Peak(s):  Pacific Peak  -  13,950 feet
Date Posted:  09/13/2021
Date Climbed:   09/10/2021
Author:  BirdMan
 Staying Together on Pacific Peak   

I was lucky enough to be able to leave work early this past Thursday with the plan to camp at the Spruce Creek TH and go for Pacific Peak bright and early on Friday. The only problem? My friends and I wouldn't be able to hold our weekly exercise and tailgating activities that we've been doing since before and all-through the Covid era. I mean, fun is fun but it's important to maintain rituals and stay connected as well! At least I'd been able to talk my one friend, Jared into coming along but was a little bummed that our other friend Stu couldn't make it.

I got to the TH around 4:30 pm and was able to grab a great spot. Time to settle in and start dinner.

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I was pleasantly surprised to learn when Jared arrived that we would be a trio after all!

Disclaimer: I'm hoping Stu's boss isn't an avid 14ers member and doesn't read this. If he does, then I hope it's apparent that there are certain medical conditions that only time spent breathing the thin mountain air will cure!

On the trail the following morning.

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The route from the Spruce Creek TH must have about the most water around it than any other 13er. Passing some falls on the way up.

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The route in is not difficult and is made better by the handful of the prettiest little lakes. The challenge comes when you have to ascend the roughly 700' scree field to get to the ~13,300' plateau. Jared and Stu heading towards the crux of the route.

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Stu pondering his next move. Now where are we going exactly?

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In the thick of it.

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The scree field is very loose so we were diligent about not being above or below each other and inadvertently kicking rocks down on each other. This is a good climbing practice but led me to lose sight of Stu. Jared remained in the middle and acted as our go-between.

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Reunited for a brief moment to rest and refuel.

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The scree field is by far the hardest part of the route. We got into it and veered right towards the top. Coming down, we stayed more to the left if you were looking at the scree field from the bottom. Our descent was much smoother so I recommend generally staying left as you move up the scree field.

At last we were on top of the plateau and could see the familiar summit pyramid.

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Along the way we encountered an unusual rock. Were we oxygen deprived or does this resemble the Colorado flag?

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Certainly one of the highest alpine lakes (tarns?) in the state, at roughly 13,400'.

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The plateau is relatively level until you reach the final challenge. Jared was game and can be seen near the top left.

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After striving and striving we found ourselves alone on top of Pacific Peak on a bluebird Colorado day!

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Again: If Stu's boss is reading this, then this was absolutely the only way to cure what ailed him.

A summit tribute to my father. Keeping the string unbroken.

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In the scree field and the sun beating down on us. We were glad to have picked a better route coming down.

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All that hiking, all that sun and summer slipping away from us. Nothing to do but head to the nearest body of water and jump in! Funny thing... It's amazing how people start to move quicker when there's refreshment in store.

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One beautiful alpine lake after another.

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Heading out, a last look back at Pacific Peak.

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Keeping the connection alive. Tailgating once again. This time after a wonderful day in the mountains.

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Throughout the day I was grateful for the bonds we've been able to form and maintain during this Covid-era of semi isolation. I suppose carrying my Dad's cane is a way to keep another type of bond in place. It seems easy at times for the ties between people to come undone. For me, this was a day of remembering the importance of working to keep those bonds in place.

In memory of Larry Baker, 11/30/33 - 12/15/20.

Rest in Peace Dad.




Thumbnails for uploaded photos (click to open slideshow):
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Comments or Questions
jwill1970
To Larry, his cane and good friends
09/13/2021 13:37
Fantastic report and a great message on the importance of remembering those who have come before us, to being outside and doing fun things with friends.


Barnold41
User
:)
09/14/2021 11:12
Pacific Tarn is the highest "lake" in the country


JChitwood
User
Nice Pictures
09/14/2021 23:29
Another great report and another nice tribute to Mr. Baker.



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