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Sangre de Cristo mountains


John B
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Was able to get in a first high altitude climb of a Colorado peak of the season this past Friday (Cinco de Mayo!).  Hunt's peak is 13,071 and at the very north end of the Sangre de Cristo mountains of Colorado (about 10 miles south of Salida).  Met my friend Ed from the Denver area Thursday morning after driving from my home in Montrose.  The Sangre de Cristo's are usually one of the earliest of the Colorado ranges to melt out and enable climbs of the higher peaks--also almost exactly halfway between my home and the Denver metro/front range area.   After our rendevous in poncha springs, we drove 10 miles south to our forest service access road just off US 285.  We were able to drive to 9350 feet before a fallen tree across the 4wd road barred further progress.  We hiked from there to our campsite at 10,450--campsite was in the middle of a burned area from forest fire in 2013.  Had to camp in the midst of burned out pine trees--not our preference, but no choice.  We were up early on Friday, left camp a bit before 7am, summitted at 9:15am under perfect cloudless blue Colorado skies--could not have asked for better weather.  We had a few snow patches at our camp, ran into a few more on our climb to Hunt's north approach ridge, but didn't need either snowshoes or gaiters.  After enjoying a stay at the summit and expansive views in all directions, back to camp by 11am, back to our vehicles by noon, and enjoyed lunch in Salida.  Awesome hike and climb!! Total RT of 6.5 miles and 3700 of vertical.  Below are some pictures, also see this link for all photos:  pix.sfly.com/u6mZwP5Z

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Awesome! That looks like it was a lot of fun. I'd love to visit there at some point. All the pictures I've seen make it look like an incredible place.

I'd be interested in your gear list if you wouldn't mind sharing it.

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22 minutes ago, Outlier said:

Awesome! That looks like it was a lot of fun. I'd love to visit there at some point. All the pictures I've seen make it look like an incredible place.

I'd be interested in your gear list if you wouldn't mind sharing it.

Are you wondering about my gear list for just this trip?

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2 minutes ago, John B said:

Are you wondering about my gear list for just this trip?

Yes. I'm curious what you took and how much it weighed considering you were in snow and likely had varying temperatures.

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38 minutes ago, Outlier said:

Yes. I'm curious what you took and how much it weighed considering you were in snow and likely had varying temperatures.

Here's the brief list:

Osprey kestrel 58L pack, 17 degree mummy down sleeping bag, Nemo 4 season single wall tent, REI flash sleeping pad (R 3.7), first aid kit, repair kit, 2 liters of water, toiletry kit, misc gear, sunscreen, camera.  Those are major items, won't list all other small items.  However, clothing as follows: nylon hiking pants, light shell, winter shell,  gaiters (didn't need them), glove liners, heavy gloves, balaclava, fleece headband, ballcap, sunglasses.   Total packed weight was 29 pounds.

Took snowshoes with me but left them in my vehicle after getting a closer look at snowpack.  Took gaiters up to campsite but left them at camp on summit day.

Hope that helps?

Edited by John B
forgot a couple of equipment items
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Thanks. Looks like a good list and it suited you well for the trip. I wasn't sure if you packed a lot of heavier clothing items for the colder temperatures but it looks like it was a pretty even list. I'll keep this in mind as I get closer to planning a similar trip.

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FYI--the forecast was for low of 32 at 10,500 for Thursday night, and high of 56 on Friday for the same elevation.  I was pretty sure didn't need as much as I brought.  My buddy used his 3 season tent, I used my 4 season tent but didn't need it.  Also had my bag liner in addition to my 17 degree sleeping bag.  Didn't need the liner either.  Was willing to carry 29 pounds for the backup/safety's sake.

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  • 2 weeks later...
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Aaron Zagrodnick

Looks like a really great trip John, thanks for sharing!

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