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.

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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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Exploring the Neighborhood – Pagosa Peak

Over the weekend I jumped in the car and headed for the cabin in Pagosa. I didn’t know what the plan would be given the forecast. Didn’t care. Worst case scenario I’d sit in a hammock all weekend, beer in hand, and catch a few sunsets. If I’m being totally honest, I really just wanted to test the new hammock. 🙂

Pagosa Peak had taunted me for all of 2015. I googled it a few times, but info was limited. Coming from Denver I had a hard time just figuring out the forest roads. Not to mention I wanted to hit it in winter and didn’t know whether or not that was even logistically possible. What could one see from up there I wondered?

Peak: Pagosa Peak (12,640′)
Where: Weminuche Wilderness
Participants: solo

  • August 7, 2016 – “Standard” route via the 2WD summer “trailhead” (8,700′): 11.5 miles, 4,000′ gain. (FYI – From the 4WD trailhead (10,170′): 3.5 miles, 2,500′ gain)
  • February 28, 2016 – From the winter road closure (8,200′), then standard route: 16.5 miles, 4,500′ gain.
Route Overview – winter and summer. (Click to Enlarge)

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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. 🙂 Not being one to ever really turn down a Wemi trip, I gladly accepted the invitation.

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