Peak:  "Phoenix Peak" (13er)
 Route:  Southwest Ridge from Phoenix Park
 Range:  San Juan
 Posted By:  Carl_Healy
 Date of Info:  12/05/2020
 Date Posted:  12/05/2020

Parked at least a mile below "2WD Trailhead" for Phoenix Park, right at turn off for "Outlet Mine," thanks to ice. Though 4WD vehicles could have likely made it further.
The 4WD road seems to hardly be a 4WD road... Need some serious equipment to get up there (and a couple of downed trees were in the way.)

My partner and I trenched with snowshoes from basically the start of the 4WD road, though they perhaps weren't seriously needed until we cut South across the creek at Phoenix Park. From that point on snow ranged from knee deep to waist deep until just above treeline.
Unfortunately this route appears to have a significant portion of it follow North-ish facing slopes on the side of a gully, which had all the deep and soft snow which was pretty tough to trench through. The other side is the gully (south-ish facing) was almost dry, and had me and my partner really wondering if there was a route there that would have worked better.

Above treeline the snow was soft in places and hard and easily climbable in others.
Approaching the final ridge to the summit almost all the snow was very hard and very easily climbable.
There were also patches of dry talus above treeline here there.

Photos (click for slideshow):
#1) Trenching through 4WD Road#2) Reaching the clearing of Phoenix Park#3) Trenching up the gully/valley South of Phoenix Park#4) Still trenching... Almost at treeline#5) Viewing the final part of the route#6) Reaching a false summit. Real summit (with cairn) visible.#7) Phoenix Peak summit#8) Working back through that gully on the way down.#9) Phoenix Park on the way down at the turnoff from the 4WD road.

Comments or Questions
It was a pleasure
12/06/2020 07:52
Thanks for helping trench that beast

Nice trench!
12/06/2020 18:33
Thank you both for your hard work trenching that out. Made my day

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