Sunday, August 1, 2010

San Luis Peak (8/1/2010)

Route Name: Northeast Ridge from Stewart Creek (standard route)
Start Elevation: 10,480 ft.
End Elevation: 14,014 ft.
Elevation Gain: 3,534 ft.
Round-trip Mileage: 12.38 mi (according to my GPS, 13mi. according to the books)

Not sure what others really think of San Luis, but our group loved the hike. If you're looking for the technical excitement of the Crestones you won't find it here. But if you're looking for great views of the San Juans, and Sangres, wonderful wildflower meadows, and a true feeling of the wilderness, then this is your peak. San Luis was the perfect follow-up for our group after having done DeCaLiBro yesterday and having run into 300+ people.
We left Frisco around 7pm to head for Stewart Creek. We got rained on the entire drive till we left CO114. Driving Monarch Pass in the rain was a fright as the mixture of rain and fog made visibility near zero. This was then coupled with the danger of rock fall on the road. After all this fun we finally hit the dirt roads heading for Stewart Creek. This is one long drive. We hit the trailhead and parked along the road around midnight. We decided to shoot for 4:30am as a departure time to beat any of the predicted bad weather.
From the summit of San Luis


No rain. Near clear skies till about 6am. A thin cloud deck formed above us and most of the general vicinity. As we neared the summit the clouds near us became darker but no rain was happening. As we descended things clear some for an hour.


Saw 13 people on the trail today. Met a great couple from Illinois whom we shared the summit with. Met another fascinating man who hiked up from the south and met us on the summit. He'd done all the CO traverses.


This is truly a classic class 1 trail. Quite easy to follow from start to finish. Even the last 700 feet of the trail on the rocks was well defined and easy going. Only troubles with the trail came in the upper portion of the basin as the trail is right next to the upper part of Stewart Creek. The trail was washing out in parts and as it went above the creek one last time on the grass, the trail was muddy and we couldn't avoid getting our shoes a little wet.


We summited in 3 hours 37 minutes. Descent was 2 hours 50 minutes.


I took a KML track of our hike on my Nokia N800 with Maemo Mapper. I'm happy to share that here:

My Track


My photos from this hike are included below:

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