clinton peak - 13857' - class 2
traver peak - 13852' - class 2
I met with a friend from 14ers and we decided to try and climb Clinton Peak as well as the two nearby unranked peaks McNamee and Traver. The road to the Montgomery Reservoir trailhead was completely clear and while at the trailhead there was one other car there where a couple were headed up to do some ice climbing at Lincoln Falls, which was still in decent condition. We were headed up the Wheeler Lake jeep road which for the most part still had decent snow on it. Just past the mining ruins the road became snowy and wet and the entire hike up to Wheeler Lake was walking on consolidated spring snow. The lake itself was still frozen over and covered in fresh snow. We followed a very nice and fresh set of boot tracks from the lake all the way up to the summit of Clinton Peak. This made the climb much easier as we would have sunk about a foot with every step without the tracks. We slowly made our way up snow to the summit where we got to look right down at the Climax mine which sure made a fair share of noise now that it is back in operation. It was pretty cold though so we started to traverse the easy class 1 ridge to McNamee Peak which is nothing more than a bump on the ridge. We essentially walked right over this peak without stopping and continued to Traver Peak which oddly enough was my favorite of the three. The views I thought were the best since you had a different view of Mount Arkansas and the spine of the Tenmile/Mosquito Range than you normally see. The last part of the traverse to the summit was nice since it wasn't just a walk. The small puffy clouds that began to form which made the summit of Traver just a beautiful place with great lighting and snow on the surrounding peaks. Here we did take a nice break to enjoy it but started down when some darker clouds formed to the west. We completed the loop and headed straight back down to Wheeler Lake getting a few nice glissades in along the way. The snow was very soft and we noticed some very big snow rollers all over the place so we descended with extreme caution to avoid getting caught in a wet slide. Once back at the lake the hike back to the car went quick and the casual hikers we saw couldn't even imagine doing what we did upon telling them.