Peak 10 and Crystal Peak - Tenmile Range - October 16, 2005

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Trip Report
Colorado, United States, North America
Date Climbed/Hiked:
Oct 16, 2005
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Quick Details:
  - Date: October 16, 2005
  - What: Climb of Peak 10 ( 13,633 feet) and Crystal Peak (13,852 feet)
  - Where: Tenmile Range, near Breckenridge, Colorado
  - Weather: 20s-30sF, sunny, and light winds
  - Distance: 7.5 miles
  - Elevation gain: 3240'
  - Technical Difficulty: Grade II, Class 1
  - Physical Difficulty:4 out of 10
  - Time: 8hrs 30min 49sec car-to-car
  - Calories burned: 6414
  - Map: Click Here for Map
  - Photo Gallery: Click Here for the Photo Gallery for this trip

On Sunday, October 16, 2005 Peter Sanders, Charles Danforth, and I climbed Peak 10 and Crystal Peak, in the Tenmile Range. The Tenmile is a very narrow linear range that begins with Peak 1 in Frisco and runs south and becomes the Mosquito Range. Geologically, they are same range.

We headed out from Boulder around 6am on Sunday morning in my Subaru with the intention of climbing something around Breck. We decided to try Crystal Peak, Peak 10, and Father Dyer Mountain, in the Crystal Creek Drainage. We arrived at the Spruce Creek Trailhead, and noticing the road up in to the Spruce Creek Drainage was still open and sort of plowed, we decided to try it. We made it to the far trailhead with only minor scrapes on the car, which saved us a mile or so of hiking.

After suiting up, we headed up the road towards Francie's Cabin. The cabin is part of the Summit Huts Association backcountry ski huts. It's a very impressive "cabin"... I'd love to build something similar one of these days. It sleeps 20, and is complete with solar electric, composting toilets, and a fully stocked kitchen. The approach to the hut is very easy.

After reaching the hut, we angled WNW up the southeastern flank of Peak 10. The trail contours in a long sweeping climb up to the saddle between Crystal Peak and Peak 10. Charles spied a nice steep snow slope that was firm, so we headed up that towards the summit of Peak 10. Unfortunately, the nice firm snow didn't last long, and we were postholing waist-deep. After a long arduous slog we reached the east ridge (near the radio towers that are visible from Breck). A quick hike up the ridge landed us on the summit of Peak 10. Peak 10's summit was actually very cool... a very small perch surrounded by awesome terrain.

After a liesurely stay on the summit, we headed down the the SW ridge towards the saddle between Peak 10 and Crystal. This ridge was really really sweet. Sculpted snow and rock with a very steep west face that dropped hundreds of feet.

At the saddle we started up the east ridge of Crystal. Under normal conditions, this is an easy stroll, but with all the new snow it was very rough. Being the heaviest guy, I'm always the one dropping through the crust up to my waist in soft snow. Today was no exception. After what seemed like quite a long time, we arrived on the summit.

We took a nice long break at the summit and Peter suggested that maybe climbing Father Dyer Peak was a little ambitious. Charles agreed, and I certainley wasn't going to put up a fight about it! We headed down to the saddle and then back down the trail towards Francies Cabin. This part of the descent really sucked, as the snow was very soft and we were postholing with every step.

The hike from the cabin to the car was quick and we were soon packed up and driving out. On the way out of Frisco, we stopped to grab some photos of an amazing full moon rising over Gray's and Torrey's Peaks. It was a perfect end to the day.


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Peak 10 and Crystal Peak - Tenmile Range - October 16, 2005

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