Distance: ~14 miles
Monitor PeakI camped at the Colorado Trailhead on Junction Creek Road outside of Durango Friday night. Saturday morning I drove into town, picked up my ticket and boarded the 9 am train. I got off the train at 11:30 am and headed up the Animas River Trail to the Ruby Creek Trail. I got to the 11,600 foot meadow in Ruby Creek at 3:09 pm. I dropped my overnight gear, ate some food and continued up to the Peak Thirteen-Monitor Peak saddle. I traversed Monitor Peak’s west face, gained the north ridge and followed the ridge to the summit. I reached the top at 4:59 pm.
Peak ThirteenI descended my ascent route, but dropped too far below the traverse and had to climb back up. From the Peak Thirteen-Monitor Peak saddle, I climbed north to the base of cliffs, then did a descending traverse to the east and climbed northwest to the Peak Thirteen’s northeast ridge. This was the hardest climbing of the day. I followed the ridge and reached the summit at 5:59 pm.
Animas MountainI descended the north face, then traversed to the northwest ridge, descended the northwest ridge and contoured below 13620 on its west side. I climbed Animas Mountain’s southeast face up a gully to the west of the standard gully. I reached the summit at 6:34 pm. I descended the standard gully and the slope below the Animas Mountain-13620 saddle, traversed west, descended a narrow couloir, continued down grassy slopes and reached camp at 7:31 pm.
Peak SixteenI left camp at 8 am on Sunday morning, followed a trail leading up Ruby Creek, then abandoned it, heading for the 13290-Little Finger saddle. The gully was completely free of snow and was very sandy. After reaching the saddle, I did a descending traverse west to the base of the south couloir splitting Peak Fifteen and Peak Sixteen. I climbed the couloir finding myself hesitating a bit at the base of the wet crux. After reaching the Peak Fifteen-Peak Sixteen saddle, I traversed east below Peak Sixteen, then climbed a steep gully to a false summit. I traversed east to the true summit on some very exposed and loose blocks. I reached the summit at 11:08 am.
Peak FifteenI descended my ascent route avoiding the false summit. I traversed west on a grassy ledge on Peak Fifteen's south face, then climbed up to a set of rappel slings. I climbed up to another set of rappel slings and traversed west again to the western of two gullies having rappel slings above them. I climbed the gully and found easy terrain to the summit. I reached the top at 12:09 pm. I descended my ascent route and made it back to camp at 2 pm. I packed up camp and exited Ruby Creek.
Red = Ruby Ck Approach. Black = Monitor Pk, Pk Thirteen & Animas Mtn. Blue = Peaks 15 & 16. Click to enlarge.