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3700 feet plus 300+/- gain and loss on the ridge
7 hours with 6 hours hiking /climbing, 1/2 hour on summit and 1/2 hour for the dog's snow breaks
The fall and Halloween upcoming, time to get in the trick or treating mood so what better than to "dip my toes in the Gore" for the first time.
So no longer a Gore virgin as it were.
I had not been in the Gore Range for a hike, as noted, yet. It had been on my mind for a while this year but time has passsed quickly so far and fall is here. I picked what looked to be one of the less difficult peaks in this range for a first look. I have driven by on my way to other peaks and it finally dawned on me that the Gore Range is closer than I had recognized it to be. After having read reports by Lord Helmut, Layne Bracy and others it always seemed so far away. Well the range is not so far but outside a few of the peaks like Keller and Mount Powell the rest of the peaks are remote. I will be getting back there when I have the time to make the longer trips and can enjoy the time too.
With that being said here is some pictures and trail info...
The Rock Creek Trail is accessed by driving north from Silverthorne 8 plus miles to the Rock Creek Road which is on your left and across from the Blue Lakes Campground sign. Drive approximately 1.5 miles to a left turn that has a small sign on the left and a larger sign on the right that points towards the Rock Creek Trail. Drive the rough, potholed (large holes) a little over 2 miles to the end of the road and a good sized parking area at the trailhead.
Start on the wide Rock Creek Trail (No. 46).
Walk past the Eagles Nest/White River Forest sign.
Walk past the intersection with the Gore Range Trail and continue on the Rock Creek Trail.
A meadow you will see along the way. Fall colors.
A first look at a part of the Gore Range as you walk up the trail.
This is the trail at the bottom of the tailings for the Boss Mine. This is somewhere less than two miles up.
Here you are looking back down at where you leave the trees and it opens up at the bottom of the talus and slag.
The top of the tailings as you head into the trees.
This is looking back at the trail after you have hiked a little ways into the trees again.
You will walk past the uprooted tree and follow the trail as it goes from a good trail to a faint one higher up.
This open slope is where you want to head for after making your way through the tree. There were several cairns along the way and there is a trail across the slope heading from your left to the right.
The good trail as it traverses up and across the slope. This trail fades away but your goal is to gain the ridge, which can be at any point above.
This is looking back down the open slope to the level area at its base. There was a cairn down there.
This is the first look at the ridge above and a false summit. The trail was Class 1 to here really. The talus and Class 2 starts at the bottom of this false summit and you will continue on the ridge to the second false summit/bump where it will then require at least some Class 3 scrambling. The false summit goes on farther than what you first see.
You are looking back down the talus.
You can now see the remaining portion of the East Ridge climb from the second bump. The ridge becomes a bit rougher.
This will start the class 3 section. I tried to stay on the ridge fror the most part. A few vertical notches required dropping down to the left side.
This is Merlin working it on the Class 3 portion and just below the ridge.
The mountain felt good on this day. Each step was goodand the lines I took heading up seemed to be exactly right. The rock was solid going up, no slips or missteps. It was funny (odd) though as later on the way back down the rocks were a bit wobbly.
This is looking back at what was the third big bump along the ridge.
The last part of the ridge was a walkup and you wonder if this is the peak as you look a little farther west. The summit tube. There were two pencils and no register in the open tube. I left the cover page from a report for future summiteers.
I spent about a half hour on the summit looking at the views and sending my Spot. A very nice day.
The return route lies ahead. (see last paragraph)
If you want to avoid going back along the ridge you can descend the southwest face on what is supposed to be a Class 2+. My understanding is it would require some bushwacking which I was not interested in doing.
Heading back I started along the ridge again and encountered what seemed to me to be some Class 4 sections. I had been below that particular section on the way up. There is some slabby sloped rock and a good vertical drop here, which can be avoided.
My GPS Tracks on Google Maps (made from a .GPX file upload):
8) Gosh, it's been years since I've climbed that peak; and, we certainly didn't have such beautifully colorful conditions. Nice report ... great photos. Always love seeing your pooch(es). Thanks for posting. Happy trails!
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