White Dome & Peak One

6 Aug 2002 - by Paul Wilson

White Dome 13627'
Peak One 13589'
Hunchback Mountain 13136'
The summits are in the Weminuche Wilderness accessed from Silverton.

4WD over Stony pass and park at Kite Lake ~12100'. The lake is a very scenic place above timberline next to the Colorado trail. The road from the Rio Grande river to the lake requires low gears and high clearance. One could also backpack from Elk Park after riding the train. Many people were doing the circuit from Elk Park back to Needleton. We counted around 30 backpackers doing this circuit.

White Dome The route we took was to walk up the trail to the divide the proceed directly toward the mountain. After loosing a little elevation we went up the class 2 granite slabs. Eventually we came to the lateral cliffs which presented no problem as there were grassy slopes between and through them. The route took us to the inevitable talus slopes to the summit. Mostly class 2 with an occasional class 3 place. Gain was ~1600' gain including the gain from a saddle below the divide.

Peak One is a short distance away, down to 13380' and around on the N side of the point 13401' to the 13260' saddle This descent is mostly class 3 with some class 4. From the 13260' saddle one has to work S around the cliffs on the talus with mostly class 3/4 hiking. Little to no exposure but some use of the hands is required. The summit pitch is up easy class 2/3 talus. Gain was probably around 400' with the ups and downs along the ridge.

The descent was down the easy E ridge of Peak One down to near Vallecito Lake then traverse around and head up the drainage to the continental divide. This route could be an obvious class 2 or as hard as easy class 5 if one were to get hung up in the cliffy slabs. the gain was about another 500' to get back to the divide. At that point we decided to hike up Hunchback Mtn since it was only 330' above the divide. This easy class 1/2 hike took only 30 minutes on a trail to within 20' of the summit.

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