We started at 4:50am heading up the Hua Temple Footpath. I've been up Spanish Creek a few times and this is how I've always gone. There's another way up a perhaps private road not far away but this is how I know it. Also, ironically, the last time I climbed the Prow was on Saturday, July 17th, 2004. Weird.
First crossing, of six, of the Spanish Creek
First view of the Prow.
It's only about 4 miles to the start of the Prow. Here we are in the old burn area with loads of downed trees.
Nightmare! The mosquitoes were the worst I've ever encountered. Seriously. And I've spent time in the Sierras, Wind Rivers and Alaska. We'd stop for ten seconds and immediately be completely swarmed. If you go up there soon, take bug juice.
Allison's smiling because we are finally high enough to be rid of the mosquitoes.
The Prow. The climbing starts at the steep overhang in the lower left. That's the 5.8 crux of the route. Then, route finding is easy. Just stay on the prow. The first two pitches end at the top of the large tower.
Anna finishing the scrambling to the base of the route.
Mark belays George up the first pitch. I've always gone left at the huge white cobble above the roof. Apparently it goes either way.
Fritz seconding the first pitch
Fritz high on the first pitch
A nice, large ledge at the top of pitch 1 is 61 meters from the start of the route. Slightly unfortunate but it works out.
Allison was all smiles mostly because the climbing was badass but partly because...no mosquitos up here!
The third pitch involves a short downclimb from the tower and then over and up. Cool stuff.
Allison DCs the tower
Fun cruising now. After the first two pitches, the rock angle backs off and it's low fifth class climbing on great rock.
Heading up the fourth pitch. After pitch three I soloed up with the rope for each pitch and then would hip belay Allison up. We moved very efficiently this way.
Allison at the top of the fourth pitch. After this, we coiled up the rope and cruised the lower angle rock to KC Avenue.
At KC Avenue. It was a gorgeous day.
Directly above where we intersect KC Ave., is one final 100 foot pitch to the summit. Roach suggests descending down and left to the KC-Challenger saddle and then climbing up but that's silly. Stay direct. It's about 5.5 and quite fun.
Allison at the top of the last pitch.
Approaching the summit. It was a busy day up there. Mark and George had been there at least 30 minutes before we arrived and were just chillin'
From the summit of KC we could see Daniel topping out on the fourth pitch (?)
Enjoying the beautiful and quite warm day on the summit of Kit Carson Peak.
A great morning for just hanging out.
Looking down at Willow Lake and high 13er Mount Adams back there. Apparently the mosquitoes were just as bad down there as they were in Spanish Creek.
After hanging out on the summit for 30 minutes or so, we started down the standard ascent route. That's 14er Humboldt far right.
Looking up KC ave with the Prow making the skyline. Mark, George and Allison continued the descent into Spanish Creek from here. I went back up the ave. to meet Daniel and Anna to climb the last pitch again with them to the summit.
Daniel and Anna on the last bit of the Prow. Both are in this photo. Can you spot them?
Daniel finishing it off.
Anna and Daniel cruising the final 5.5 pitch to the summit.
I had run out of water but found this great little spring coming out of the mountain while we descended. Yum.
Anna on the descent of the south couloir route on KC
Back into the nastiness. Mosquito Zone sucked. We all just hauled ass as much as possible to get the hell out of there.
Back at the TH around 4pm. It was an 11 hour RT day of 11 miles and 6,100' of ascent. Time for ice cream and then beer at the SLV Bewing Co. in Alamosa and then home.