Peak(s):  Taylor Mtn A  -  13,651 feet
Aetna, Mt  -  13,745 feet
Date Posted:  06/08/2020
Date Climbed:   06/05/2020
Author:  Mtnman200
Additional Members:   RandyMack
 Coming Soon To A Theater Near You  

Taylor Mountain (13,651') and Mt. Aetna (13,745') stand guard at the head of a large south-facing amphitheater between Poncha Springs and Monarch Pass and are quite visible from US 50. Taylor and Aetna combine nicely for a two-bicentennial day.

Thursday, June 4, 2020. Randy and I left home about 3:45 PM and drove east of Poncha Springs to the blink-and-you'll-miss-it town of Garfield. At the western edge of Garfield, we turned onto Forest Road 230 and followed it 1.5 miles west to the intersection with Forest Road 230C at 10,542'. We were pleasantly surprised to find we could drive north on FR 230C about 1/2 mile to 11,140', where we set up camp.

20169_02
Ducking under a fallen tree on FR 230; sometimes it's better not to have a 3" lift (Photo taken on the drive out the next day)


20169_03
A very rustic cabin at our campsite

Friday, June 5, 2020. It wasn't long before the road was blocked by snow, so it's a good thing we hadn't tried to drive farther yesterday.

20169_04
Today's objectives are beginning to come into view

From the road's end at about 11,600', we climbed east and northeast toward Taylor Mountain's southwest ridge.

20169_05
Heading toward Taylor's SW ridge


20169_06
As we ascended Taylor Mtn., we were treated to a nice view of Mt. Aetna...


20169_07
...and found ourselves on a well-constructed old mine trail

Once on Taylor Mountain's SW ridge, it was an easy climb toward the summit.

20169_08
Looking down Taylor's broad SW ridge


20169_09
Looking up Taylor's SW ridge from the same location as the previous photo


20169_10
As we got closer to Taylor's summit, the ridge became rockier


20169_11
Randy is standing on Taylor Mountain's summit


20169_12
Signing the Taylor Mtn. summit register, with Mt. Aetna in the background


20169_13
A closer look at Mt. Aetna from the summit of Taylor Mtn.


20169_16
Looking NW from Taylor's summit, with Mt. Aetna at far left


20169_17
The view looking SW from Taylor's summit


20169_18
Looking west from Taylor's summit, with Mt. Aetna to the right


20169_14
After trading messages with fellow 14ers.com member TakeMeToYourSummit (Brad), we headed west along the ridge toward Mt. Aetna (partially visible at far left)


20169_15
Looking back (east) at the summit of Taylor Mtn. from the Taylor - Aetna ridge


20169_21
Looking west toward Mt. Aetna


20169_22
The amphitheater south of Taylor and Aetna, with Boss Lake visible just above the center of the photo


20169_23
Taylor Mtn. from the same location as the previous two photos

It didn't take long to reach the 13,020' Taylor-Aetna saddle and the only snow we would cross all day.

20169_19
Snow on Mt. Aetna, just above the Taylor-Aetna saddle


20169_20
Randy is crossing the snow. It won't be long before the snow's melted


20169_24
Looking west at the summit block of Mt. Aetna from the Taylor - Aetna ridge

The traverse to Mt. Aetna was straightforward, and soon we were on its summit. Unlike Taylor Mtn., there was no summit register on Mt. Aetna.

20169_25
Looking north from Mt. Aetna's summit


20169_26
The view NW from the summit of Mt. Aetna


20169_27
Looking south from Mt. Aetna's summit; Boss Lake is in the center of the photo

After enjoying the views, we headed down Mt. Aetna's SSE ridge. The initial part of the descent was on broken rock, but the footing got better as we descended.

20169_28
Looking north toward Mt. Aetna's summit from our route down its SSE ridge


20169_29
Looking west at Taylor Mtn. from the same location as the previous photo

Once we'd descended to about 12,000', we headed SE toward the road we'd taken earlier today.

20169_30
Our descent route from Mt. Aetna's SSE ridge is just left of center, with Mt. Aetna's summit visible at right (Taken from where we returned to the road)


20169_31
Looking north toward Mt. Aetna and Taylor Mtn. from the same location as the previous photo


20169_32
Looking south at avalanche debris on Forest Road 230C from the same location as the previous two photos

A short hike down the road brought us back to our campsite and the end of an enjoyable climb. The loop we took to climb Taylor and Aetna can be done either direction, but it's easier to start with Taylor as we did today and do a counter-clockwise loop. (In 1993, my dad and I started with Aetna and descended today's ascent route.) Both peaks would also make good snow climbs.

20169_33
Blue = ascent route; red = descent route



Thumbnails for uploaded photos (click to open slideshow):
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 Comments or Questions
Jay521

Excellent!
06/08/2020 10:29
Looks like you two had a great day!


swadmin

Nice!
06/10/2020 14:20
Question - can an old subaru outback reach the intersection with Forest Road 230C at 10,542'?


Mtnman200

Thanks
06/10/2020 14:37
Jay: Thanks. It was a fun day.
swadmin: I think an Outback should be fine on FR 230 to the intersection with FR 230C at 10,542â. FR 230C is rougher, however, so Iâd park the Outback at that intersection.


swadmin

Thanks for the info!
06/11/2020 14:18
Appreciated.



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