Unnamed 13300 and Hope Lake
Unnamed 13300 (some sites call it V 8, but per more resources: San Juan Mountaineers - V 8 is West Turkshead Peak). Colorado has so many high peaks and many do not bear a name, therefore another ranked, but unnamed peak. UN 13300 raises nicely above Hope Lake and combines really well with Beattie peak along a narrow exposed traverse with some class 2+/3 moves.
The peak is accessible either from the west via popular Hope Lake trail, or from the east via South Mineral trail.
Nice columbines - Hope Lake
Motivated climbers seeking multiple summit can add other nearby 13ers with the summit of UN 13300, e.g. V 9, Rolling Mountain
, or if continuing onto Beattie
, you can add Fuller Peak
(centennial and the highest point in the area).
Colorado Rank: 403
Class: 2 (the easier route, the traverse to Beattie may have some class 3 moves, very exposed and loose)
* V 9 0.82 miles
Along the Hope Lake
Hope Lake Trail
Lake Hope from the trail up Hope Lake Pass
: The Lake Hope trail
starts at the sharp curve on a switchback on FS Road #627 (it is well marked). From Telluride drive south on State Highway 145 for approximately 10.1 miles and take left onto signed dirt road for Trout Lake (FR #626). Follow this road around the northwest shore of Trout Lake for approximately one mile to Forrest Road # 627 (Hope Lake road). Proceed on this rougher dirt road for 2.5 miles to the Hope Lake traihead.
The trail is well used and really easy to follow. It is 2.5 miles to the Lake, and another 0.3 miles to reach the pass. Trailhead elevation is 10,750 feet, Lake Hope is 11,880 feet and the Pass is 12,445 feet. The views are spectacular!
Bandora Mine Trail via South Mineral Campground: nice if coming from the east (Silverton area). Drive north of Silverton for a couple of miles towards Ouray on Million Dollar Highway. At the sign for the South Mineral Campgroung, turn left onto a good dirt road. In 4.3 miles, pass the Ice Lake Trailhead. The next two miles require high clearance 4WD vehicle. Park in a turn out at 6.6 miles at the Bandora Mine. The road splits here - the left branch goes down to the South Fork of Mineral Creek (good access point for Twin Sister Peaks and Rolling Mountain), and the right branch is closed to vehicles and goes up Lake Hope Pass.
As mentioned in an Overview section - basically, it does not matter which approach you choose. The goal is to reach Hope Lake Pass and here both approaches meet and you climb the south ridge of UN 13000. I chose Hope Lake approach because we got fresh snow and I expected the drive to Hope Lake Trailhead easier. Hope Lake trailhead is passable for 2 VD vehicles. If coming from the east via Bandora Mine and South Mineral, you do need a 4WD (ok for 2 WD to South Mineral campground, then the next 2 miles are rough).
The west and east slopes of UN 13300 are very steep and loose, pretty much unaccessible.
The easiest way up is via Hope Lake Pass - a nice trail bring you to the top of the pass and from here the route finding is obvious. Zig zag your way up the south ridge on loose rocks and talus. There is no trail higher up (I thought there was something reminiscent of a trail lower down) and no cairns. It may appear steep, but the going was actually pretty easy. I did traverse a little to the east on the ridge and then west, technically not difficult and relatively short. Once you reach the top of the steep section, you will go over a false summit on much easier terrain.
The summit is decorated with a cairn. I did not find a summit register, but did not search too much (did not want to dig through the snow too much).
NNE ridge = traverse onto Beattie (harder than south ridge). The initial descent starts easy, then steepens, I used a snow filled couloir to reach again easier terrain. The route finding is again obvious and tried to stay on the ridge proper as much as I could, but occasionally bypassed some rock formation and used both west and east sides of the ridge. There is not much escape from this ridge, so watch your weather. Once you reach Beattie Peak, it is an easy descent into Beattie - Fueller Peak saddle.
South Mineral campground
is open seasonally and paid camping area with vault toilets. You can also sleep in a car around Bandora Mine or set up a campsite at the south fork of Mineral Creek (primitive, but beautiful and free).