Peak(s):  Point 13,656
Date Posted:  09/19/2022
Date Climbed:   09/15/2022
Author:  Furthermore
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 Sangre New LiDAR 13er   

Point 13,656 (formally Point 13,660)


September 15, 2022

~8.9 miles, 3,000 gain

TH: Lilly Lake/Huerfano Trailhead (high-clearance highly recommended) ~3 hours from Denver

Max difficulty: Class 3-4


Being a new LiDAR 13er summit, Point 13,656 has seen a tenfold increase in traffic in the last year. Originally, I was hoping to climb a fantastic-looking moderate couloir on its northeast face but now it's a bit late in the season. After reviewing a few reports, I wanted to avoid the loose talus choss battle to gain the ridge and after scouring over some photos, I found some potential scrambling/technical lines on the peak's northeast face. Initially, I wanted to rope in (pun intended) an alpine partner for a technical route on the northeast face; however, nightmares from my attempted Ormes Buttress climb over 20 years ago made me second guess that decision. A few exciting north spur arêtes "peaked" my curiosity, especially one that lined the edge of my original couloir.

My schedule was in a last-minute flux and partners were non-existent for such shenanigans. I left Denver on a rainy afternoon and completed the 3 hour drive to the trailhead and a best-I-could-do level parking spot satisfied my sleeping accommodation in the car. I woke up at 5:15 AM and hit the all-too-familiar Lilly Lake Trail in the dark by 5:30 AM.

I reached Lilly Lake around 7:15 AM, hiked along its northeast shore, and started the arduous talus hop westward. I located the dry couloir and found the narrow arête I was seeking. I bounded up talus and began scrambling up fairly solid white rock to the base of the arête. A bit stout, I attempted scrambling directly up the arête but backed off (stiff class 4). I continued up the left side of the dry couloir and then easily gained the ridge via a much easier class 3 scramble 100 feet above the direct start.

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Morning light.


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Sunrise on Blanca. Kinda of sorta.


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Point 13,618 (sub-summit)


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Lilly Lake


Continuous class 3 scrambling on surprisingly good rock guided me upwards as I stayed directly on the arête. The upper portion of the ridge looked daunting but was surprisingly more straightforward than it appeared. Near the top, I stayed just to the right of the ridge crest. Clouds rolled in and surrounded the upper ridge. I intersected Point 13,656's southeast ridge but headed the wrong way due to the low visibility. I ended up summitting Point 13,618, checked my GPS, and then discovered my navigational error. I then headed northwest along the ridge to the correct summit. Before reaching the summit, a narrow knife-edge ridge blocked easy progress, which I easily bypassed on the ridge's left (southwest) side.

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White rock and arête. Dry couloir to the right.


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On the arête proper.


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Looking down the lower section.


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Fun solid upper slabs


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Looking down the ridge higher up.


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Lilly Lake


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Last upper section.


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Clouds rolling in.


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Upper portion (easier than it appears)


I arrived at the summit at 8:30 AM with zero views. Retracing my steps down the southeast ridge, I went to the top of the dry couloir and then descended the couloir. The rock was less than ideal but provided relatively easy access to the basin. I returned to the Lily Lake Trail and reached the trailhead at 10:30 AM. Now for the long drive to the San Juans for my remaining LiDAR 13ers.



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


Comments or Questions
Boggy B
User
Nice route
09/19/2022 09:12
I also was hoping to take the couloir, but that ship sailed much too early this season (instead I took the NW ridge complete over 13660 from Zapata).
Your route looks more fun.



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