Cole and I made plans to get our first climb of the new year in on Hoosier Ridge, but at zero hour – 4:00am on climb day we decided to change plans and head to the Rosalie area. The high country had been fairly windy with sustained winds in the 20’s and gusts in the 40’s (mph). Hoosier Ridge didn’t seem appealing since the route is exposed mainly being above tree line, so we elected to go into an area that at least has some tree cover for a good portion of the climb.
The Rosalie area has many options including climbs of Rosalie, and the Pegmatite Points as well as general trail hiking in the area. The trailhead access for this area is called the Deer Creek TH. Follow the hyperlink to old postings for general directions. The area gets moderate activity so the trail in the winter time is well defined.
The forecast as to be expected for the winter was not ideal. High winds are common everywhere in the Front Range, so if you want to get out in the mountains you have to learn to deal with it. For our climb day the forecast was sunny with a high of 26° with winds 16-22mph and gusts of 45mph which equated to a wind chill of -8° above 12,000ft. There was a recent storm that was forecasted to have up to 7 inches of snow in the area. The question as always was what kind of layers and gear to bring. I live in the world of have rather than have-not so I am prepared for most situations. I decided I was going to pack in my snowshoes and Cole followed suit. To be noted for others, there was absolutely no need for snow shoes, but foot traction like micro spikes could be useful. We didn’t use any foot traction and I only completely ate it once. The winds pushed us off of an attempt on Rosalie and we elected to head towards the Pegmatite Points instead. Our estimation were sustained winds in the high 40’s to low 50’s near the saddle between Rosalie and the Points, which was enough to push us both around.
By the time we made the summit of the Pegmatite Points we were both feeling it. We decided it was a good climb for the day and soon found a nice block from the wind to have a summit beer and some snacks. The sun was out for the most part, and the winds were still kicking around pretty good, so we felt comfortable putting on our puffy jackets and hanging out for a while. Views of Rosalie, Evans and the other surrounding mountains were great. We even had a nice backdrop of Pikes Peak and the Denver area.
We made quick work of the route down, and were glad to get out of the wind. There were maybe 6 or 7 others we saw in the area that day that were brave enough to face the wind. This is a favorite area of mine and at some point I would like to connect Royal, Rosalie, Epaulie and Epaulet, but that will be more of a summer time excursion.
Date: January 13, 2018
TH Elevation: 9,300 feet
Pegmatite Points Summit: 12,227 feet
Total Elevation Gain: 2,879 feet (GPS)
Distance: 8.55 miles
Moving Time: 05:06:22
Stopped Time: 02:44:16
Climbing Partner: Cole