The Bruce Traverse

David did a big traverse with us in the Weminuche a month ago and decided he needed some more.  For round two we decided to go for 8 days, climb a peak and spend some time in the very remote Ten Mile basin.

Day 1: David and I took the train to Elk park and hiked up the Colorado trail to the beaver ponds at 10’000′.

Day 2: We left the Colorado trail, crossed Elk Creek and headed south into Vestal Basin on the rough climbers trail.

Day 3: Summit day.  We got up early and climbed Arrow Peak then headed back down to camp.  David upgraded from having “Mad Skills” to having “Crazy Mad Skills” on the climb.

Day 4: We headed back up to the upper bench then traversed over to Vestal lake and over the strenuous Vestal-West Trinity saddle.  Then descended to camp at the west side of Balsam Lake in Ten Mile Basin.

Day 5: Rest day at the seldom visited Balsam Lake.

Day 6: We continued the southern trend and hiked up and over the Peak 5/Peak 6 saddle into upper Noname Basin.  Then dropped down to the second tier of Noname to camp.

The “Bruce Traverse” is a high alpine traverse that runs from the Vestal/West Trinity saddle down into Ten Mile and then exits Ten Mile at the saddle between Peak 5 and Peak 6.  It’s named after a great explorer of the Weminuche.

Day 7: David and I hiked down Noname to a great campsite at the confluence of Noname creek and the Animas River.

Day 8: We finished the hike out along the Animas to Needleton and caught the north bound train to Silverton for lunch. Then caught the bus back to Durango, finishing off a great trip!

The blog post from our first adventure can be found HERE.

David it was great climbing, hiking, talking and joking with you!  Game for next summer?

BK

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