Friday, July 19, 2013

Rosedale Peak

Rosedale Peak
School Is Out For Summer!  You know, just imagine Alice Cooper is singing it.  I got lucky and was able to finish all my class work a week early, so last night after I got done I thought what would be a better reward than a summit?  I texted Brian and Paul and they were both in for a climb up Rosedale Peak.  Like usual the weather outlook was crap, so we decided a 6:30-7am start would be enough to get us up the mountain and off of it by noon to avoid any thunderstorms and rain. 
The trail starts from the Meridian TH #604.  Head south on 285, take a right at Park County 43 take this road to the “Y” then head right.  Pass Meridian CG then take the next left on Prospector Way, follow this to the end and that is the Meridian TH.  It’s easy to find and Brian’s Subaru did fine getting us there.  A few months back Brian and I made an attempt at this mountain but we were driven off by crap loads of snow and no snow shoes…that usually tends to be a problem.  So, once again we had some unfinished business to tend to.  This is a pretty simple route that involves minimal navigation skills.  Just follow the trail for the first 3 miles and some change then head directly up the East Ridge.  That’s how we did it, as you can see from the GPS track we caught onto a trail for the decent, but you could use that for the ascent if you didn’t want to have any fun with a good scramble.  I leave the choice to you.
Rosedale from the Base
Me Scrambling the Boulders Photo by Brian
As I said the hike is pretty straight forward.  The trail is kept in great shape, hopefully you are as well.  The first 1.25miles is pretty straight on a sandy rock trail.  After making the first real turn to your right the scenery will change and there will be a mixture of pine trees and aspen groves that you will walk through.  Just trudge along till you hit the saddle at about 3 miles; I think my GPS was reading 3.08miles where we stopped for a break at the saddle.  From the saddle we took the East Ridge direct route, there is no trail from here on so just stick to the ridge.  There trees and brush aren’t too thick so you can meander your way up the ridge pretty easily.  After a few hundred feet the boulder fields will start appearing, do as we did and climb them directly.  It was a lot of fun, and all easy class 3 climbing.  The rock is very stable, so a nice place for beginners to learn scrambling.  Just follow the boulders up, up, up till you reach the top of the false summit.  Sorry, did I mention there was going to be false hope on this climb?  Well, there usually is so that’s life.  After the false summit you can see the true summit, just make your way down to the small saddle in-between them and head up to the true summit.  Once on top the true summit ridge it becomes a bit hard to tell the true summit.  There are a bunch of rock groups progressing along the ridge; I ended up using my GPS to nail down the correct rock pile.
After we all had a quick summit lunch we decided to be on our way to avoid the oncoming clouds of death headed our way.  Unfortunately I didn’t take many photos on this climb.  When I get on scrambles I like to keep the camera in my bag so I don’t ruin it, so I guess you will have to deal with the lack of pictures on this one.  Anyway, as I was saying, the clouds were getting big and fluffy so we decided to descend the trail rather than re-trace the East Ridge route we ascended.  This was rather painless, we just had to drop maybe 500ft and we eventually ran across the trail.
From the trail it was just a hike out, maybe 4-5 miles from where we met it to the car.  We all seemed to be moving well today so we continued on our hike till we were back to the saddle, meaning we still had a dreadful 3 miles to the car.  Well, I guess that would be a lie as well, it wasn’t that dreadful, if you want dreadful hike the boulders of Mount Massive now that is dreadful.  The trail was actually pleasant.  There was good tree cover from the sun, the breeze was pretty constant, so I guess I can’t really complain.  During our short break we realized we were surrounded by cloud and all of us were thankful to be off the mountain and in the trees.  I ate a Pay Day candy bar and it was sure good.  Then we were off.
The last three miles flew by pretty quickly, we didn’t really stop but just for a few rock clearing of the shoe types.  We never got rained on; maybe felt a few sprinkles but that could have been the mass quantities of sweat falling from my face as well.  It was a great hike right around 9 miles with a great scrambling section to boot.  I would definitely come back to this one, and one of the best parts is we didn’t see anyone all day…and that is rare in Colorado!
GPS Track
Date: 7/19/2013
Starting Elevation: 9,040ft
Rosedale Peak summit: 11,825ft
Total Gained Elevation: 3,035ft
Class: 3
Distance: 9.05 miles
Time: 4:33 moving, 1:10 stopped. 
Climbing Partner: Brian and Paul

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