Peak(s):  Trinchera Pk  -  13,517 feet
Date Posted:  05/31/2011
Date Climbed:   05/30/2011
Author:  mikefromcraig
 Trinchera, leaning north/south peaks   

From the south I got on highway 12 (aka highway of legends) at around exit 12 of I25. Took highway 12 north about 2 miles past where you would turn right (east) to go to cordova pass (there's a sign). After the 2 miles you take forest road 422 west (left). It's a well maintained dirt road. Just take this as far as it will let you. On this particular day it was comletely dry for roughly 4 miles where we parked and started hiking up the road.

There was a lot of snow on the road but fortunately some type of snow cat had recently driven up the road and left hard packed tracks. We probably only postholed about once every 40 steps and we didn't even have any poles to help disperse our weight. Gaiters were a must, we didn't bring snowshoes or crampons and I'm glad we didn't. There's a sign on the road that tells you when you are 2 miles away from Trinchera. Not sure if that's 2 miles until that road ends at the base of trinchera or 2 miles to the summit.

Once past treeline it got a little tricky because the tracks on the road that we were following up starting to just go everywhere. We ended up approaching Trinchera from the southeast. Had we have stayed on that road we would have approached from the northeast. So in the summer that road would go all the way from highway 12 to the base of trinchera peak, probably to about 12,500 ft. or so.

The path up Trinchera we took was snow covered but it was just the right density and angle to climb up on all fours. It was extremely windy on top but we had a great view of west spanish peak. From there we cut over to leaning north peak and then leaning south peak. The terrain on the way to these two 13ers was great (no snow) but the wind was even worse. I've complained about wind before, I've had to stutter step because of high wind, I've had to squat down low and base out on my poles because of high wind but NOTHING like this before. Me and my climbing parter got knocked off our feet a couple times. It was kind of neat when the wind was behind you because even if you were going on a slight incline you didn't have to exert any energy to move forward. You just picked up your back foot and the wind blew you forward, then you just pick up your new back foot and so on.

On the way back to trinchera from leaning south peak you can bypass having to go back over leaning north peak by going around the west side on a little trail.

When we got back to tree line it was around 2pm and I was sure that all the snow we were able to walk on top of earlier that day would be slush and we would posthole all the way down because this was a very hot day. It got into the 80's in the nearby town of Cuchara. To my pleasant surprise going down was about the same as going up. I couldn't believe it.

Anyway, hope this helps. pm me with any questions.

Thumbnails for uploaded photos (click to open slideshow):

Comments or Questions
Thanks mikefromcraig
06/01/2011 18:41
This information is great. Maybe that wind blew away some of the snow! Hoping to hike these
this weekend.

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