LEG 2, Sidney Tunnel to Argentine Pass (13,189 feet) – 4.44 miles
After spending about 1 ½ hours there, I set off to the destination of my first Leg: the summit of Argentine Pass, lying on the Continental Divide. I have seen some give the elevation as 13,205 or 13,207 feet; my map program came up with 13,189 feet. Waymarking.com lists Mosquito Pass, at 13,185 feet, to be the highest Colorado Pass accessible by vehicular travel. Well I think we have it beat by at least 4 feet. But Argentine can only be reached by vehicle on the Leavenworth side, as even with the narrow track of my FJ40 the Horseshoe Basin/Peru Creek side’s ledge and loose rock would make for a very unnerving descent, if not impossible.
After passing the site of the Waldorf Mine the road narrowed and began climbing more sharply. Climbing up the road was not difficult, though there are two sections that would give an unlocked FJ40 a little difficulty. I would not take my stock Tundra up there, however. Pretty soon I was looking over into Horseshoe Basin and Peru Creek (and the west side of Argentine Pass that descends into that valley – pretty narrow huh?):
Looking toward point 13,449, just south of the pass:
Looking to the east-northeast back down the Leavenworth Valley:
Looking to the southeast into the top of the Leavenworth Valley:
Grays Peak (14,270 feet - to the west-northwest) as seen from Argentine Pass: