Ascent of Trinchera Peak on 2019-10-18

Climber: Tom Gathright

Other People:Solo Ascent
Date:Friday, October 18, 2019
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
    Motorized Transport to Trailhead:ATV
Peak:Trinchera Peak
    Elevation:13517 ft / 4119 m

Ascent Trip Report

After hiking Uncompahgre, my plan was to hike a few summits off of Hayden's Pass near Coaldale, but I completely missed my turn and was so far past it when I realized that I just kept driving toward Arkansas. The next morning as I was driving south along IH 25 I saw what looked like a nice place to hike, which was Trinchera Peak. I looked up the weather as clouds were forming over the mountains and it was forecast for snow, but ending after noon. So I made my way along CO 12 and ultimately onto FR 422. I followed FR 422, a good dirt road to the intersection of FR 436. FR 436 is 4WD/OHV road that leads to the saddle just north of Trinchera Peak.

I parked about fifty feet lower than the saddle as the wind was a steady gale force with gusts much higher, hoping to have some of the wind blocked by the ridge. I started hiking south and found a faint use trail that followed the leeward side of the ridge, but at times it worked its way onto the ridge line. The wind was fierce, with blowing snow, sleet and rime ice was forming on everything. By the time I reached a small section of what would be easy class 3 scrambling it was coated in rime ice. I worked my way up this helping Lola, as needed, and continued toward the top. The visibility at this point was no more than 20 feet, so every time I thought I was at the summit there was another little bit to go. When I reached the summit (with three or four cairns) the visibility was down to almost nothing. I signed the register and made as hasty a retreat as I could. I had to hike down .with my gloved hands covering my eyes as the blowing sleet was painful when striking me in the face and eyes.

When I got back to the ATV, I wanted to save my gps track, but inadvertently hit the clear button instead of the save the button. By the time I reached my truck at the intersection of 422 and 436 there was 2-3 inches of snow covering the ground. It snowed pretty much all the way down the mountain until reaching Cuchara
Click on photo for original larger-size version.
On summit of Trincheras Peak in near whiteout conditions and everything covered in rime ice (2019-10-18). Photo by Tom Gathright.
Click here for larger-size photo.
Summary Total Data
    Round-Trip Distance:1.4 mi / 2.3 km
    Route Conditions:
Open Country, Scramble
    Weather:Snowing, Cold, Extremely Windy, White-out
Ascent Statistics
    Distance:0.7 mi / 1.1 km
    Route:South from the saddle
    Start Trailhead:High saddle north of peak  
    Time:45 Minutes
Descent Statistics
    Distance:0.7 mi / 1.1 km
    Time:30 Minutes

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