Distance: 23.4 miles
Elevation Gain: 10422'
Arrow PeakI camped at the Molas Trailhead Saturday night. I started hiking down the Animas Trail at 2:30 am. My Princeton Tec Scout LED Headlamp was not bright enough to move very quickly down the trail. I crossed the Animas River on the footbridge, reached the Durango Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad and began looking for the Elk Creek Trail. I missed it, but folllowed a faint trail that intersected it. I followed the Elk Creek Trail to the Beaver Pond and followed a faint trail passed some campsites then lost it. I bushwhacked down to Elk Creek, crossed it, then bushwacked up to the Vestal Creek Trail. I followed the Vestal Creek Trail to the base of Arrow Peak. I crossed Vestal Creek and a couple attempting Vestal Peak and climbed Arrow Peak's northeast face reaching the summit at 8:48. The summit provided a good view of the Needle Mountains.
Vestal PeakI descended Arrow Peak's northeast face and saw Colorado's possibly highest tree at about 13,750 feet on Arrow's north ridge. I climbed up to the Vestal Peak-Arrow Peak saddle and continued up Vestal Peak's south face. Just below the summit, I passed the couple I saw earlier, stopping to answer their questions about Arrow Peak's northeast face route. I got to the summit at 11:20. I saw a party of 3 on the summit.
Colorado's Highest Tree?
West TrinityI descended Vestal Peak's south face and traversed to the Vestal Peak-West Trinity saddle. I continued up West Trinity's west ridge and noticed Barry, one of the people on Vestal's summit, was following me. The west ridge provided some good scrambling and I got to the summit at 1:17 pm. We hung out at the summit a while before parting ways.
Trinity PeakI descended West Trinity's east ridge towards the West Trinity-Trinity Peak saddle and began looking for the ledge required to bypass the "Fourth Trinity". I descended southeast then ascended northeast and finally found it. Shortly after finding it, the ledge system ended. I spent a lot of time looking for it, before realizing it was time to ascend to the 4th class chimney. I found the chimney, climbed it and climbed to the summit arriving at 2:52.
West Trinity from Trinity Peak
East TrinityI descended Trinity Peak's east gully and ascended East Trinity's west gully to East Trinity's south ridge. There was some exposed third class on the ridge. I got to the summit at 3:46. I descended East Trinity's east ridge to East Trinity-Peak Three saddle, then continued west avoiding as much snow as possible. I stopped and talked with many people on the way out just below treeline in Vestal Creek. The Animas Trail was no fun on the return.