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13er Quadruple - Mosquito Range, CO
mini location map2020-10-04
25 by photographer avatarLindaAnn
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13er Quadruple - Mosquito Range, CO 
13er Quadruple - Mosquito Range, CO
Hiking avatar Oct 04 2020
Hiking9.26 Miles 3,239 AEG
Hiking9.26 Miles   7 Hrs   20 Mns   1.36 mph
3,239 ft AEG      30 Mns Break
1st trip
Partners none no partners
Route Scout GPS Route Recorded on Route Scout View
Got started at the “trailhead” by 0630. Basically started at a parking area on CR-12 just before the road becomes high-clearance 4wd required. Cool to start, but not as cold as the day prior. Headed up the road to the saddle, which was easy hiking. Passed the North London Mine, which was neat to see.

At the saddle between London Mtn & Kuss Peak, I turned east and headed up the ridge to London. There’s a pretty distinct use trail almost the entire way up the ridge. About a quarter of the way, there are some rock towers where you have to skirt around them on the right side. The path does get faint through here, but after a few moments of trial and error, I found the right way up a chute at the top of the formations to get back onto the ridge. While steep, the correct chute does keep this at a class 2. Once above that spot, it was an easy hike up the rest of the ridge to the summit of London. The hike back down to the saddle was easy.

After a quick snack break at the saddle, I headed up the opposite ridge to Kuss Peak. Steep, with lots of blocky talus. No discernible route along the lower half of the ascent. I picked my way through the rocks and hoped I wasn’t stepping on anything loose. Not a great section of the hike. Once above the worst of the talus, it got a little less steep, and was fairly easy up to the summit of Kuss. A couple of towers up top at the south end of the broad summit. I walked to the north end of the summit, then found a good path down the north side to the saddle between Kuss & Mosquito Peak.

At the saddle, I continued north up to Mosquito Peak. Reasonably easy hiking, with a faint path visible most of the way. Great views from the summit, which was also the high point of the hike. I took another short break up top, and enjoyed the relatively wind free day. No smoke either, although I could see a line of it off to the west. Heading north off Mosquito to the next saddle between Mosquito and Treasure Vault Mtn was very steep. There was a path, but some of it was covered in snow, so I had to detour in places. I occasionally scooted down through the scree. It was a relief to reach the saddle.

Heading up Treasure Vault was steep, but not bad; distinct path the entire way. As I reached the top, I saw what I thought was a weird summit marker, then quickly realized it was a mountain goat staring directly at me. I paused as it walked towards me and I yielded the trail as I got some pictures. I made a slight detour as it passed by before getting back on the path. I didn’t really stop up top, but looked over my shoulder a couple of times to make sure the goat hadn’t turned around.

Coming off Treasure Vault was easy. I headed north, then followed the flat ridge around as it curved to the east. No path, but easy walking. Once I was lined up with the ridge as it turned north again and headed to the next saddle below Mt Tweto, I dropped off the ridge and headed northeast downhill towards the top of the drainage. I had considered Mt Tweto as my fifth peak of the day, but discarded that idea while ascending Kuss. Walking down the slope was easy, and I found the old road at the base of Tweto. The road headed east, then south back towards the start of the hike. Rocky in places, but nice to be going downhill. With 1.50 miles to go, I messaged my ride from my InReach. He actually arrived at the trailhead about 30 seconds before I did, so it ended up being perfect timing.

Nice loop with tons of mining history in the area. Even if someone didn’t want to hike the 13ers, there’s a lot of easier hiking and exploration options in that basin. The only parts of the loop I didn’t care for was ascending Kuss and descending Mosquito, everything else was quite enjoyable. I definitely think I did the loop the correct direction, because descending Kuss the other direction would have been a nightmare.
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