Sunday, February 15, 2015

New Peaks: Coal Creek Peak and Crescent Mountain

I haven't been much for bagging insignificant summits, but this year, somewhat randomly, I made a goal of climbing at least 52 different peaks - an average of one per week. Just for the heck of it. I guess to have a goal where I could easily track progress. The peaks don't have to be new to me and I expect few will be, but we'll see.

I started with the easy ones above Boulder: Green, Flagstaff, Sanitas, Bear Peak and South Boulder Peak. One friend of mine pointed out that probably Bear Peak shouldn't count as a separate peak since it is so close to South Boulder Peak, but I've always viewed it as a separate peaking and I'm counting it, at least for now.

I've also done Longs Peak, of course, since I'm doing the LPP. And Meeker and Estes Cone and Mountain Lady Washington.

Today I bagged a couple of peaks that I learned about via Homie and Jeff Valliere. Ones I hadn't ever thought about before. There are no trails anywhere on these peaks, so it was just exploring up hillsides. I found the directions and route description on The route I took up Coal Creek Peak was very direct and involved lots of sustained scrambling on the upper part. It was almost tedious getting to the summit, but I was just moving slow and cautious and listening to my book and just enjoying the outdoors.

I wasn't sure I wanted to go to Crescent Mountain because of the complicated, rocky, densely-wooded terrain, but decided to go for it. I went over one  unnamed bump enroute and encountered a bit of postholing below the summit, but it wasn't bad. I descended steep, brushy terrain until I hit a dirt road at a cabin. I followed this all the way down to Coal Creek Canyon highway 72, going past a number of cabins and a big fifth-wheel that I was amazed they got up this steep road.

It was nearly three miles of running along the highway to get back to my car. I thought I'd read that it was more like a mile, but that just gave me a chance to do something other than slow hiking. It was a fun loop of nearly seven miles and 3000 vertical feet, but I'm not sure I'd recommend it to many people. You'd have be pretty into peak bagging or solitude to do these mountains.

But, I've now done 11 unique peaks for the year and I'm ahead of schedule.

1 comment:

Unknown said...

Thanks for this post, Bill. I climbed Coal Creek Peak today - totally fun scramble up the middle of the SE face area. Plenty of options in the 3rd, 4th and easy 5th class. Wondering about property ownership and access. Not all of this is in JefCo land.