Peak:  Cuatro Peak (13er)
 Route:  South Ridge
 Range:  Sangre de Cristo
 Posted By:  12ersRule
 Date of Info:  05/23/2020
 Date Posted:  05/26/2020

Saturday, May 23:
Mt Maxwell 13,335
Cuatro Peak 13487
âœLeaning South Peak❠13203
âœLeaning North Peak❠13100
Trinchera Peak 13517
âœEnglish Saddle❠12955
14.5 miles, 4800ft

Left Fort Collins around 2am. Arrived at Purgatoire Campground at 6:30am. Met Paula and Jon at 7am at the trailhead. Drove up to 11,000ft on 4wd road, FS437. Probably the furthest you can get right now is 11400ft.

1st peak was Mt Maxwell - road ends around 11800ft, and then there is a climbers trail up to tundra at 12000ft. Then, it's mostly tundra until 13000ft, then there is a little bit of route finding to do. It's probably just rough class 2 overall. Summit is technically on private land, so we just tagged the summit and then hung out on the leeward/northeast side. Paula and Jon decided they were done at Maxwell, so they turned around back the way they came, and I headed north on the ridge to Cuatro.

2nd peak - Cuatro. There was a little route finding on this one. I started out east of the south ridge, but then was forced to stay on the ridge thanks to cliffs. It was mostly solid, I kept the climbing at class 3. Was a relief to top out though, as it was getting pretty windy.

Heading to âœLeaning South Peak❠was pretty straightforward except a snowfield encountered near the saddle of Cuatro/âLeaning Southâ. I avoided the snow field to the west because I had no ice ax and even though the runout on the field was good, I felt that I could generate enough speed on the hard snow to really mess myself up.

Wind between âœLeaning South Peak❠and âœLeaning North Peak❠was unbelievable. I lost my favorite winter hat when it blew right off my head. I ended up going with my buff and ski goggles the rest of the ridge and that kept things slightly less obnoxious.

The south slopes of Trinchera were straightforward. I just took my time and stopped a lot when the gusts got really bad. North slopes of Trinchera, I mostly stuck to the ridge. There was one rough section of 100-150 feet of broken rock to negotiate. It might be class 2+, I definitely used my hands in spots to balance.

Last peak of the day, âœEnglish Saddle❠was an easy add-on had the wind not been ridiculous in spots. I tried to head out a little more east on the slopes to protect from the wind.

To descend, I went straight down from âœEnglish Saddle❠to a road between Blue Lake Campground and a mine right under Trinchera. Lots of snow on the road from 11800ft to 11200ft, when I met up with FT1309 which took me back to the Purgatoire TH after 4 miles.

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