Historic Trip Reports: Enos Mills

Page Type
Trip Report
Colorado, United States, North America
Date Climbed/Hiked:
Jan 1, 2004
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Created On: Aug 9, 2004
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[Note: These reports were written by Enos Mills (for whom Mills Glacier and Lake are named) and taken from Mountaineering in the Rocky Mountain National Park, Compiled by Roger Toll. Washington: GPO, 1919. I found them interesting and figured others might as well.]

About June, 1903, I made a trip down the east side of the peak to Chasm Lake. I went from the very summit to the Little Notch in the top and then descended almost vertically about 200 feet. I do not think anyone had ever been down this way before, but I believe that Rev. E. J. Lamb many years earlier went down from the bottom of the Big Notch some distance farther to the south. A more complete account of this trip is to be found in Outing for July, 1904.

One of the most striking climbs that I ever made to the top, I made on an extremely windy day in winter.

The easiest trip that I have made to the top of the peak was made during January. I reached the summit without touching any snow. The loose rocks around the Trough were frozen solid. The day was warm and windless. I made the round trip from the inn in nine hours and did it easily.

An interesting climb was made the first week of May one year immediately following the heavy fall of snow on the summit. This snow had slipped or blown from the rocks from the Keyhole to the bottom of the Trough, but all the way up the Trough was 2 feet deep. However, I waded up through it without starting a slide and on the way down the Trough I simply sat down in the soft snow and slid from the top of the Trough to the bottom in about a minute.

A good climber will find it interesting at the top of the Trough to climb onto the summit on the southwest corner of the peak without going around on the Narrows or the Home Stretch.

In July, 1896, I was climbing Longs Peak with an adventurous young man from Pittsburgh. Just after passing through the Keyhole I told him of the possibility of getting to the summit by a shorter and more difficult route than that of the regular trail. This appealed to him. After we passed the high point on the trail, about midway between the Keyhole and the Trough, we turned to the left, east, and climbed up a gully. In the upper end of it for about 200 feet we had interesting ledge work, but by helping each other we reached the summit without great difficulty and did not use either ropes or Alpine stocks. But some one had been over this route before. This way is one which I would commend to all who are looking for an interesting climb and one not too dangerous nor difficult.

Two or three years earlier than this I had traveled from the summit of Mount Meeker through the Notch, scaling the peak from that quarter. This is an interesting climb, but not to be commended to the average climber because of the danger element, nor to anyone who is short on time.

I twice made the summit of the peak from Boulder Field. Once, from a point about 200 feet east of the Keyhole and with much zigzag climbing I at last reached the summit. The other time I climbed up quite close to the northeast corner and not far from the precipice. I did a little zigzagging but conditions were favorable and I made this climb all alone without rope or Alpine stock. Both these are excellent rock climbs, but the danger is a little too great for the inexperienced climber. I have not yet climbed down the north side. Once I attempted to do so but after spending 2 hours and getting caught in high wind I deemed it wise to return to the summit and come down the regular way.


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gbrady - Jun 23, 2010 5:02 pm - Voted 10/10

Good information

Thanks for posting this information. enos Mills was an amazing man and made great contributions to the field of mountaineering.

Viewing: 1-1 of 1

Historic Trip Reports: Enos Mills

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