Peak(s):  Little Agnes Mountain 11,497 ft.
Date Posted:  09/16/2019
Date Climbed:   09/14/2019
Author:  jibler
 Go Little and Go Home   

OK I need to set the stage a little here. I had given myself the impression that i was venturing to a quiet corner of the state. I haven't been by steamboat since around 1996-98'ish. But I felt like I was getting ready to have a "Montana-like" experience in a forlorn mountain range off the beaten track. Pretty much thought it would be me - a few hunters -- and maybe like 1-2 other hikers...

But - when driving up what I thought was pretty early'ish for a friday - 4pm - the trailhead was totally jammed! Most car camping spots also jammed!!

I ended up making a very rapid adjustment to initial game plan - which was to bust a right from trailhead for dayhike to Gold Lake -- instead I got back in car drove to road 434 and hiked up to 3 Island Lake instead -- so as to allow myself access to better car camping inventory of spots along the side road. Plan worked out - but road 434 was also jammed! I barely found a good spot -- with a sundowner view of Little Agnes and something on the right there?


19829_03
Eating Soup and Sandwich Dinner View


19829_01
Looking right towards Gold Lake area

So I had planned to hike Big Agnes - but fates would conspire to drive me to the Little instead. Factors include: not finding my water pump when leaving down - being on my "milk jug" resupply technique instead; also the cliffs of the southern end of ridge looked intimidating and the whole valley was rockier than I had anticipated. If I had held on to original plan to head way up valley and then bank back to right to get up it would have worked.

BUT - Little Agnes also offered an obvious route - so it was essentially a path of least resistance up there.


19829_02
Little Agnes beckons.


19829_05
Little Agnes shoulder


19829_06
Mica Lake with Big Agnes to the left.

I was blown away by the north side of Big A. I thought some of those cliffs were the side of Zirkel poking out - but I guess not. Visibility for the day was all around not so great for distance views.


19829_08
more Big Agnes

and I will admit - it was bugging me that I had settled on the "Little". it is by definition kinda lame. BUT - I was able to pull a classic Jibler navigational maneuver to help make every thing alright....

19829_09
Return Ridge

I took this above ridge all the way down to the end and just banked hard left back into the Mica Lake valley at the end there!


19829_10
Lost Ranger Peak in the distance. It retained the light cover of snow from Thursday Night the whole time.


19829_11
Caption Here


19829_12
Looking back at Little Agnes from dropoff point of the ridge.


19829_13
Looking South at Lost Ranger from end of ridge.


Bottom line - the mystique of a Montana-like thing was blown - but that could be due to some add on factors like full moon, and leafers (even though it was not turning yet - at all). But seemingly this area is just way more popular than I understood. and perhaps a lesson there - you should likely go on a weekday if you're looking to truly thin out the crowds.

AND - Big Agnes pretty much controls the North as far as I 'm concerned. It is the Great Mountain of the North. I don't know if I would have really grasped how cool it was if I wasn't on the other ridge.




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

RRR Ultra
09/16/2019 21:27
Friday and Saturday was the Run Rabbit Run 50 and 100 mile Ultras in Steamboat (my favorite time of the year there). 600 people ran, most with their families and crews so this probably added a little to the crowds. It was also spectacular weather.

The Aspens apparently have a fungus (Marssonina leaf spot) which means little foliage this year.


12ersRule

East side of Zirkels
09/18/2019 10:46
I haven't seen too many folks here once you near treeline. I think the Steamboat side may be more crowded.



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