Peak(s):  Unnamed 13541  -  13,541 feet
Unnamed 13517 B  -  13,517 feet
Date Posted:  08/10/2017
Modified:  10/20/2018
Date Climbed:   08/09/2017
Author:  Mtnman200
 Adopting Orphans in the Sangres   

Tuesday, August 8, 2017
I had a couple of orphaned peaks in the Sangre de Cristos and a day available to find a home for those orphans. I drove to Horn Creek Ranch a half dozen miles south of Westcliffe, camped near the Horn Creek Trailhead, and enjoyed the seemingly endless rain. Tomorrow's forecast called for a 60% chance of rain after 10 AM, so I went to bed early to get an early start.

Wednesday, August 9, 2017
Rain had fallen during the night, but skies were clear when I got up. I headed about 0.3 mile southeast to an intersection with the Rainbow Trail (Trail No. 1336). I then hiked about 400' north (right) to another intersection where I turned southeast (left) on the Horn Creek Trail (Trail No. 1342). This is what I saw near the start of the Horn Creek Trail, though I didn't take a photo until later in the day due to the early morning darkness.

At the start of Trail #1342 (Horn Creek Trail). Which came first, the tree or the sign? (Taken on the descent)

I would have gotten a nice sunrise photo about a half hour later, but my phone battery decided it was too cold and shut down my phone. You'll have to use your imagination.

I continued up the pleasant trail to an open area about 11,400', where I left the trail and climbed south toward Little Baldy Mountain.

Looking down on some of the Horn Lakes from partway up Little Baldy Mountain

Fluted Peak (13,554') and Little Horn Peak (13,143') from the same location as the previous photo

It was surprisingly cool and windy this morning and felt like September, and my phone battery continued to protest by refusing to stay powered up for the entire climb along the Little Baldy Mountain ridge southeast toward Unnamed (UN) 13517B, a soft-ranked peak. The ridge was straightforward, and the summit gave me nice views of the nearby peaks.

UN 13580B from UN 13517B, with Mt. Adams behind

Kit Carson and Challenger Point from UN 13517B. Challenger doesn't look very separate, does it?

A look at the ridge to UN 13580B and Mt. Adams, with UN 13546 at the far left

UN 13541 from UN 13517B. The ridge between the two peaks is a nice gentle Class 2 stroll

Enough goofing off! I finally got moving along the ridge toward UN 13541. The final bit of ridge between the false summit and the true summit was fairly narrow and fun.

UN 13541 is getting closer, and the clouds are starting to build

The summit register (an old notebook) had been wet for so long that the metal spiral was very rusty. Still, it's fun to find a relic from over 25 years ago.

The UN 13541 summit register left by Rich Riefenberg on 7/11/1992. My dad and I saw his signature in many summit registers in

The summit of UN 13541

I headed back to the UN 13541 - UN 13517B saddle and then did a descending contour to the UN 13517B - Little Baldy Mountain saddle to avoid an unnecessary re-climb of UN 13517B.

Looking back at UN 13541 and UN 13517B from Little Baldy Mountain

I descended to the Horn Creek Trail and returned to the trailhead without even a single drop of rain falling on me, although there was plenty of rain to enjoy during the drive home.

Blue = ascent route from the Horn Creek Trail; red = descent route from Unnamed 13541

Thumbnails for uploaded photos (click to open slideshow):
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12

Comments or Questions
gore galore
08/13/2017 13:07
The name Rich Riefenberg in the summit register mentioned was one of the early fast climbers of the Fourteens climbing the 54 peaks in 54 days in 1971 duplicating Cleve McCarty's similar effort in 1959. He was also the 15th person to climb the 100 Highest, the 8th person to climb the 200 Highest and the 6th person to climb the 300 Highest finishing in 1994.

   Not registered?

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