“C.T.” Peak – 13,317

RT Length:  6.21 miles

Elevation Gain: 2925’

I’d been parked for a couple of days at Cooper Creek, dispersed camping and hiking.  I woke up to rain, so I decided to hit the snooze button on my alarm and just lie there in the bed of my truck and wait it out.  Within 15 minutes the rain stopped, and I was on my way.  This is a very straightforward hike, mostly above treeline, with little route finding (although there is some bushwhacking along Rock Creek).

I followed CR 30 for about a third of a mile, and then ascended Rock Creek, sticking to the right side of the creek

Just before making it to the basin, at after 1.5 miles and at around 11900’, I left the creek and started heading east, up the west ridge of the peak. 

While straightforward, this area was steep.  It started out with scree, then turned to rocks the size of microwaves, and then smaller rocks the size of softballs.  I just kept following the curve of the mountain as it climbed northeast.

Once I made it to the ridge, the elevation gain evened out.  I followed the ridge for .75 miles northeast, all the way to the end, to the summit.  95% of the snow was avoidable. 

I summited “C.T.” Peak at 6:15am

“C.T” Peak: 

There was a summit register.  It was still early, and it had been my intent to continue on to “Gudy Peak”, but the traverse was covered in snow, and I knew from yesterday’s hike how quickly the snow turned dangerous, so I opted to wait for it to thaw out and come back another time, knowing there’s be snow in the Cooper Lake Basin as well.  I turned and headed back the way I’d come.

Back down the ridge

Until I met up with Rock Creek and followed it back to CR 30

It was still really early in the morning, so I decided to spend some time investigating the avalanche site.  It looked recent (this winter?).  The house was scattered all over the area, with the roof several hundred feet from the closest level of the house (it looked like at least a 2-story house).  Beds were still made, but the fridge was empty, indicating the house had been closed up for the winter.  There were hiking boots in great condition, bed frames torn to pieces, propane tanks, wood burning stoves, and daily household items lying around, even a full bottle of laundry detergent.  There were camp chairs, still in good condition, folded and lying under fallen aspens next to what could have been a porch.

After abut a half hour of wandering around I made my way back to the road and followed it back to my truck.

I made it back to my truck at 8am, making this a 6.21 mile hike with 2925’ of elevation gain in 4.5 hours. 

Here’s a view of the ridge route from PT 13540

And a look up the ridge from the PT 13540 ridge

It was still early, so I decided to take a nap for a few hours.  I woke up, finished reading the book my daughter lent me, as well as a biography on Calamity Jane, and decided this finishing hikes early and just relaxing had its’ benefits.  I hiked around for a bit, started a campfire, sipped some whiskey, and thought how wonderful dispersed camping, and life in general, can be. 

Author: Laura M Clark

Laura has summited over 500 peaks above 13,000' solo, including being the first woman to solo summit all of the Colorado 14ers, as well as the centennials. After each hike, she writes trip reports for each one and publishes them on her blog, which is read by fans all over the world. Author of Wild Wanderer: Summiting Colorado’s 200 Highest Peaks, which is available to purchase on Amazon.

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