Kessler and I decided to climb Derby Peak in the Flat Tops. It was the last 12,000+ foot peak I had left in the Flat Tops to climb.
The weather forecast didn't look that bad as it was only supposed to rain/snow Saturday morning, but it was raining and snowing pretty hard on the way to the trailhead. By the time we got to the trailhead, there was only a light mist and it stopped after a few minutes.
We hiked up to Mosquito Lake. Luckily there were no mosquitoes by late October! We had to walk through some mud, but all snow was avoidable. We found a nice campsite at the lake. The skies were threatening at times, but the weather wasn't bad. There were many birds and ducks around the lake.
It rained and snowed a little in the night, but it wasn't raining or snowing by morning. The thermometer said that the low at night was 34F (1C), which is very warm for the time of year.
It was very windy, but we made our way to the top of the plateau. We headed north along the official trail before striking off cross country for the peak. The peak was actually longer than it looked to get to! We had to walk through some snow, but it wasn't bad.
We made our way to the top of the summit block and then over to the summit, which was a detached rock knoll that required a little scrambling to get to. Before standing on the true summit, we found the register on the wrong (not the true) summit, but there was no pencil or pen in the jar.
The weather was very windy for the entire ascent, which made it feel chilly. We didn't spend too much time on top, but ate a quick lunch and headed back.
The weather looked threatening for much of the day, but it only spit a little snow at us. After arriving back at camp, we packed up and headed back down to the trailhead.
Climbed with Flat Top, which added a lot to my day actually, almost 6 more miles and 1500 vertical extra from the saddle! Derby is well guarded by cliffs from this side but I found a steep class 2+ gully weakness above a tarn above Hooper Lake. It actually works pretty well and has a game or climbers trail through parts of it. Its a little loose, just have to take it slow as a fall would be potentially catastrophic in the wrong place. If Derby is your only objective, use a different route.
Climbed Derby as part of an weekend loop from Trappers Lake. Little Trappers Lake, Chinese Wall, Derby Peak, Deer Lake, Upper Island Lake, Wall Lake, Trappers Peak down to Trappers Lake. Amazing views.
The Flat Tops are the true Hidden Gem of Colorado.