest up fairly stable rocky slopes and intersected the Buckskin - Tweto ridge east of Mt. Tweto. Light snow fell as we headed west up the ridge, bypassing occasional minor obstacles to the left (south). Snow would continue off and on all day, and the strong wind on the ridge made us glad we'd brought ski masks and balaclavas.

Looking toward Mt. Tweto from its east ridge. Most of the snow is on north-facing slopes

Mt. Tweto from its east ridge. Mt. Arkansas is behind its second false summit (hidden by fog, far right)

Looking toward Mosquito Pass from the Mt. Buckskin - Mt. Tweto ridge

Looking east toward Mt. Buckskin along the Buckskin - Tweto ridge

The fog became thicker and thicker as we ascended. Soon, we found ourselves on the summit of Mt. Tweto (13,672'). Unfortunately, we had no views to enjoy. Also, no summit register...

The summit of Mt. Tweto in the worsening weather. The rocks are beginning to get lightly coated with snow

The plaque just below Mt. Tweto's summit had only been there two years the previous time I saw it

The snow was very powdery and wasn't falling hard enough to create traction issues, so we continued north toward Mt. Arkansas. Unfortunately, the thick fog prevented any decent photos along the way. After enduring the disappointment of two false summits, we reached the summit of Mt. Arkansas (13,795') but did not find a summit register.

Randy's selfie on Mt. Arkansas. He positioned himself so the pole in the summit cairn appears to grow out of his head

The "view" from the summit of Mt. Arkansas

Another view from the summit of Mt. Arkansas

After about a half hour on the summit, we headed back toward Mt. Tweto.

Mt. Buckskin from near the Mt. Arkansas - Mt. Tweto saddle

Mt. Tweto from near the Mt. Arkansas - Mt. Tweto saddle

Rather than reclimb Mt. Tweto, we contoured west of it at about 13,250' and then descended SE into the broad basin south of the Mt. Buckskin - Mt. Tweto ridge. In hindsight, our descent route into the basin would have been a better ascent route than the one we'd taken.

Mt. Buckskin and Loveland Mtn. sit above a large basin. (Taken from our descent route from Mt. Tweto's south ridge)

The snow had stopped, and some blue sky was now visible. We couldn't resist investigating the ruins of an aerial tram and an old mine building before heading home.

A collapsed mine building at 12,600' in the basin south of the Mt. Buckskin - Mt. Tweto ridge

The remains of an aerial tram in the basin south of the Mt. Buckskin - Mt. Tweto ridge

The anchoring system for the aerial tram

Blue = ascent route to Mt. Tweto and Mt. Arkansas; red = descent route

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

10/27/2016 00:53
I remember the ridge between buckskin and tweto to look fairly vertical when I did those. Did you ascend close to where the cable goes up?


Love that area.
10/27/2016 08:16
Thanks for posting this.

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