Peak(s):  Rolling Mtn  -  13,693 feet
Grizzly Pk B  -  13,738 feet
San Miguel Pk  -  13,752 feet
Date Posted:  06/28/2019
Date Climbed:   06/22/2019
Author:  Jakomait
 Second Day of Summer  

I've been wanting to take advantage of the snow in the San Juan's to pave the choss with white gold. The weather looked marginal on Saturday but pretty sweet for Sunday and Monday so me and Angie took off to do a leisure 3 day loop to link up Rolling Mountain, Grizzly B and San Miguel. The plan was loose, conditions were unknown but we had lots of extra time to work things out.

We started in South Mineral Campground where my truck sat helpless for 3 days while marmots chewed through all the wiring in the back! For us, we hit snow almost immediately (~10.3k ft) but made easy work on foot. We didn't bother with snowshoes or skis since we were already taking overnight gear. As normal for this time of year, the first challenge was a river crossing.

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The weather was holding as we worked our way up perfect snow on the east face of Rolling Mtn then onto the north ridge to the top

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Just finishing up the ridge, the weather moved in. Second day of Summer!!

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A bit of snow wont make us sad.

Stoked! no wait, frozen! Second Day of Summer!

We made it to the top and didn't loiter. Snow, thunder, wind, cold, at least there weren't any Sasquatches chasing us!

Cruising down the SW face of Rolling, we were able to scope out our next day's target. The couloir straight up the center looks inviting so that's where we went.

CT trail! Bridge over the Cascade River.

Wrapping up our day one, we headed down to the CT and were getting a bit desperate for a camp spot. Angie was trying to sell me on how cool it would be to sleep on the bridge.

Nothing like a bit of summer grapple to make the memories stronger

But we found a sweet little spot 2 minutes away. Home sweet home.

Day 2, up the super highway of Grizzly

Woke up the 2nd day ready to roll. The sky was bluebird and my camera was ready for a good workout.

Checking out yesterday's summit on the horizon.

Snow was so cruiser


Up, up and away!

And the last stretch of snow that had a cool Star Wars trench we had to get across. The pic doesn't show it well but that sucker was over 6 feet deep!

Almost to the top! The views were amazing!


We spent so much time just soaking it all in!


And now into our final peak, San Miguel. Figuring out what was the high point was the crux of the afternoon! Luckily we have a 50/50 chance and got it right the first time.


After that, we made our way down to Hope Lake in the afternoon. Snow was still cruiser even at 3pm! Not a single post hole was made in the making of this journey!


And down to the trees for anther campsite.


The forest was dominated by avalanches! After 2 hours of wandering around in the snow trying to find something flat and dry, we finally found a place to camp. We were down to 10.5k ft


and just for fun, the next morning we hiked over the Vermillion saddle into the Ice Lake area. More perfect snow, especially in the early AM. We giggled all the way down!

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

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 19 20 21 22

 Comments or Questions

06/29/2019 14:43
Thanks for sharing some 13er info down that way. Looks like a great trip!


holy hope lake!
06/29/2019 19:14
what's the one that's thawed out in your subsequent pic?


07/01/2019 05:11
Nice work doing that loop on snow! Pretty area!

Thawed out
07/01/2019 20:33
Stephakett - I think the pic you are asking that's thawed out (3rd from last) is the backside of the Wilson group. Or more accurately, the southern foothills of it. The peaks themselves were still white but right near treeline the green took over!


Rolling in snow
07/02/2019 07:02
Good call on getting those peaks with snow. I did a bunch of the peaks around Ice Lakes, plus Rolling, V9, V8 and Beatie last year. Can't say that coming down all the choss and scree on Rolling was all that fun.

07/02/2019 16:12
RyGuy - For sure!! Like yourself, I did Pilot Knob, Grant, Vermillion and Goldenhorn in fall conditions (dry and loose!) a few years back and was looking for a different experience!! I'm also saving the last few by Yankee Boy Basin (Gilpin, Cirque and Emma) for snow. The neighbor, T0, in the dry has to be the absolute worst peak I've ever hiked. I've never been so terrified and it's only class 3! Ahh, the things I do for a list of 200 rocks to stand on top off.

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