October 21, 2012 - from the Mosquito Pass Road
The fall weather was holding and another bluebird day was forecast so Bob, Ed, and I headed to the Mosquito Range to "pick some low hanging fruit." Ed finished the 14'ers this past August and was now starting to work his way toward another goal, the Centennials. The only Centennials I still need to climb are located far away in the San Juans, so I was on board to tick off my last Bicentennial of the Mosquito Range.
We followed our Fall standard operating procedure where there is little risk of afternoon storms and the scope of the climb really amounted to eight hours or less on the mountain . . . a 5 a.m. departure. We picked Ed up in Thornton and were at the parking spot on the Mosquito Pass Road by abut 8:30. I'd expected wind, perhaps a good bit of it, but we gathered our gear in still air and left the truck wondering when the winds would arrive. Of course, none of us voiced that thought, knowing that in doing so we would extend the welcome mat to the winds for sure.
I knew that most of the route would be on an old mining road, followed by a cut across a more gradual section before the ridge climb to the summit of Mount Tweto proper. Ed and Bob would split off at some point that would allow them to climb the flank of Buckskin, where they would encounter some Class 3 terrain as compared to the class 1 route I picked for the day. I was still babying the ankle, figuring to get out and work it but I was no quite ready for an stretch of class 3 ground. We followed the dirt road for a ways then cut cross country to take amore direct route to the flats from which we would go our separate directions.
We stuck together to a point just past the summit of Buckskin to where the old mine road takes an obvious run at the flank of the connecting ridge. Ed and Bob cut off to climb scree and rock and I went my own way up the valley toward the saddle that grants easy access to the ridge connecting Tweto with Treasurevault Mountain. The walk was tame the whole way and upon reaching the ridge, I cut upward, encountering class 2 terrain here and there but just barely class 2 if one is quite generous in assigning difficulty. The ridge consisted of two more steeply sloped sections and then a final walk to the summit proper. A trail segment was had here and there, leaving no doubt to a doubtless route.
I scored the summit at just about the same time as a call came across the radio from Bob that they were now on the summit of Buckskin. Given the distance of over a mile, I could just pick out two figures on the far away point but little else. I noted the Tweto plaque and then after having a bite to eat, left a single bear as an offering to Pachamama (I know first hand the consequences of forgetting to do so) and headed down. In the meantime, Bob and Ed wandered down ridge to the summit of Loveland Mountain and then they too started down. I simply reversed my course, and except for stopping to scope out the cable tramway rigging at some mine ruins, made quick time to the truck. Bob and Ed arrived no more than 5 minutes later and we headed for a burger in Fairplay after a solid 5:30 or so round trip for both parties.