Peak(s):  Animas Mtn  -  13,786 feet
Monitor Pk  -  13,695 feet
Fifteen, Pk  -  13,700 feet
Date Posted:  08/27/2017
Date Climbed:   08/10/2017
Author:  Stratosfearsome
 Ruby Zen  


Heart of the Weminuche



I have $200 to my name but all of the gear and food. (College student redux.) I cannot afford the train (and I'm so over it.) I park my Jeep at Purgatory Flats TH (8,800ft) and strap on my forty-fifty pound backpack. Tent, four days of food, rappel gear with seventy feet of rope and harness and webbing, one book, Jet Boil, and all other essentials.

I hike towards Ruby Basin on the Seventh of August. The trail is a breeze until I pass Pigeon Creek, then I completely lose it in a hunters' meadow. I end up backpacking up the ridge above Water Tank hill to 10,200ft or so to meet the Ruby Trail. What a blast. It is steep, wet slab after slab, between downed trees: a demonic approach. I am beat and dehydrated when I trudge up to Ruby Lake around 5 P.M. I make camp. So begins The Great Marmot War of 2017....

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Ruby Lake with Monitor Peak behind.

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Sunrise on the 8th. Time for Peak Fifteen?

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Sub-optimal conditions.

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8AM Rainstorm. Can't see. 15 is a no-go today.

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Clearing a little.

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Going for Monitor and Animas.

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Ruby Lake from high on Monitor.

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Threatening but no thunder.

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Views are holding, too!

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Monitor: I'm Lovin' It.

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Class 2+ scramble up Animas

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Animas Summit. Time to get low.

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Pigeon and Turret Needles

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Animas in review

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Hail and big lightning from the west.

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Cleared for the magic hour.


Really though, those Marmots are fat and insane. Plus a rabbit hopped into my vestibule. King Marmot chewed through my favorite day pack and two pairs of underwear. I won't go into battle details, but let's just say my shoulder still clicks when I rotate it, and I had visions of a vast marmot pelt industry.

Anyways, it rained at 6am on Wednesday, the 9th, so I decided to rest and hopefully dry out before one more attempt on Fifteen on Thursday. I was feeling pretty demoralized in my tent, having finished Touching the Void for the second time. Then the sun came out and I snapped out of it and realized what a wonderful place this is and how lucky I am to enjoy it. I slept like garbage that night though and had no coffee for Thursday. And I am a caffiend.

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August 10th, 6:30am

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North Eolus / Little Finger Saddle (Sandy access from Ruby to NY Basin) 12.8k Saddle.

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7:45am on the 10th. Weather is better. Gully wet. Going for it.

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Mountain Ghost? (Looking at Turret)

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Fifteen's South Face

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15-16 Notch View to Ruby Basin (North)

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Looking back down 15-16 Couloir Route (South Aspect)

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Steepness

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Sandy Ledge, west of 15-16 notch, 60ft above

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Near the Top

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Summit Ridge. Beautiful Day.

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Summit at 9:20am

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A downclimb.(Should have climbed up here, in retrospect. Ascended east 100 ft of here.)

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60ft Single Line Rappel with Tag Line (Only try this at home)

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A crack down-climb, west of gully because of small waterfalls there. Threw in a couple chicken wings!

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Last look up.

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Search Helicopter over Mt. Eolus

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Ruby Basin ~11.6k

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North Faces


I returned to my tent about 12:30pm. I had told my people that I would be out Wednesday or Thursday, so I packed up and marched the twelve + miles back to Purgatory TH, arriving at 7:30pm as darkness began to fall. I felt thrilled and relieved to finally get Fifteen, my final class 5 Bicentennial Peak. Next up, Vestal Basin...

-Rob



Thumbnails for uploaded photos (click to open slideshow):
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 Comments or Questions
Mtnman200

Nice report and photos!
08/27/2017 22:18
Congratulations on getting Peak Fifteen. It's definitely a challenging mountain.


Stratosfearsome

Thanks!
08/27/2017 22:40
Agreed, I found it to be the most challenging of the top 202 so far. Your report(s) on Peak Fifteen were valuable resources. Thank you for that.


Jay521

Super photos!
08/29/2017 12:26
You have an artist's eye...


Stratosfearsome

Thanks, Jay.
08/29/2017 22:41
I really appreciate that, man.



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