East Partner Peak
Partner: Kristi Henes
Trailhead: Pitkin TH
Elevation Gain: 4900ft
Difficlutly: Class 4
East Partner's south ridge is a scrambling gem!
When researching this peak I initially looked to Cooper's "Colorado Scrambles" book for beta. However after doing the climb, I would recommend following our route to gain the ridge instead of Cooper's. We hiked up a steep grass slope (which wasn't so bad) and gained the ridge at it's most southernly point. This added about 30% more class 3 scrambling and we didn't have to climb a loose scree gully. In addition, when descending, we dropped east into VW Basin from the ridge's low point. We were able avoid the westerly loose gully all together.
12.5m - 4900ft - 7.5hrs
Colorado Septembers are tough to beat
East Partner Peak and it's south ridge come into view.
The steep grassy slope we climbed to gain the ridge.
Kristi starts up the steep grassy slope
It wasn't slick and the footing was decent
the summit in view... as is the loose gully
Kristi on the south ridge with West Partner in sun
There were plenty of route options and spice levels
Kristi on a ledge mid way up. Full view of the ridge below
Down climbing to a mini knife edge
Kristi approaches the knife edge
Exploring options close to the summit. This was the direct route which we ended up bailing on and going around to the left. As it turns out going right was much easier and that is how we descended.
Climbing the left option to the summit. The section above this shot was exposed with one short loose section to be careful on.
Kristi being careful on an exposed section with some loose rocks. All in all it wasn't too bad... but the loose stuff prompted us to explore alternative routes on descent.
More fun scrambling below the summit
Summit selfie and more amazing Gore views
Looking to West Partner from the summit. We did discuss going for the traverse but with no rope and little beta we came to our senses. Hopefully next year as it looks SWEET!
Looking NE from the summit to X and Z
Some tricky down climbing
Kristi at the knife edge evaluating if we should drop off the ridge here.
We decided to stay the ridge and drop east from the ridge's low point
Descending east into VW Basin
Peak X in the sun
Did I mention that it is tough to beat Colorado in September?
Until next time