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North America, United States, Colorado, Colorado Climbing Notes, 1935

Colorado Climbing Notes, 1935

Though perhaps not quite so brilliant as the 1933 and 1934 seasons, the 1935 climbing season in Colorado witnessed some important work and several first ascents. Mountaineers were again active in the San Juan, and of even more interest was the Gore Range Outing of the Colorado Mountain Club. The following outline gives a partial account of the 1935 climbing activities in Colorado.

Centrally located in Colorado, the sturdy summits of the Gore Range have, even since the early days of Hagerman and Clark, enticed the attention of the state’s more restive climbers. Even so, the central portion of the Gore remained, by virtue of its unaccessibleness, essentially virgin mountaineering territory. In August, 1935, the Colorado Mountain Club was successful, through the efforts of the leaders, Everett Long and Charles Moore, in establishing a climber’s camp in the upper valley of Black Creek in the heart of the Gore Range. From this camp the following climbs were accomplished : August 13, Peak “L” (13,193), second ascent, Charles Moore and party; August 13, Peak “G” (13,274), first ascent, Stanley Midgely, Clifton Snively, Maxwell Mery and Pete Alexander; August 13, Peak “F” (13,200), first ascent, same party; August 14, The Elephant (12,732), first ascent, Stanley Midgely, Don McBride, Clifton Snively and Everett Long; August 15, Peak “K,” first ascent, Everett Long, Carl Blaurock and party; August 15, Peak “J” (12,921), first ascent, same party; August 17, Mt. Powell, Carl Blaurock, Rudolph Johnson and party; August 17, Peak “P,” first ascent, Bob Lewis, Fred and John Nagel, and Gene Schaetzel ; August 17, Peak “J,” second ascent, same party; August 18, Peak “H,” possible second ascent, Don McBride, Carleton C. Long and party ; August 21, Peak “D,” first ascent, Fred Nagel, Bob Thallon, Gene Schaetzel and Bob Blair; August 21, Peak “E,” first ascent, same party; August 22, Mt. Powell, Charles Moore and party. This last party brought back the original records of Major Powell’s first ascent with Ned Farrell in 1868 and his second with members of the Hayden Survey in 1873. These and later records have been turned over to the State Historical Society.

In addition to the ascents listed, Peaks “M” and “N” and Little Powell were visited several times, and two more ascents of The Elephant were made.

The gradually mounting interst which led to this year’s successful establishment of a comfortable climber’s camp in the heart of the Gore may be said to have been fathered by Kenneth Segerstrom of the United States Geological Survey. Long an ardent mountaineer, Mr. Segerstrom has for several years been especially interested in the mountaineering possibilities offered by the Gore Range and has made several exploratory trips into this mountain fastness. The published accounts of these trips led directly to the present interest in the Gore.

The Needle Mountains were visited in August by another San Juan Mountaineers’ party. Camp was established in Ruby Basin above Ruby Lake. The climbing party, consisting of Prof. H. L. McClintock, Frank McClintock and Lewis Giesecke, investigated both north and south from Ruby Canyon. The second summit of the Index was attained by a flanking movement, rappelling around a corner of rock to get into a crevice not available from below. The ultimate pinnacle of the Index remains unscaled even after this, the second, attempt. The repulsed party reports that there are at least two routes available which will yield to a group of climbers having sufficient time at their disposal.

The same SJM party completed a successful first ascent of Monitor Peak and made a second ascent and traverse of Pigeon Peak. Monitor was ascended from the southwest, the first portion of the route lying somewhat along that selected for the first ascent (1934) of La Montaña de las Animas Perdidas. Pigeon was ascended by the north face and ridge and descended by the chimney between the east and south cliffs. The descent to the Pigeon-Turret col offered some spectacular work.

On August 17 Kenneth Segerstrom made the first ascent and traverse of the eastern or higher summit of Rolling Mountain in the Ice Lake Basin area. On September 8th Harry Kane and Kenneth Segerstrom made first ascents of the two highest pinnacles of Three Needles Peak, an interesting, gendarme-studded ridge lying between Bridal Veil and Mineral Creeks in the Telluride quadrangle. The third or lowest pinnacle of the group appears to be practicably unscalable.

Chimney Peak on Cimarron Ridge in the Uncompahgre country was ascended for the second time. The party (Joe Buswell, Floyd Griffiths) was led by T. Melvin Griffiths who, in 1934, made the first ascent. The south face and chimney route was again employed. Severe weather conditions made the descent treacherous.