Booby Prize – 13,312 and PT 13090

RT Length: 11.08 miles

Elevation Gain: 3174’

Trailhead: Just before South Fork Lake Creek, where 391 and Trail 1466 meet.

I drove in the night before, so I could start early the next morning.  The only problem?  I wasn’t able to drive all the way to the trailhead.  There was a small ice flow that still hadn’t melted, and it’s the middle of June!  It wasn’t very big, but so far no one has been able to cross it. 

It wasn’t a big deal, but I did have to back up for half a mile before I could find a place to turn around, which happened to be at a nice campsite at 11,000’, so I parked there

I was up and on the trail at 3:30am, hoping to avoid some of the cold, wet, rainy weather that was supposed to arrive today.  No such luck: It was raining when I left my truck, so I put on rain pants and a waterproof jacket and started following the road south.

After hiking for .8 miles I made it to the trailhead.  Just before reaching the trailhead the road was covered in old avalanche debris. 

The trail starts to the left of the gate

As I mentioned earlier, it was raining.  I followed a very wet, willow-filled trail all the way into the upper basin.  This trail is class 1, but a bit overgrown since it’s early in the hiking season.  It was also teeming with water, and bear tracks (although I did not see any bear scat).

When I made it to the upper basin, I knew I wanted to gain the ridge.  I also knew, from yesterday’s experience, that I wanted to gain it from the left, and not the right. 

Note:  There is a game trail here that goes to the ridge, but most of it was covered in snow. I was only able to see it in bits and pieces on my way up and down. This is the route I took to the saddle

The basin was mush.  Not only was it raining, it was warm enough for the snow to thaw, so I was walking on 6 inches of water most of the time.  Here’s my route to the ridge

As I was gaining the ridge, the sun was rising.  It was a beautiful, misty morning

I gained the ridge, and headed over to Prize Benchmark, my first intended peak of the day.  As you can see, conditions weren’t ideal:

In fact, that was one of my better photos of the day.  The clouds kept coming in and out, obscuring my route. 

Eventually, I was in class 4-5 territory, and decided to call it and come back another day when I could see what I was doing.  I knew I was headed in the right direction, but the terrain didn’t feel safe.  I wanted to take the gully, and it was still full of unstable ice. 

I downclimbed, and headed back to PT 13090.  Even though it’s not ranked, I summited it, just because I was there

This was an easy ‘summit’

PT 13090:

I turned right, and headed southeast towards Booby Prize

Here’s the overall route I took, avoiding the rock slabs and snow.  This was all class 2, with some loose scree/rocks to navigate

The clouds picked up again, obscuring my view, but luckily, this was all class 2

Here are some step by step pictures

I summited Booby Prize at 8:10am

Booby Prize:

Nasty weather was predicted for the day, so I decided to re-trace my steps and head back to the PT 13090/Booby Prize saddle

Back on the saddle, I could see the game trail that led down, but it also went right through a large patch of ice, so I went a little further up the saddle to find a snow-free route.

Here’s my route back to the trail

The route down was obvious

And the trail was easy to follow, if wet, back to my truck

I made it back to my truck at 10:30am, making this a 11.08 mile hike with 3174’ of elevation gain in 7 hours.

On to the next trailhead!

Author: Laura M Clark

Mom, Solo Colorado 14er Finisher, Outdoor Enthusiast, Traveler, and Girl Scout Leader with an MBA in International Business and Marketing. I value adventure, growth, courage, wisdom, integrity, accountability, and family. I enjoy yoga, wine, whiskey, traveling, reading, and the outdoors. I strive to be the person who inspires and motivates myself and others to succeed.

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