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 Peak(s):  Redcliff  -  13,642 feet
"Fortress Pk"  -  13,241 feet
Precipice Pk  -  13,144 feet
 Post Date:  07/11/2013
 Date Climbed:   06/24/2013
 Posted By:  Furthermore

 Beauty 'N Mank      


Redcliff 13,642
“Fortress Peak” 13,241
Precipice Peak 13,144



June 24, 2013
~11.5 Miles, ~6,600 Gain
TH: End of the West Fork Cimmaron Road (FS 860) (High Clearance required, ~6-6.5 hours from Denver)
Max difficulty: Class 2


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Day 6:
With the amount of climbing in the past week, I was originally planning on doing this trio as 2 days to account for some rest. Feeling good, I decided to combine them into a single day. The alarm went off early as usual and I started hiking up the West Fork Cimmaron trail at 5:00 AM towards Redcliff. Going on a decent trail makes thing go much faster.

Sunrise
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Sunrise over Chimney Rock.
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Sunrise over Chimney Rock.
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I left the trail at ~11,400 and started up the grassy slopes towards the Coxcomb-Redcliff saddle. A steep grunt later I was at the saddle. From the saddle, I continued up Redcliff's class 2 talus south ridge where I arrived on my 600th summit over 13,000 at 7:20 AM. Stellar views of Coxcomb, Wetterhorn and Uncompahgre.

South ridge of Redcliff.
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Coxcomb from near the Redcliff-Coxcomb saddle.
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Uncompahgre
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Wetternhorn and Uncompahgre
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“Fortress” and Precipice from the summit of Redcliff.
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“Fortress” and Precipice from the summit of Redcliff.
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Now for the manky traverse over to “Fortress.” I returned to the Redcliff-Coxcomb saddle and descended west back down grassy slopes until I was below the cliff bands that guard Redcliff's upper slopes. I started my traverse at ~12,800 slowly descending to ~12,400 on crappy talus. The travel was slow.

Mankville
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Slowly making my way towards “Fortress,” I enjoyed several areas of manky rock, talus and scree. Some tricky gullies also made things complicated. I wish I just dropped back down into the valley and the reascended the slopes of “Fortress.”

Below the “Fortress”-Redcliff saddle, I started up a gully towards 3 small black colored coves. Before reaching the coves, I headed north onto loose talus slopes which allowed me to intercept “Fortress's” west ridge. At first, the summit pyramid looked tricky but only involved class 2 climbing. I reached the summit of “Fortress” at 9:25 AM. Outstanding views of Redcliff. The Cimarrons are a truly astonishing area.

Hoo Doos.
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Redcliff on my traverse to “Fortress”
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Sweet rock.
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Redcliff from near the summit of “Fortress”
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Precipice from “Fortress”
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Redcliff from “Fortress”
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Route up “Fortress.”
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Having had enough of the mank, I wised up and just descended to the valley back to the West Fork Cimmaron trail. I just returned back to my car, ate something and then started my final assault up Precipice. For a second time leaving my car, I headed east up a prominent gulch ˝ mile south of the summit at 11:00 AM.

Staying on the north side of the gulch, I found an intermediate trail. As the gulch steepened, I lost the trail and headed directly up the north side of the gulch. After a steep section of bushwhacking, I found the spotty trail which led me upwards into a talus field further north of the gulch. I climbed up the talus field aiming for a short weakness in a small cliff band.

Route up Precipice.
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Climbing through the cliff band wasn't difficult and at the top, I was left with two options. Either take a talus then grass covered ridge to the left or head up grassy slopes to the Precipice-”Fortress” saddle. I decided to take the grassy slopes to the saddle.

Before reaching the saddle I headed further north to intercept Precipice's south ridge. Two large buttress looked like it barred easy access to the summit. As I climbed near the two buttresses, I just climbed between them to Precipice's upper slopes. Such a scenic finish as I arrived on the summit of Precipice at 12:10 PM. I enjoyed the summit for a few minutes before I started my descent back to my car. Returning via my ascent route, I returned back to my car at 12:55 PM. What a fine way to finish a week of climbing. It was time for a rest.14

Gap between buttresses on Precipice.
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South ridge of Precipice.
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The Big Bad MoFo of 12ers.
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Only if that wasn't mank.
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Route Map.
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My GPS Tracks on Google Maps (made from a .GPX file upload):




Thumbnails for uploaded photos (click to open slideshow):
 


  • Comments or Questions (6)
Marmot72


Beautiful     2013-07-11 19:38:34
What a scenic place! Fine report as always, Derek. When I get around to those, your beta will prove helpful. It seems amazing from some of the views that those peaks have walk up routes.


IHikeLikeAGirl


Congrats on #600     2013-07-12 08:41:49
Great TR as always and congratulations on your 600th 13k+ ft peak.


benners


Redcliff     2013-07-12 10:52:56
Looks like such a bad*ss peak from that vantage point. Nice job on another challenging loop!


Presto


That view of Wetterhorn ...     2013-07-12 14:02:10
In the first photo is so cool! Neat trip. That area around Owl Creek Pass is so beautiful. Thanks for posting. Happy trails!


TomPierce

Nice report     2013-07-13 10:32:25
Well done, Derek. I really like that area, hope to be down there in September. So how many 13ers do you have left? Over 600 done, very impressive.
-Tom


lordhelmut


There is no ridge running in the Cimarrons     2013-07-15 13:50:19
That route from Redcliff to Fortress sounds painful. That is come unique topography regardless and some of the best car camping ops in the state, IMO. Nice job - looks like you still have some ground to cover before you reach the big Three-O. Goodluck.



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