Mount Kennedy via Lime Mesa

Peak: Mount Kennedy (13,125′)
Date: November 3, 2019
Where: Weminuche Wilderness
Trailhead: (not quite) Lime Mesa (11,040′)
Distance: ~14 miles
Elevation Gain: ~3,000′
Participants: solo
Time: 9 hours

It’s been a long time since I’ve regularly written trip reports. Not sure why that is. Life moves fast! Well, here’s another.

Back in 2017 I hit Endlich Mesa on 2 separate outings, but I’ve never quite made it over to Lime Mesa until this past weekend. I also think this might be my first successful trek into the Weminuche this late in the year, “successful” being the key word.

One note on the Lime Mesa TH. I didn’t actually ever get to the Lime Mesa TH. You don’t actually have to to ever get to the Lime Mesa TH. Your vehicle will thank you for not ever actually getting to the Lime Mesa TH. You don’t even have to slog the last 2 miles on foot to the trailhead. Instead, lose your vehicle at about mile 24 when the road starts to eat it, walk a little further to the hairpin turn (see below), and then begin your journey northeast from there. There’s a solid trail that will eventually link you back up with the Lime Mesa trail and this method might even be shorter.

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Route overview.
Lime Mesa is up there. I kept the cliff band on my right as I meandered through the trees on a good trail (when I could see it). Above treeline this trail eventually meets up with the Lime Mesa trail in the vicinity of a large cairn.
I eventually left the Lime Mesa trail at this fork. I believe hanging a left here and continuing on the Lime Mesa trail, you’d end up at Ruby Lake. Right sends you up to the pass at 12,500′. Go right.
The top of the pass at 12,500′. It’s steeper than it looks. The remainder of the journey in full view. Eolus, Sunlight, Windom, Jupiter, Kennedy, Aztec (L to R), to name a few. For reference, Kennedy is the peak, middle right, with it’s false summit (L) dry and true summit (R) slightly snow covered. The knob of Aztec is seen behind Kennedy (R).
Ruby Lake (11,900′), a few hundred feet below.
A look back at the pass @ 12,500′.
Kennedy (R) and a few bumps along the way.
A bird’s eye view into Chicago Basin from Kennedy’s western ridge. Where is everyone? 🙂
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Kennedy’s true summit from it’s false summit.
Summit of Mount Kennedy (13,125′) – November 3, 2019 – Pigeon, Turret, and Co. (L)
Summit of Mount Kennedy (13,125′) – November 3, 2019 – Chicago Basin all around.
T. Rex, smile.
Doing my best T. Rex impression.
Nap time.
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Summit of Mount Kennedy (13,125′) – November 3, 2019
This is the route over to Aztec. I’ve seen a few YouTube videos. That ridge isn’t exactly dog friendly. I’ll be back.
The pass is way out there on the left so it’s probably time to get moving!
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A few hours later.

Thanks for reading and I hope you’re all enjoying the fall!

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Let’s Go PSU!

One thought on “Mount Kennedy via Lime Mesa

  1. Hey man, excellent write up. I actually worked for CFI (colorado fourteeners initiative) in Chicago basin in 2016, we rerouted the Eolus summit trail between twin lakes and the head of the basin as you climb up towards the catwalk. Stunning area, haven’t read too much of your other stuff but I will now! Aztec, Jupiter, Glacier Point, Twin Thumb, peak Eleven and Peak 18 were all fun climbs. When we got tired of taking the train to our basecamp we’d come up via Stag Mesa, there’s a dirt road that connects to it, not sure it saves any mileage as opposed to Lime Mesa but it certainly feels wild. Always looking forward to getting back into the Weminuche! PS: T-Rex is a very wise-looking dog.


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