London Mountain/Kuss Peak


Statistics

  • Date - 09/26/2020
  • Elevation - 13,194'/13,548'
  • Route - West Ridge/East Ridge
  • Miles - 6.4
  • Elevation Gain - 2,618'
  • ACME Mapper - Link
  • CalTopo - Link
  • Partners - Not Applicable

Description

My wife had a girlfriend in town for the weekend, so I took the opportunity to go hiking.  I didn't want to go far and settled on a loop hike near Alma, Colorado.  I drove up the night before for fun and ended up falling asleep at the trailhead around 10:00 pm.  Either the forecast changed or I underestimated the weather as I was cold most of the night and the gusts rocked my vehicle regularly.  I woke to my alarms but kept going back to sleep and resigned to calling it a bust as the wind remained strong throughout the morning.  I decided to drive into Fairplay, Colorado, and have a late breakfast at the Brown Burro Cafe.

However, a Subaru with kayaks on top rolled into the trailhead at 8:30 am.  Out jumped two yuppies with compression socks and running vests.  They started up the trail and were keeping a close eye on their watches.  I certainly couldn't let these DINKs from Iowa show me up!  I put on my shoes and loaded my pack assuming I was just going for a short walk.  The wind was gusting and I'm too old to fight the weather, but I plodded up the road.  I stopped around the North London Mine due to low blood sugar.  After eating something, the wind became tolerable and I thought I could get some more hiking in.

I made it to the saddle between London Mountain and Kuss Peak and decided to take the long ridge to London.  It was a fun hike/scramble.  I returned to the saddle and thought tagging Kuss Peak wouldn't be too challenging given my condition and the weather.  The summit of Kuss Peak has a radio building and towers along with solar panels.  I contemplated heading to Mosquito Peak, but ultimately settled on my two-peak day and hiked back down to the trailhead.  There is a lot of four-wheel-drive activity in this area driving over Mosquito Pass.  It was a short 4-hour day, but I had a descent time and hiked two new summits.

Photos

Kuss Peak and Mosquito Peak from London Mountain.Summit Photo (London Mountain)The trailhead from London Mountain.Mosquito Peak from Kuss Peak.London Mountain from Kuss Peak.Summit Photo (Kuss Peak)London Mountain from the east ridge of Kuss Peak.Kuss Peak from the Mosquito Basin.