Jenkins Mountain – 13,432, PT 13,145 & PT 13,232

RT Length:  13.75 miles

Elevation Gain:  5322’

Snow had been forecasted for today, but not until later in the afternoon. I made it to the North Fork Creek Trailhead on an easy 4WD road, and it was foggy out.  I was hoping the fog would lift as the sun came up, but it ended up snowing off and on all day. Luckily there was no wind, so the snow was actually enjoyable (if annoying because I couldn’t see very far).   I was on the trail at 5:30am.

I followed North Fork Creek Trail for 2.75 miles southwest to treeline at 11,250’, without gaining or losing much elevation. I never crossed the creek.

Here the trail stopped. I’d hoped by now the sun would have lifted the fog, but unfortunately, it started snowing instead, and visibility wasn’t great.

Here’s a view of the route I took to the ridge, from back on the trail later in the day

I followed the path of least resistance and headed southwest towards a rocky gully and the ridge (better pictures later).  There was a fog, so I didn’t get great photos, but here are some pictures of what I could see:

The rocky gully area brought me to the ridge between point 13050 and 13015. I couldn’t see far, which was frustrating, but I knew to continue following the ridge southwest. Luckily, I came back to this spot later I the day, so I have clear pictures of this part of the hike.  The rocks here rolled.  In the morning they were icy, so I had to be especially careful.

I followed the ridge towards 13050. This ridge was easy to follow, even when it was snowing.  I stuck to the ridge proper, only dipping down to the left one time.  This can all be kept at class 2.

Once at PT 13050 I turned right and headed northwest towards Jenkins Mountain, first losing about 230’ of elevation.

This was another ridge hike, where I briefly dipped down to the left to avoid some rocks

Here are some pictures of the ridge, up to the first “false summit”.  If you can’t stay on the ridge, dip down to the left.

From the top of the false summit, I lost a little bit of elevation, but it was an easy ridge hike to the true summit of Jenkins Mountain.  I’m sure this would be a piece of cake on a clear day. Today however, the ridges were frustrating because I didn’t have visuals of how far they ‘went’

I summited Jenkins Mountain at 10am

Jenkins Mountain: 

I was happy to see it looked like the weather was starting to improve.  There was a summit register.  I turned and headed back towards PT 13050.

Halfway down the ridge I could see PT 13050, as well as PT 13140

I didn’t completely re-summit PT 13050.  Here’s an overview of the route I took to PT 13140

And some step-by-step pictures

I could stay on top of the ridge for most of the ridge;  it wasn’t until the end I needed to dip right.

After the false summit I needed to dip down and lose about 75’ of elevation

I regained the ridge

And this is how I summited PT 13140.  I’m sure there was some sort of a trail here, but it was currently covered in snow. The last few feet are ‘choose your own adventure’, all class 2.

I summited PT 13140 at 11:30am

PT 13140:

From the summit, here’s looking back at the trek from Jenkins, as well as the next few points for the day

For reference, this is how I gained the ridge to the saddle between PT 13050 and 13015.  It’s kind of a ridge itself.

And another view, from PT 13140, looking back at how I exited the basin and gained the ridge. I headed back to PT 13050.

Here’s looking northeast at PT 13015 from 13050.

This was a class 2 hike all the way to PT 13015

From the summit of PT 13015 I could see my next peak:  Pt 13232. 

This is the route I took to get there:

This route had me turning and following the ridge for a short distance northwest, descending a scree, rock, and snow filled gully, crossing the basin, finding another gully and ascending it to a slanting plateau/ramp, taking the plateau to the ridge, and then following the ride to the summit. Here are some step-by-step pictures:

I lost 850’ of elevation, heading int the basin

I then headed northeast and crossed the basin, heading towards an access gully (alternately, you can lose more elevation, skirt the then re-ascend the ramp, but I wanted a more direct route. 

Here’s a closer look at that gully. It was as 2+ gully, but wasn’t technical at all.

At the top of the gully I turned left and headed towards the saddle, then took the ridge to the summit (all class 2)

Here’s looking back at the way I took down and across the basin from 13015

The ridge was rocky, but easy to follow.  I tried to stay where the rocks met the tundra.

I summited PT 13232 at 2:45pm.  It was now snowing, but it was a nice, gentle snow.

PT 13232:

I could see the trailhead from the summit to the northeast: now I just needed to get there.  I descended the ridge to the northeast. Not far, just a few yards, found a scree filled gully, and took that to tundra.  I then aimed northeast towards North Fork Lake Creek, until I found the trail and followed it back to the trailhead.

Sorry for the foggy pictures here: I was in the clouds and it was snowing much of the day.  The trailhead is circled in red

I descended to the north, and round a gully to take down heading southeast, and turned left at the tundra

I then headed northeast towards North Fork Lake Creek

For reference, here’s looking up the gully I took down from PT 13232

Once on the trail I followed it back to the trailhead. 

I made it back to y truck at 4:30pm, making this a 13.75 mile hike with 5322’ of elevation gain I 11 hours. 

On to the next trailhead!

Also, it’s fall

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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