Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Huron Peak- A Group Effort

Huron Peak- 14,003' - TMC 2013 trip - 6/28 - 6/29

3400' Elevation gain, 7.0 miles RT

Since 2008 the TMC has had a tradition of climbing 14ers with an ever changing group of team members. In 2010, it was Mt. Elbert. In 2011, it was Sunshine, Redcloud, and Handies. In 2012 it was Uncompahgre and Wetterhorn. This year we decided to stick a little closer to home with this gem in the Sawatch mountains. The Sawatch have a reputation as "ugly" and boring, but I rarely find this to be the case. Exhibit A- Huron Peak. It's about 25 miles outside BV, at the end of a road that gets increasingly rough, until only high-clearance 4x4 vehicles are comfortable on the trail. Eventually it dumps you off in a pristine remote valley above 10,500'.

Early evening shot SW of our campsite, a nice view for sure!

No fire during a fire ban
We all got there before sunset, so we readied our tents and equipment; then kicked back with a beer while swarms of underfed mosquitos hassled us. Scott L decided nothing would be better than pure 100% DEET, which seemed to work well. We all retired to our nylon fortresses around 9PM, anticipating the 4:45 chorus of electronic roosters. Our plan was to hit the trail at 5:30 AM; just as it was getting light out.

"DANK" beer, full of hops
I ran to fetch my camera when I saw the sunset
 Another sunset photo

Rob Ladewig doesn't sleep in, ever. And he wasn't about to have his group climbing up a 14er in a thunderstorm. This is why Rob had us all on the trail by 5:30 AM. An eager and excited group started up on the trail, the first group of the day.

The hikers starting out (SZL)

Alpenglow across the basin (SZL)

Great views from early on the trail (SZL)

Grouping up near the trailhead (SZL)

Glorious view of the summit (SZL)

Shawn and Richard take a quick break (SZL)

Nice little meadow around 12,000'

Colors explode when Silver drinks water

Not a bad morning

Last 1000'! (SZL)

A look down as we get high up on the mountain
That is LaPlata Peak in the center, my parents climbed it!
Scott sprints off ahead while I snap photos

Kerry climbs up the final pitch! (SZL)

Bethany tops out on Huron Peak!

Mike Wells tops out!

Scott Silver taking a break, soaking it all in
The Iron Man (Rob Ladewig) tops out
Scott Lowery and Kerry Fessendon hitting the summit

Richard Willey and Shawn Bailey crash the party
Mike Howington! Wow Mike you sure are TAN.
Richard Willey, Bethany Johns, Debbi Johns, Steve Johns, Rob Ladewig, Scott Lowery, Kerry Fessenden, Scott Silver, Shawn Bailey, Dan Kesterson, Mike Wells (L to R)
Not pictured (but did summit): Mike Howington, Bill Leonard, Holly Leonard. These folks were right behind us be we were a little impatient with the gathering clouds (you can see rain falling in the next pic). Fortunately for everyone, the weather held up for us until we made it to the relative safety of our vehicles.

Scott downs the ceremonial "Summit Beer" (SZL)

Awesome view of the Three Apostles

Scott and Kerry :)
Looking down near the top, fairly steep rocks and dirt. I didn't think it was too bad.

Heading Down, Scott and Kerry take a break

Alpine Flowers

The grassy switchbacks above the meadow on the way down

Back at the campsite
 It was the biggest group we've ever had (15), and we all had a great time in the Collegiate Peaks Wilderness. With this hike Scott and myself "graduated" from the Collegiate Peaks by completing all of them.


  1. Hey Dan,

    GREAT writeup - I enjoyed reading - what a fun trip and awesome you guys make these outings.

    Am thinking of doing Huron in the near future with my 15 year old son and have two hopefully easy questions:

    1. How 4WD'ish is that road once you pass the 2WD trailhead. I've read that only high-clearance 4WD can make it ... and others have said it's no problem as long as you take it easy. I have a Subaru Outback - doable?

    2. That campsite look awesome - care to share where that is?

    alek AT komar.org

    P.S. Would have Email'ed you, but didn't see a contact on the Blog - no luck Googl'ing either.

  2. 1) You can do that with an outback, although there is one tough spot. Otherwise you'll have to hike in an extra 1 mile or so. I saw some people in a Nissan Murano.

    2) The campsite is on the left (east?) side of the road about 100 yards before the trailhead parking lot.