Peak(s):  Tijeras Peak  -  13,604 feet
Music Mountain  -  13,380 feet
Electric Peak  -  13,598 feet
Lakes Peak  -  13,375 feet
Date Posted:  09/29/2016
Date Climbed:   09/20/2016
Author:  SnowAlien
Additional Members:   jdorje, hunterwf
 Rock - Paper - Scissors...Music!   

Peaks: Tijeras and Music

Date: September 19, 2016
Trailhead: Music Pass TH 4x4
Mileage: ~ 9 miles
Vertical: ~3,900 ft gain
Time: ~11 hours
Partner: Will

Will and I first attempted the Tijeras-Music group on August 22nd, but got snowed in shortly after getting to the Lower Sand Creek lake. We should have packed up and left the same night, but endured a windy night in our tents and hiked out in the morning. I was convinced that the route wouldn't be pleasant in wet/snowy and very windy conditions.

Fast forward almost a month. I was starting at the picture perfect forecast - sunny, warm and no wind. I pitched the Tijeras-Music redux to Will and he was on board. Since the hike in, even with the overnight packs, didn't take us too long last time, we decided to day trip it from the Music pass TH. We launched from the pass at 6.55 am and was at the lower lake less than 1.5 hour later. From there, our progress slowed as we picked our line through the lower cliffs and the willows (avoiding most of them).

Scissors from our prior campsite. No snow this time!

After reaching the upper cliffs, out progress stalled. I have done only scant research on the location of the 2 ramps, reasoning they will be obvious to see, but it wasn't the case. We popped out of the willows close to the left, harder ramp, but I wasn't convinced that the top part of it goes (we couldn't see the top-out from the ground). We ended up going further left, and then reversing our steps. After spotting a cairn at the bottom of the ramp we finally decided to give it a go. There was some snow (probably still lingering from Aug 22nd storm) on the lower part of the ramp, but it was mostly avoidable. Finding a rappel webbing was reassuring we were on route.

Instead of the top-out which I didn't think would go (it didn't) we found a class 3 option, which was out of sight from the ground. The rest was a grassy stroll to the ridge, where we dropped our packs, and then a gentle class 2+ hike to the summit.

First look at Music's south ridge

Will on the approach

and some big rocks

We found some paper

After picking our packs we traversed to the bottom of the Music's south ridge. The introduction was over. Although not very long, the South ridge lives up to its reputation. It is exposed and spicy and without careful route finding, you may find yourself on harder terrain.

Early difficulties

Lower lake and the cliffs from the ridge

Will channels his inner Alex Honnold. After seeing his option, I went up and over (still exposed, but good holds).

South ridge

We made it! Pico, we see you!

We retraced out steps back to the false summit and descended a mellow East ridge, which looked pretty formidable from afar.

After 2 trips to the Lower Sand Creek lake, I really wanted to see the Upper lake and somehow convinced Will to give it a go. We haven't seen any reports on the descent to the upper lake, but the contour lines didn't look that bad. Will did ask the pertinent question - does it cliff out at the bottom? I didn't really have an answer to that one. But we did find out that it in fact does Not to sound overly dramatic, but we were happy to find a weakness in the cliffs, and had plenty of daylight and time to investigate. However tricky and cumbersome, the descent only took us about an hour. After we arrived at the upper lake, the look on Will's face was priceless. The lake was beautiful though, and we admired the view of Milwaukee from there. After catching a good trail, we were back at the car by 6 pm.

Major cliffage

Peaks: Electric and Lakes

Date: September 20, 2016
Trailhead: Major creek TH
Mileage: ~ 16 miles
Vertical: ~6,000 ft gain
Time: ~11 hours
Partner: Jason

After parting ways with Will, I made my way to Salida where I decided to crash for the night. After getting supplies in the morning, I made a short drive to meet with Jason at the Major creek TH on the western side of the Sangres. I knew that today's route would be long but easy. We launched from the TH around 7.30 am under cloudy sky but with forecast of zero chance of precipitation. The hike was very straightforward, but we were excited to see the fall colors in the valley. We reached the summit of Lakes in about 4.5 hours, which we both were pretty happy about. After a 20 min break, we traversed over to Electric, where we stayed to close of 40 minutes, admiring the views. Somewhere around 3.30 pm we finally peeled ourselves from the summit and started the long half-jog to the car, arriving by 6.30 pm.

Jason approaches the saddle between Lakes and Electric

Some colors in the valley

Electric from Lakes

Approaching Electric

Looking back at Lakes from Electric

Cotton creek basin with its 7 13ers

On the descent from Electric

Starting the long descent back to the car

My GPS Tracks on Google Maps (made from a .GPX file upload):

Comments or Questions
Music South Ridge
09/29/2016 09:19
Have seen a few trip reports for it, and it definitely looks spicy but fun! Looks like a great trip and variety of views/difficulty, thanks for posting.

Looks like a blast!
09/29/2016 09:37
Great pictures, Natalie! Thanks for sharing your trip!

As always...
09/29/2016 10:59
... your report is stellar. Nice pics, Natalia!

Looks like a great trip
09/30/2016 08:28
Couple of quick ?'s

How is the road to the Music pass trailhead?

What would you rate the decent down Music's east ridge? 2-3? I am looking a spending a couple days in the basin next summer and trying to gather as much information as possible Thanks!

Awesome TR
09/30/2016 10:54
Thanks for the great TR Natalie. Emiller, the road to the 4wd trailhead isn't too bad as long as you have good clearance. I didn't use 4wd and was in a 02 tundra. I would call that ridge class 3 max.

I second Jay...
10/01/2016 13:46 always, a stellar TR. Music's south ridge looks super fun. Glad you guys had a nice long day on these wonderful peaks in the Sangres.

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