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LoJ: #622 (G & M: #621) UN 13026

Range › Sawatch Range
Quadrangle › Mt. Champion
Summit Location › Peak Route Icon N 39° 11' 06.21", W 106° 33' 30.78" (Not Field Checked)
Neighboring Peaks › Peak Icon UN 13003

Peak Summary

UN 13,026 is a fairly remote, relatively easy Class 2 summit located in the heart of the Hunter-Fryingpan Wilderness. This summit, along with UN 13,003, can be accessed from the north via several miles of dirt road, 4WD driving, that begins east of Ruedi Reservoir. Our suggested route utilizes the Lost Man Reservoir/Creek Trail that begins from the Independence Pass Road east of Aspen. This trail takes hikers over South Fork Pass. While the two summits could be climbed in a single long, day, the overall mileage suggests a relatively short backpack to the vicinity of South Fork Pass to set up a base for not only climbing these two summits, but also 3-4 of the Williams Mountain summits. The Lost Man Creek Trailhead is accessible to any passenger vehicle. There is a NF campground located right across the road from the trailhead. 

UN 13,026 North Ridge Route

Class 2
backpacker icon + Peak Icon Peak Icon
Backpack + Short Day
Climbed with UN 13003
RT From Lost Man Trailhead: 19.15 mi / 4,785'
RT From South Fork Pass Camps with UN 13003: 8.15 mi / 3,125'
From UN 13003: 2.50 mi / 700' (One-Way)
  • Trailhead
    • Lost Man Trailhead

      The name for trail #1996 is "The Lost Man" trail. It has two access points off Highway 82 out of Aspen. The first access is 14 miles east of Aspen and is a large parking area on the north side of the highway, across from the Lost Man Campground. This section of the trail leads up to South Fork Pass and Lost Man Lake. If accessing the Williams Mountains, this is the shortest and easiest access. Once across South Fork Pass, the trail number changes to 1940.

      If coming from the Front Range, turn west off onto SH82 from US24 between Leadville and Buena Vista and drive past the Twin Lakes Reservoirs, through the small town of Twin Lakes and continue west up to the summit of Independence Pass. From the summit, continue driving west. At the first switchback heading down is what we are calling the "Roaring Fork River" trailhead. This is actually the other end of the Lost Man trail #1996. Drive on west past here, for another 4.3 miles to the Lost Man Campground and parking for the Lost Man trail on the north side of the highway. The parking lot is sizable.


      Camping

      On the west side of Independence Pass, at-large camping opportunities have all but been taken away. There are four designated, fee-type national forest campgrounds however beginning with Difficult Creek (four miles out of Aspen), Weller, Lincoln Gulch and Lost Man. All of these tend to fill on weekends. It may be possible to stay overnight in your vehicle at the Lost Man trailhead parking. Do this at your own risk of being run off.
    Approach Maps Photos
    • From Lost Man Trailhead via South Fork Pass Camps & UN 13003:

      • Lost Man Trail Approach  Easy | RT: 11 mi / 1,660’

        This approach information is provided for those who would want to backpack in as far as South Fork Pass or beyond in order to climb the four Williams summits and possibly some other unnamed summits NE of the Williams group.

        From the Lost Man trailhead, hike north to Lost Man Reservoir which is about one half mile in, gaining about 200 feet elevation. Before reaching the reservoir, a little over .3 mile from the TH, another trail turns off to the left. This is Forest Service trail #1993 to Midway Pass. Use this trail to climb UN13,033 (Williams South C) or if you want to attempt a traverse of all the Williams summits from the south. Otherwise, continue north from the reservoir on the Lost Man trail for about 4.5 miles total to South Fork Pass at 11,840 ft. The trail is fairly level most of the distance, with the steepest elevation gain just prior to the pass. At about 2.4 miles up the trail, or about .4 mile past the crossing of Jack Creek is a possible campsite that lies on the east side of the trail and overlooks a section of the creek that enters a shallow, rocky gorge. The campsite is not far off the trail. Try these coordinates: N 39° 09' 02.60" W 106° 36' 37.41". However, most would probably prefer to get further up the trail before camping. Overall, there was a lack of viable campsites along this trail all the way up to the pass.

        Before reaching South Fork Pass, the Lost Man trail actually turns off to the east to go up to Lost Man Lake. If interested in climbing the lowest 13er in the state, you could turn off here and hike up toward Lost Man Lake to ascend the peak. Otherwise, where the Lost Man trail turns off to the east, continue north to South Fork Pass, now just a short distance away. At the pass, if you explore over to the west of the trail, there's a very small pond with some camping possibilities at these coordinates: N 39° 10' 20.21' W 106° 35' 33.53". If you do not wish to camp here, this is the location that we used to launch off for UN13,203 (Williams South B) and also Williams Benchmark (13,312).

        For Williams Mountain and UN13,108 (Williams North), continue packing north, down the trail now for about another .75 mile to a third possible campsite in the vicinity of these coordinates: N 39° 10' 44.21" W 106° 35' 01.91". This is only a very rough estimate of where we camped. The so-called campsite we used was on the west side of the trail and barely off the trail and overlooked the creek. On the east side of the trail, if you wandered up over some rock outcrops, there was evidence of a couple of other marginally used spots. This made a good location to launch off for Williams Mountain and UN13,108 (Williams North). If you access them the way we did, you will need to continue down the trail to Deadman Lake. The terrain around Deadman Lake we found to be rather flat and wet, but there may be a viable campsite around there.



        Campsite Locations

        Lost Man Campsite 1 N 39° 09' 02.60", W 106° 36' 37.41"
        Lost Man Campsite 2 N 39° 10' 20.21', W 106° 35' 33.53"
        Lost Man Campsite 3 N 39° 10' 44.21", W 106° 35' 01.91"

        Open This Approach in a New Window
      • UN 13,003 South Ridge  Class 2 / 3.25 mi / 2,025’ One-Way


        UN 13,003 the first summit in a sequence that includes UN 13,026. Our route description assumes a backpack approach that originates at the Lost Man Creek TH, goes over South Fork Pass and then locates a campsite about one mile down north from the pass. The peak route description begins from that campsite. 

        From the aforementioned campsite location, continue north,down trail to a large, wet meadow that opens up at a little below 11,000 ft. At the meadow, find a way through low willows to cross to the east side of the main creek in the meadow. We used a couple of small logs that we transported a short distance to cross the creek without getting wet. Of course, the willows were plenty wet anyhow. Once across the meadow, head back north along the edge of the meadow and then head directly up a west facing, broad avalanche chute that provides a steep but continual access to the north-south running ridge between the two summits. We made phenomenal time hiking the 1,500 vertical to the saddle. It only took us about 45 minutes. Ate too much oatmeal or granola bars that morning I guess. A more likely time to reach the ridge will be at least one hour or longer.  Once you reach the ridge head north along the ridge crest where you will encounter a number of rocky obstacles that will slow progress. None of them are too difficult. Once past these obstacles, the remainder of the route to UN 13,003 is on easy terrain. We stopped for several pictures and spent a little time photographing a large, vertically pointed rock, some 20 feet tall that seemed anomalous. The final pitch to the summit is rocky, Class 2 scrambling, but easy enough. From the large, block-rock top, enjoy a very good view of the two ranked and two soft-ranked summits located on the ridge on the east side of Marten Creek. If you have not already climbed these, the view will assist in planning an ascent route from Marten Creek if you should choose that more primitive access. You can also scout out the two and a half mile ridge connect over to UN 13,026. 

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    Peak Icon Route Map Photos

    Route Info UN 13,026 North Ridge

    Route Description

    Year Climbed: 2007

    UN 13,026 is sequenced with UN 13,003. One-way mileage and elevation gain are measured from the summit of UN 13,003. Round-trip mileage and elevation gain assume completion of the sequence with the starting point being the suggested campsite about .75 mile north of South Fork Pass.

    From the summit of UN 13,003 head down south off the summit and along the ridge until coming back up to and/or around to the south side of the 12,801 false summit. Here, you can either continue south on the ridge crest, dealing once again with the rocky area near the 12,500 ft. saddle, or it's possible to easily drop down into the basin on the east side of the ridge and contour over to the saddle on mostly tundra terrain with plenty of wildflowers to adorn the way. This would involve up to an extra 500 feet or so of gain. Make your own decision as to whether or not it's worth the extra effort.  Once back on the ridge crest, continue on to the 13, 026 summit on generally easy terrain with just a few rocky sections to deal with. 

    On the second summit for the day, enjoy a little lunch and hopefully some nice weather and fine views of the Williams Mountains. To return, head back north on the ridge to the main saddle (12,500 ft.)  Along the way we found many more tundra flowers to photograph. Before reaching the saddle, we decided to veer on down the west flank of the mountain and let the natural incline of the avalanche chute direct us back into our ascent route. In short time we were down the chute and then looking for our route back across the creek. A couple of well placed cairns helped us find the spot, but we had to enhance our make-shift bridge some. Once across, it was an easy and drier walk back through the willows and over to the trail. Then it was just a 20 minute slug back up to the suggested campsite. 


    Additional BETA

    Links to other information, routes & trip reports for this peak that may be helpful.
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