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East Partner Peak (aka Peak V) is an unnamed peak in the Gore Range that hovers above Pitkin Lake (~11,362 feet). The rock is fractured but fairly solid in the alpine sense. Several options exist for linkups, the most popular being the traverse to West Partner Peak (aka Peak U). You won't encounter the crowds like those in RMNP or on the 14'ers. I had the peak to myself on a fairly sunny Sunday and counted only a handful of ascents in the week prior to mine.
East Partner Peak is most easily accessed via the Pitkin Trail trailhead (~8,476 feet) out of East Vail. To reach the trailhead, take exit 180 on I-70. Take the northern frontage road SE for ~ 0.25 miles. Park in the lot just before the road dead ends at a condo/apartment complex. The trailhead is marked by a large sign. As of August 2012, you can leave your car in this lot for up to 2 days.
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Partner Peaks Traverse 3rd 1- 1 I M 1a CO : Alpine Rock : ... : East Partner Peak (aka Peak...
I headed up the Pitkin drainage betaless (on purpose) with the intent of gaining the ridge and going whichever way looked most interesting. Westward had the craggiest terrain, so that's the way I went. Once I saw the summit registers, I realized I had done the Partner Peaks Traverse (aka V to U Peaks traverse). Editorial Comment:It takes a lot to hold my interest on a class 3 traverse, and any route where 75+% of it consists of class 1-2 isn't very fun in my book. The Partner Peaks...[more] Browse More Classics in CO
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