Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Spring Mountain

Sunday and Monday were some easygoing play days.

Spring Mountain (13,244')
~10.0 miles
~4,200' gain
~7 hour RT

After Saturday's hike, I slept like a baby in the back of my jeep.  So much so that I didn't even hit the trail on Sunday until 9:00.

Original plan was to do a counter-clockwise loop:  Comanche Trail to Comanche Peak, Spring Mountain, Venable Peak, and back on the Venable Trail.  I wasn't sure if this was feasible, as the valley portion of Saturday's hike gave me more postholing fun than you can shake a stick at.  Sure enough, I saw what appeared to be continuous snow coverage on the Comanche Trail starting at about 10,600'.  I immediately turned right and gained Spring Mountain's loooooong east ridge.

Horn Peak.  Snow covering the north-facing headwall into the Hiltman Creek basin
At about 11,100' on the ridge, I found this abandoned cabin.  Unlike other ones, this cabin had no visible trails leading to or fro.  There were some sizable new trees growing inside the cabin.  When I finally did find a faint trail leading away from the cabin, it was so faint I couldn't imagine many people had been here in the past 50 years or so.  A hunting cabin, perhaps?

Middle-of-nowhwere bed and breakfast

A few snow climbs?
 The final pitch to the top of Spring Mountain was a little more engaging than anything else I had encountered during the day.
The fun class 2+ summit pitch leading to Spring Mountain
I got some bad news once I topped out on Spring.  My original plan to circle up and around Venable, then take the southerly-exposed Venable Trail back.  The view below convinced me that finding a way back might be challenging.  With some clouds building and the Hiltman Creek basin to the south snowed in fairly well, I opted instead to punt and head back the way I came.

Boo.  Coulda been done with axe and 'pons.
I got back to the TH around 4 and high-tailed it for Salida.  I booked a night at the Simple Lodge Hostel in Salida, showered up, and devoured an entire large pizza for the second night in a row at Moonlight Pizza.  


  1. These aren't 14ers, why would you bother with them?

  2. I read your comment a few minutes ago, so I quick did one and blogged about it.

  3. Venable Lakes... awesome cutthroat fishing.