With school starting on Monday, I needed to get in one last mountain for the summer. My climbing buddy Paul was finally back in Denver so we made plans for a climb of Mount Guyot. Mount Guyot was my primary objective for climbing this summer; nothing like waiting till the last minute. July of last year I did a climb of Mount Silverheels which lies to the SW and that day I put Bald Mountain and Mount Guyot high on my list of peaks to climb.
Directions are pretty straight forward, drive to Breckenridge and turn east on Wellington. This comes up pretty quick when approaching from the north. Follow the road through the residential area till it turns to dirt. At the end of the road is a parking area and this acts as the TH for this climb.
|Bald Mountain Pano|
We arrived at the TH around 8:30a.m., which is really sleeping in for us. It didn’t bother me too much as long as the weather didn’t become a factor later in the day. There were four or five cars in the lot already, but we didn’t really see anyone for quite awhile. The first section of trail heads down a road for 1.25 miles before actually getting on anything that would resemble a real trail.
I had been down this road previously with a failed winter attempt back in December, so I had had an idea of the route already. I did my research for this climb on 13ers.com. Just after passing a large property around the 1.25 mile mark there is a trail or what appears to be an old jeep road heading off to the left. Make your way down the trail and about 50 yards or so you will see there is a sign. I’m not sure why that isn’t right on the road, probably has to do with being on private property rather than NFS land.
Hiking up the trail is a nice change of pace; it goes from single to double track a few times. There are a few tiny creeks that roll by that are nice for cooling down later in the day. About a mile up this road is a cabin off to the left; from there the route really starts to gain. The trail will finally open up outside of the forest and you will start to see what you have to do.
The first objective from here is to climb directly to the ridge. I’ll warn you, this is no picnic. A 600 foot gain in a short distance makes for a very steep slope. This is where I had to turn back in December because the snow was so bad. Make the trudge up to the ridge in whatever fashion you like. Once on the ridge the grade mellows out and your claves can start to recover. We took a fuel break here, probably about 1.5hours into the climb.
|Summit with Bald Mountain in the Backdrop|
A faint trail goes in and out along the ridge. There is another steep climb of about 600 feet coming up, but we were lucky to find that the goats had made us some nice trail through the talus. It didn’t seem like it took us too terribly long and we were at 12,500ft. The only thing that lay in front of us was the 800 foot grunt up the boulder field. At this point we had some fluffy clouds surrounding the mountain so we had to keep our eyes on how they developed. I think our karma paid off, and the mountain gods let us continue our journey up Guyot.
The grunt up the boulder field is as stated..a grunt. I would rate the boulders semi-consolidated, at times boulders that should be way too big to move would move on you. Proceed with caution, because this is the last place you would want an ankle injury or something worse to happen. We took our time, but consistently made progress up the mountain. Once gaining the west side of the ridge I think we both had big smiles on our faces. The last ridge walk took a matter of five minutes then we were on the summit of Guyot.
I had run out of fuel on the last push, so I had to eat a cliff bar. I’ll be honest, it didn’t taste good, but it was needed. After a few minute recovery period we took some pictures and were on our way down. We didn’t want to have summit beers on top of the boulder field; lingering on top with shady weather was not a good idea. The beers were waiting for us at the 12,500 foot hump.
|Paul and Nick on the Summit of Guyot|
It was a long trudge down the boulders, but it felt as if we made good time. As we arrived at the 12,500 foot hump I saw a mountain goat on the far ridge. This looked like a good spot for a Pb&J and an ice cold beer. We had a good lunch, hoping the goat would get a little closer, but he was happy eating grass on the other side of the mountain. The clouds were building up again so we gathered ourselves and started down the ridge of the mountain.
Both of us were hurting a little bit, but nothing too bad. We found a few short cuts on the descent through the trees that hosted some soft ground for my sore fee. Once back on the trail it was a short hike out. This was an excellent trip with a good climbing buddy. I’m glad I was able to sneak it in before the semester got underway. I hope to get out a few times this fall, but we will just have to see how it goes. Cheers!
TH Elevation: 10,290 feet
Mount Guyot: 13,370 feet
Total Gained Elevation: 3,100 feet
Distance: 7.49 miles
Time: 4:34 moving, 2:00 minutes stopped
Climbing Partner: Paul
Picture Link: Mount Guyot