Category: Climbing

Saturday & Sunday, August 12-13, 2017

The Devil’s Chair of Lone Cone at sunrise as I stopped at an overlook on my way to the summit.

For years I’ve explored southwestern Colorado and southeastern Utah and during that time I’ve seen Lone Cone (12,613) on the horizon from all different angles. It’s the westernmost peak in the San Juan Mountains and is easily identified from a hundred miles away. During that time I’ve always thought to myself that I really should make time to climb that peak one day. Well, that day has finally come…

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Friday & Saturday, August 11-12, 2017

Houghton Mountain during a beautiful sunset in the San Juan Mountains.

This weekend I headed down to the San Juan Mountains by myself to hike to the summit of a few mountains above the ghost town of Animas Forks near Mineral Point. I left after work on Friday afternoon and after a quick dinner in Montrose I drove over Red Mountain Pass to Silverton. From there I followed the Animas River to the base of Denver Hill (12,300) so I could go on a late evening hike to its summit. It was a short hike to the top, but it offered me some nice views of the surrounding mountains including Houghton Mountain (13,052), Seigal Mountain (13,274), Tuttle Mountain (13,203), Animas Forks Mountain (13,722), and Engineer Mountain (13,218). After hiking across the rolling tundra I reached PT 12340 which gave me a good overview of Mineral Point below and I caught a nice sunset on my way back to the Jeep.

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Southwest Ridge | Saturday & Sunday, August 5-6, 2017

A view of Sayres Peak (13,738) at sunrise as I hiked to the summit of La Plata Peak.

Last fall during my drive to the trailhead for Mount Elbert (14,433), I got a nice view of La Plata Peak as I was descending Independence Pass shortly before sunset and thought to myself that I should make time to climb that peak soon. That thought has stuck around in the back of my mind for the last year and I finally decided to make it happen this weekend since I had good luck with Culebra Peak (14,047) last weekend.

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Whipple Mountain & Last Dollar Mountain
Independence Day | Tuesday, July 4, 2017

Diane hikes through a hillside of lupine as we descend the Whipple Mountain Trail.

This year for Independence Day Diane and I woke up early and drove down to the west end of the Sneffels Range near Telluride to climb a couple of mountains just off the Last Dollar Road. We started out by hiking up the Whipple Trail to the summit of Whipple Mountain (11,922) which was about 1.5 miles in length with 1,500 feet of elevation gain. It was mostly up an easy trail lined with wildflowers and then the last section from the saddle to the summit was on a faint track through a forest where the mosquitoes were pretty terrible. We enjoyed the view from the summit over toward Wilson Peak, El Diente Peak, and Lizard Head for a little bit and then hiked back down to the trailhead.

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Friday – Sunday, June 30 – July 2, 2017

A view from near the summit of Dry Mountain over to Bald Mountain and Mount Nebo.

This weekend I was heading up to Salt Lake City to see Rise Against at the USANA Amphitheater on Saturday evening, but since I have a Colorado 14er scheduled to climb later this month I really need to make sure that I’m in shape for it by hiking in the mountains as much as I can this month. Before the trip I did a little research to see if there were any shorter hikes with a couple thousand feet of elevation gain in the Wasatch Mountains that I would be able to squeeze into the trip and I settled on climbing Dry Mountain (9,865) near Santaquin. This mountain wasn’t too far out of my way and it looked like I would also be able to camp near the trailhead the night before. Plus, there wasn’t much information about it online, so I figured the trail wouldn’t be crowded, either. Dry Mountain is one of the shorter peaks found along the Wasatch Front but the trail to it’s summit is just over two miles in length with about 2,000 feet of elevation gain, so it fit my needs perfectly. This peak comes in at #97 on Utah’s 100 Most Prominent Peaks List with 1,845 feet of prominence. Apparently, this mountain is also featured prominently in the movie Footloose, but since I’ve never seen it I can’t confirm.

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