On the way to tagging Jones on a long snowshoe. Pretty good conditions for January in the San Juans, but that still makes it a cold, snowy, windy day. Trip report.
A quick run from Burns Gulch up to Jones, traversed to American took less than 3/4 hr. down to Burn Gulch along the north side of Jones into a basin with a small lake, connected with Burns Gulch later on.
Had a late start, went rock c;limbing in Eureka that am.
I intended on going over American Peak to get to Jones & Niagra Peaks but when I topped out on the ridge (Independence Couloir), weather down south, basically over Niagra and Crown Mountain was horrible. So I decided to tag American and bail back down.
They had plowed the road up to the pass (recently) which made the walk out really easy. I dropped my pack at the junction and walked up the road maybe a half mile and hiked steep but snow-free slopes (until the mellow summit ridge) to get Edith Mountain.
It was a terrific trip being solo and actually getting back to altitude again. I've done so much obscure, low-altitude crap bushwhacks lately, that I didn't even mind not getting my objective!
Combined with Niagara and Jones for a nice day hike.
From Burns Gulch TH
Solo climb via Traitor Couloir route from American Basin TH. Rotten snow at the base at 8am, good snow in the middle, a little bit of ice close to the top. The last ~60 feet is melted out already. Nice climb. After summiting American, hiked over to Jones.
Cold and breezy morning, but great snow conditions. Traversed from saddle as high as possible to get into American Basin right beneath Traitor. Grade was moderate on Independence, and the views got better as we got higher. The ridge traverse to the summit is loose, but not bad.
Went with Britt, Bob & Kate, and Otina & Darrin. Took the West Face route - with roughly a foot of snow for a couple hundred feet up to the saddle. The snow was not fun on the way down - especially since I didn't have poles or axe - just microspikes. (Otina loaned me a trek pole, though.)
Climbed from lower Burns TH. Up Niagra to Jones and to American. Part of a 4 day 17 peak outing. Great views all around.
I went up the northern fork of Burns Gulch to American Peak. There was significant snow in Burns Gulch. After Jones/American saddle not much snow on American. I crossed Snare Gulch from American and climbed up NE ridge route of Jones. Returned to vehicle via Jones West ridge into Burns Gulch.
I did this easy hike in 4 and 1/2 hours round trip! Not much too it, don't expect to find much of a trail until you get a few hundred feet below the Jones/American saddle,
Parked at Cuba Gulch and hiked up the Snare Stairs to Snare Gulch and up the South Ridge. Traversed over to Jones and Niagara as well. Beautiful day and cool route. Saw no one except the 2 of us the entire day (except those on Handies).
Started at 4WD American Basin TH and did a late snow climb of Independence Couloir, which was getting pretty thin. Slope angle never exceeded the upper 30's. Traversed over to Jones & Niagara.
Climbed south ridge en route to Jones and Niagara, basically followed Gerry Roach's "American Pie" route from his 13ers book.
Surprisingly not much snow on the south sides of these peaks, almost no need for gaitors even!
summited american via the victory couloir. short and sweet getting right to the point! 600 feet of couloir leading almost directly to the summit. awesome views into the needles/grenadiers from up top.
An extremely sweet little climb up a great couloir with two great friends. Other then the occasional line, some good snow to be had. Summit was still snow-capped and ridged. Climbed down and traversed over to Handies afterwards.
A pretty quick hike from Cuba Gulch TH. Great views of Half Peak the entire way and lots of solitude.
Great day after a snow storm the night before.
American Basin is a beautiful place to visit or camp. From there I hiked to the west end of the ridge and followed the herd path east just south of the crest of the ridge to the summit. If it weren't for the path beaten by other climbers this part of the hike would be much more tedious.