Peaks U & V (East to West Partner) Traverse Trip Report
Trail: UP-East Partner (Peak V), OVER-The Traverse, DOWN-West Partner (Peak U), Low Class 5 , ~ 13 miles, ~6000 ft elevation gain
With Chris Fisher, August 11th, 2009 ~ 8.5 hours car to car and my first time in the Gores.
This is one gnarly range and seems to be about as remote and secluded as a lot of stuff in the San Juans. I plan on getting out to a lot more of the peaks in the Gore since it is only about 100 miles from Boulder.
Our route consisted of heading up the Pitkin Lake trailhead to the lake, climbing to East Partner, scrambling over to West Partner, then heading back down to the lake and out the same trailhead. There were quite a few large trout in the lake when we arrived.
The route we followed went up East Partner Peak at easy 3rd (maybe a bit of 4th) class terrain. The approach went quickly and was covered with more wildflowers than I have ever seen outside of the San Juans.
The traverse stayed mainly on the ridgeline and every time it looked like continuing was impossible a way presented itself. There were occasional fifth class stretches with a great deal of exposure. The most fun bit came about two-thirds of the way across the route and involved downclimbing a bit of an arete and then downclimbing into a squeeze chimney. At one point the route required some friction climbing and I contoured around to the south and climbed over some talus to avoid this point.
The final bit of the climb up to West Partner was steep and had a good deal of 3rd and optional 4th class scrambling. The route itself was mostly very fun, solid, and obvious. It took us about two hours to do the traverse at a moderate pace.
We both stopped on each of the two summits of West Partner and then relaxed on the first peak for awhile. The hike out went quickly but was quite hot.
Random Peaks in the Gore Range
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