Mount Princeton

Weston Peak (13,572') and Ptarmigan Peak (13,738')

My Climb Of Two Colorado 13ers From Weston Pass In The Mosquito Range - June 28, 2010

I have come to enjoy hiking Colorado 13ers probably more than 14ers. The lack of crowds and fun of figuring out a route when there's no trail are two major advantages. And honestly, the views on 13ers are probably just as good as 14ers.

Today I climbed Weston Peak and Ptarmigan Peak, both located in the Mosquito Range, starting at Weston Pass. The nearest towns are Twin Lakes, Leadville and Fairplay.

Directions: I traveled to Weston Pass from the Park County side. Note that an ordinary passenger vehicle like mine can make it on the east side of the pass, but there are spots with rocks and potholes that require driving with care. I have never driven west of Weston Pass, but signs imply a high clearance 4-wheel drive vehicle is recommended.

Buena Vista, Colorado

Twitter: @stevegarufi
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Weston Peak As Seen From Weston Pass
Weston Pass, CO
The actual summit is not in sight, but above is a great view showing the proximity of Weston Peak from Weston Pass.

Click any image to view it at a larger size. A new window will open.
Weston Pass, CO
The Climb To Weston Peak

I climbed north from Weston Pass. This is very steep grade mainly covered in grassy tundra - a straight shot to the ridge between Weston Peak and Ptarmigan Peak. No trail exists.

I'm not kidding ... the ascent is steep! Slightly below the center, you can see the Weston Pass parking lot and my car. This was a quite a workout!
Weston Peak, CO Arrival on the ridge. Weston Peak is the peak on the left.
Hiking on the ridge, the rocky face of Point 13,525' comes into view.
Weston Peak, Colorado Approaching the summit.
Summit of Weston Peak, Colorado

Myself wearing my Arkansas hoodie. Mt. Elbert and Mt. Massive are in the background.

Weston Peak, CO

Mt. Sherman, CO

TOP: Facing north. Ah the slew of mountains that can be seen: Point 13,525', Ptarmigan Peak, Horseshoe Mountain, Mt. Sheridan, Dyer Mountain and Mt. Sherman. So many mountains, so little time!

SECOND: A closer view of Mt. Sherman. Phil Ladden and I hiked this easy 14er last week: Mt. Sherman Hike 2010.

Colorado Mountain Scenery Facing northeast with Lamb Mountain (12,438') and Sheep Mountain (12,818') in the foreground. Also, Mt. Silverheels can be seen closer with Grays Peak, Torreys Peak and Mt. Bierstadt in view if you know what you're looking for.
Facing east, the grand view of Pikes Peak approximately 80 miles away.
Buffalo Peaks, CO I enjoyed this beautiful view of the Buffalo Peaks, located south of Weston Peak.
Colorado Rocky Mountains The southwestern view of the mighty Sawatch Range.
Colorado Mountain Scenery Facing west. They are tough to identify, but La Plata Peak, Quail Mountain and Huron Peak are all out there.

My Hike To Ptarmigan Peak

I decided to bag another 13er in Ptarmigan Peak. This mountain is not to be confused with Ptarmigan Lake, located west of Buena Vista. My destination is the pointed peak on the right.

Ptarmigan Peak, CO
Coming closer. Ptarmigan Peak, Colorado
Large rocks near the summit. Rocks
Ptarmigan Peak Summit

This mountain's elevation was higher. So I suppose I should make a larger fuss about this peak over Weston. ;)

Ptarmigan Peak, CO
Facing south, Weston Peak is the arc-shaped slope on the left. The Buffalo Peaks are in the distance on the right. Weston Peak, Colorado
A better look toward Mt. Sherman. Mt. Sherman, CO
I had this beautiful view of Twin Lakes, Colorado. Twin Lakes, CO
The marker at Ptarmigan Peak.

Other pages in this region:

  • Mt. Democrat, Mt. Lincoln, Mt. Bross
  • Two Points (Park County)
  • Antero Reservoir
  • South Peak
  • White Ridge
  • Marker
    As I started my descent, I snapped this Colorado scenery photo. It is so easy to become spoiled living in Colorado's Rocky Mountains. Colorado Scenery

    Buffalo Peaks, CO
    Extra Mountain Scenery

    A pretty view of the Buffalo Peaks as I traveled toward Weston Pass on the Park County side.

    Mt. Sherman Scenery that includes Mt. Sherman. Photo taken near Highway 285.
    Weston Peak, Colorado One last photo of Weston Peak as I began my drive back down. on Facebook

    Video At Weston Pass

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