See the main page for the approach to Coney Flats. Enter the Indian Peak s Wilderness at Coney Flats by heading west. Follow the trail spur that connects to the Buchanan Pass Trail coming from the Middle Saint Vrain Trailhead. With enough snow, detecting where the two trails join may not be easy, but, fortunately, it is not required for successful execution of this route. The junction is approximately in correspondence with the eastern end of Sawtooth's east ridge.
This route is identical to the North Slopes Route
of Sawtooth Mountain up until Buchanan Pass. The reader may find it useful to consult its page.
From Coney Flats head west along the trail that enters the Indian Peaks Wilderness. At the head of the valley, the trail climbs along the southeast face of "Red Deer Mountain" with ample switchbacks. In dry conditions, one follows the trail to the pass. This is what one would typically do in summer. However, in the other seasons, the strong westerly winds that often blow at the pass may create some impressive cornices
. If that is the case, look for a gap in the cornices north of the pass. If you find one, ascend to the ridge; otherwise, consider returning some other time. Note that the ascent is rather steep: snow conditions should be carefully evaluated and proper gear should be employed.
Once on the Divide, turn right and proceed for about half a mile on tundra to the summit. If there are cornices, it goes without saying that you should keep away from them. Enjoy the scenery from the top before retracing your steps.
Standard hiking gear for a summer ascent. The place is very windy: dress and pack accordingly. For an off-season ascent, axe and crampons are likely to be needed.
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