Peak(s):  Maxwell, Mt  -  13,335 feet
Cuatro Pk  -  13,487 feet
"Leaning South Pk"  -  13,203 feet
"Leaning North Pk"  -  13,100 feet
Trinchera Pk  -  13,517 feet
"English Saddle" (12,955)
Date Posted:  06/29/2021
Modified:  07/05/2021
Date Climbed:   06/22/2021
Author:  RandyMack
Additional Members:   Mtnman200
 From Maxwell to Trinchera (and a bonus!)   

Last week, I set out to climb several of the 13ers (and one high 12er) at the northern end of the Culebra range of the Sangre de Cristos, starting on Mt Maxwell and heading north toward Trinchera Peak. My dad (Mtnman200) had already done all the ranked peaks here previously, but had not gotten "Leaning North Peak," so he suggested dropping me off at the end of FSR 437 where I would start up Mt Maxwell while he would drive around to FSR 436 near Trinchera Peak and hike south over Trinchera to "Leaning North," then meet me at "Leaning South."

After driving to the end of FSR 437 and spending the night there, I set out up the east ridge of Mt Maxwell by headlamp while my dad began the drive to his starting point (and my endpoint).

There wasn't much of a view initially given how dark it was, but I did see this interesting rock sticking up as I hiked up Mt Maxwell.

The hike up Maxwell was fairly straightforward, with only a minor rocky section to negotiate around 12,700. I reached the summit of Mt Maxwell around sunrise, and enjoyed the views of the nearby peaks in the early morning light.

Cuatro Peak from the summit of Maxwell.
Looking east to the Spanish Peaks from Maxwell.
Looking south toward Mariquita Peak (13,405) from Maxwell. Culebra Peak can be seen in the top right corner.

After some time taking photos, having snacks, and not doing anything else whatsoever, I began hiking north toward Cuatro Peak, my next objective.

The south ridge of Cuatro from somewhere near the saddle with Maxwell.
The ridge to Cuatro's summit was slightly scrambly in places, but nothing serious.
The summit of Cuatro, on the other hand, was very broad and grassy.

After hiking/scrambling up the ridge to Cuatro's gentle summit, I found and signed the CMC register and enjoyed a snack break.

The ridge north from Cuatro to ""Leaning South," "Leaning North," and Trinchera looked grassy and gentle for the most part.

I then hiked north along the grassy ridge toward a 13,134-foot ridge point between Cuatro and "Leaning South"...

"Leaning South" and Trinchera from the 13,134-foot ridge point.
Looking back at Cuatro from the ridge point.
A large snowfield and small tarn at the saddle between the ridge point and "Leaning South," with the Spanish Peaks in the background.

...and made my way up "Leaning South," where I met back up with my dad.

Trinchera and "Leaning North" from the summit of "Leaning South."

We started hiking along the grassy ridge toward Trinchera. I made the minor detour up the unranked "Leaning North."

Trinchera from the summit of "Leaning North."
"Leaning South" from "Leaning North."

After rejoining my dad once again at the saddle between it and Trinchera, we hiked up the grassy ridge to the summit of Trinchera, and spent some time enjoying the view.

The summit of Trinchera includes a series of very large and well-constructed cairns.
The Sierra Blanca seen from Trinchera's summit.
Looking east to the Spanish Peaks from the summit of Trinchera.
Culebra Peak, framed by a couple of Trinchera's many summit cairns.
Looking back toward Cuatro from the summit of Trinchera.

After having some snacks, we began making our way down to the saddle between Trinchera and the 12,955-foot "English Saddle" (our next objective).

Looking down the north ridge of Trinchera toward where my dad had parked earlier and "English Saddle" (12,955).
The end of the road where my dad parked, with "English Saddle" behind.

Since it was such a short distance up "English Saddle," with only about 350 vertical feet to climb to the summit, we left our packs and traveled light. The hike up "English Saddle" was quick and easy, and it made for a nice bonus peak to finish the day.

The grassy summit area of "English Saddle."
Trinchera from "English Saddle"

After taking a couple of photos, we returned to the car and began driving down. Today's hike had been mostly over grass and gentle talus; the only times I needed to use my hands were at 12,700 on Maxwell's east ridge, and on Cuatro's south ridge.

Looking up at Trinchera from FSR 436 below the saddle.

The 4WD road was passable apart from one portion down in the trees that was blocked by snow and required taking a small detour through an adjacent campsite.

Thumbnails for uploaded photos (click to open slideshow):
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Comments or Questions
Nice Report Randy
07/02/2021 16:40
Been eyeing this group ever since I climbed West Spanish. Great to see you and Eddie out there knocking off peaks!

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