Saturday, October 16, 2010

Apache Peak - A Fall Farewell

A Fall Farewell
Sep 29, 2010
Apache Peak
Indian Peaks Wilderness, Colorado
Elevation: 13441 ft / 4097 m

Apache Peak is the king of the entire Brainard Lake area. This massive 13,441-ft. mountain is exceeded by only North Arapaho for total elevation in the Indian Peak Wilderness. It is a complex mountain with steep slopes surrounding it. Apache Peak is home to the San Isabelle Glacier, a permanent snowfield that offers the Queens Way route. In addition, the 1,400-ft. north-facing Fair Glacier is considered the premere snow-climb in the entire wilderness area. We took East Ledges Route, which is a class 2+ route with a minor class 3 move or two. This route is steep and loose and some might consider it to be a major slog. I thought it to be very tiring and uneventful. What makes the route worthwhile is fun scrambling on the grass-covered ledges, and fantastic views of the Lone Eagle Cirque from the summit. This is not the route to take if there is any snow on Apache's east ledge system; a slip from an icy ledge could be your last. There is also plenty of water flowing over these ledges from the melting snowfield above, so only attempt this route in mid to late summer when the temperature stays above freezing overnight.


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