Julie Struble, Luke Kroiss and I camped at 13060 feet on Hermit Road Saturday night. Julie and Luke had Rito Alto Peak, “Cloud Peak” & Spread Eagle Peak on their itineraries. I began hiking up Rito Alto Peak’s southeast ridge at 4:30 am. I reached the summit at 5:46 am. I guess I move slowly in the dark.
I accidentally descended Rito Alto Peak’s east ridge, then traversed Rito Alto’s northeast face, gained the north ridge and descended it to the Rito Alto Peak-“Cloud Peak” saddle. I climbed Cloud Peak’s south ridge and reached the summit at 6:29 am. Watching the sunrise was a highlight.
I descended Cloud Peak’s west ridge to the “Cloud Peak”-“Silver Peak” saddle. The ridge is mostly third class. Staying true to the ridge required some fourth class. I ascended Silver Peak’s easy southeast ridge and reached the summit at 7:55 am.
Hermit Peak A & Rito Alto Peak, from left to right, from “Cloud Peak”
Spread Eagle Peak
I descended Silver Peak’s southeast ridge and climbed Cloud Peak’s west ridge. I saw Julie and Luke climbing Cloud Peak’s south ridge. I resummitted “Cloud Peak” at 9:05 am, descended its east ridge and climbed Spread Eagle Peak’s southwest ridge. I reached the summit at 9:41 am, shortly after Julie and Luke. We ate and reconfirmed plans. We also agreed the exposure on Spread Eagle Peak was nominal.
Rito Alto Peak & “Cloud Peak”, from left to right, from Spread Eagle Peak
Hermit Peak A
I descended Spread Eagle Peak’s southwest ridge, skirted Cloud Peak’s summit on the east side and reclimbed Rito Alto Peak, reaching the summit at 11:32 am. I descended Rito Alto’s southeast ridge, then climbed Hermit Peak A’s north ridge, reaching the summit at 12:24 pm.
Rito Alto Peak from Hermit Peak A
Eureka Mountain A
I descended Hermit Peak A’s southeast ridge and climbed Eureka Mountain A’s northwest ridge. I reached the summit at 1:37 pm and found a broken glass jar, which used to be the summit register cannister. I descended my ascent route and reclimbed Hermit Peak A, reaching the summit at 2:49 pm and got back to the Jeep at 3 pm.
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