Point Blue, aka Twining Peak, is Point 13,711 on the Continental Divide just North of Independence Pass.
It's an easy off-trail scramble, but its altitude and the rugged summit ridge give it a rather alpine
feeling. The views are great. All of this, plus the easy access from Independence Pass, make it an ideal
half-day acclimatization trip if one is staying in the Aspen area.
Routes: South Ridge (Grade I, Class 2)
References: M. Garratt and B. Martin, Colorado's High Thirteeners , Cordillera Press 1992
|Point Blue (right) from near Linkins Lake|
Party: DB and MB, Thomas Vojta
Route: South Ridge
Time: 4 hrs roundtrip from Independence Pass
Trip report: We picked Point Blue for our traditional high-altitude acclimatization trip.
The weather did not look good, but we needed some conditioning, so we went anyway.
The snow cover looked extremely patchy from the Pass, so I left my skis behind. Indeed, most of the trip was snow-free,
and whatever snow we encountered was extremely soft. We worked our way around the summit between the Pass and Point Blue
into the basin South of Point Blue, then gained the saddle and went up the South Ridge. Our previous high point had only
been 12,000', so we took it easy. There was serious thunderstorm activity both to the West and to the South, but somehow
all of these storms missed us. It was windy on the summit, though, and we did not linger too long on account on the ground
strikes a few miles to the South. Linkins Lake, Independence Lake, Lost Man Lake, and Blue Lake were all still ice
covered, which made it clear that an anemic snow pack, rather than anomalously high temperatures, was
responsible for the disappointingly little snow. Everybody felt fine on the summit, so I declared us acclimatized. (With
respect to Monique, this turned out to be premature: Three days later she got sick on Elbert at 14,100', and missed out on
the summit.) On the way back we went over the unnamed peak South of Point Blue (~13,500'), and got back to our car without
having experienced a single rain drop.
Click the pictures to see a higher
resolution image. All photo credits Thomas Vojta
The summit ridge of Point Blue. View SW.
Monique approaching the summit
Dietrich on the summit
Monique on the summit
Monique on the summit ridge
View West, across Linkins Lake, from the summit