Route: Tenmile Traverse (CO)

Location
Colorado, US
Description

The Tenmile Traverse according to summitpost.org:

"If you're interested in bagging as many peaks as possible in a one-day outing, this is a good option. The Tenmile Range runs from Frisco south to the Divide passing Breckenridge and Copper ski areas along the way. This route climbs Peak 1, then traverses the other nine numbered peaks before dropping back down into the valley. Including the diminuitive Mt. Royal overlooking Frisco and the somewhat ambiguous Mt. Victoria on the northern ridge of Peak 1, you get to bag a dozen peaks in as many miles. The whole thing is around 8000' of vertical gain and 15-20 miles of hiking, depending on the exact route you take and where you manage to get picked up on the far end. Purists will argue that not all of these peaks meet the 300' saddle rule (in fact, only Peaks 2, 4, 8, 9, and 10 do so), but it's still a mighty and satisfying endeavor.

The initial four peaks (1-4) are traversed by precipitous scrambling ridges. In particular, the ridge between Peak 2 and 3 is challenging and route-finding is crucial. South of Peak 4, however, the nature of the ridge changes dramatically and all technical difficulties give way to blissful tundra hiking. Descent into Breckenridge to the east is the most logical finish, though it is possible to bail out to either east or west after Peak 4 without much difficulty."


Note that, despite the name, the "Standard" Tenmile Traverse described above traverses only about half of the Tenmile Range.  Actually, it's not entirely clear where the Tenmile Range starts and the Mosquito Range ends, as they are geomorphologically one long ridge, separated by names only. Their boundary is where the Continental Divide intersects the ridge between Fremont Pass and Hoosier Pass. But the Divide and the Mosquito/Tenmile ridge coincide for a couple of miles. The original source for mountaineering in Colorado, Guide to the Colorado Mountains (by Robert Ormes) lists Wheeler Mountain (13,690’) as the southernmost peak in the Tenmile, while Gerry Roach suggests it is nearby MacNamee.  Perhaps the best dividing line would be the col between the two summits, since it seems awkward to place any summit in 2 different Ranges.  At its northern terminus the ridge drops steeply into the Tenmile Creek and I-70 at Frisco with a definitive termination.

We include two longer Variations of the Tenmile Traverse:

Extended Tenmile Traverse:  A variation, first done by Bill Briggs in 1993, which begins at the Quandary Peak TH and summits Quandary before joining the spine of the ridge at Fletcher and continuing north all the way to Frisco.

Tenmile Range Traverse:  Including all summits of the Tenmile Range, starting with Wheeler and continuing north to Frisco.  This adds the long, complex ridge between Wheeler and Fletcher to Briggs' "Extended" version.  This was first done by Jeff Rome on his 47h26m traverse from Weston Pass to Frisco in 2012, and was repeated as a distinct project by Buzz Burrell & Peter Bakwin on 6/21/2014 in 16h43m.

 

Standard Tenmile Traverse:

Frisco 9100'
Mt. Royal 10,502'
Mt. Victoria 11,785'
Peak 1 12,805'
Tenmile Peak     12,933'
Peak 3 12,676'
Peak 4 12,866'
Peak 5 12,855'
Peak 6 12,573'
Peak 7 12,655'
Peak 8 12,987'
Peak 9 13,195'
Peak 10 13,633' 
Breckenridge 9500'