Peak(s):  Huron Peak  -  14,006 feet
Date Posted:  01/21/2013
Modified:  01/22/2013
Date Climbed:   01/18/2013
Author:  SnowAlien
Additional Members:   fepic1, SurfNTurf, BenfromtheEast
 The Sawatch Beauty   

Route: Standard summer route (Northwest Slopes) from Winfield
Distance: ~11 miles
Elevation gain: ~3,800 feet
Time: 7.30am to 4pm (8.5 hours)
Participants: Jeff (SurfnTurf), Ben (BenFromtheEast), John (fepic1), Natalie (nkan02)

It has been a mild (ok - snowless) winter so far and there were numerous reports that Winfield TH has been accessible. After several false starts to attempt the peak in the last couple of weeks, the day was picked, and the crew congregated at the CR 390 turnoff the morning of. I was relieved to see that John was driving a big pickup truck that would get us to the TH in case the road gets rough, but my Subaru made it to Winfield on its own without any major problems. After our attempt to drive any further than 0.2 miles past Winfield in John's truck was quickly abandoned, we regrouped, geared up and finally started hiking the road around 7.30am. It was a brisk morning (-1F at 6am), but we expected a beautiful blue bird day with mild winds.

Jeff in the early morning light - switching from microspikes to snowshoes less than a mile in

The Apostles - we got a word that a much more ambitious crew were attempting them on the very same day. Tough peaks in winter, or in any season for that matter.

Heading uphill near the end of the tree line

John, Ben and Jeff heading up & up

Higher in the basin (near 12k), a previously sizable snowshoe trench has petered out to a lone snowshoe track. We were hoping to see an owner at some point in the day, but never had a chance to say hello. The track seemed to go in the right direction though, so we proceeded.

Ben and Jeff in the upper basin

Soon thereafter, Jeff, Ben and John decided to abandon their snowshoes and switched back to microspikes. I decided to keep mine for traction, as during the early morning gear transition from car to car, I managed to leave out my microspikes. Soon it became clear that snowshoes were needed more for floatation than for traction, as without them, the post-holing commenced!

John, Jeff and Ben are putting in extra effort to make it work without snowshoes

The upper basin

The views

Postholing finally stopped and people were able to start walking normally

Missouri, Bel/Ox and Harvard from the saddle

The final ridge to the summit

John is celebrating reaching the summit ~12pm

John on the summit

Ben is approaching Huron summit. Browns peak in the background.

Natalie on the summit (photo credit - John)

Jeff is goofing off on the summit

The amazing summit views from Huron. It is a beautiful thing.

North-facing couloirs look nicely filled

I don't have a summit picture of Ben, as he was too sad from dropping his lunch (a big chunk of the summer sausage) into the said couloir. I am just happy that he did not drop my camera there as well. Jeff basically pulled Ben from the brink of the abyss as it looked like he may try to follow his lunch. Ben, take heart - you'll make the day of some lucky marmot.

After goofing around and soaking in the views, we started the descent at about 1pm.

John is leading the way.

Brief glissading opportunities awaited

Huron Peak

Enjoying the views

Hiking out of the basin

Our snowshoe track appears to be windblown by early PM

Enjoying the day so far (L-R: Ben, Jeff, John)

Winter Apostles

Hiking out

My GPS Tracks on Google Maps (made from a .GPX file upload):

Comments or Questions
Record Launch
01/22/2013 06:26
Upon returning home, Ben and I were able to fly the singing sock puppet 33.6 feet. WORLD RECORD. Thanks for writing this awesome TR Natalie, and thanks to the whole crew for a great day out.

Summit Lounger
01/22/2013 15:01
Glad to see you finally got to the summit of Huron Natalie. Getting to the TH is sometimes the hardest part. Great job to the whole team.

Run away salami!
01/22/2013 15:03
Division of wildlife reported a world record big horn sheep
Was found at the bottom of Mt Huron Saturday.
It was apparently struck between the eyes
With a rather small salami traveling at a high rate of speed.
It was reported the f?cker come out of nowhere?
They are now looking for someone possibly missing a salami
Named Ben?
Great day everyone! Thank you Natalie for the trip
Report and great pictures. Winter summits are spectacular
Especially Huron!

I assume...
01/22/2013 16:50
...John held on to his salami? He usually does.

4 1/2 hour winter summit? That's pretty repectable. I heard some others spent 20 hours getting a peak from the same TH. On our way out, we saw the additional track-pack between the cars and the Huron turnoff and wondered if we knew the people who'd been there. Seems we did, however they'd managed to make the road longer. What had only been 2 miles at 4AM was 6 miles at 10:30PM.

How (and why) did you guys do that?


I Man
Great Job!
01/22/2013 17:53
Excellent report, Natalie. I am glad you decided to try Huron. It is a beautiful peak and we are lucky to take advantage of the current conditions.

Thanks for the shout was an ambitious plan for sure, and I still can't believe we got Steve to the top!

Hoping you have an enjoyable rest of the season!

One heck of a weekend Natalie!
01/22/2013 19:20
14er's! Ice climbing! I am jealous.

Looks like a great day out with a good group of people. fepic1 I hope we can get out again this Spring!

Congrats to all.

It's crazy....
01/22/2013 20:59 accessible Huron has become these past few winters. Pretty amazing to say the least.

Nice work trudging through the post-holing. Looks like it was a great day up there.

Oh, and congrats on the world record.

Thanks for the Beta.
01/22/2013 21:05
Great trip report Natalie.

Geez, for some people it takes a lifetime to get the 14ers in winter. Apparently Mr. Turf just needs a couple three day weekends!

This is what she said:
01/23/2013 00:11
”I should have eaten more of your sausage this morning.”

11 miles for Huron in winter?
01/26/2013 01:31
”Now that ain't workin'
That's the way you do it
Lemme tell ya them guys ain't dumb...”

I felt like we were movin' refrigerators and coulor TVs. Maybe it was the dehydration that day...

Nat, Jeff, Ben, John - Congrats! You guys is schmarter than ol' rocksforbrains. Nice way to wait out perfect conditions and go get it!

And beautiful report, Natalie!

Sausage comments
04/02/2015 19:45
are hilarious. ROFL. Thanks for the much needed laugh. Ben, just hang tighter to your lunch next time, whatever it is ;). And I didn't even touch upon the ”flying monkey” syndrome...Let's just say this was a fun outing.

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