Peak(s):  London Mtn  -  13,194 feet
Date Posted:  01/28/2021
Date Climbed:   08/09/2020
Author:  Chelsea
 Easy London  


London Mountain (13,194′)

08/09/20 | 1.88 miles | 585′ gain | Class 2



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After climbing Kuss, Mosquito, and Treasurevault a month prior, I was dying to get back to the area to climb London Mountain. We had a great view of London’s west ridge that day and I hadn’t been able to get it out of my mind since. Finally, I was able to make it back up Mosquito Gulch.

Even from the 2wd parking area London is an easy hike (~5 mi & 1700′) but why not make it a little easier? Kyle’s brother had recently gone off to basic training and since he wasn’t allowed to bring a vehicle, he let us borrow his Tacoma for a couple months. Sudden access to a 4wd vehicle opened up many new opportunities and even Kyle was excited to go 4-wheeling. Mosquito Pass was supposed to be an easier 4wd road so it was a good opportunity to test our skills and I of course had my eye on London Mountain.

From the 2wd parking area in Mosquito Gulch, the road becomes much rougher. After ~1.75 miles of rocky road, we reached the London/Kuss saddle where there is room for 2-3 vehicles to park. We parked less than a mile from the summit of London Mountain. (My lazy side really likes 4-wheeling.)

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Starting up London’s west ridge

It was a straight shot to the summit along London’s west ridge. There is a trail the entire way, though it’s sometimes faint. Rock formations along the ridge make it look like the route couldn’t possibly be Class 2 but there is always a way to stay on easier terrain.

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Looking south – Pennsylvania Mountain (13,006′) left of center, Gemini Peak (13,951′) right of center
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When ridge proper becomes too difficult, follow the Class 2 trail on the right side.
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Above the rock formations, it is an easy walk to the summit.
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It turned out this was a false summit…there are a couple of those.
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Waiting for Dad – Kuss Peak (13,548′) and Mosquito Pass Road are visible.
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Almost to the true summit now!
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We made it!
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Looking south across American Flats
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Looking north into Mosquito Gulch

Our descent was quick and it was still early when we got back to the truck so we continued up and over Mosquito Pass. After a quick tourist stop to view the signs on Mosquito Pass, we drove down the west side towards Leadville. The west side of the pass wasn’t any more difficult than the east side, but there were some tighter turns and steeper drop offs.

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Mosquito Pass sign
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J.L. “Father” Dyer memorial on Mosquito Pass

Another fun day in the Mosquitos! London’s west ridge was just as fun as it looked and I’m glad I was able to hike it, even if it was the easy way.


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
Matt

See any marmots?
01/28/2021 20:47
I did this little hike on a whim a few years ago and came back to 10-15 marmots under, around, and up in the motor area of my FJ. I have never seen so many marmots in one place at a time. They wouldn't spook, either. The biggest one actually followed me when I went to get some papers that the wind blew into the road. When I turned to face him, he challenged me to a stare-off. It took 15 minutes, an ice axe, and revving my motor to get one stubborn little bastard out of under my hood.
That spot on the road is usually one of the last spots to melt out each year.


9patrickmurphy


"rules"
01/29/2021 09:14
This mountain cemented for me that I just don't care about the 3,000ft rule. A half-hour hike for a 13er is pretty neat and I'll take it when it's available! The backcountry wheelchair makes things pretty nice too. The night after I hiked this one I drove up to the pass and spent the night. Watching the sun set from that high up is magical. 4WD is a great asset to have


Chelsea

RE:
01/29/2021 10:16
@Matt - That's a crazy story! The only marmot I recall seeing was some roadkill near our parking spot...maybe that scared away the angry marmot mob. I can't imagine what I'd do if I came back to see 10-15 marmots!

@9patrickmurphy - I don't bother with the 3000' rule either...I don't have that kind of energy or motivation. As long as I feel like I put forth at least a little effort, I am comfortable with claiming a summit. Mostly I just like to get out and enjoy myself! I'm not trying to set any records or do anything special. Spending the night on the pass sounds wonderful! I would have loved to do that!


Sbenfield

Awesome
02/01/2021 17:12
I was in the area recently to hike Tweto & Treasurevault, and that got me excited about the rest of the peaks nearby. I‘ll have to add the others like you detailed in your reports soon!


Chelsea

RE:
02/02/2021 08:49
@Sbenfield - Tweto is the only one I have left in that area! I probably should have just done it with the Mosquito trio but the basin is so pretty I don't mind going back a third time



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