Peak(s):  Keller Mountain  -  13,085 feet
Date Posted:  08/08/2008
Modified:  08/11/2008
Date Climbed:   08/08/2008
Author:  Layne Bracy
 Keller Mountain loop   

6:10am: Rock Creek TH, 9500'
9:55am: Keller Mtn, 13085'
1:30pm: Rock Creek TH
approx 10.3mi/3900‘/7hr 20min

Layne Bracy, Jamie Princo, Bryan Shepherd, Sarah Thompson

Keller Mountain's east ridge
Bryan, Jamie and I hoped our start was early enough to beat any thunderstorms. We hiked up the trail under a cloudy but quiet sky, reaching the Boss Mine area. We followed a trail north past the mine, and when the trail petered out we had light bushwhacking to reach Keller's east ridge.

Keller's false summits(left, center) and true summit(right)
As we broke out of the trees we met up with Sarah and continued up to the first false summit.

The difficulties after the second false summit
After the second false summit, some route-finding and scrambling is required. Bryan and I tended to skirt the ridge, running into some loose, wet terrain. Sarah and Jamie stayed more atop the ridge, apparently the better choice.

Bryan nears the top.
Bryan had left Tennessee 4 days ago, but the altitude posed little problem. He summitted first and within 5 minutes we were all lounging on the clouded summit.

Bryan, Sarah and Jamie in the summit cloud
Glimpses of the surrounding ridges and valleys were fleeting, and we never did get a great view of the nearby Grand Traverse.

Boulder Creek drainage from Keller Mountain
After relaxing for 25 minutes, we had some discussion and decided to make a loop of it by descending directly into the North Rock Creek drainage.

Jamie and Sarah in the descent gully
We skated down a large gully of talus and scree to beautiful lake 11660, then dropped into the green valley below.

Lake 11660 below Keller Mountain

Greenery in the North Rock Creek drainage
We had read of some soggy bushwhacking, but just as the vegetation grew thick we found a boot path that grew into a trail and led us all the way back to the mine!

Gore Range wildflowers

Pine beetle devastation
The heavy rains forecast did not materialize and we arrived at the trailhead completely dry below a mix of blue skies and white clouds.

Thumbnails for uploaded photos (click to open slideshow):
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11

Comments or Questions
Amazing Pictures!
08/10/2008 02:20
I still haven‘t made it to this range yet and will make it a priority for next year.

Layne Bracy
08/10/2008 21:06
The Gores are beautiful and not that far from the Denver area. I‘ve made a yearly trip the past 4 years and have not been disappointed.

Thanks for the beta!
08/11/2008 16:07
I hope to be doing a similar trip up Keller later this year. Any estimation on mileage?

Mileage & Elevation Gain
08/12/2008 02:30
10.3 mi, 3900 ft according to my GPS track

pictures & route map:

   Not registered?

Caution: The information contained in this report may not be accurate and should not be the only resource used in preparation for your climb. Failure to have the necessary experience, physical conditioning, supplies or equipment can result in injury or death. and the author(s) of this report provide no warranties, either express or implied, that the information provided is accurate or reliable. By using the information provided, you agree to indemnify and hold harmless and the report author(s) with respect to any claims and demands against them, including any attorney fees and expenses. Please read the Safety and Disclaimer pages for more information.

Please respect private property: supports the rights of private landowners to determine how and by whom their land will be used. In Colorado, it is your responsibility to determine if land is private and to obtain the appropriate permission before entering the property.

© 2023®, 14ers Inc.