The bridge across the Animas River at Cascade.
The mighty Animas River at Cascade.
Beautiful tall aspens along the Animas River trail.
Dwight and I take a seldom traveled route up New York basin to treeline nearby popular Chicago Basin. This proves to be the toughest bushwack I have ever done!
We follow the creek for awhile, which isn't bad.
Columbine, the state flower of CO.
Dwight negotiates an old snow bridge.
We are forced out of the creek bed by waterfalls and choose the south side and pay the price with 40 pound packs on!
Are we really traversing this?
Yes indeed. Sidehilling on loose rock with branches poking you along the way. It is very strenuous!
We are wiped out as we approach treeline and finally settle at camp near 11K at nearly 7pm.
Turret lords over New York basin.
Peak Fifteen, Sixteen, and Little Finger left to right just above camp. Fifteen is considered one of the most dangerous 13ers in CO. It is our goal for the day.
Peak 16 and Little Finger on the short approach from camp. The standard route to 15 and 16 is via the deeply inset couloir.
View up from near the base of the couloir. Near the bottom, there was some snow. We opted to climb up the face to the left, but got cliffed out.
We decide to bail on the summit as we both don't feel right about weather and some routefinding delays that we encountered. Dwight has already done it, and I'll come back on a better day!
A rarely seen view of n.w. face of 14er Eolus.
We descend into Ruby Creek basin from the Little Finger saddle. The couloir holds some snow halfway down. It's about 30 degree snow. We both have to self arrest near the bottom.
Peak 12 is the consolation prize for me, the only walkup 13er in Ruby Basin. I climb it late in the afternoon as the weather holds.
The sheer n.w. face of North Eolus.
Nearing the summit of Peak 12, which has some minor scrambling.
The east face of Monitor from Peak 12.
Centennial 13er Jagged Peak from Peak 12.
North Eolus from camp at the head of Ruby Basin.
Peak 13 and Monitor from camp. We will climb these later in the trip.
Bi-centennial 13er Animas from camp.
The north ridge of Turret on day 2.
Bob Dawson's group silhouetted against the sheer east face of Pigeon.
Centennial Pigeon from the Turret saddle. Pigeon was the highest unclimbed peak in CO for me.
The slog up steep grass on the n.w. face of Pigeon.
Brian on the steep grass approach to the upper mountain.
Lots of loose ledges to negotiate near the summit, but not as loose as many San Juan peaks.
Typical class 3 climbing near the summit of Pigeon.
Mike on the airy summit block of Pigeon.
Bob's group heading down.
Brian, Mike, Kevin, and Sarah on the summit of Pigeon. The two summit blocks are very close to the same height.
Looking about 2,300 feet down to our tents below. Unfortunately, you have to circle all the way around the mountain to get back down!
The loose descent, although there is a faint trail in sports.
One of the re-climb sections back to the Turret saddle.
Turret is our next goal for the day. The weather is fabulous.
The steep west face of Turret. The route goes up the ridge from left to right and can be kept at a few moves of class 3.
Pigeon from the summit of Turret. Notice the huge gap in the face, which must have been a sight to behold when the section broke loose!
Peak 15 from the summit of Turret.
A profile of the Catwalk between Eolus and N. Eolus.
Jagged from Turret.
Alpenglow on Monitor as we approach the north ridge.
Alpenglow on the Pigeon group.
Sustained 3rd/4th class scrambling on the north ridge of Monitor.
Looking north to Peak 13 and Animas from Monitor.
Pigeon group again from Monitor with the shadow of Monitor and Peak 13.
Sunrise over Jagged.
Mike and Brian negotiate a tricky downclimb.
Brian scrambling up "kitty litter" gravel to skirt underneath a tower.
Looking back at the north ridge of Monitor.
Brian heading up to a north at the base of Peak 13's south face. We weren't sure if it would go.
We ended up taking a wide ledge about halfway across the south face. An exposed 4th class chimney climb brought us to easier terrain, but it was very loose.
Animas from Peak 13. The route up Animas primarily stays below the ridge on the right out on the s.w. face.
Fun scrambling awaits on Animas. We found the rock to be more stable on this peak.
Mostly 3rd and 4th class climbing on Animas, with one avoidable low 5th class chimney.
Brian climbs an exposed block just below the summit.
Peak 13 and Monitor from Animas.
Arrow and Vestal from Animas.
Beautiful Ruby Lake along the notoriously rugged Ruby Basin trail. It is a huge pain to get around this lake.
The Animas River at last at Needleton! I caught the train with about 30 minutes to spare.
Brian got separated from Mike and I and ended up doing a heinous bushwack across several ridges to the Animas. He made it down with 10 minutes to spare!