Mount Lamborn - north rib - almost**

Mount Lamborn - north rib - almost**

Page Type Page Type: Trip Report
Location Lat/Lon: 38.80000°N / 107.53°W
Date Date Climbed/Hiked: Apr 29, 2009
Activities Activities: Mountaineering
Seasons Season: Spring

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Lamborn looking south

I was up in Paonia Colorado doing a weeklong course on solar installation and really had no intention of climbing Lamborn until I got there. My class was Monday through Friday 9-5 and I arrived on a Sunday up from Phoenix. I had another climb scheduled for Saturday so I had no time to climb this beautiful mountain. Monday in class this is all I saw looking east.

Looking east from my solar class

It was hard to concentrate on solar panels! I had my laptop with me so on Monday night after class I pulled up Google Earth and SummitPost and did some cyber scouting. I couldnt really find any good trails or anything but I knew I wanted to go up it. I knew if it was going to happen it would have to be during the week.

Lamborn looking south

Tuesday night after class I did some real scouting up around the north side, but the only trails to be had were elk trails through the bushwack. After 2hours or so through the bush, ravines, and rocks I made the north face and sort of determined the best line through the bush. I plotted an alpinish start for Wednesday morning and decided that maybe it could be done and back before class started the next morning by 9am...

O dark fifteen

O-dark-fifteen -- time to start the pitchblack bushwack through unfamiliar elk and bear country solo funfunfun.

Wishing I was still in bed

Wishing I was still in bed not nightbushwacking. Also wishing I could remember to put sunscreen on my lips when I climb.

The navigation was 5x as hard in the dark. At one point I was so turned around I thought I was walking toward the mountain, decided to check my compass, and realized I was walking the opposite direction. The problem is the animal trails just take you... wherever they want, the animals arent trying to get to the mountain. After the slight navigation delay I made the north face and started ascending the north rib.

Sunrise coming up

Sunrise coming up along the north rib. Slope was maybe 35-40ish degrees not really sure. Someone with ambitious math skills could probably calculate it off this picture.

Sunrise up


Looking up north rib

Looking up the north rib.

Looking down north rib

And looking down the north rib at my snowshoe tracks. The heel elevator function on the snowshoes was handy here.

Looking south along ridge

Gaining the summit ridge.

Looking east at descent route

This is looking down the east face on the backside.

Few more moves to summit block

The summit ridge was getting technical and I was moving too fast in too much of a hurry. I booted a section that I should have stopped and put on crampons for.

Time to bail

Time to bail. I decided that my sense of urgency to make my class was compromising my safety and made the decision to descend the east face and head out. The summit block probably would have taken another hour to reach going at a safe pace. I was maybe an 1/8 mile from it and 100-200 feet below it.

Straight down the east steep east face plunge stepping then had some nice glissading on a perfect slope brought me back out by the north face but a little east.

A little bushwacky down the elk trail

Some more bushwacking on an elk trail/ streambed.

A sight for tired legs

A nice sight for sore legs.

Time to go to class

Back at the truck. I was back down to the place I was staying by 9:15, grabbed out a hot shower, wolfed down a breakfast and walked into my class at 9:45. 45 minutes late with a big grin on my face.

Lamborn North Rib

The route in red, although you could probably add a few circles on the approach to simulate my predawn navigation.


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Jeremy Hakes

Jeremy Hakes - Jul 7, 2009 12:18 pm - Voted 10/10


Looks like you had good conditions. Another couple of weeks and the snow turns to bottomless mush. A few weeks after that, and you're looking at boulder piles. You must have been seriously moving to go as far as you did in that timeline. My dad and I did something close to that, but eventually bailed to the NW ridge, following that to the summit ridge to the summit. Nice TR.

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