Peak(s):  Pigeon Pk  -  13,972 feet
Turret Pk A  -  13,835 feet
Date Posted:  04/23/2018
Date Climbed:   01/05/2018
Author:  Dad Mike
 A Not So Wintery Daytrip of Pigeon & Turret   

Pigeon and Turret Peaks
Time...6am - 7:30am bike, 7:30am - 4:30pm hike, 4:30pm - 7:30pm bike
Distance...36.9 miles (25 miles riding or pushing the bike)
Elevation Gain...9065 feet (1100' on return bike)
Route...Silverton to Needleton on the Tracks...East Face of Pigeon (standard)...West Ridge of Turret (standard)

I have mixed feelings about this one. Pigeon and Turret don't see many winter summits. I would guess the total is less than 10. I am proud to include myself in that group, but calling this a winter ascent doesn't feel right. The conditions I experienced in September of 2011 were much more challenging than on this dry day in January. I thought a lot about Steve and Darin's trip back in December of 2011 ( https://www.14ers.com/php14ers/tripreport.php?trip=11341 ) and I found myself feeling a little guilty. They spent 5 days laboring over these 2 peaks and I'm guessing not many of their steps were on dry ground. I spent 13 1/2 hours climbing these peaks, rode my bike to Needleton on dry railroad tracks and only spent a couple of those hours on snow. That being said, this winter game is a game of timing. I prefer safe conditions when I can get them, which isn't always easy. Some day I may come back to climb Vestal, Pigeon and Turret in full winter conditions. For now I will check these off and let someone else do it in better style.

I started this trip from the Mineral Creek Trailhead. The ice flows are definitely easier to drive across when they are warm and slushy. I slept in the back of the jeep and got a 6am start on the tracks. With the extra miles to Needleton, I decided to try the fat bike this time. Thanks to Broadmoor Outfitters for the loaner. The ride down the track wasn't too bad, enjoyable at times. The tricky parts were when the dirt and rocks under the tracks didn't fill the gaps in between the ties or when it came up over the ties and made it loose. It helped that I was going downhill on the ride in and I was able to just coast over those sections for the most part. The ride out wasn't so great. This is the rare situation where access is better in the winter. I don't think you could get away with riding your bike on the tracks when the train is in season.
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This was the only sign of life I saw all day. It was also the only picture that my son and daughter appreciated.
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The trail up North Pigeon Creek isn't the easiest to follow, but you can kind of make your own way. Pigeon comes into view as you break out of the trees.
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The only significant snow I ran into was in the crux section of Pigeon.
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Summit view
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Options for the way out...
Purgatory - shorter..downhill to Cascade..annoying, possibly snowy ascent to Purgatory on a trail I didn't know
Silverton - longer..uphill..know the tracks are dry..no need to hitch a ride
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Turret
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Darin and Steve's view of Pigeon on Dec. 28th, 2011
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My view of Pigeon 7 years later...it's like one of those dramatic glacier comparisons
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Summits for Shylah on the summit of Turret
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The closer I get to the end of this list, the more I think about having to return for this one...
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The hike back out was pretty fun. Downhill all the way from Turret to Needleton...5500' in 2 hours.
The ride back to Silverton was not so fun. I was completely gassed by the time I got back to the bike and I felt every inch of the 1100 feet of elevation gain. What took me 90 minutes that morning would take 3 hours on the way back. A lot of that mileage was spent pushing the bike. The parts of the track I could coast over on the way in, were now unrideable. For the second time in a week, the lights of Silverton were my savior.
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Strava Map
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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


Comments or Questions
d_baker

37 mile day trip counts
04/23/2018 18:03
That's the coolest thing that Broadmoor bike will ever do!


Dad Mike

Cooler...
04/24/2018 09:57
...than a ride to the zoo and back?


Stratosfearsome

Going the Distance
04/24/2018 10:53
Awesome, Mike! Looks like another productive winter for you. Really enjoyed reading this latest adventure trilogy!


FireOnTheMountain

Does that
04/26/2018 10:11
Broadmoor bike come equipped with Champagne bottle holders and caviar dispensers?


Dad Mike

It normally does
04/28/2018 09:52
I went with the slimmed down package...mini chocolates on the seat when I got back to Needleton.



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