Unnamed 13736, 4187m (13736 ft)
Mountain area: Sawatch Range, Colorado USA
Hiked: July 23, 2001
Maps: Nat'l Geographic #127 - Aspen/Independence Pass
Unnamed 13736 and Mt. Champion
Access (Colorado 82):
Please refer to the above books for more details and alternative routes
On the east side of Independence Pass on Colorado 82, at the bottom of the pass at 10,794ft, in the hairpin curve, exit onto a gravel road with a parking area immediately following
Follow the trail on the west side of North Fork Lake Creek until you reach the valley floor, surrounded by the continental divide. You are entering Mount Massive Wilderness. On your right side you have the summits of Unnamed 13736 and Mt. Champion (13646 ft). Either follow the trail until you reach an unnamed lake, and then climb the ridge southbound, or exit the trail before the northern end of Unnamed 13736. If you chose the latter option, you will have to cross the creek, and climb on the right side of the forest (through bushes). There is a natural opening in the ridge that you will aim for.
Once on the ridge, climb the wide ridge up to 13,000 ft. At 13,000 ft. you have the summit in clear view. As most of the continental divide summits in the rockies, the saddle up the summit is not a motorway. But still, it provides a safe climb all the way to the top. The prospect gave me an instant rush, though, before I started to walk and found the western side of the mountain not as steep as I anticipated.
From the summit, you can follow the southbound saddle over to Mt. Champion. I chose not to, as it started to rain as I hit the unnamed summit. Besides, I didn't feel to good, as usual in this altitude. I met a guy at the summit, and as it started to rain, he said "let's get the hell of the mountain". That definitely buried my plans of doing Mt. Champion.
I started from the trailhead 09:05AM, and reached the summit 11:30AM. The hike back to the trailhead only took an hour. I had good speed, and would recommend others to plan for more.
Great view towards Mt. Massive in the east, and the peak I hiked the day before, Twining Peak in the west. You see all the way to Snowmass from this peak. It is a shame it is unnamed, being the 133 highest in the state.
Pictures: (move cursor to read notes, and click on the images to see full version)
Other trail descriptions for this region: