- Date Hiked: August 9, 2005
- Miles Hiked: 10.6
- Elevation Gain: 4,364'
- Hiking Partner(s): Thomas
Milinowicz, Nolan Parson
- The next few reports are a result of a weeklong
road trip to the central San Juan Mountains around Lake City, Colorado.
Although the following hikes didn’t contain any difficult
technical climbing, I did manage to have some fun on the continental
divide near San Luis and finish the last 20’ of Wetterhorn via a more
direct route. This trip was
really more a test of endurance and stamina.
I had never attempted anything like it before, so I was
interested to see how my body would react and how I would perform over
five straight days of hiking. In
addition, managing my diabetes over an extended period of time hiking
was also going to be a challenge.
- I was pleasantly surprised with the results and
can honestly say I felt pretty much the same on day five as I did on day
one. My blood sugars
bounced around a bit more than usual, but I was generally able to avoid
any severe hypoglycemia attacks. All
but one day of these hikes were with an old climbing partner from Idaho,
Dan Robbins. By keeping our
breaks, slowing the pace, and taking care of ourselves on the trail, Dan
and I were able to hike efficiently for an extended period of time and
really enjoy ourselves despite the somewhat strenuous schedule.
When it was all said and done, I covered 44.1 miles and 20,258’
during my time in the San Juans.
I was going to be in my vehicle quite a bit over the next few days, I
decided to reach back into the archives and pull out some of the new
classics of 80's hair bands. The tape player in my Trooper still
works, so I ended up listening to Motley Crue, Bon Jovi, Poison, Skidrow,
Cinderella, Def Lepard, AC/DC, Aerosmith, Warrant, Trixter, Fire House,
Guns & Roses, etc. etc.
- I started the trip with San Luis Peak.
Tom, a co-worker of mine, and I had planned on meeting at the
Equity Mine Trailhead the night before our attempt.
Nolan simply rolled out of his vehicle the same time as we did
the following morning and accepted an invitation to ride with us the
final 1.6 miles to the 4WD parking area above the mine.
The three of us made our way to the saddle at 12,300’ above the
Colorado Trail where we caught our first views of San Luis.
- I quickly said goodbye for the time being and
started southeast towards Point 13100 while Tom and Nolan descended to
the trail. Although a false
summit, Point 13100 has a huge cairn on it.
I continued southeast and noticed that Point 13285 has two large
cairns, neither one at the actual summit.
From this ranked 13er, the fun really began.
You change directions and descend northeast towards soft ranked
Point 13180. The climbing
between these two points is definitely the most difficult of the route.
If I dropped off the ridge, it was to the south.
I finally made it to Point 13180 after a couple of difficult
moves and rested for the remainder of the hike.
- I continued northeast skirting Point 12935 on its
south side. This section of
the hike was mellow with the exception of a hundred feet below Point
13155. Again, I dropped off
the south side of the ridge when I needed to.
As I circled around the large blocky formation atop the summit, I
found the short scramble that would take me to the summit.
From Point 13155, I looked across the saddle at 12,620’ and
viewed my remaining peak for the day.
I could see Tom and Nolan approximately half way up San Luis.
- Dropping to the saddle, I started climbing the
1,500’ of the south ridge. Although
this was my longest ascent section of the hike, I actually felt fairly
strong as I got into a good rhythm.
Prior to this extended leg, my body couldn’t figure out what I
was doing and I had a somewhat difficult time adjusting to the ups and
downs. I made the summit
about 15 minutes behind Tom and Nolan, just as the weather was making a
turn for the worse. It took me 4 hours and 30 minutes to summit, I
spent 20 minutes on top, and our descent was 2 hours and 25 minutes.
- We took a few quick photos and met Rick Lutz,
another 14erworld.com member from Virginia.
Rick had just recently hiked Mount of the Holy Cross with Steve Hoffmeyer.
We decided it was a good idea to scram and quickly descended the
south ridge and took the Colorado Trail back to the saddle at 12,300’.
We experienced some rain and sleet on the way out, but nothing
too serious. Tom and I
checked out Clear Creek Falls on our way to Lake City, Colorado where we
ate at Poker Alice’s.
here to view a 2D
map of the area where this hike is located.