Category: Highpointing

Southern Utah Wanderings | Cedar Mesa
Tuesday – Thursday, October 3-5, 2017

Long Front Ruin hidden in an alcove on Cedar Mesa within Bears Ears National Monument.

After spending Monday in the Abajo Mountains and the previous weekend in the northern section of The Bears Ears, it was time to head over to Cedar Mesa so we could spend then next couple of days exploring some new areas of this part of The Bears Ears searching for new ruins and rock art sites. Here are a few photos from the remainder of our trip…

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Southern Utah Wanderings | Fall Colors 2017
Monday, October 2, 2017

Early morning alpenglow on South Peak (11,122) in the Abajo Mountains from our campsite.

After spending the weekend in the northern section of Bears Ears National Monument and Canyonlands National Park, we moved a little further south into the Abajo Mountains (Blue Mountains) so we could get a little peak-bagging in on our trip. Since I’ve hiked the highest peaks in the La Sal Mountains and Henry Mountains, I thought it would be nice to complete the trifecta by reaching the summit of Abajo Peak (11,360), the highest point in the Abajo Mountains. This one is a little easier than the others though, since there is a good road all the way up to the top because of all the towers and antennas up there. Shortly after sunrise we broke down our camp located at the base of the Abajo Mountains and drove up the road to the summit. There were some nice views along the way.

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Friday & Sunday, September 15 & 17, 2017

Unusual goblins under a stormy sky near the Little Book Cliffs Wild Horse Area.

After hiking to the summit of Corcoran Point from the Tellerico Trail in the Book Cliffs two years ago, I got a nice view of Corcoran Peak (8,076) and thought it would be a good peak close to home to try climbing another time. Since we were staying around home this weekend to go to a concert on Saturday, I thought it would be a good idea to head out to the Little Book Cliffs after work on Friday, catch the sunset, spend the night and then climb Corcoran Peak on Saturday morning before going to the concert. The plan was going well until after sunset when it started to rain pretty heavily. This is not an area you want to be in when the roads get wet, so I ended up heading home instead of camping and then returning late Sunday morning to try the climb again.

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Darley Mountain & Dolly Varden Mountain
Friday – Saturday, September 8-9, 2017

Hiking along the ridge to the summit of Darley Mountain in the Uncompahgre Wilderness.

This weekend I wanted to climb a peak or two in the mountains since it would probably be my last opportunity this summer before I would begin spending most of my free time back in the desert of the Colorado Plateau. However, since I’ve been doing a lot of driving lately I didn’t want to travel too far from home either. After a little thought I decided to head back down to the San Juan Mountains near Engineer Pass so I could climb Darley Mountain and Dolly Varden Mountain within the Uncompahgre Wilderness. It wasn’t too long ago that I was in the area climbing a couple other peaks and it was nice to be headed back there again.

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Friday & Saturday, August 25-26, 2017

Mount Ouray at sunset from the top of a ridge near Marshall Pass.

After climbing my first two 13ers of the year last month and realizing that I really haven’t climbed any high Colorado 13ers yet, I thought it would be a good idea to get one in this summer. Since Mount Ouray (13,971) has been high on my list of peaks to hike for a while, I thought it would be a good one to go for this weekend. Mount Ouray is located at the very southern end of the Sawatch Range just off the Continental Divide and is the 5th highest 13er in the state, being just 29 feet short of 14,000 feet. I had actually wanted to climb this peak last year during my fall trip, but I didn’t end up making it there.

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