This is part of an ongoing series re-telling Brittany’s fourteener-skiing story. Look for the reports every Thursday, as part of a Throwback Thursday theme.
We were on a roll during Memorial Day weekend, 2007. We were trying to ski four fourteeners in three days, and make it back to work for Tuesday morning. San Luis was the last one in the series, and the longest day. Below is a modified version of my original trip report for Handies Peak, which would become my 28th fourteener skied.
TR: San Luis Peak (14,014′) 5-28-2007
Frank, Brittany, Jordan White
After hitting up Sunshine and Redcloud on Saturday and Handies on Sunday, we packed up our camp and headed down to Lake City to stay with jcwhite’s grandparents who were visiting from Texas, staying in their family cabin. Things in Lake City were pretty slow with their season just starting. At least it wasn’t as bad as when we came here in April and couldn’t find a restaurant that was open!
The wake-up call was at 3 am on this Monday morning. We drove toward Creede, which took us about an hour from Lake City. We went over some amazing passes, but I was barely even awake to notice :frown: We arrived at Creede. still in the dark. But as we began taking a dirt road that goes up about 7 miles to the Equity Mine, the light of the day slowly brought us back to life.
After messing around with our packs for awhile, we began hiking around 6:15 am. We followed the Willow Creek road north from the Equity Mine (at 11,090′) for a couple of miles. When hiking through the willowed area of the valley I saw lots of evidence of moose. I didn’t think that moose lived in the San Juans- I usually think about them being more north toward Fraser and Steamboat, but evidently they were reintroduced here. I think they are doing pretty well here as there were moose droppings and tracks everywhere.
We then took a right turn NE heading toward a saddle.
Looking back down at Willow Creek valley.
I was moving slow. I was so tired from too many mornings of waking up early, lack of sleep and being sick earlier in the week. Finally we reached the saddle at 12,300 ft and got a good view of San Luis.
A closer look revealed that our intented line, the Yawner Gullies, were indeed filled with snow.