Peak(s):  Ouray, Mt  -  13,971 feet
Chipeta Mtn  -  13,472 feet
Date Posted:  12/14/2018
Date Climbed:   10/20/2018
Author:  osprey
 Slowest Known Time  

Records are not kept for Slowest Known Times so 14 hours for the approximately 11 mile round trip of Mt. Ouray and Chipeta Mtn via Mt Ouray's West Ridge may not be the SKT but it certainly ranks up there and is thus well deserving of a Hall of Shame award.

I drove up the Marshall Pass road from the west and parked at the large parking area with a restroom a short distance down on the east side of the pass and started hiking at 0700. Within a few minutes I came to the Hutchison-Burnett cabin which had a vehicle parked in front and smoke pouring from the chimney. I briefly considered knocking on the door and requesting an order of coffee, bacon and eggs but decided against it as it was hunting season and the occupants were probably well armed who would not appreciate a free-loading moocher.

One heads almost straight north from the cabin heading for point 12,685. The first < 1 mile is through forest but the trees are widely dispersed and it is easy to make progress through the trees. There was a small amount of snow on some of the route but neither snowshoes or microspikes were necessary.

Nearing the end of the forest with Mt Ouray on the right.


Point 12,685 up ahead on the left. 19214_02

Upon reaching point 12,685 head east up the ridge coming down from Mt.Ouray. 19214_03


About halfway up the ridge there is an outcropping of a lighter color rock which can be bypassed on either the north or south side. 19214_05

A more noble way is to climb the solid, clean outcropping for a short class 3 scramble. 19214_06

After the outcropping it is not far to the summit which I reached at 1045 and left at 1100. 19214_07

Looking over at South Chipeta and Chipeta Mtn. 19214_19

Looking down at the ascent route. 19214_20

On the way down I bypassed the rock outcropping on the south side and saw a climber wearing a light colored jacket ascending rapidly on the north side of the outcropping and was never in speaking range.

After descending to point 12,685 I decided to go on to Mt. Chipeta both as the weather was clear, and after reaching a certain age I have realized that if a peak is not done when available then it may not be done in the future. Seize the day, no?

So from point 12,685 I headed north on the ridge leading to 12,850 South Chipeta and Chipeta Mtn. 19214_22

Near the 12,300 saddle where the Little Cochetopa Trail tops out on the Continental Divide I met both Reg0928 and Tornadoman. They had done Chipeta Mtn first and were now heading to Mt Ouray. This was Reg0928's third or fourth climb of these two peaks. The climber I had seen ascending Mt Ouray was the wife of Tornadoman. Reg and Tornadoman were also very swift. They were out of sight within 10 minutes leaving a tornado in their wake.

Near the saddle is a large cairn which is a historic survey marker. 19214_08

From the saddle with the cairn ascend South Chipeta. 19214_25

There is a small cairn marking the summit of this peak. 19214_14

Looking at Chipeta Mt from South Chipeta. 19214_27

One then descends to another saddle and then makes a final ascent to the summit of Chipeta Mtn which I reached at 2:45 pm. 19214_10

From the summit of Chipeta Mtn looking back at Mt Ouray. Antora Peak can be seen in the distance over the west ridge of Ouray. 19214_11

From the Ouray summit looking back at the west ridge leading to point 12,850 and then the ridge leading to South Chipeta. 19214_12

On the descent from South Chipeta showing the ridge returning to point 12,850. 19214_15

The moon rose over Ouray by the time I passed the survey marker. Fortunately. 19214_16

Before reaching point 12,850 it started growing late. 19214_17

Upon reaching point 12,850 about 6:30 pm, Helios had the audacity to disappear into the west as I reached point 12,850 leaving me with still 3.8 miles and 2000 vertical feet to descend. In the dark. Bummer. Bigly. 19214_18

But all turned out well. The bell bear tinkled merrily to keep me company and ward off the gremlins, the compass was set on a due south heading, and Selene shined so brightly I did not need to use the headlamp. Finally I returned to the car at 9pm "Place park, scene dark, silvery moon is shining through the trees. By the light of the silvery moon."

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

12/14/2018 10:10
The good way to descend is to take the Colorado trail on the west side. I was also hiking down late in the day and it was much quicker than regaining all the bumps on that long ridge


12/14/2018 10:23
I could see the descent down the west side (in fact there was a large cairn marking the way) and briefly considered going down that way for the same reason as you ( to avoid going up and down all the ridge bumps) but decided to stay with the devil I knew rather than the unknown devil.


One Long Day
12/14/2018 13:07
This combo surprised me with how long it took and how beat I was by the end of the day. I did the same thing as SnowAlien and dropped down onto the Colorado trail. 10/10 would do that again rather than ride the ridge. After all those up and downs to get there, the CT was a welcome respite.


Brutal day!
12/14/2018 13:41
Good to meet ya out there Osprey! This combo was a brutal day for sure!


12/14/2018 13:49
The way you and Snow Alien went was the way to go. It certainly would have saved a significant amount of time.
But to go that way would have cost me a SKT Hall of Shame Award!


12/14/2018 13:53
Yes, very nice meeting you and Tornadoman.
Out of curiosity, how long did the peaks take your group?


12/14/2018 18:55
I think we were around 9 hours if I remember correctly. It is a pretty big day for sure, Reg and I did Chipeta first and we were so close to bailing on Ouray, that was a tough grunt after all the ups and downs on Chipeta. It was nice meeting you as well!


12/14/2018 19:01
Your speeding tickets will be mailed tomorrow!


I get the SKT...
12/19/2018 16:15
I'm working on the SKT for the 14ers. You are my hero!


12/19/2018 18:41
Ha! I am several peaks behind you despite starting 45 years ago.


12/19/2018 19:16
Your 13er list is impressive especially with several snowflake winter ascents.

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