(G & M: #250)
UN 13510 B (G&M)
UN13,510 combines easily with Trico Peak and T.10 from Black Bear Pass. UN13,510 by itself is an easy Class 2. Though UN13,510 can be reached by the ridge connecting Trico and UN13,510, a section of that ridge north of the Trico summit goes at a solid 3rd class with some exposure. To keep this climb at Class 2 level, a little extra driving in a 4WD vehicle helps.
UN13,510 South Ridge Route
Medium Day // Take a Lunch
RT From Red Mountain Pass - Black Bear Pass Access:
We're writing this trip up with the assumption that climbers do not have a 4WD vehicle available, hence, the trailhead for this peak, Trico Peak, T.10, Three Needles, T.11 and UN13,159 is just south of the Red Mountain Pass summit. From Ouray, drive south on US 550 to the summit of Red Mountain Pass and park just south of the actual summit on the west side of the road where the Black Bear Pass road takes out. (FR823) From Ouray, this will take about 20 - 25 minutes of driving.
From Durango, drive north on US 550 to the Red Mountain Pass summit. Park on the west side of the highway just south of the summit where the Black Bear Pass road begins. (FR823)
If you have 4WD with good clearance, you may drive to the summit of Black Bear Pass and reduce both the mileage and elevation gain for the day considerably, if climbing UN13,510, Trico or T.10. In 1996, we found the road up to the pass surprisingly good with no real clearance problems. It was just steep in spots. The more rugged and notorious sections of the Black Bear Pass road are apparently further down on the Telluride side. However, our son reports from trips in 2012 - 2014 that the switchback at about the 11,700 ft. level is deteriorating and becoming progressively more difficult to navigate due to increased use and no maintenance.
While there are no designated Forest Service campgrounds in the immediate vicinity, north or south of Red Mountain Pass, there are numerous at-large, primitive sites close by. One is located on a knoll, by driving up the Black Bear Pass road about 1 mile and taking a left fork of the road that leads over to Porphyry Basin. Drive up to the knoll no more than .3 mile from the intersection. The elevation is appx. 11,600 ft.
Another good primitive camp location(s) if coming from Ouray is located at the south end of Ironton Park on the east side of the highway, in the vicinity of the road for Corkscrew Pass. If coming from Durango/Silverton, your best bet will be up the South Mineral Creek road.
Year Climbed: 1996
Note: Mileage provided and elevation gain assumes walking from Red Mountain Pass.
From the car park at Red Mountain Pass, either drive in 4WD or walk appx. 3 miles to the summit of Black Bear Pass road (FR823). If walking, you'll probably want to avoid the road traffic by heading more directly up into Mineral Basin. There will be two steep pitches with an intervening bench. Most of the hiking will be on tundra. At the pass, make a decision whether or not to climb Trico Peak (easy Class 2 tundra walk up the south ridge). But be warned that to descend the first 400 feet of the north ridge of Trico involves some somewhat exposed 3rd class work. On LoJ, "Furthermore" describes this section as "the rock appearing super sketchy but surprisingly somewhat solid." If you wish to avoid that problem, then continue walking/driving on the Black Bear Pass road as it begins to descend toward Telluride for about one half mile. If in a vehicle, park at about 12,600 foot elevation where a older mining road heads off to the right. This badly deteriorated road will lead through a rocky, rubble section on the west side of Trico and continue up to a saddle just south of Pt.12,938. The road continues north to another saddle and then you have an easy half mile and 600 feet of gain to the UN13,510 summit on mostly tundra, gravel and small scree. Enjoy the amazing view. On the day we climbed this, it was cloudy, cold, and breezy with threatening precip and we could hardly see where we were going. That is in part what prompted not negotiating the north ridge of Trico.
Return as you came or consider traversing to Telluride Peak, less than a mile north. Telluride peak is considered a "soft rank" summit, being perhaps only 11 feet short to qualify as a separate 13er.
Alternate approach: From the same car park on Red Mountain Pass, you can pick up an old trail that heads NW into the unnamed basin SE of the UN13,510 summit. This trail does not show on the Uncompahgre NF map but does show on the San Juan NF and also shows on the Ironton USGS quad. One branch of the trail leads to the saddle south of UN13,510. Another branch leads north toward Ptarmigan Lake. This approach would avoid the traffic along Black Bear Pass road, but would be all on foot.
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