Peak(s):  "V 5"  -  13,156 feet
Date Posted:  09/10/2018
Date Climbed:   09/04/2018
Author:  bergsteigen
 A morning quickie up a fun peak  

Day 6: V5

  • Mileage: 3.21
  • Elevation gain: 1,401'
  • Trailhead: Clear Lake
  • Partners: Solo

When I parted ways with Ryan and Tony, I hung around Silverton for awhile, waiting out the intermittent rain showers, enjoying cell service for once. Eventually I decided to drive up to Clear Lake and find a good spot to camp, since all the day tourists should be gone by late afternoon on Labor Day holiday. The drive up wasn't too bad, only a couple of rocks and slopers to drive over.

At the lake I sat at a slightly higher parking area and finished reading a Crichton book and started in on Dante's Inferno (because why not?). Eventually the sun came out and I set out my solar panel to charge my external battery a little.

I also had plenty of time to contemplate things. After 5 days of hanging out with and hiking with friends, V5 would be my first 'solo' of the trip. It's no secret that I've solo'd most of my 13ers. It's not always by choice, since it's hard to motivate anyone to go hike 13 blah blah blah's with a 12 hour RT drive involved. So soloing is merely the best way for me to do what I like to do, when I want to do it. My schedule of working weekends (mostly) also does not help things. I do tend to have more fun hiking with others. Since how else would you be able to laugh about crappy loose descents than by reminding partners of those pounding descents that sucked?

While reading my books, a group of Oklahoman's and their dogs took over my camp spot, and seemed intent on having an illegal campfire, so I moved down the road and actually closer to where I would start the hike anyway.

The next morning I woke up as early as I could force myself, since I figured the sunrise would be great. But I barely managed to get moving before the sun started hitting the peaks above me.

19039_01
Sunrise on US Grant
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The sun kissing the ridge above Clear Lake

The talus heading up to the mining road was covered in icy verglace, and made travel a bit slow and slippery. I went straight up the slope, instead of following the actual road, so that also made it worse than it could have been. I wanted to gain elevation quickly for the sunrise shots, so I put up with the nasty ice. Once up on the road, travel was much easier again.

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V5 from the mining road
19039_04
Interesting morning lake reflection

Ryan had mentioned to not take the gully to the left, but go to the one on the right. As I got to that spot, I didn't like either option. Just to the south of the main gully, is a perfectly nice, grassy, gentle slope. No loose rocks to worry about, just nice grass. The gully may be slightly more direct, but my way is more efficient and less erosive.

19039_05
The start of my grassy slope to the ridge
19039_06
Ice Lakes Basin joins into the visual fun

The ascent up the grassy slope went pretty quickly, though nearing the ridge, it became more rocky. These rocks also had the same covering in verglace, so I had to tread carefully now. Sooooooo glad I didn't follow Ryan's advice on the gully, I'd be in the thick of the slippery icy rocks for most of the ascent!

I got to the notch in the ridge, and saw a fun class 4 chimney to climb up. There was a dirty scree class 2 option a little below it, but I was feeling sporting this morning.

19039_07
V5 from just south of the notch. I went up the tight chimney's in the center. Main trail is a little lower to the left.

Once up the chimney, you turn right and go up a grassy - rocky slope to the ridge.

19039_08
Last bit of scramblyness to the ridge.

Once up on the ridge, the route to the summit is clear ahead and the views spread out.

19039_09
Pano with V5 when gaining the ridge

From there the trek to the summit was easy, if only having to watch out for slippery icy rocks along the way. While I had summitted early, I would have to wait awhile for the rocks to warm up, so that I wouldn't accidentally slip down the Richarson gully...

19039_10
Clear lake like a mirror this morning.
19039_11
Clear Lake basin
19039_12
Wilson Peak with some snow


19039_13
Pano West
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Pano East


19039_15
Lookout Peak
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South Lookout
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Twin Sisters
19039_17
Ryan's favorite peak: Rolling Mountain
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Big V and the Golden Horn
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Pilot Knob
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V 4
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US Grant
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V 3

Waiting a while on the summit allowed the sun to get high enough that I could see the peaks to the east better.


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Silverton
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Grenadiers
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Sunlight and friends
19039_23
Snowy Uncompaghre and friends

Eventually I had to descend, even if I didn't want to. I had a long drive home, that wasn't getting done enjoying the views. But with it being such and easy access peak, I'll be back.

19039_24
View of the grassy - rocky gully to descend from the ridge. Next spot is the ridge that descends from the left
19039_25
Class 4 chimneys on left, scree route a bit lower
19039_26
View down my solid chimney. Bedrock baby!

At this point, I decided to continue down the ridge to the south, instead of heading down my grassy slope directly to the mining road.

19039_27
View down the easy ridge to the south
19039_28
Looking back on V5 from farther down the ridge.


19039_29
A steep loose gully that likely cliffs out #richardsonwouldpoundthis

The views improved as I walked down the nice tundra ridge. There were even cairns. I was quite pleased with the decision to tack on a little extra mileage for the easier terrain.

19039_30
I spy Ice Lakes!


19039_31
Oh the views...


19039_32
Some chipper fluffies along the way


19039_33
Pano from mining road - I could stay here forever


19039_34
Easy mining road return
19039_35
The slope I ascended in the sun
19039_36
Looking back on the slopes along the mining road, my descent in distance
19039_37
Almost back to Clear Lake
19039_38
V 5 from camp
19039_39
Interesting way to avoid the No Parking signs. There'll be more signs eventually...

Back at the truck, I went back to the lake for a few photos, and then headed home. I didn't get all the peaks I had planned on the trip due to weather, but I had tons of fun hiking with friends and hanging out with them at camp. Why do people solo hike again?



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
TomPierce
Dante's Inferno??
09/11/2018 08:55
A little light reading, Otina? That book is perfect for climbing metaphors (willow bashing is the 5th ring of climbing hell...) Nice report, always love your pics.

-Tom


bergsteigen

I like to mix my books
09/11/2018 13:54
Some light, some dark. I'm sure references to the book will become more prevalent, especially with some of the scary peaks/willows out there!


Tornadoman


Favorite?
09/11/2018 19:52
Any peak(s) stand out from the Clear Lake/Ice Lake Basin area as your favorites? Have you finished the peaks in that area now?



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