Laboring in the Weminuche: Rock Lake 13ers – by Ben Conners

  • Mount Oso (13,684′)
  • Irving Peak (13,218′)
  • Peters Peak (13,122′)
  • UN 13,222 A
  • “P 3” (13,300′)
  • “P 2” (13,302′)
  • “Mount Soso” (13,417′)
  • UN 13,310
  • UN 13,340

When: September 1 – 5, 2017
Where: Weminuche Wilderness

Laboring in the Weminuche: Rock Lake 13ers – by Ben Conners

Wandering the Southern Weminuche

Peaks:¬†Sheridan Mountain¬†(12,795′), Sheep Mountain D (13,070′), Point 13,105′ (aka “Peak 22”), Emerson Mountain – West (aka “Peak 21” – 13,085′), Emerson Mountain – East (13,140′)
Date: July 17, 2017
Where: Weminuche Wilderness
Trailhead:¬†Endlich Mesa (11,600′)
Distance:  ~ 17 miles
Elevation Gain:  ~ 5,000 ft.
Participants: solo
Time: 9 hours

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A Return to Chicago Basin

Peaks:¬†Jupiter Mountain (13,830′), Windom Peak (14,082′), Sunlight Peak (14,059′), Mount Eolus (14,083′), North Eolus (14,039′)
Dates: July 2-3 2016
Trailhead:¬†Purgatory Flats (8,740′)
Distance: ~ 40 miles
Elevation Gain:¬†~ 11,000′
Time: 36 hours
Group: Andrea Sansone, Andrew Hamilton, Charlie Nuttelman, Danielle Joy, Elizabeth Stevens, Dillon Sarnelli

My first trip into Chicago Basin was in the summer of 2013. Back then the objective was simple. Check off Colorado’s 4 most remote 14ers and make it safely back to the train in one piece. By all accounts the¬†weekend was a success, but one thing was certain. I’d be back in the Wemi sooner than later. Over the years that followed I’ve made¬†good on that promise, with each trip a constant reminder that¬†the¬†Weminuche, the granddaddy of all Colorado’s wildernesses, is hands down¬†in a class all by itself.

Recently¬†I had the privilege of sitting next to Elizabeth Stevens and Ryan Kushner at dinner during our annual reunion with the Jansen family. At the time Elizabeth mentioned she had 15 or so 14ers remaining and could use some partners¬†as Ryan would be off in Pakistan for 2 months climbing something I can’t even try to pronounce. ūüôā Not being one to ever really turn down a Wemi trip, I gladly accepted the invitation.

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Taj’s Day Off

Life moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it.

Peaks:¬†Spencer Peak (13,087′), Grand Turk (13,160′), Sultan Mountain (13,373′)
Date: October 24, 2015
Trailhead: Little Molas Lake
Distance: ~ 9 miles
Elevation Gain: ~ 4,000 ft.
Participants: Taj, Dillon Sarnelli

Route Overview (click to enlarge).
A winter Wemi wonderland. Grand Turk (L) and Spencer Peak (R) in the foreground from the summit of Sultan Mountain. Background – Wemipalooza.

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