UN 13460 (13,460′) | Colorado | 09/15/19

UN 13460 (13,460′) | CO Rank: 282/637

Sawatch Range | San Isabel National Forest | Twin Lakes, CO

09/15/19 | 9.89 miles | 3,280′ gain | Class 2+

I don’t think most people would think twice about Unnamed (UN) 13460, or any of the other 150 or so similarly “named” 13ers. But Allie and I have a long dream of completing all of Colorado’s high peaks and if it’s on the list, we’re interested. (To be fair, the original goal was to get Sayres Benchmark and UN 13460, but it turns out that I don’t like walking very far.)

Anyways – Allie and I met at the trailhead since she was camping nearby, and we set out at the early hour of 7:21am. We crossed the South Fork of Lake Creek on a good bridge and soon came to a junction. To the left is a locked gate that we climbed over. This is FS Rd 392 that goes nearly to the summit of UN 13460.

Climb over the locked gate.

After the gate, we crossed a shallow creek.

Allie expertly crosses on the rocks, I chose an easier route to the right.

The old mining road was surprisingly clear after years of disuse, with only a few overgrown sections. We easily found our way, gradually heading up and up. 

We don’t normally like hiking on roads, but this one was actually not too bad. Near treeline, we were able to see our first peak, UN 13460.

UN 13460 left of center
Allie’s dog Harper
UN 13460 on the left

We found an old cabin just off the road and used that as an opportunity to break for a few minutes. The door was open so we explored inside.

Still on the road, we continued around the back side of the ridge, slowly climbing upwards. We finally caught a peek of our second peak (haha…), Sayres Benchmark. Holy cats, why is it so far away?

Harper and Sayres Benchmark (13,738′)
Sayres Benchmark

We decided to leave the road and take a shortcut directly up the ridge. It was much steeper and looser than the road, so we probably didn’t save much time.

UN 13460 (left) and its sub-summit (right)
A closer look at UN 13460 and its gorgeous red slope.

I believe the red color is from iron-rich deposits in the rock, but please correct me if I’m wrong.

Alpine Spring Beauty, Fall Edition

The road took us all the way to the red sub-summit of UN 13460. My GPX track stopped here, but a quick investigation proved that this wasn’t the true summit. (It seems like many people confuse this point with the true summit, but the true summit is just north and is higher by about 30′.)

La Plata Peak (14,336′)

We took a break to decide what we wanted to do. We for sure wanted to summit UN 13460 since it was so close, but Sayres Benchmark looked so. far. away!

Sayres Benchmark from the red sub-summit

We decided to summit UN 13460 and see how we felt once we got there. The ridge looked like it might prove more difficult than we’d expected, and we weren’t sure how long it’d take.

The ridge to UN 13460, just left of center.
Allie and Harper in front of the summit ridge

I was concerned this ridge would exceed my capabilities, but it stayed mostly mellow. We followed a faint trail most of the way, and there were only one or two spots that I had to stop for a moment to figure out how best to place my hands or feet.

Sayres Gulch, you can even see the road we followed near center.

We soon were on the summit, looking back at the short ridge and signing the summit register.

Sayres Benchmark (left), red sub-summit (right)

We ate our lunch and ultimately decided to come back another time for Sayres Benchmark. Allie got some pictures of me crossing the ridge on the way back. This was one of the sections that required a little extra concentration, but I definitely wasn’t scared and nothing felt unsafe.

We decided to take the road back down from the sub-summit instead of the ridge (like we’d done on the ascent) and we made good time back to the car. A fun day on a little climbed peak in the Sawatch!


4 thoughts on “UN 13460 (13,460′) | Colorado | 09/15/19

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