Mount Eva

  • Mount Eva
  • 4002 m
  • Primary factor 131 m
  • Colorado
  • Indian Peaks range, 11th highest
  • Location: North 39:49.65, West 105:43.12
  • Climbed January 28, 2001.


How to get there: We left Interstate 70 at exit 238 (just west of Idaho Springs), took Fall River Road to the road (4WD?) that (in summer) goes up to Fall River Trailhead. This road continues (more or less) straight ahead where the Fall River Road makes its second very sharp turn (hairpin type) to the right. The road can be driven a short distance in winter, but chains and a 4WD are strongly suggested.
Route description: We made this climb in January on cross country skies. First, ski along the (snow covered) road that heads up to Fall River Trailhead. The road forks about one mile before the Trailhead, there is an old, rusty sign indicating Chinns Lake if one takes the left fork (the right one leads to the Trailhead). The road to Chinns lake is a continuous, gradual climb all the way, very nice on cross country skies. We skied right across Chinns Lake and just after this the second lake called Sherwin lake. From here one ascends the slopes on the west end until a more level area is reached. Contour a bit to the right while maintaining or gently increase the elevation. After another flat section you are at the very end of Chinns Lake Basin. From here we climbed on the right hand side (The Mount Eva side) of the very lowest line towards the saddle between Mount Eva and Witter Peak. Skiing up here is quite easy, the slope is not very steep and it was absolutely avalanche safe when we were there. (Quite limited amounts of snow, plenty of rock outcrops etc.) Our final "zig-zag" (the way one skies with waxed skies without skins) climbed to the Continental Divide about half-way between the low saddle and the summit of Mount Eva. The Divide was wind blown almost without snow so we left the skis here at about 3900 m and completed the climb on foot along a very gentle slope passing a collapsed metal tower structure to the summit. The return ski followed the path of ascent.
Comments: I did this trip with my 11 year old son Pål Jørgen. We left the car around 0830, rested at the summit around 1300 and were back at the car sometime before 1500. The weather started out nicely, but clouds and snow closed in on us shortly after reaching the Chinns Lake Basin. I encountered a "crevasse fall" into some trees high in the basin, Pål broke trail past some 30 cm pine "bushes". They turned out to be about 2.5 meter trees. The snow had accumulated near the tops and formed a 30-40 cm layer with 2 meters of open air space hidden between the trunks and branches below. It was absolutely impossible to see that the snow cover followed the tree-tops instead of the ground. I broke through to my arm-pits, feet and skis still kicking in "free air" below. Quite a surprising experience, it took me considerable time to crawl out to safer ground with backpack, skies and poles in quite a disarray. The fallen steel structure (marked as a tower on some maps) should really be removed by the organization that put it there in the first place. This is really polution of our mountains. It was just as cold and windy (and snowy) on the summit as one might expect a 4000 meter mountain to be in the month of January. The trail register revealed that the last climber visited Mount Eva in mid-October, the next visit might very well not happen until late spring or summer.