Peak(s):  Rolling Mtn  -  13,693 feet
"V 9"  -  13,260 feet
"Middle Point"  -  13,300 feet
Beattie Pk  -  13,342 feet
Date Posted:  09/06/2018
Modified:  09/10/2018
Date Climbed:   08/31/2018
Author:  bergsteigen
Additional Members:   Tony1, RyGuy
 Rolling with the V gully punches to take quite a beating   

Day 2: Rolling Mountain, V9, V8 (Pt 13,300'), Beattie

  • Mileage: 7.98
  • Elevation gain: 4,837'
  • Trailhead: end of Mineral Creek Rd
  • Partners: Ryan & Tony
  • Class: 4
  • Looseness factor: 9/10

Despite a nice long night's sleep, I couldn't convince Ryan to get up any earlier than civil twilight again. He must need his beauty sleep! We better hope that the weather holds, since bailing along this route before Hope Pass is a no-go..

The trail up from the end of the road is pretty good and we make very quick time up to our departure point with Rolling Mountain's east ridge. We stick to the talus - willow boundary to have the best terrain we can. Though at one point, the guys chose the far talus and I went with the more slabby, wet and mossy section, which wasn't all that wet. I made great time up that section in comparison.

Once above the first bench, the view to the ascent to the ridge was obvious on the left. Quick scree-talus jaunt up, and we found ourselves on the east ridge of Rolling. Then it went from easy talus to minor scrambling, to talus, to interesting route finding to harder scrambling. We stayed pretty near ridge proper to a bit south for the entire enjoyable ascent to the peak. 2nd best part of the trek!

Looking up the Rolling's skirt between the east and northeast ridges. Slight dip on left is our route to ridge
Rolling uphill on the mossy side, while the guys are on the talus
Look who's pointing at the Twin Sisters.
Above bench, ascent to Rolling's east ridge as first notch on left.
Start of ridge to summit

Wee bit of scrambling off the cuff
Ooooo, what have we here?! The fun stuff begins!

Ryan making his way across the scramble traverse
Looking back, once on the solid ridge.

Me crossing the ledges
Looking back at the previous scramble section, from the base of the next one
Yay Slabs

Tony and I making our way up
Tony on the slabs
Back to talus again

A bit more scrambling
Rest of ridge looks easy, right?

Some exposed slabby traverse scrambling!
Ryan climbing back up to the ridge

Looking back down on the fun ridge from the summit

The weather that had started out pleasant, wasn't looking so great from the summit, so Ryan loaded up Chris Tomer's weather forecast so we could hear the latest. It seems like there was only a slight chance for scattered showers, and that the chances would decrease as the day went on. So we should at least be able to get to Hope Pass and decide on the remainder of the route.

summit pano south
Summit Pano north

After we started to get a wee bit chilly, we started the descent over to the false summit of Rolling. Nothing difficult on this section, but also not much interesting. Once on the falsey, the real challenge of the day would begin. How the heck do we get off this shite hole? No option looked good. All looked loose and stupid freakin steep. Ryan and I walked a bit back further east, but it looked like it cliffed out. So back we went to option sucktastic #1

Looking over to the false summit, so far away, but at least the terrain is easy!
Ascending the false summit
Looking back at Rolling's west ridge

Shitty options decision point.
We have to go down this???? Nooooooooo

I really didn't want to go down the scree gully, and thought maybe to the east of the ridge line may be better, but since we didn't come up that way, those roll over cliff points can be hard to find. So down the damn scree chute of doom we go. Ryan didn't seem to mind pounding this nasty scree face, he was down super fast. Tony and I took our time.

Steep Shite
I want to be where Ryan is right now, happy land - or at least what I kept telling myself as motivation.

Once off the face of loose doom, we had all cursed ourselves silly. But at least THAT was over. The remainder should be better, or so we thought.

WHY are we smiling? Ohhhh Yeeeaaaah, we think the worst is over.
The face of Doom - or Rolling Mountains North Face.
The sun on the north face almost makes Rolling look innocent. Almost.

The remainder of the way up V9 was uneventful, even if none of us could stop cursing Rolling Mountain. We did find the scary rap point for someone going up or down that east side of the ridge.

Easy breezy on way up to V9

The sun came out in teasing forays as we sat on the summit of V9, sometimes illuminating the nearby peaks. I was staring at Grizzly and V10, uggg still have to do those loose ones. San Miguel looked menacing in the light

Another shot of Ryan's FAVORITE mountain
San Miguel - King of the loose mountain range
The harder Grizzly

Pano east
Pano west

Photo: Tony

So with the weather clearing, we figured we still had the 2 other peaks in play for the day. We all felt reasonably well enough. So we started down the ridge. Intermittent between loose rocks and loose scree gullys. Not much on this ridge is stable, and it takes delicate hands and feet to get down it, not brute force. No pounding! Eventually Ryan got to a spot on the ridge where he didn't want to go any further. All TR's take the ridge, I would advise ALL to take the ridge, but at the moment, Ryan didn't think the ridge went. It seemed to be too much elevation to lose in such a short time. So he wanted to pound down yet ANOTHER loose V gully to the base of the peak. Ugggg. Ok whatever... I was too tired to argue further for the loose, exposed and likely fairly terrifying ridge to Hope Pass.

Starting down V9's ridge
Here's a "delightful" loose traverse under the ridge bump
Tony didn't want to touch these rocks, like they were on fire or something

Ryan's point of NO MORE ridge for me
Looking back on the ridge to this point


Ryan pounding down the V's face, which is scarier than the ridge to me
How did Ryan get so far down already
Tony and I tackling a nasty loose descending scramble
Well THAT sucked!

Once down from that loose and dangerous face where we had to descend simultaneously at the same elevation, since otherwise there would be little way to avoid the rock fall that was impossible to stop.

From the base of the face, was a loose avalanche path of talus over to the pass. I knew the next section was also loose and steep, but I was hoping it was "better" than what we have already done. It was, sorta. Pretty thick loose talus that moves all around you, so we spent the entire time hunched over on the ascent. Had to spider walk up the slope. Back hurt like I'd been on my knees for hours.

Starting up V8
V9 in the sun. Ridge in question, front and center - it goes

V9's east ridge zoom
Tony found an old Mining shaft to explore on the way up

Once I could stand upright again, it was a short and easy section over to the true summit, where I proceeded to eat a meat stick. No sugary V8 for me!


Pano SW
Pano NE

At this point Ryan started wondering if he had the energy to go over to Beattie. In my mind, there was NO question. I was summiting Beattie, and then descending. Tony also agreed with me. Ryan kept mentioning that he wanted to be "fresh" for Beattie. Ryan, do you think Beattie is a woman? Is she going to be impressed if you're less tired when you mount her? Or did he feel a little dirty after the previous V poundings? Silly Ryan. The effort to come all the way back up and down was too great, to orphan a peak that close. We also had wonderful weather. We would "decide" at the saddle.

Dropping V8 on way to Beattie

Looking back on V8
Almost to the saddle...

At the saddle, Ryan was hemming and hawing. The descent off the saddle looked easier than the other V gully poundings we've done, but still not enjoyable. I was having none of it. Only a half mile to Beattie? Let's go. So I used my usual trick. If the woman keeps going, the men will follow. Call it the V rule. Works like a charm! I even promised some of my hot meat off the grill this evening, to keep them moving.

Didn't take any photos on the way up Beattie, which turned out to be the most pleasant and enjoyable part of the ridge traverse! I had to keep my speed up so Ryan's whining couldn't happen. Soon we were on the sunny summit, and looking down at an easy descent back to our camp. Welcome to 13ering Ryan, you're no longer on the 14ers or Centennials anymore! You don't orphan a peak unless there is no other option.

Big V, sooo hot and rosy in the sunlight

Pano east
Pano of our route

Tony's the only one with the energy to take a selfie. Wait, I almost never have the energy or that.

Ryan pounding down the Beattie - Fuller saddle


The boys in front of the Twin Sisters

Once down off the talus rock glaciers below, it was a long painful descent back to camp. I hurt - a LOT. But I was also incredibly glad that I didn't have to go back for Beattie, and do that again - twice - UP and DOWN. Blech!

We rolled into camp, and I got my grill going, and I ate a pound and a half of burgers, sharing a patty each with the deserving guys - soooo yummy! Grilled green peppers and peaches for dessert. I also got a Pinot Noir from Ryan, which we immediately began mispronouncing...

Tomorrow we can sleep in, since it's supposed to start storming at dawn. Saturday 6:15am CRACK... BOOM!

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

Thumbnails for uploaded photos (click to open slideshow):
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 37 38 39 40 41 42 43 44 45 46 47 48 49 50

Comments or Questions
Ridge vs Gully
09/06/2018 17:02
I still think the gully was the better option. Not like it was a landslide still trying to move or anything. And besides, the ridge was coming apart as we moved down it. Go with the flow, down the gully, right? :-)

Keep Rollin Rollin Rollin Rollin
09/07/2018 11:39
Love the part where I was silent the whole time. Hey now, I didn't need any extra convincing for Beattie! After all, we had to Beattie those V's.

Thanks for the write-up, Otina! It keeps the more fun parts of the day within clear memory.

Keep on rollin', baby
09/07/2018 12:06
Tell me what you're gonna do now
Breath in, now breath out
Hands up, now hands down
Back up, back up

Like the majority of that song - I can't say what we were sayin' on most of the hike Tony Though I did add in that you were in agreement from the start about Beattie. Also, I can hear Ryan talking from 2 miles away...

Ryan - Personal preference... Though there will be times that that sort of ridge is the only option, so you have to learn to spider walk. "Throw your hands up"

And I thought those
09/07/2018 12:30
were skier peaks. Especially Rolling. Volcanic scree looks like no fun at all!

Thanks for posting
09/09/2018 09:26
Great beta and mountaineer trip report. You are quite an inspiring, motivated Colorado summit-seeker. Keep it up Otina

Ridge, baby!
09/09/2018 12:31
Isn't that the winner in the ridge vs. gully argument? At least for me it usually is... Those loose Vs look nasty!

Interesting routing
09/09/2018 21:00
I took the southeast ridge up Rolling. A bit trying getting onto it, but very pretty once I hit it and a walkup until a couple 2+ moves were required getting on to Rolling's main east-west ridge.

But you're bringing back bad memories of the downclimbs off Rolling and V9... harder than I bargained for, and I had snow going down Rolling. Combine that with the ascent of V8 and I think I'd prefer do those solo. I wonder whether doing that route in the opposite direction would be easier.

Did y'all reach a consensus on which summit of V9 is higher?

Ski the peaks...
09/10/2018 15:03
Natalie - Oh, I wanted my skis and snow when I looked down those peaks! I figured since Benners hiked these, they couldn't be that good a ski. Guess I'll have to check it out next spring!

jasayrevt - Thanks, do what I can

Tornadoman - I'm a ridge proper kinda gal!

Matt - I was originally going to do V9 & Rolling as an out-and-back from Hope Lake. I can surmise that upclimbing the ridge on V9 would be much easier. On Rolling, going up the north face, you should have better idea of what cliffs out, and there could be a better way. As to the summit on V9, I walked over the first one before getting to the one that looked highest. My partners didn't care.

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