Peak(s):  Aztec Mountain  -  13,310 feet
Date Posted:  08/03/2014
Date Climbed:   07/24/2014
Author:  DArcyS
 A Brief Note on Aztec   

Okay, this is more of a suggestion on how to climb Aztec than a TR, so hold off on that "thumbs down" please.

After seeing somebody post the east ridge of Aztec as a "never again" route, let it be known that the west ridge of Aztec is probably easier. From the basin southwest of Columbine Pass (and assuming a start near Chicago Basin), you can climb up to either of two saddles at 12,980' that are west of PT13190. The route to the left/east saddle looked like a rocky route, while the route to the right/west saddle looked like a bunch of yellow scree with a possible headwall. We opted for the right/west saddle since it shortened the route to Aztec. The scree was miserable, and the 10' headwall required class 3 climbing on rotten rock. It wasn't great, but it worked.

From this saddle, one can climb the east ridge of Aztec. Or you can traverse the south face of Aztec for about 0.4 mile on mostly frustrating rock. To gain the west ridge of Aztec, look for a weakness on the slope at about 13,100' that allows for easy class 2+/3 climbing. As one climbs up, one bears right following the path of least resistance, and we crossed a gully before reaching the ridge. If you do not cross this gully down low, you risk reaching the ridge and being skunked by a nasty notch. Once on the ridge, it's a simple class 2 walk of a couple hundred feet to the summit. This route might be the easiest way up Aztec. But no promises . . .

Pictures? Ah, I'm just too lazy to carry a camera. I'm surprised I even mustered up the energy to type out this suggestion for Aztec.

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