Peak(s):  "Pk L"  -  13,213 feet
Date Posted:  07/28/2017
Date Climbed:   07/23/2017
Author:  piper14er
 L is for... Ooh La La   

Shamelessly, openly, unabashedly (same as shamelessly) and notoriously I have pilfered, absconded with and otherwise L is for Looted d_bakers (Darin) theme for this peak. I can be forgiven for this breach in etiquette because after reading his report and then receiving a picture of Peak L prior to making this trek happen from Darin, it seemed that for endless steps and miles this theme was running through my head to the point of testing my sanity and ability to run some silly tune inside my cranium from playing in the Cheyenne Frontier Parade the same day.

L is for Lists

L is for Long

I started Saturday before 5:00 am prepping for and then driving to Cheyenne for the Cheyenne Frontier Days Parade. After marching and playing for about a mile in the warm sunshine I headed off about 11:00 am for the 2 1/2 hour drive to the Brush Creek Trailhead, north of Silverthorne and on the road to Heeney. Of course the drive up I-70 was not so pleasant and with many a standstill moment along the way it was much later starting out than anticipated.

I was L is for Lucky enough to have found a hiking partner for the trip who was very flexible enough to make my schedule, matb. (Thanks Natalie for offering other days) We met up at the parking area across from Brush Creek road and we drove the approximately 1 1/2 miles to the trailhead. After all that it was about 3:30 0r 4:00 pm when we got there. A bit of a late start to begin the 10-11 mile hike to Upper Slate L is for Lake.

Mat at the start

A word about the trail. Brush Creek, left at the Gore Range Trail, across Hay Camp Creek to the right turn on the Slate Creek trail. The start of the trail is good and the dead and downed trees have been cut out where they have fallen across the trail, at least for the most part. However, right at the moment a stretch of latterly falling trees have not been cut out. You can follow the trail because of the cut trees because the trail through many areas fades away or it a one foot wide, barely trodden upon path.

The stretch along the Gore Trail from before Hay Camp Creek to just before the Slate Creek turnoff has a number of uncut trees. L is for Logs

a lot of tree cutting at first

the turnoff from the Gore Creek Trail to the Slate Creek Trail

old log cabin there

Mat is a young guy and at 6' 5" tall was able to set a rapid pace with his L is for Lengthy stride

hiking the Slate Creek Trail with Peak L

Slate Creek is a nice creek that varies from gently flowing wide stretches to violent drops like this.
creek running full

Mat was good enough to carry the tent and in the last mile, went on ahead to find a camp spot and set up the tent. I believe I arrived somewhere around 8:30 pm just as the L is for Light was fading.

After hitting bed at around 9:30 we awoke at 5:00 am with a start towards the peak shortly thereafter. We decided that having some light would be best since the trail around the lake has been described as faint, which it was. It was also wet.

morning Peak L kinda fuzzy

the lake

Upper Slate Lake in the morning (photo by Mat)

skirting around the lake in the morning with snow and the swamp by the lakes edge

The trail went from camp, through a few other camp sites, willows, snow, grass and some rock to where there was a safe portage across the creek above Upper Slate Lake and below this waterfall.

we found a good place to cross the creek just below this waterfall

Once past the creek over a small rock band then it was a traverse northwesterly below some slab rock, through the tall vegetation to the ascent route below the saddle.

The next four pictures show the rock, grass, rock and some snow up to the saddle

a look at the bottom of the ascent route

a look down the grassy slopes

more rock above the grass

the only snow remaining above the lake along this route

The saddle is a good spot to say L is for Look Look at the way ahead.

on the saddle you will see these rock formations

the first look at the slab rock towards the knife edge

a look back towards the saddle and the Gores behind

All good things.

L is for Lord Helmut who is a Gore enthusiast who has the ability to take an irreverent look at most everything but who most capably described the remaining route. Solid rock, good climbing and views of the Gore Range. His view of this peak as being one of the finest peaks around is an interesting perspective on the peaks aesthetics considering the many great peaks in Colorado. Personally I don't have the yearning to run all the ridges that Brian and some others have done but just to get in there and out, nabbing a great peak without mishap is satisfactory. Read his reports...

Mat starting up towards the knife edge

Solid rock and the way up to the knife edge.

Mat waiting for me up on the slabs

a look back

Mat close to the knife edge

Good solid rock and small ledge system to get you up to the summit. A few pictures down there are more views of the knife edge, coming and going.

Mat starting up the last section to the summit

L is for Lounging

L is for my Last Gore Range 13er.

Mat taking in the views from a perch on the summit

L is for Lyle Lovett and his Large Band

a look at the knife edge from the summit

a look towards Guyselman Mountain (unranked)

Peak Q, R and S

L is for Landscape or L is for Los Lonely Boys

a look down on Upper Slate Lake

Mat heading back across the knife edge

me heading toward the knife edge and Peak L (not in order photo by Mat)

I read a report saying that there were not any footholds, I could have read that report incorrectly but Mat and I both felt there were sufficient places to put your toes on. Cracks or slight protrusions on solid grippy rock. I was wearing my regular old leather hiking boots.

Once across the knife edge there is a 30 foot or so downclimb to below the final stretch. We felt that the crux of the climb was the knife edge with the crossing and the exposure. It seemed to be more so on the summit side of the edge than on the side we crossed.

Heading back.

me heading back down across the knife edge

Pictures of the good grassy ascent and descent of the slab prior to and after the knife edge.

the grassy cut in the slab where I went up and we both descended

a look down

the cut from the bottom, grass to go up but you have to look hard to find it

another Q shot

I had packed up and so with Mat being faster, I headed down the trail L is for a lively pace but after 9 miles or so L was for Languishing, he caught me anyway.

L is for Led Zeppelin because I sometimes have this tune running through my mind while hiking L is for Long Lasting

kind of typical picture of the trail, defined generally but not too much so


L is for Lost as in it looks like a mountain goat made off with a shirt I left hanging in a tree back at camp. White hair in the branches...

a few stats, 10-11 miles in to Upper Slate Lake, 4 miles from the lake to the summit and back 10-11 miles out. There is elevation loss going in and elevation gain going out. seems to be about 6000 feet more or less all told

L is for Left out L is for Loverboy's song L is for Lovin Every Minute of It as it was kind of Ooh L is for La La

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

Comments or Questions

Excellent Summit!
07/28/2017 09:32
Sincere Congratulations on a great Peak L ascent. Thanks so much for sharing this informative, quality trip report Al. Good beta.
Very nicely done with navigating the classic Gore Range Route. Slate Creek's beautiful. Appreciate your inspiring effort too. Keep climbing safe, smart, and strong.


L is for...
07/28/2017 09:41
... looking for Billie Jean? Nice report as always, Al. But I do miss pics of that sweet dog of yours...


L is for Like
07/28/2017 12:27
I haven't checked yet, but most of my reports are probably all but useless now (if you like photos) since my pictures are linked to photobucket, who now require a subscription in order to link photos....and I think my L is for Living report might have linked photos... sigh....
But no worries, because your report has plenty of great photos to go along with the traditional Al text!
Nice job Al & Mat, and thanks for sharing!
It's a great peak though, isn't it?! I hope to get back to L again someday.


L is for Al
07/28/2017 14:51
jas thank you, always trying

Jay with the parade and such the logistics getting back for miss Billie and up to the trail would have been too much

Darin thanks for the "Like" and help on this peak, glad to have been able to make it up there


07/28/2017 21:03
Glad to hear you got the peak, finished the range and the weather cooperated! I Look forward to following in your footsteps at some point. Lovely Gores!


I'm lovin it
07/30/2017 01:34
All these Gore TRs recently are great to read (or maybe this is bad?)

But the Lyle Lovett mention is somethin extra special. Thanks piper!


Ain't nothin but a good time
07/31/2017 07:20
I live in my own mind
No rain just the sunshine
Out here in my own mind
I live where I can breathe
Ain't nothin but a cool breeze
Nobody that it won't please
Out here where I can breathe

thanks Natalie, good to get that peak hope you get there soon

em, thanks, a few more LL lyrics

also thank you for all the "likes"


L is for Thief
07/31/2017 08:24
Gotta catch the goat next time and string him up by his toes.


sticky hooves
07/31/2017 17:43
yes hang em high

so now that the goat has my T-shirt does that make it a goatee?

   Not registered? Click Here

Caution: The information contained in this report may not be accurate and should not be the only resource used in preparation for your climb. Failure to have the necessary experience, physical conditioning, supplies or equipment can result in injury or death. and the author(s) of this report provide no warranties, either express or implied, that the information provided is accurate or reliable. By using the information provided, you agree to indemnify and hold harmless and the report author(s) with respect to any claims and demands against them, including any attorney fees and expenses. Please read the Safety and Disclaimer pages for more information.

© 2021®, 14ers Inc.