Peak(s):  Hiamovi Mountain - 12395
Cooper Peak - 12296
Hiamovi Tower - 12220
Marten Peak - 12041
Mount Irving Hale - 11754
Date Posted:  07/15/2013
Modified:  07/17/2013
Date Climbed:   06/28/2013
Author:  Floyd
Additional Members:   kimo, astrobassman, lordhelmut, Chicago Transplant
 Cave Crawls, Back Belays, and IPAs in the IPW   

Peaks Climbed:
Mount Irving Hale 11,754 ft / Rank 1,437
Cooper Peak 12,296 ft / Rank 1,150
Marten Peak 12,041 ft / Rank 1,287
"Martenette" 11,361 ft / Rank 1,621
Hiamovi Tower 12,220 ft / Rank 1,189
Hiamovi Mountain 12,395 ft / Rank 1,074

Friday June 28th:
Colin Osborne and I set off from the Roaring Fork TH around 5 and made our way up to the Irving Hale saddle. I took a quick side trip to tag Irving Hale and enjoyed the views as sunset out to the west over Lake Granby. This would be Colin's second backpacking trip and so far he's' only visited the Gores and the west side of the IPW. That's not a bad resume' so far. Back at the saddle, the light off of the Apache massif highlighted the Mohling and Kasperov traverses but we were in a hurry to set up camp while we still had some daylight.
Irving Hale from the saddle

Lake Granby from Irving Hale

Apache as the sun sets. Lone Eagle pops in foreground.

The trail down to Stone Lake from the pass isn't in nearly as good of condition as the rest of the IPW network, but we found our way easily enough. Brian and Mike were supposed to come up in the middle of the night so we were concerned with their ability to navigate the trail in the dark however. We made it to the tarn short of the lake and set up camp at a nice outcropping on the south side of the tarn around 9:00. As dark was setting in, we put up some glowsticks from the trail leading to camp to guide our friends. Dinner was a Jimmy Johns sub for me, Chick-Fil-A sandwiches for my cousin and of course the requisite sleeve of Pringles.

Saturday June 29th:

Colin and I awoke to a still empty campsite so we set off by ourselves for Cooper's North Ridge. We must have spent a half an hour or more taking pictures around Stone and the Upper Lake. The slope ascending to the Ooh La La saddle was pretty easy going with mostly grass and just having some scree for the last little bit. The ridge itself is mostly class 2 with some 3 mixed in here and there. There was some snow which complicated some parts but it went smoothly enough.

Irving Hale from Stone Lake

Marten from Stone Lake

Cooper from Upper Lake - ascent route is seen beyond trees.

Hiamovi Tower from Upper Lake

Colin O. on ascent towards Cooper's North Ridge

Continental Divide from Cooper

The walk over to Marten went smoothly enough but clouds were starting to build and Colin wanted to save his legs for Sunday so he descended from the saddle and I pressed on. The last little scramble for Marten was very fun and definitely class 3. The descent off of the other side holds a slight surprise requiring a class 3 scramble over the false summit, bypassing a tower separating the two - but Roach does mention it in his description. Once over the false, the walk over to Martenette goes very easily.

Neat Rock Formation

Hiamovi Massif

I thought the return trip to camp was going to be borderline nightmarish, but I stayed relatively high from the saddle and picked my way through the trees. The hardest part was avoiding some lingering snowfields. Once I hit the gully with the runoff from Cooper, I descended the steep steps before navigating around the bench to the east of our campsite.

In order to get back to the camp; however, I needed to cross the creek which wasn't going to be easy. I generally try and end my day with a swim so I killed two birds with one stone and just walked my gear across before plunging into the waist deep water.

Brian and Mike had shown up while we were on the mountains and we learned of their route finding snafu in the middle of the night. They missed the turnoff and spent the night at Watanga Lake. Apparently it was so dark that Brian literally walked right into the lake. Missing the turnoff is easily defensible since we saw on the hike out that the sign is tucked back a bit and a small pine tree is growing in the middle of the trail. The Watanga trail goes straight ahead and it was easily missed in the dark of night. Kimo and Anna showed up a little later after hitting Irving Hale during their approach and Colin (astrobassman) was the last to show up after packing over Hiamovi (almost losing his tent on the Class 3 descent).

We broke out the brats and habenero mustard of an early dinner but we were interrupted by a fairly stiff hail storm. Most of us cowered in our tents while astrobassman decided he was too ripe for his bag so he waited it out under a small tree. I'm surprised he didn't need a helmet.

Hail Storm Aftermath (photo by Mike)

Sunday June 30th:

The next morning Brian, Mike, and I set off for the SW Buttress Route on Hiamovi Tower while Colin Osborne, Kimo, and Anna took the south face route on Hiamovi. Astrobassman had Cooper/Marten in mind for the day.

Roach does an excellent job in detailing the route on the Tower. We skipped the first two pitches utilizing a grass ramp that ascends from the upper lake (this one seemed easier than the one Roach describes). So we climbed pitch 3, 4, took the exposed class 3 bypass on 5, climbed 6 and 7, then worked our way around to the standard route to bypass the last pitch. I don't know the first thing about technical climbing so I'll include Mike's description:
"Our climb went pretty well, we went around the north of the lower buttress and pitch 3 was our first pitch. It wasn't bad with rock shoes, but the middle section was steep and slabby and tricky for Scot with his hiking boots. Roach calls it 5.2, but it felt harder. The next pitch was mostly class 4 with a short low 5 chimney to a very generous ledge where we took a nice snack break. We skipped pitch 5 and took Roach's variation across an exposed class 3 ledge to a nice class 4 slab on the back side (requiring a cave crawl). Brian then led pitch 6 up a crack to a big alcove, and then he led pitch 7 to the top of the second buttress. At this point we decided to skip the 3rd buttress (5.4) and wrap around to the standard class 3 route to finish. Topped out around 11? Then begged the weather to hold while we made hay over to Hiamovi as quick as we could on the tricky terrain."

I've only done a couple of class 5 routes and all I know is that this was much harder than what we did on Jagged the year before and a lot more intense than the Petingell-Citadel traverse which are supposed to both be rated 5.4. Brian and Mike did an excellent job of helping me out as shouts of "1, 2, 3, PULL!!!" echoed through the basin. I need some rock shoes, maybe a day or two in a rock gym and, by the look of Mike and Brian's pictures, some bigger shorts.

Brian scouts the wall at the base of the Tower climb

Marten from the base of our climb

Mike leads pitch 3 (our pitch 1)

Mike nearing top of pitch 3 (our pitch 1)

Brian climbing pitch 3 (our pitch 1)

Mike demonstrates the cave crawl on class 3 bypass

Me ascending the exposed class 3 bypass (photo by Mike)

Brian finishing the class 3 bypass

Brian leading pitch 6 (our pitch 4)

Mike climbing pitch 6 (our pitch 4)

Me on traverse to standard finish (photo by Brian)

Brian descending the standard route on the Tower

From the Tower, we descended back to the saddle and made haste up Hiamovi since weather was moving in quickly. Hiamovi was little more than a walk over for us as there was a cloud following closely coming over from the divide. We swung wide around to the south side of the mountain and negotiated some grassy slopes until we intersected the creek running out of the high lake at Hiamovi's base. The storm seemed to just barely graze us as we had little more than some sprinkles. The creek is a wonderful cascade all the way to the basin floor and the vegetation was lush and beautiful.


Brian descending by cascades

Nice way to end a climb

Once back at camp, we all made haste packing up belongings and starting the arduous grunt back to the Irving Hale saddle. Another system or two was coming into the area and hit us just as we hit the saddle. A few boomers hit while we were in the open area which definitely got our attention and he had a steady diet of sleet and hail for most of the pack out.

Brian has been a skeptic of the Wapiti Grill in Estes so I needed to give him an introduction. I wanted nothing to do with the tunnel expansion traffic in Idaho Springs so we took Trail Ridge home. After navigating the gaper gathering in the park, my heart sank as the line of people for Wapiti was out the door. But, someone was looking out for us as there were 5 seats at the bar beckoning. We started off with Colorado Nachos (homemade potato chips, pulled pork, and all the fixins) and then moved on to the burgers of our choosing. My cousin did me proud by combining the two in true Osborne fashion.

Colorado Nachos

You know you're a fat a$$ if...

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
Brian C
07/15/2013 23:41
We really did just miss you guys! Haha. Great minds think alike I guess. Looks like you all had some funky weather too! That route on Hiamovi Tower looks pretty sweet? How'd you like the normal route downclimb? We sure missed the class 3 way!

Great report.


PS - What's up with the rock formation in photo #11? We were convinced it was a giant cairn until we got up to it. Wild!

Summit Lounger
Sweet climb
07/16/2013 01:26
Thanks for posting.. Looks like great scenery and loads of fun.

07/16/2013 03:22
Good god what is on that burger?!? I wasn't sold on Wapiti before this TR and that pic doesn't help much. I will stick with Ed's!

Looks like an awesome trip. Photo #24 is sweet... you could turn that into a motivational poster or something.

07/16/2013 05:04
It is not the shorts, Floyd, but the minimalist BOD harness. I know you are a big dude but that thing looks like dental floss around your legs. Best to upgrade to something more robust before you lose some skin.

Good to see you not only getting out but getting after it. I'd like to hit something with you soon because it has been almost a year. Time really flies these days.

Helmut told me a bit about the Wapiti. I'd be willing to give it a shot but I don't think there is anything on the menu that wooderson would eat.

ED's > Wapiti
07/16/2013 14:37
But Wapiti won the Glutton Award. Colin's Nacho Burger won the lifetime achievement award. Wooderson's backcountry mexican cuisine trumps all, specially when you toss in Horsetooth Hot Sauce in to the mix (just watch out for the O-Face flavor).

Images 2 and 3 are solid. Reinvigorated my relationship with the Western approaches in the IPW and the park. Despite Mike and I stumbling around in the woods all friday night, this was a very solid weekend. Seems like every time you could use a GPS, its left in your glove box and vice versa.

Nice usage of your time at work Scot.

Thanks for the comments
07/16/2013 14:54
Brian: yes, the route is a lot of fun. The class 3 is the gully closest to the Hiamovi saddle. The rappel slings were in the gully immediately to its SE. That rock formation is wild. You would think it was man made but there is no way once you consider where it's sitting.

SL: Tons of fun. We hang out in similar circles, it's probably time our paths cross soon.

Wooderson: That would be nachos on top of a fried egg on top of ham on top of a burger. I'm just disappointed I didn't come up with it myself. Surprised he and I are related?

Pap: We do need to get out soon. You of all people shouldn't be preaching against minimalist. If I lose any skin, it won't be the harness' fault. Well, I did leave that chunk of my forearm on Jagged...

Helmut: You're going to need to order for me at Eds. The cheese-less burrito that left my wife hungry didn't impress the 1st time around.

Chicago Transplant
Fun Weekend
07/16/2013 15:53
Good times all around! Headlamps are crap for peripheral vision, especially when you are wearing it around your neck like I was to try and keep the bugs away from my eyes! Watanga Lake is pretty this time of year though
It was a fun experience, I have been a follower more than a leader and I find that leading really changes the mental aspect of things! I had one point I wanted to add a piece of pro but had nothing that fit, the next couple of moves ”don't fall, don't fall, don't fall” was ringing in my head!

good god
07/16/2013 19:45
You certainly know how to choose peaks. Maybe not shorts and food, but that's to be expected from the football sorts. I wasn't particularly interested in hiamovi, but this report has convinced me otherwise. Nice work!

Image #11 ...
07/16/2013 20:40
That looks like a HUGE cairn! What a beautiful place where I've never been. Love the food photos. Thanks for posting. Happy trails!

Image 14
07/17/2013 01:00
Looks unreal.
The rest? Looks like a lot of fun.
Damn working late... I'd have never been able to make it before midnight or so.

Thanks again
07/17/2013 04:19
Mike - You did a great job on lead - at least on the climb. Not so much on the hike in.

Monster - us sorts have great taste in food. you should check out that tower route and hit all 8 pitches. It was a lot of fun. I just wish I knew what I was doing. You still somewhat local? If so, let's get out again.

Presto - I thought it was a cairn too until I saw the 1,000 foot cliff it was hanging over. I'm completely puzzled. You and the Man definitely need to get to that area sometime. The western IPW is truly a special place.

Matt - wish you could have joined us. you still would have beaten Helmut and Transplant.

Good stuff
07/17/2013 14:50
A story well told. West IPW is fantastic. Thanks for having us along. Looking forward to getting back in there for some unfinished business later this year. Next time we will make the time to visit upper Stone Lake and take in that super view.

Cool trip!
07/17/2013 18:49
Another fine report Scot, but don't be afraid to show a little more leg next time!

I feel bad for missing...
09/05/2013 19:31
(1) this trip, (2) that drool-inspiring post-climb meal... but I am glad I missed the epic minimalist dental floss harness . With that attire I feel like you've lost a smidgen of your right to give me crap for my tomato jam sammiches. This looks like a great trip on some good routes. Hope we get to climb together sometime soon. Great trip report Scot. Not sure how I missed it until now.

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