Peak(s):  "Magdalene Mtn"  -  13,762 feet
PT 13,517 A  -  13,517 feet
"Pear Pk"  -  13,462 feet
Date Posted:  09/21/2013
Date Climbed:   09/19/2013
Author:  piper14er
 Three of a kind beats a Pear   

September 17, 2013
Pear Peak (Elevation 13,462 feet) Tri-Centennial Peak
Sawatch Mountain Range
Pear Peak CO Peak Rank: 278
38.91062N, 106.40205W

Mileage: 6.8 miles
Route started from the gate at the end of the road from Rockdale at Clohesy Lake.
Vertical: 2500 feet.
Roundtrip Time: approximately a 6 hour roundtrip (with about 4 hours moving and 2 hours thinking about where to move)

Ok at the last minute I did not have to work so I drove down to CR 390 north of Buena Vista, 10 miles up the road to Rockdale, left at the cabins, across the two creek crossings and through many a mud puddle to the gate at Clohesy Lake.

I was looking for three of a kind but ended up holding a "Pear".

I had set myself a goal after completing the Sangre 13er's at the end of June, that I would try to finish up on the Sawatch 13er's this year too. I had nearly 40 13er peaks left to make that goal. That doesn't sound like many but it seems that somehow the harder Sawatch peaks were what was left (not planned that way) and it is taking more time than anticipated (especially all the driving). A few more trips to go, hopefully we have a nice fall hiking season.

I figured to make it to Magdalene and then grab Pear Peak, leaving Unnamed 13517A for another short climb.

Magdalene is a longer trek plus you have to go up and down over several ridges so I decided to head for Pear Peak first, get it done and head to Magdalene. It took a lot longer to make it up that last half mile of Pear Peak from the saddle than you would think it should take.

I guess I was following a bad line, started on the ridge but ended up off to the south side which was not so good and should have stayed closer to the ridge line, before regaining the ridge, just a tenth of a mile from the summit.

I normally try to stay on top of the ridge as it is generally the more solid rock but this time I scrambled around for a seemingly endless amount of time.

A look at Pear Peak from down along the trail.

If you look down to the grassy areas just right center that is where we left the trail to make a straight line to the saddle.

A look at a sunny Pear Lake.

A look at Emerald.

This looks back at the ledge that you would come around the first pinnacle of rock.

The ridge ahead.

Too low along the ridge.

The ridge after regaining it via a nice rocky ramp.

The summit of Pear Peak.

I stayed on the ridge top heading back down and it went pretty well, certainly better than going up.

At that point any thoughts of getting to Magdalene were dashed. It is 1.9 miles as the crow flies between Pear and Magdalene but much farther by foot.

Story to continue...


September 19, 2013
Magdalene Mountain (Elevation 13,762 feet) Bi-Centennial Peak
(aka Unnamed 13762 aka. Silver King Peak)
Unnamed 13,517A Tri-Centennial Peak
Sawatch Mountain Range
Magdalene Peak CO Peak Rank: 121
38.9065N, 106.36757W
Unnamed 13517A CO Peak Rank: 244
38.92831N, 106.42183W

Mileage: 11.7 miles
Route started from the gate at the end of the road from Rockdale at Clohesy Lake.
Vertical: 5000 feet.
Roundtrip Time: approximately a 12 hour roundtrip (with about 8 hours moving and 4 hours thinking about where to move)

Story continued two days later, no work again...

After summiting Pear Peak I was able to split the three peaks (Pear, Magdalene and 13517A) so that the two that were farthest apart, remained, not so good.

My plan now was to go to Magdalene first and then head back for Unnamed 13517A. I did not find any reports of someone doing this but no doubt someone has or traversed the three together?

It is a bit of a go to get to Magdalene even from the gate, 5 miles one way, and over the divide and then another ridge.

The trek to Magdalene Mountain is a typical Sawatch type route where there is a trail most of the way and the ascent to the ridge is a trail that is well cairned. Also the ridge is straight forward, no scrambling. It took a little under four hours from the gate to the summit, no speed record but steady.

Clohesy Lake.

The volatile weather.

Snow on Emerald Peak.

A cloudy Pear Lake.


The way ahead is cloudy.

The ridge to cross from the divide.

Silver King Lake from the ridge.

A look back at the traverse and toward Pear, 13517A and the divide.

The traverse to Silver Lake.

A look back at the ridge you need to cross on this route.

Magdalene Mountain from Silver Lake.

A look at the summit after an easy ridge walk.

A look back from the summit towards the north and traverse from the ridge.

Another summit shot looking easterly.

We retraced our route back over the ridge, the divide and down the trail to about the 11,600 foot elevation. We left the trail at that point, bushwhacked through a few willows, dropped down a little more and crossed the creek, then headed uphill (only another 2000 feet or so to go).

There was an old trail heading up but back towards the south. We followed that for a short way hoping that maybe it would switch back the way we wanted to go. It did not so we left at a decent spot and traversed back north and up. It was pretty good, minimum bushwhacking and we were able to avoid any rocks or cliffs.

This shows the east buttress off of the southeast side of Unnamed 13517A. If you look left of the rounded end of the cliff you can see a narrow cut in the south side of the rock. There is water and small waterfalls that cascade down that cut and that is where we ascended. Unfortunately I did not see that to start as being a possibility of gaining the area below the peak. I took the longer way, going past the buttress before seeing that the north side was pretty rough and cliffy. I figured we had put in enough effort to warrant taking a look around the south side and that is when we discovered this way up. If you look at the gpx you can see that on the way down the track crosses. We could have saved time and some mileage.

The gully was pretty good and basically Class 2 with maybe a Class 3 move or two.

After climbing up there is a moderately steep and rocky approach to the east ridge.

The bump at the top of this section is where the ridge to the summit begins.

I think I made it a little more difficult than it may be needed to be. I got off to the south side somehow. I wish I had a good picture of that but I did not get one.

Looking back down from the top of the gully before continuing up.

The next picture shows the ridge and there is a notch that from this vantage looks like a deep cut to cross but from north side it is easily crossed.

The ridge and notch.

The summit.

I stayed on the top of the ridge on the way back down which was better. There are a few narrow sections with some moderate exposure.

The last section of the ridge before descending had me somewhat confused. If you look at the gpx you can see that I got off to the south of the ascent route. I could not see how I had gotten up there and it looked like a pretty good drop which did not make sense to me. At the most southern point I was on a narrow ledge that wasn't good at all and to top it off I looked down and there was the dog at the bottom of the cliff and 50 feet below me. She had it figured out. I climbed back up and off the ledge to the ridge top, found a very narrow loose gully, down climbed 50 or 60 feet, then traversed east and back up a few feet to where she was. We retraced our route back to the gully, down past the small waterfalls and continued straight on down to where we crossed the ascent route.

We dropped down about 600 feet as we angled northeast until we crossed the creek and intersected the trail.

A longer day than expected with some route finding on Unnamed 13517A. Arrived back in the dark.

ps. the pictures for Magdalene and 13517A were taken with my new GPS camera which tags a location on the picture.

ps. ps. the gpx is for Magdalene and 13517A but Pear is reached by following the Magdalene route and turning right on the divide.

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

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
Silver King Peak ...
10/04/2013 15:24
Thought I recognized that area. We did that by itself up Pine Creek. I remember because it was a 24-mile roundtrip weekend. Beautiful area. Nice photos. Give Billie Jean a pet for me. Happy trails!

a pet had been provided
10/07/2013 17:08
and a few biscuits too...

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