|Pettingell Peak and Herman Lake|
The route we used is the South Slopes route from 14ers.com. We varied it a bit in true “Karl” fashion, but more or less it was the same. I would suggest following our descent gpx track which is what has been attached to this report. The trail starts at the Herman Gulch TH. This is a popular place for hikers making their way to Herman Lake. Take exit 218 off of I-70. At the stop sign at the end of the off ramp take a hairpin right turn down a bumpy dirt road. This will lead you to the TH. There is a pit toilet there if you need it.
We took the luxury of sleeping in on this trip. We met at 6am in Denver, and made the drive to the TH arriving just after 7am. The sun was starting to come up, so for this trip we didn’t need our headlamps. It was a brisk morning, so deciding on layers was a bit difficult. With winter looming over us it’s always hard to tell what you need. So, to be prepared I brought most of my cold weather gear just in case it got windy at the summit.
We saw the first two people of the day near the lake. The route takes you off trail at the lake and you make your way to the northern point where a rock field ramp so to speak will lead you towards the saddle on the western side of the summit. This section wasn’t difficult but it was tedious. There was enough snow in-between the rocks to piss you off a bit. Lower on the ramp the rocks were more consolidated which made stair stepping a good option, but the higher you get the smaller the boulders were and the more lose they became.
|Me and Cole at the Summit|
Just after 10am we were on the summit, so that was about a 3 hour ascent. You could probably shave some time off by taking the longer, more solid route to the west, but either way it’s not a bad climbing time. We were both shocked about how warm it felt on top. Cole never put a jacket on, but I threw on my puffy just because I had it. We cracked open a few summit beers, kind of a celebration for a solid climbing season. We both decided that cameras will never capture the true beauty the eye takes in while you’re in the mountains. This had one of the better, clearer views I’ve seen this year. I’m glad we were able to sneak this one in.
|Pettingell from the Saddle|
This is a really nice climb. In the summer I would like to take the East Ridge route from the Continental Divide Trail and maybe add Hassell Peak. It would be interesting to do a Pettingell-Citadel-Hagar trifecta, but I’m assuming it gets pretty technical. Worth looking into anyway. Well, it’s been a good season of climbing, and all good things must come to an end (what a shitty cliché). I’ve got a busy schedule ahead, so I hope some of you get out there and climb and share your stories with me for a change. Cheers!
Date: October 8, 2016
TH Elevation: 10,300 feet
Pettingell Peak Summit: 13,553 feet
Route: South Slopes
Total Ascent: 3,300 feet
Total Distance: 8.4 miles
Moving Time: 5 hours 35 minutes
Stopped Time: 50 minutes
Climbing Partners: Cole