Monday, December 8, 2014

Monday, 12/08/14 Random Peak Hunting

Thursday, while on my way to run my usual Green/Bear/SoBo/Green circuit, I made an in car decision to go attempt Scar Top, starting from where the Eldo Road turns to dirt.  I have been eyeing Scar Top and a few summits to the SW of Eldorado Springs for some time, yet had done very minimal research, just a quick glance at Google earth really.  I was not sure if I would have the time to summit before I had to pick up the girls from school, as I had no idea what the distance was, but most importantly, did not know what the terrain would really be like.  I ran into Eldo on the Fowler Trail, over toward the visitor center and stayed on the south side of the creek.  I knew there was a side drainage that came in from the southwest, but it ended up being a bit further upstream from the center than I remembered seeing on Google earth.  Initially there is a road, but this is just to access a major water pipeline and ended after just a minute or two.  Above the pipeline, it was nearly 3 miles of hopping boulders through the flood ravaged box canyon.  The flood was a benefit, in that it cleared out all of the brush, yet simultaneously somewhat of a detriment, as it meant a lot of loose rock and fallen trees.  Progress was slow, but this valley was amazing, as there were quite a few newly formed emerald pools, a fair bit of moss, small waterfalls and was neat to witness the power of the floods.

It took me almost 90 minutes to travel the ~4.5 miles to the train tracks and from there, my view was a bit obscured and I was not sure where the summit of Scar Top was.  I ran the tracks eastbound for 2 or 3 minutes to get a better view and saw some summits still high above (turns out it was Crescent and Jack's).  I still debated it, but they looked further away than I had anticipated and the terrain was bushy and rugged.  I decided to err on the side of prudence and turn back.

The route I had in my mind on Thursday

Actual route on Thursday (with an added side trip on the return to check out the recently re-opened Rattlesnake Gulch Trail)

On Saturday, Homie and I had a few hours in the morning to get out, so we headed to Coal Creek Canyon to climb Crescent Mountain and Jack's Peak, maybe Scar Top if we had time.  We made quick work of the bushwhack up Crescent, then over to Jack's, but Scar Top looked a bit too distant (not that far, but a significant drop to the saddle and some complicated terrain).  We both decided it would be best to not chance being late getting home and then spent some time on Jack's Peak now that we were not in a hurry.

I think my next plan of attack for Scar Top will be from Walker one day soon.  Also looking to hike/run Thorondin and Star in the near future as well.

View of Coal Creek Peak from Crescent (Homie and I climbed Coal Creek a few years ago)

Cool view of Eldorado Mountain

Homie signing in

Unusual perspective of Green, SoBo and Bear from Crescent

Indian Peaks and Lucho's neighborhood in there somewhere.

Scar Top from Jack's, tantalizingly close, but maybe a bit too much to fit into our limited time frame.

View from Jack's toward Green, SoBo, Bear, Eldo (this is where I would have ended up on Thursday had I decided to keep going up).

Homie checking in on the Hardrock 100 lottery

1 comment:

  1. I just discovered how to overlay gpx data onto google earth. I love it - although it is not as good without the mountains! ;)