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  • John Vitz
    Some notes from my last trip: Circleville Mtn (UT) - Elevation = 11331; Prominence = 1671 From Beaver, head east on UT 153 to either end of FR 137. Just south
    Message 1 of 1 , Sep 2, 2007
      Some notes from my last trip:

      Circleville Mtn (UT) - Elevation = 11331; Prominence = 1671
      From Beaver, head east on UT 153 to either end of FR 137. Just south of Betenson Flat, find FR 663 and proceed to the locked gate. Hike up the main road as it wanders around and switchbacks to the top of the northeast ridge. Follow the ridge to the summit. On the descent you can go to the low saddle east of point 11031 and head downhill to the road. Also when you get down the road to the first saddle, you can go right and go down an old logging track to cut off some distance. (6 miles round trip; 1400 feet of total gain).

      The rest are in Colorado.

      Sleepy Cat Peak - 10848, 2328.
      This is the high prominence peak for Rio Blanco County. From Meeker, go northeast on the road to Yellowjacket Pass. At the pass, turn east and follow FR 250 about 13 miles to FR 290. This takes about an hour. Go northeast on FR 290 about 1.4 miles, staying left at the junction. This is 4wd country. Just before the road drops down to a meadow there is a nice campsite in some trees on the left. There is a bronze marker there, which says "Paul Maskalenko, 1948-2000, Viet Nam vet, SP4 US Army". Head east into the forest, fighting your way through a maze of downed timber and climb the steep west face just south of the summit. The south ridge looks like it could have some trouble spots. (2, 1000).

      Parkview Mtn - 12296, 2656.
      From MP marker 21 on CO 125 just south of Willow Creek Pass, take FR 266.1 about four miles west into the bowl just east of the top. Near the end of the road, take the left fork down across the creek and up into the trees to a parking spot. At this point the road turns to an ATV track - although small jeeps could continue. Hike up the road and switchback back to the left, following the cairns (not much trail tread to speak of) for the Continental Divide Trail to the top of the east ridge and then onto the top. (2, 1400)

      North Mamm Peak - 11123, 3083.
      This peak is a lot more difficult than you might expect from looking at the maps. From Rifle on the south side of I-70, go west on a paved road and up a steep switchback and then take a left on the signed national forest access road that leads up Beaver Creek. Note that there is no overnight camping allowed at the trailhead, even though it is in the national forest. The trail starts downhill, crosses Beaver Creek and then heads up the stream for a short distance. At this point it goes left up a couple of long, rather flat switchbacks and goes exactly away from where you want to go. At the top of a ridge, it finally starts heading towards the peak and, after a long side hill traverse finally crosses Beaver Creek and joins the old trail. You have now hiked 2 to 3 times farther than you would have on the old trail, which some a--hole landowner has shut down. Now follow the trail south and then west to the basin south of the peak. Now the fun begins. Between you and the peak is a maze of ridges made up of large blocks of broken basalt. No matter which way you go, you will have to scramble over them. I went up an exposed route on the south ridge. When I got on top, I found a lot of names in the register, which led me to believe that there had to be an easier route. There is a dirt chute that goes right down the north face. Then I went east around the peak, staying high until I got back to the south ridge. This is all very time consuming. (12 to 13, about 3000 with all the ups and downs).

      Mount Richtofen - 12940, 2660.
      This peak is the high prominence point for Grand County. From US 40, take the signed road for Lake Agnes within the State Forest State Park. It will cost you $5 to get a day pass and there is no overnight parking allowed at the Lake Agnes trailhead. Parking is limited, so get there early. Take the trail to the lake and then skirt the east shore, continue on up through grassy slopes, cross a meadow mess, and then follow signs of use trails to the saddle west of the peak. Go up the ridge to the summit, along the way encountering about 500 feet of loose talus and looser scree. The rock get better as you go up and there is some fun low third class near the top. (5, 2900).

      Meaden Peak - 10879, 2159.
      From the southwest corner of Steamboat Lake, go west on FR 42 (which is very rocky and slow going) to the second intersection of FR 480 on the northwest side of the peak. Go up FR 480 to FR 480B. I went east on FR 480 to the north side of the peak and then up the north ridge. The last few hundred feet are steep and loose. A better route might be to go up the west side from near the 480/480B junction. There was a Bob Martin register on the summit. (2, 1000)

      Rio Blanco County High Point - NW Orno Peak. The trail has been rerouted around a mudslide, adding some 500 feet of gain to the hike. I estimate the trip now as being about 12 miles with 2500 feet of gain.

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