Rich Davidson Memorial Climb, San Luis Peak
October 4-5, 1997
Leader and Author:
Participants: Gary Clark, Lynn Clark, Norman Hunter,
James Hunter, Mark Zander, Matthew Smith, David Rogers
On October 4, 1996, LAM member
Rich Davidson died on
Annapurna IV when his tent collapsed under the weight of a
tremendous snowfall. This climb was the second annual one in his
memory. San Luis Peak, a Colorado 14er, is the last peak Rich
climbed before leaving for Nepal, and was one of his favorite 14ers.
We left Los Alamos Saturday
morning, to arrive at the Stewart Creek trailhead around 1:30. The
hike to camp was quick and easy, and several participants even
climbed to nearby saddles in the cirque before bedding down. Our
camp was at 12,400' on Stewart Creek. From here you can see a
subsidiary summit of San Luis, but not the peak itself.
Mark Zander fished in some of the
extensive beaver ponds on lower Stewart Creek, and brought some
trout up to camp. He ate them all himself.
In the morning, an hour and a half
was sufficient to put us all on the summit, where we found
unseasonably warm and calm conditions. Views are extensive from this
centrally-located fourteener, and we spent quite a while on the
summit. We toasted Rich Davidson, took the usual summit shots, then
descended via two different routes. We broke camp and got back to
the cars about 1:15, making a reasonably early return to Los Alamos
The aspen were still nice, but
about 2/3 of the trees are now completely bare. This is as late as
one would want to go to see fall colors in Central Colorado.
Particularly given the two-day
itinerary and the nice weather, we all agreed this was the easiest
fourteener we had done. The remote location and fairly long approach
kept the crowds down, though - we saw only 5 other people in two
days, and none else camped overnight.