Peak(s):  Mt. of the Holy Cross  -  14,007 feet
Mt. Elbert  -  14,438 feet
Mt. Massive  -  14,427 feet
La Plata Peak  -  14,344 feet
Mt. Belford  -  14,202 feet
Mt. Oxford  -  14,158 feet
Missouri Mountain  -  14,071 feet
Huron Peak  -  14,006 feet
Mt. Antero  -  14,271 feet
Mt. Princeton  -  14,200 feet
Date Posted:  08/10/2018
Date Climbed:   07/27/2018
Author:  JDG7
 Colorado Ultra-Distance Sawatch Trip (13 14er Summits)   

Sawatch 2018 Adventure - 110 Miles - 48,300 feet climbed - 12 14ers in a Week

Have danced around doing the Sawatch mountains for a while. I prefer technical climbing, trad, sport, bouldering and tons of training. Focusing on the harder mountains always appealed (very much enjoyed the Crestone Peak & Needle, Torrey's Kelso Ridge, Longs Peak, Lindsey's Headwall, Kit Carson's East Ridge, etc), and enjoy difficult scrambling on class 3/4 and difficult route found. So naturally, I avoided most of the Sawatch range for a couple of decades. Having only done Yale, Harvard, Columbia and Shavano, I decided to try the rest of the mountains in one push. (and repeat Shavano for the fun of it).

I flew out of St. Louis, met my brother in Denver and we were out at Holy Cross standard route by mid morning. We backpacked into East Creek camp area and spent the night.

Day 1:The next morning, we climbing HC by the standard route. Was fun to finally summit this mountain. We then hiked out and up camp near the southern base of Mount Massive.

Day 2 we Climbed the Southwest Slopes of Mount Massive, finishing by mid morning. Then we turned to Elbert and did the standard route on Elbert. 8,800 feet and 18 miles on this day alone was no joke.

Day 3 we climbed La Plata by the standard route. Was like a recovery day of fun.

Day 4 we climbed the trio of Mt. Belford, then Mt. Oxford, then Missouri Mountain. That evening we had to return to Denver since my brother had other obligations for the rest of the week. I then switched vehicles, drove right back out to Missouri Gulch late in the evening and set back out backpacking.

Day 5 was the Tour de Huron. Ascending by the north ridge from Lulu Gulch, I summited Middle Mountain, Point 13,462, Brown's Peak, UN 13,518, Huron Peak; then returned by the standard route.

Day 6 was the Antero Trek. Pushing hard on the 16 mile, 5,300 foot RT route, finished in under 6 hours. Then moved on to Princeton.

Day 7 started with a high camp at 12K on Princeton's East Slope shoulder, then started up the summit push in the sleet and rain at 4:30 am. Summitting early, I beat the worst storms on Friday, August 3rd.

Day 8 I climbed the Tabeguache West Ridge route from the abandoned Jennings Creek TH. Was wonderfully isolated, as only 6 of us were climbing from that route on Saturday, August 4th. Summitting Tab, I climbing Shavano and then resummited Tab to finish out the southern edge of the Sawatch the right way. Then drove back to meet family in Denver.

Then flew out at 5 am Sunday morning to head back to work.

Backpacking trip for 9 days. Backcountry survival. 110 alpine miles trekked. 48,300 feet ascended in a week. 12 14er summits in a week. A great, refreshing way to spend a week.

Thumbnails for uploaded photos (click to open slideshow):
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Comments or Questions
St Louis
08/10/2018 21:43
I lived in St Louis for 5 years (went to WashU) and my recollection it's the place of obese people who love baseball and junk food. It's amazing that you could fly from there for a nice romp on Colorado highest peaks. I don't believe there are even 5 other people in Missouri that could repeat this feat. Kudos!

I'm likin' it
08/11/2018 09:36
Nice pics and an exceptional hiking/climbing achievement.

Very impressive
08/14/2018 21:40
And as a fellow STLer (for now), I agree wholeheartedly with SnowAlien. Waking up in STL and eating lunch in RMNP is pretty hard to beat.

Thanks Guys
08/16/2018 15:09
....Thanks was one a great week. looking forward to the next assault. Doesn't take long for the fever to take over again....

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