Peak(s):  Sayres BM  -  13,738 feet
Date Posted:  08/28/2017
Date Climbed:   08/25/2017
Author:  Hoot
Additional Members:   laswa-guide
 Sayers Benchmark via FR 392 (summer)  

Sayers Benchmark (13,738', Colorado #132)
25 August 2017
Climbers: Patrick, Brian and me
Trailhead: Junction of FR391 and FR392
Distance: 10.66 miles
Elevation gain: ~3200' net
Round trip: 7 hours

After getting chased off Point 13,712 about 1000' below the summit by lightening the day before, I car camped at the Twin Peaks campground off CO 82 with Brian. The temperature was in the low 30s when Patrick joined us at camp in the morning. After a short drive up 82, Brian and I left our cars at the LaPlata trailhead and Patrick drove us about 2.6 miles down FR 391 along the orange South Fork Lake Creek to the well-marked intersection FR 392 where we parked. We drove through and around some dry potholes on FR391, but a high clearance 4WD probably isn't essential when the road is mostly dry.

We started hiking from this intersection at 8:08 am, crossed Lake Creek on a large footbridge, and then turned left onto gated FR392. FR382 also starts across the bridge and leads into Sayers Gulch. FR392 quickly crosses the creek draining Sayers Gulch (a rock hop for us) and then begins climbing the ridge on the east side of the Sayers Gulch. We made good time hiking up the old forest road which was overgrown in many places. At about 12,660', we made the mistake of continuing up the road instead of following the remains of a spur road to traverse more directly toward Sayers Benchmark. Once we realized our mistake, the high traverse looked nasty so we continued up the road all the way to Point 13,430, about 1.2 miles northwest of our target. If we had followed the ridge just a third of a mile to the north, we could have picked up ranked 13er Point 13,460. Instead we followed the ridge southeast to the prominent western subsummit of Sayers Benchmark. From the subsummit, we hiked the short distance to the 13,738' true summit (labeled 12,738' on the summit marker!). The terrain from Point 13,430 to the summit was never more difficult than Class 2. We reached the summit at 11:48 after 3 hours and 40 minutes of hiking along our indirect route.

As the clouds were building we didn't spend much time on the summit before heading back down. Planning to descend our intended ascent route, we veered west below the Pt 13,430-Sayers Benchmark saddle, taking a lunch break in the grass at 12,880'. From there we should have descended west on steeper terrain to end of the mine road spur at 12,440'. Instead I traversed on steep scree and mud while Patrick and Brian dropped more steeply to the spur road which was partly buried by erosion. My route was more direct, but I don't recommend it. We left the spur road at about 12,500' and followed a faint game trail that worked well in getting us back to FR392 at 12,400'. From there we followed FR392 back down reaching the car at 3:12 pm for a 7 hour, 10.66 mile round trip. When we got back to CO82, it finally started raining!

My GPS Tracks on Google Maps (made from a .GPX file upload):

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

08/28/2017 19:10
hope you didn't get water from that creek. Some nice acid mine drainage there


Nice Summit
08/29/2017 15:24
Well-written Trip Report too. Thanks so much for posting the quality 13er route beta consistently. Excellent work with reaching this cool Sawatch Range peak. Information on these types of Colorado mountaineering lines is quite stellar. Keep climbing safe, smart, and strong

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