Monitor Peak, Peak Thirteen, Animas Mountain, Peak Sixteen & Peak Fifteen

Page Type
Trip Report
Colorado, United States, North America
Date Climbed/Hiked:
Sep 1, 2007
Hiking, Mountaineering, Trad Climbing, Scrambling
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Monitor Peak, Peak Thirteen, Animas Mountain, Peak Sixteen & Peak Fifteen
Created On: Sep 6, 2007
Last Edited On: Jan 9, 2014


Peak Name
CO Rank
Monitor Peak
Peak Thirteen
Animas Mountain
Peak Sixteen
Peak Fifteen

Distance: ~14 miles
Elevation Gain: ~9,630'

Monitor Peak

I camped at the Colorado Trailhead on Junction Creek Road outside of Durango Friday night. Saturday morning I drove into town, picked up my ticket and boarded the 9 am train. I got off the train at 11:30 am and headed up the Animas River Trail to the Ruby Creek Trail. I got to the 11,600 foot meadow in Ruby Creek at 3:09 pm. I dropped my overnight gear, ate some food and continued up to the Peak Thirteen-Monitor Peak saddle. I traversed Monitor Peak’s west face, gained the north ridge and followed the ridge to the summit. I reached the top at 4:59 pm.
Animas MountainPeak Thirteen & Monitor Peak, from left to right, from Peak Sixteen

Peak Thirteen

I descended my ascent route, but dropped too far below the traverse and had to climb back up. From the Peak Thirteen-Monitor Peak saddle, I climbed north to the base of cliffs, then did a descending traverse to the east and climbed northwest to the Peak Thirteen’s northeast ridge. This was the hardest climbing of the day. I followed the ridge and reached the summit at 5:59 pm.

Animas Mountain

I descended the north face, then traversed to the northwest ridge, descended the northwest ridge and contoured below 13620 on its west side. I climbed Animas Mountain’s southeast face up a gully to the west of the standard gully. I reached the summit at 6:34 pm. I descended the standard gully and the slope below the Animas Mountain-13620 saddle, traversed west, descended a narrow couloir, continued down grassy slopes and reached camp at 7:31 pm.
Animas MountainAnimas Mountain from Peak Thirteen

Peak Sixteen

I left camp at 8 am on Sunday morning, followed a trail leading up Ruby Creek, then abandoned it, heading for the 13290-Little Finger saddle. The gully was completely free of snow and was very sandy. After reaching the saddle, I did a descending traverse west to the base of the south couloir splitting Peak Fifteen and Peak Sixteen. I climbed the couloir finding myself hesitating a bit at the base of the wet crux. After reaching the Peak Fifteen-Peak Sixteen saddle, I traversed east below Peak Sixteen, then climbed a steep gully to a false summit. I traversed east to the true summit on some very exposed and loose blocks. I reached the summit at 11:08 am.
Peaks Fifteen & Sixteen CruxPeaks Fifteen & Sixteen Crux

Peak Fifteen

I descended my ascent route avoiding the false summit. I traversed west on a grassy ledge on Peak Fifteen's south face, then climbed up to a set of rappel slings. I climbed up to another set of rappel slings and traversed west again to the western of two gullies having rappel slings above them. I climbed the gully and found easy terrain to the summit. I reached the top at 12:09 pm. I descended my ascent route and made it back to camp at 2 pm. I packed up camp and exited Ruby Creek.
Little Finger, Peak Sixteen, Peak Fifteen & Turret PeakLittle Finger, Peak Sixteen, Peak Fifteen & Turret Peak from left to right

Monitor Peak, Peak Thirteen, Animas Mountain & Peaks Fofteen & Sixteen
Red = Ruby Ck Approach. Black = Monitor Pk, Pk Thirteen & Animas Mtn. Blue = Peaks 15 & 16.  Click to enlarge.


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