Peak(s):  Stewart Peak  -  13,983 feet
Baldy Alto  -  13,698 feet
Mt. Lamborn - 11396
Bent Peak  -  13,393 feet
Carson Peak  -  13,657 feet
Date Posted:  07/06/2011
Date Climbed:   07/04/2011
Author:  Matt
 Weekend in Pictures   

As the holiday weekend approached, my lack of planning left me with options galore.
It had been a long time since I'd had a multi-day solo trip, so I came up with a last-minute itinerary that afforded some alone time with nature, God, and my thoughts, but also provided a chance to experience some San Juan splendor with good friends before heading home.

I'm no Kimo, nor do I spend lots of time doctoring my photos. However, my muse is quiet today, so pictures will have to share what I saw, illustrate conditions, etc. Three of these peaks don't see much traffic, but I think they deserve to, and I hope these pics spark interest in those who'd enjoy them.

Day 1: Baldy Chato, Stewart Peak, Baldy Alto from Cebolla TH

~11 miles, 4000' gain
This was one of the most satisfying 24 hour spans that I can remember.
La Garita twilight


Cebolla TH sign

Looking up at Baldy Chato

Uncompahgre & Wetterhorn from Chato summit

Looking out at the San Juans

Next up, Stewart Peak

Looking back at Baldy Chato

San Luis Peak from Stewart

Strange bones

Herd of elk on the move

Looking down Nutras Creek (a different approach to Stewart)

Stewart Peak from Baldy Alto summit

The way back to Stewart

View from Baldy Alto summit

Farewell for now, La Garitas

Roach Guide
Trip reports, especially those by Scotthsu and Ridgerunner (thanks, you two!)

Day 2: Mt. Lamborn via Bell Canyon

~8 miles, 4100' gain
Mt. Lamborn is the Delta County Highpoint, and towers over the hamlet of Paonia. While "only" an 11er, 4k of gain in heat that reached 95 degrees had me sweating.

Mt. Lamborn seen from just outside Hotchkiss

Finally out of the canyon

Monster register, with entries back to 1946

Summit view

Summit view

Looking west

Lists of John Paonia quad Colorado trip report page

Day 3: Carson and Bent Peaks

~4 miles, 1600' gain
As I drove toward Ouray on 7/3, Wooderson informed me that snow conditions in Yankee Boy Basin were not favorable for our planned climb of Gilpin Peak. Over dinner in Montrose, we decided to take it easy on the holiday while still making the most of our time in the San Juans. We decided on these two peaks, with a bonus trip to check out the Carson Townsite on our way back down the Wager Gulch road. We piled into my truck and headed up a road that crosses the Continental Divide, but that anyone with low range and a little clearance can enjoy
Bent Peak

Rio Grande Pyramid from Bent's shoulder

Half Peak

Heading over to Carson Peak

Wetterhorn quad trio

Summitlounger's influence is strong

Carson Townsite


Refs (thanks to Papillon for suggesting this great combo):
Lists of John Pole Creek Mountain quad
Furthermore's TR here (all the rest must be on 14erworld)

Thanks for reading.

Thumbnails for uploaded photos (click to open slideshow):
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30

Comments or Questions
Chicago Transplant
Good stuff
07/06/2011 20:37
Nice group of peaks for the weekend. Carson looks like a cool ghost town, I'll have to check that one out sometime. Being in architecture, I love those old mine buildings! You should check out Animas Forks north of Silverton sometime.

Wow ...
07/06/2011 20:54
Great photos, Matt! I've found that Rio Grande Pyramid can be seen from many different vantage points ... nice angle for you in that picture. Love the Coxcomb, Redclif, Wetterhorn shot very much. I don't know ... sure does look like the work of Kimo to me. Way to lounge there, Wooderson! 8) I swear we saw that same elk herd between Stewart and Baldy Alto! Thanks for posting. Happy trails, my friend!

07/06/2011 21:51
Great photo journey, Matt. It was good to get out with you again and I look forward to the next one. Coney BM in 10 years? See how we've progressed or regressed? What was the name of that Chilean restaurant we ate at in Montrose Sunday night? Highly recommended...

re: Gilpin Peak

For the record, snow conditions were not good for a late night IPA pummel session and leisurely next day start time. Hence, our abandonment of YBB plans.

Nice San Juan weekend
07/06/2011 22:19
what more can I say whats already been said, looks like you had an enjoyable 72 hours. Bravo.

I concur...
07/07/2011 02:46
Photos are remarkable, particularly that last one from the townsite... very artsy. 8)

And Lamborn has a mighty impressive profile for a ”lowly” 11er. 4K vert in that heat sounds punishing!

Thanks again for driving us up that road for a couple of nice leisurely ascents.

not sure who that kimo guy is...
07/07/2011 04:38
...but your simple story and beautiful photos reflect the simplicity and purity found in hill walking. There are no death defying acts of bravery, no moments of terror, no half-baked bullsh*t, just wholesome adventure free of worry and care - the fantastic things we see when we put one foot in front of the other. In this crazy world, that kind of experience is priceless.

I esp like photos 1, 2, and the last.

07/07/2011 13:58
Lamborn looks good! Nice spread of peaks there Matt.

Thanks for the comments
07/07/2011 16:40
Mike-thanks again for the recommendation of the mill near Bonanza.

You've got me stopping to visit all kinds of structures now.
Presto-GB's was great. Hope the movie was good.
Brian-look fwd to the BBQ!
Pap/Woody-thanks for helping round out the weekend in style.
Kimo-I think we grok perspectives... We all ought to get out on a hike later this summer, no? I think Carson would be right up your alley.
SP-there are plenty of prom peaks out there. Let's get one soon.

07/08/2011 01:05
Nice report Matt. Stewart is one of my favorite cent's because of the solo experience I had on it, and it was roughly the same time of year as your day on it.
I look forward to hiking Carson Peak and others in the area. Thanks for posting!

07/11/2011 04:03
You didn't tell me Lamborn was what you were after. Please tell me you went to Zack's BBQ for the post-climb meal. If not, that's a wasted trip. Good stuff though.

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