Mount Edwards and Argentine Peak
(from the Waldorf Mine)
13 Oct 2007 - by Patrick Lilly
We drove up the 4WD Argentine Pass Road out of Georgetown to the site of the old Waldorf Mine at 11,620 ft., reaching it at about 7:20 MDT. The route out of Georgetown can be a little confusing, with several turns at intersections, but you want to end up on FR 428.1. By 7:30 we were hiking under partly cloudy skies, with the temperature in the thirties. We followed the road/trail only a short distance before heading directly up the slope (west) where a stream tumbles across the road. Staying to the right of this stream, we followed the drainage up, going right where the drainage splits in a "Y" at about 12,800.
This leads to the saddle between Edwards (left)and McClellan Mtn. (right). From there Kevin, John and Renata climbed McClellan. I, however, had lagged behind and, meeting them coming back from the summit, elected to give up on McClellan in hopes of keeping up with them on the rest of the trip. McClellan is unranked, and Edwards and Argentine were my primary goals, so I didn't feel too bad about this.
From the saddle, we began the steeper ascent up Edwards' northeast ridge. We had mixed clouds and sunshine, and were watching the weather with apprehension. Again, the others outpaced me, and had to wait briefly for me at the summit. The views down into the Stevens Gulch basin from here were spectacular, but the batteries in my camera were too cold to allow it to work. After signing the register and taking a group picture, we met a couple coming over from Grays Peak, who were also heading on to Argentine Peak. We followed them down the ridge toward Argentine Pass, but didn't see them again.
There are no route finding difficulties here, since everything is above timberline. The ridge descends gently to Argentine Pass, then rises a bit more steeply toward Argentine Peak. There are a few small ridge points on the way, so I lost sight of the peak briefly more than once. This is a Class 2+ climb at worst, and the scrambling (mostly on those ridge points) was easy and enjoyable. The summit of Argentine Peak is surprisingly large, with the remnants of some kind of wooden structure. John installed a new register.
Unfortunately, my companions got well ahead of me on this leg, and I was nearly half an hour behind them reaching the summit. As I was feeling fatigued, and dark clouds seemed to be gathering to the west, I elected to return to the pass, and then to the trailhead, while they went on to the east to bag Mt. Wilcox and Otter Mtn.
My descent, mostly following the pass road, took only about two hours at a leisurely pace. And, as I estimated, it only took the others a bit over three hours to make their longer loop over the other two peaks. Light snow was falling by the time I got back to the trailhead, and it was heavier when the others arrived. Still, the weather was not bad for mid-October.
With just a bit more energy than I had that day, this is a nice little five-peak loop.
As of this writing I have not uploaded the few pictures I was able to get, but when I do, they will be at:
- Peaks: Mount Edwards, Argentine Peak
(sorted/filed as Edwards, Argentine)
- Place: Colorado
- Trailhead: Waldorf Mine Argentine Pass Road
- Participants: Patrick Lilly, Kevin Baker, John Collard, Renata Collard
- Difficulty: class 2
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