Special trip since I had the chance to reunite with an old high school buddy. R.J. and I were great friends in high school and a few years afterwards. I hadn’t spoken with R.J. in over 25 years when he connected with me. Turns out that R.J. is also an avid backpacker and scrambler, funny we didn’t find each other sooner in the Rockies.
Andrew’s description of the “scenic route” along the south flanks of East Peak of Wendell sounded like a good choice, and it was. The rock scenery is impressive; looming canyon walls, tall vertical cliffs and interesting boulder/pillar debris make this lower traverse super enjoyable.
Most of this scramble is a mindless loose scree slog, but the descent was soft underfoot and fast. Section of slabs, and a couple of interesting slab/corner sections, provide relief from the scree grind, and then the final south summit ridge is reached. This provides a firm rock ridge the opportunity to get some fun exposure on the way to the summit. The summit cairn did not contain a register, just a hollow black tube.
Great shoulder season objective.
Beautiful mid-winter day...was well above freezing with little wind. South ridge was kinds loose in spots but a good easy scramble