Montezuma County Highpoint Trip Report
Date: October 24, 2005
For Hesperus, I started from Mancos and drove through
Tamarack Basin to the Sharktooth trailhead. I followed
Mitchler and Covill's route up the black shale gully
from the West Mancos River to a notch in the West ridge.
Lots of loose scree and talus on a trail that
disappears occasionally gets you up the ridge to the summit.
From the top, the traverse over to Lavender
looked doable if a few notches were negotiable.
Only one way to find out. I started down and made pretty
good time until near a deep notch. I had to drop down
quite a ways (about 12,600 ft) to bypass it.
Reclimbingon the other side of the notch, the terrain got
increasingly loose, slabby and icy. After taking a
slipping fall and cutting my arm, I decided that
prudence was the name of the game so I headed back.
On the way back, about 200 ft east of the lowest notch,
I met two climbers (Joe and Heff) who were roped and were
headed to Lavender. After a bit of conversation,
they invited me to rope in with them and I jumped at the chance.
As we passed the area where I turned around,
we approached the blocky and solid twin summits.
I had just spent almost 3 hours on the ridge (time flies
when you're having fun) and I was wiped out after
negotiating the summit blocks.
I had leveled to Lavender from Hesperus and Lavender looked lower
(through my El Cheapo level). Sighting back to
Hesperus from Lavender gave the same results. Given
the spire-like shape of Lavender, I can't see how the USGS
could have left off two contours.
After a good rest, we returned to the notch area, unroped and started down,
first some slabby stuff and then some talus and scree
which we negotiated in a controlled fall.
I sure wouldn't want to climb up this loose, crappy slope.
The next morning, I climbed Centennial Peak from Sharktooth Pass.
The ridge over to Lavender from there
looked horrendous. I'll let someone else attempt that one.
Author: Bill Schuler