Add Heading HereWednesday, 17 May, 2006, I set out before sunrise for Bear Trap Ranch to attempt Mt. Vigil and San Luis Peak (not the 14er, the other one!). I got there just about sunrise, but it took me 20 minutes to find the trailhead, so I headed up the mountain about 6 MDT. The steep but good and marked trail quickly led me to the saddle just west of the summit (only 23 minutes to that point). A couple of minutes’ good scrambling got me to the ridge at the base of the summit block, and the real crux of the route. I’m sorry to say, after looking at it and trying stuff for nearly 20 minutes, I had to bail on climbing the slightly overhung wall, only 10 feet high or so, which leads to the rest of the ridge-crest route to the summit, a tantalizing 50 or so vertical feet away.
I went back down to the trail fork and headed over to San Luis.
The trail is steep and rocky, but well marked and cairned right up to the base of the summit block, which is a nifty collection of slanted rock slabs. The approach to the summit is from the south, and the final stretch is a moderately exposed cling walk over rock surfaces which actually have plenty of traction when dry, but could be a nightmare coated with water or ice. The last few feet are airy and exposed, with wonderful views in all directions.
This is a fabulous little half-day climb. If you can dare that exposed crux section on Vigil, it will only add a little time to the whole round trip. I’ll be back to try it again, you can bet.
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