San Juans next September

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BobSmith

 
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San Juans next September

by BobSmith » Fri Nov 11, 2011 3:50 pm

I'm tentatively planning a seven-day backpack in the San Juans next September. Any advice on clothing appreciated. We'll probably bag two or three fourteeners. At least that's what we're planning.

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MtnHermit

 
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September can be anything

by MtnHermit » Sat Nov 12, 2011 6:19 pm

September can be nice or naughty. Expect frost every night. Later in the month expect snow. Here's a Sept 20th, 2011 image:

Image

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MarkDidier

 
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Re: San Juans next September

by MarkDidier » Sun Nov 13, 2011 2:55 pm

Bob, all I can relate are my two experiences in Colorado in early September. In each case I think we got lucky and the weather was mild. This year we camped at 11-11,500 ft and had no snow. We did have ice on the tents one morning. I took a "winter" jacket but never ended up using it as I was expecting temps in the 20s at night but it never got that cold. As for daytime, I never went any heavier than a fleece, even above 13,000 ft. If I head back in September again I will still plan for 20s at night.

When are you planning on going as I think there is (obviously) a big difference between early and late September? Hopefully some others will chime in that have more first hand experience.

So where are you heading? Are you doing an extended backpack or breaking it up into a couple of short trips? Regardless, hope it works out for you.

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Re: San Juans next September

by BobSmith » Tue Nov 15, 2011 9:44 pm

MarkDidier wrote:So where are you heading? Are you doing an extended backpack or breaking it up into a couple of short trips? Regardless, hope it works out for you.


We'll spend the better part of a week doing dayhikes and acclimatizing. After that, we're planning on an eight-day backpack in the Weimanuche Wilderness. We're going to try to bag two or three fourteeners and some other notable peaks.

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Re: San Juans next September

by BobSmith » Mon Dec 26, 2011 8:12 pm

I think we have a couple of 13ers on the to-do list. I'll have to ask Andy who is coordinating the route and side trips.

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Re: San Juans next September

by Sarah Simon » Mon Dec 26, 2011 8:34 pm

Bob,

San Juan 13ers in September? Be ready to fall in LOVE. That's my best advice!

Enjoy yourself!

Sarah
Go climb a mountain

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Re: San Juans next September

by BobSmith » Tue Jan 03, 2012 1:23 am

The side trips we're planning on taking from the main trails are to:

Vestal Peak

Rio Grande Pyramid

and Windom Peak.

Apparently all of those are no more than Class III.

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BobSmith

 
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Re: San Juans next September

by BobSmith » Wed Mar 21, 2012 3:23 am

Well, the tickets are bought and paid for! Andy, Bob Johnston and I will be flying out together to Colorado where we'll rent a car and head for the San Juans. This will be my first trip to Colorado. I'm really looking forward to it!

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Sarah Simon

 
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Re: San Juans next September

by Sarah Simon » Wed Mar 21, 2012 4:25 am

BobSmith wrote:Well, the tickets are bought and paid for! Andy, Bob Johnston and I will be flying out together to Colorado where we'll rent a car and head for the San Juans. This will be my first trip to Colorado. I'm really looking forward to it!


Bob, I'm excited for you! Um...this being the San Juans, bring a helmet. ;) The "souvenir handholds" like to dislodge themselves. :(
Go climb a mountain

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Re: San Juans next September

by Kiefer » Wed Mar 21, 2012 4:37 am

Sarah Simon wrote:Bob,

San Juan 13ers in September? Be ready to fall in LOVE. That's my best advice!

Enjoy yourself!

Sarah


Sarah speaks no lie, Bob!!! :D
Hands down, probably the best month to visit, especially with your itineary.
In Colorado, at least in my experience, a good, light, waterproof shell will go a long way towards your comfort level up high.
I have an 8-year old Marmot Precip shell I still use with a single, long-sleeve shirt underneath or regular cotton t-shirt if it's warm. Works wonderfully.
I used the same jacket treking up the Kahiltna a few years back even.

Bit of advice on Vestal: the class-3 backside 'regular' route is hard to follow. It's poorly cairned as that entire south side is loose, a bit on the rotten side and crumbly.
Completely opposite from the North Face. Just take care and mark your path or note certain features (what I do).
Hiking up into Vestal Basin is a bit of a bear too. Lots of deadfall.
You're gonna fall in love with the San Juan's, buddy! :D

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Re: San Juans next September

by BobSmith » Thu Mar 22, 2012 12:34 am

Thanks! Any and all advice is appreciated.

We've all but decided not to do Vestal. Even Andy, who is far more experienced at scrambling, thinks we should pick a different peak due to the difficulty of the routes.

We're setting aside two days for a major peak-bag on each of those days, weather permitting.

Our current plan for major peaks is to bag Windom and Rio Grande Pyramid.

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Re: San Juans next September

by BobSmith » Fri Sep 07, 2012 4:17 am

Well, September is here! The day is coming soon when I'll leave for Colorado. Hoping to enjoy the big mountain scenery in Wenimuche Wilderness!

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Bill Reed

 
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Re: San Juans next September

by Bill Reed » Sat Sep 08, 2012 1:40 am

Look forward to hearing about it Bob!

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Re: San Juans next September

by ozarkmac » Sat Sep 08, 2012 3:48 pm

I just spent a week in the Weminuche. Late, Aug. actually. My trip report might give you some idea what to expect.
http://www.14ers.com/php14ers/tripreport.php?trip=12786

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Re: San Juans next September

by Monster5 » Thu Sep 19, 2013 5:53 pm

Just a heads up, but Vestal's backside is actually pretty well cairned (almost to the point of ridiculousness) and easy to follow now. Most of it is class 2, but the class 3 options are more fun and solid anyways. The loosest part is gaining the saddle between Arrow and Vestal. The approach trail is also pretty good. Some deadfall but not bad at all.

I'm not sure when the trail/route was improved (sounds like the past couple years), but I was up there a couple weeks ago.

Kiefer Thomas wrote:Bit of advice on Vestal: the class-3 backside 'regular' route is hard to follow. It's poorly cairned as that entire south side is loose, a bit on the rotten side and crumbly.
Completely opposite from the North Face. Just take care and mark your path or note certain features (what I do).
Hiking up into Vestal Basin is a bit of a bear too. Lots of deadfall.
You're gonna fall in love with the San Juan's, buddy! :D

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