Peak(s):  West Spanish Peak  -  13,626 feet
Date Posted:  06/08/2008
Date Climbed:   06/07/2008
Author:  Rikrun1210
 West Spanish Peak   

Trip to West Spanish Peak via Wahatoya Camp route. Head to La Veta to end of Main Street. Turn left (East) at end of Main onto Grand. Go about 1/10th of a mile then right (South) onto Birch. Go 1.1 miles to CR 360 left and stay on this to jeep road 442. Approximately 6.8 miles from end of Main Steet in La Veta to turn off to jeep road 442. I had to park at base of jeep road but one could drive all the way to Wahatoya Trailhead in Jeep eliminating 50+ minutes of walking at above moderate pace. The old jeep trail is blocked off at Wahatoya Trailehead however it is open to foot traffic and this is the way to proceed which goes up to Bullseye Mine and into the box canyon area of West Spanish Peak. It took me 1.5 hours from the base of the jeep trail to where the trail breaks out above timber and into the rock fields. From here it takes 30 minutes to get up to the old mine site and another hour to go around into the box area and rock fields. I was solo and elected not to climb up the steep scree field section which would top out at 12,977' with addtional climbing to reach West Spanish Peak summit at 13,626'. I will attempt again but camp below where there are a couple of great spots were early miners abviously had an old camp house. The last section from where the trail ended to the 12,977' summit is very steep with large, loose rock and was difficult to climb as I went half way up this field. Total trip time 5 - 1/2 hours. No snowshoes or crampons needed up to point that I quit.
Image 1: W. Spanish from Hwy. 160 out of Walsenburg; 2: From CR360 South of La Veta; 3: At entrance of jeep trail 442 off 360. I parked just in from this sign and car camped; 4: At Wahatoya Trailhead; 5: Blurry photo of jeep 442 blocked for off road use however you can go on foot which is what I did; 6: Breaking out of forest; 7: avoidable snow; 8: Looking up the first colour which would be a good route; 9: "Me" - "Hi"; 10: Up 442 further which is now a trail; 11: Old mine; 12: Trail above mine; 13: Looking up slope from trail; 14: "Same"; 15: Trail going into "Box"; 16: "Same"; 17: Looking at false summit; 18: Slope to 12,977‘ summit; 19: Me defeated on slope; 20: Nice parting shot of S. Spanish and wall from Hwy 12 towards Cuchara.

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