Don't know how I missed signing this one!
I have been combing the internet for beta on the areas to the southeast and east of Gold Dust and you seem to have as much knowledge and experience in and around there as anyone. This summer I am doing a long trek that will visit some of the least visited areas in the Holy Cross Wilderness. I hope to approach the Gold Dust - Pika massif from the SE and all the beta is for western and SW approaches, as they are shorter and more conducive to a day hike. I have 6 days. Specifically I am hoping to access upper East Lake Creek from upper West Cross Creek, then gain the Big Pine Lakes area, before continuing up and around to Middle Lake. If you have any photos or recollections of the terrain along my described route, I would love to obtain it!
From Fulford Cave TH. Approached Gold Dust via Negro Basin. Traversed to Pika & UN 12940 afterwards. Solo.
Climbed with Matt J. Great Peak and saw friends in guidebook over the years. Peak is not climbed much.
Visited Mystic Lake before hiking back and bushwhacking up the drainage. Camped in Negro Basin under a full moon, very cool. Hit the summit at 7am.
Three ascents (so far), one of my favorite local peaks.
1st 9/27/2008 via Lake Charles/Negro Basin with traverse to Pika and PT 12940. The traverse to Pika is a fun class 4 route with some route finding challenges near the saddle.
2nd 7/11/2010 via Lake Charles/Negro Basin with a trip to PT 12730 to the east, PT 12730 was my 100th peak in Eagle County.
3rd 8/23/2015 via Lake Charles/Negro Basin with traverse to Pika, with Brian and Steve.