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#297 UN 13433

Range › Sawatch Range
Quadrangle › Mount Jackson
Summit Location › Peak Route Icon N 39° 28' 35.83", W 106° 32' 15.04" (Not Field Checked)
Neighboring Peaks › Peak Icon Mount Jackson

Peak Summary

Best combined with Mt. Jackson, UN13,433 is an easy Class 1 to 2 hike from Jackson and requires about one hour round trip from the Jackson summit. For further details, see the report on Mt. Jackson.

UN13,433 North Ridge Route

Class 2
Peak Icon Peak Icon
Long Day // Back for Dinner
Climbed with Mount Jackson
RT From Beaver Creek Ski Area: 12.8 mi / 5,863'
RT From Waterdog Lake with Mount Jackson: 5.8 mi / 3,863'
From Mount Jackson: 0.65 mi / 413' (One-Way)
  • Trailhead
    • Beaver Creek Ski Area Trailhead

      From I-70, take the main Avon exit and drive south through 4 traffic circles south of the interstate. At the 4th circle, exit west on old Highway 6 and drive a short distance to a large parking lot that serves the ski area. You may want to call the ski area and/or local police in advance to check their policies in regards to leaving a vehicle parked here overnight. From the parking lot, catch the next shuttle bus up to the base of the Beaver Creek Ski Area with your loaded pack in tow. Locate the window for purchasing a lift ticket and make whatever purchase will get you highest on the mountain. In the two years we did this, (1995 & 2002) we rode the "Centennial Express Lift" to the Spruce Saddle Lodge at 10,200 ft. In 2002, this cost us $16 each. In 1995, we were able to obtain a "family day pass." In both years, the pass would be good for a 24 hour period so we could ride up one day and catch the lift down the next day before it closed. Whatever pass they issue now, check carefully to see if you'll be able to use it the next day.


      Camping

      Do not expect any easily accessible camping around Avon.
    Approach Maps
    • From Beaver Creek Ski Area TH via Waterdog Lake & Mount Jackson:

      • Beaver Creek Ski Area  Moderate | RT: 7 mi / 2,000’

        Because ski area procedures and policies change from year to year, you may need to update this information with your own research. Because the various foot approaches to Mt. Jackson involve a significant number of hiking miles, our proposed approach reduces this climb to the least number of hiking miles possible. Whether or not you choose to use this approach may depend on how you feel about the legitimacy of using a ski lift to get you part way up a mountain.

        From I-70, take the main Avon exit and drive south through 4 traffic circles south of the interstate. At the 4th circle, exit west on old Highway 6 and drive a short distance to a large parking lot that serves the ski area. You may want to call the ski area and/or local police in advance to check their policies in regards to leaving a vehicle parked here overnight. From the parking lot, catch the next shuttle bus up to the base of the Beaver Creek Ski Area with your loaded pack in tow. Locate the window for purchasing a lift ticket and make whatever purchase will get you highest on the mountain. In the two years we did this, (1995 & 2002) we rode the "Centennial Express Lift" to the Spruce Saddle Lodge at 10,200 ft. In 2002, this cost us $16 each. In 1995, we were able to obtain a "family day pass." In both years, the pass would be good for a 24 hour period so we could ride up one day and catch the lift down the next day before it closed. Whatever pass they issue now, check carefully to see if you'll be able to use it the next day.

        Once aboard the lift, enjoy the brief ride that will save you 2 miles of packing and about 2,000 ft. in elevation gain. Assuming that the Spruce Saddle Lodge is as far as you can ride, depart from here and begin your hiking or backpacking adventure. Begin by hiking under lift #8, the "Cinch Express Lift" and follow it on moderate uphill terrain to the top of the ski mountain at 11,440 ft. This will take about one hour. A little west of the lift station, a dirt road leads into the forest to a microwave station. From the station, we found a faint, cairn-marked trail that continued south through trees. A clearing at 11, 560 ft. is about where you'll encounter the wilderness boundary, marked by stakes. A little after there, you'll exit the trees for open ridge hiking. Continue hiking south along the ridge crest on mostly tundra with some rocks and possibly patches of snow in earlier season. Just past the point marked 12,161 ft., the ridge descends some. We found some grassy spots to camp on just below two closed contour marks of 12,000 ft. This will be south of and about 400 feet above Waterdog Lake. It's also possible to descend further to the saddle and find some campsites in the trees. It takes another hour from the top lift to arrive here. Expect mosquitoes, but camping higher on the open ridge will expose you to some breezes that may keep some of the mosquitoes away. From a campsite on the open ridge, you may have a view further south of the western flank of Grouse Mountain where in previous years, a very large herd of elk could be observed.


        Camping

        Do not expect to find any convenient, overnight camping anywhere near around Avon. Both times we've done this trip, we did it as an overnight backpack, so the one night of camping was on the high ridge north of Grouse Mountain, as described above. There, you will be on wilderness land with no camping restrictions unless there's a fire ban.


        Campsite Locations

        Waterdog Lake Camp 39° 32' 32.32, W 106° 30' 39.49"
        This campsite is actually on the ridge above and south of Waterdog Lake at about 11.950 ft.

        Open This Approach in a New Window
      • Mt. Jackson North Ridge  Class 2 / 4.5 mi / 3,450’ One-Way

        The route begins from the campsite described in the "approach." From that campsite, descend to the forested saddle at 11,540 ft. Then continue hiking south up the ridge and gain open, grassy terrain as you contour across the vast, west slope of Grouse Mountain. Watch for a large elk herd here which may be feeding in the grass early morning, or down in the trees to the west later morning and afternoon. Aim for a saddle WSW of Grouse Mountain and contour to it, utilizing the myriad elk paths. From the saddle, turn SW and hike uphill along the ridge over what begins as tundra, but quickly gives way to a boulder field. For about a half mile, work your way through rocks & boulders. Further up, return to tundra walking and admire the steep-walled valley down to the east.

        Skirt the 13,202 summit and continue walking SW over tundra with embedded rock and then follow the ridge as it makes a turn to the south. Here, you'll encounter the only "tricky" section of the entire climb. There's a 100 yard section that becomes rocky, narrow and a little exposed with large blocks of rock. It's best to stay on top of the ridge wherever possible. Carefully work your way through to a minor saddle then begin the final ascent to the summit of Jackson. Finish on broken rocks & boulders.

        For the return trip, simply retrace your ascent route back to your campsite, then rush to hike back to the lift before it closes for the day, which will probably be around 4:00 PM. With 9 miles to cover from your campsite, plus another three miles back down to the lift, an early start for this day is required as well as keeping moving all along the way.

        Open This Route in a New Window
    Peak Icon Route Map

    Route Info UN13,433 North Ridge

    Route Description

    Year Climbed: 2002

    UN13,433 is best combined with Mt. Jackson, so see the route description for that peak and combine the details with this report. UN13,433 lies .65 mile south of the Jackson summit on a connecting ridge. For total mileage, add that figure to the total one-way, walking mileage for Jackson of 7.5. Total round trip mileage will be 16.3. That's a fair amount of ground to cover in 24 hours if you follow our suggested plan by riding the lift up the ski mountain at Beaver Creek. But any other approach to these two summits will require even more hiking. We calculate overall elevation gain for both summits to be appx. 5,200 ft.

    From the summit of Jackson, simply head south along the ridge, losing 650 feet in elevation to the saddle. Then stroll up to the summit of UN13,433 by following the same ridge, regaining 413 feet in elevation. The terrain will be a combination of tundra, embedded rock, talus and boulders. The going is fairly easy and a round trip from the Jackson summit will require about one hour. For the return trip, just retrace your route back over to Jackson and continue generally north from there, following the main ridge back to the Beaver Creek Ski Area.

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