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Kingpin peak from the North (Peak DG15) # 16449

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Date: 2014.08.22
Vantage Point: The summit of peak DG15 above the Quartz-Cirque creek divide

Caption: The gentle col and ridge that lead to the summit of kingpin peak. The jagged peak just right of Kingpin is the prominent peak that rises steeply above Gorman Lake. Its right-hand summit appears to be a great scramble from the head of Gorman Creek.

PhotoDescr: This route requires dropping 250m from the pass South of upper Quartz lake before ascending scree and moraines to the col seen in the picture (2450m). From there, the summit of Kingpin is an easy stroll. The view of 11000' peaks all around is absolutely outstanding - you can see as far as mount Columbia.

I later climbed this peak as part of a loop hiking along the divide between the two forks of Quartz Creek over a 2733m peak with great views down Cirque and Quartz creek, descending into the headwaters of Lang creek to avoid difficulties (very steep and nasty pinnacles on the ridge between pk2733 and Kingpin), then traversing and climbing back up the backside of the pass seen in this picture. After hiking up the left skyline as seen in the photo, I got booted off the summit by a hailstorm and hiked down the scree and moraines below the col before climbing back up 250m to camp near the Quartz-Cirque pass.

When descending into Land creek, I was able to stay above 2400m by going through a break in the ridge that drops towards Lang lake. Missing this would result in an unpleasant descent over moraines all the way to Lang lake, adding about 300m of elevation loss and gain, if I recall right.

On the last day of my 5-day trip, helicopters buzzed incessantly around the Quartz-Cirque area despite obviously seeing my tent and myself while doing low fly-bys. I'll be contacting the heli companies in Golden when I return home to investigate - not that I expect much from it.

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