Jones & Half
American, Jones and Niagara from Snare Gulch
then Half from Niagara via Cuba Gulch
It was Thursday afternoon and we were on route to Lake City to climb American, Jones and Niagara on Friday then Half on Saturday. We arrived at the Snare Gulch TH just after dark and slept in the back of my truck. At 6:30am the next morning morning we hiked the closed road to the base of American's southeast ridge. Our objective was to climb American, Jones and Niagara before returning to the Snare TH. We climbed to a point close to 13,400 and ran the fun ridge to American's summit. From the summit we hiked mostly ridges to Jones. On Jone's summit Kristi floated the idea of knocking out Half that day as well. I didn't think it was a good idea as we had zero beta... but the route did look pretty straight forward. At that point no decision was made and we continued down Jone's southwest ridge to the base of Niagara. This is where we decided we would go for Half. To conserve energy Kristi waited for me at the bottom of Niagara's souteast face as I quickly bagged Colorado's 101st highest peak. From the base of Niagara we traversed the high meadows east and dropped 1200ft into Cuba Gulch. From a big rock slab by a waterfall in Cuba Gulch we climbed southeast into the high meadows below Half Peak and hooked up with the Colorado Trail. The CT took us to the base of Half's massive south ridge which was a little more than a mile from the summit. The gentle ridge had a fun little 2+ section close to the top. From the summit of Half we descended the class 3 east face into Cataract Gulch. Before finding the trail we battled some willows and crossed a beaver dam. We arrived at the CG TH just after dark and met out good friend and and his son Rylan who fed us IPAs and shuttled us the 3.3 miles / 1100ft back to our truck at Snare Gulch. We then went back to Patrick's place in Lake City where he fed us more IPAs and made us an awesome meal. Thanks Patrick and Rylan... you guys are AWESOME!!! Our day covered 4 peaks, 19 miles and 8700 vertical in 14 hours.
Here is a link for the GPX file from our trip.