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Sheep Mountain 11,933' (Sawatch Range)

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Sheep Mountain 11,933' (Sawatch Range)

Postby ColoradoGuy » Thu Jul 19, 2012 12:52 pm

I plan to climb Sheep Mountain (11,933 ft). This is west of Buena Vista and between Mt. Princeton and Mt. Yale. My map indicates both points are part of Sheep Mountain, but the taller summit is on the left. I'll probably hit the right point as well. A photo from BV ...

Image

Questions:

1. Has anyone in this forum community hiked it?

2. I'm looking at starting near Cottonwood Lake and climbing via Porphyry Gulch. Has anyone done it this way? If so, comments? (It looks like the most reasonable route.)

3. Is there a register on the summit? (If there's no answer in the affirmative, I'll bring a notebook and canister.)

I can not find even one trip report online from someone who has bagged this mountain.

-sg
It's a tough job, but someone has to photograph the mountain. www.MtPrinceton.org

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Re: Sheep Mountain 11,933' (Sawatch Range)

Postby DaveLanders » Thu Jul 19, 2012 4:43 pm

ColoradoGuy wrote:I plan to climb Sheep Mountain (11,933 ft). This is west of Buena Vista and between Mt. Princeton and Mt. Yale. My map indicates both points are part of Sheep Mountain, but the taller summit is on the left. I'll probably hit the right point as well. A photo from BV ...

Image

Questions:

1. Has anyone in this forum community hiked it?

2. I'm looking at starting near Cottonwood Lake and climbing via Porphyry Gulch. Has anyone done it this way? If so, comments? (It looks like the most reasonable route.)

3. Is there a register on the summit? (If there's no answer in the affirmative, I'll bring a notebook and canister.)

I can not find even one trip report online from someone who has bagged this mountain.

-sg

1. Yes, I've been to both summits.

2. I used Porphyry Gulch. There are bits and pieces of old mining roads and trails; I don't remember

if there is continuous trail all the way to the top or not.

3. I have no idea if there is a register or not; it was many years ago that I did this.


I remember being surprised to encounter goats on one of the summits, instead of sheep.

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Re: Sheep Mountain 11,933' (Sawatch Range)

Postby Rarefied » Thu Jul 19, 2012 5:22 pm

You seem to be referring to the "jeep trail" on the topo which starts at about 9600' and 3/4 of a mile west of the west end of the lake. A few years ago I headed up that route and ran across several "Private Property" signs right in the vicinity of the "mine" shown at 10,300' (not a surprise). The owner so happened to be right there and our brief chat was cordial. But he also indicated his preference was that folks stay away from his property.

I fully understood his request and, since the weather was a bit marginal anyway, I chose to head back down rather than investigate the extent of his property boundaries and possible routes around them. Thus, you are likely to encounter private property issues and then would need to find ways to honor them if you wished to proceed.


R

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Re: Sheep Mountain 11,933' (Sawatch Range)

Postby ColoradoGuy » Thu Jul 19, 2012 9:32 pm

Good information. Thank you!

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Re: Sheep Mountain 11,933' (Sawatch Range)

Postby DaveLanders » Sun Jul 22, 2012 4:38 pm

After reading about Rarefied's experience, I went back and found my notes from this trip. It was in 1995,
and I was using Bob Martin's "Hiking Trails of Central Colorado" (1983 and probably out of print) for beta.
Even in 1995, there was an access issue, as Rarefied described. I parked just east of Cottonwood
Lake Campground, but still west of Porphyry Gulch, and went straight up the hill, and hit the jeep road
at about 10,040'. That bypassed the private property problem, at least back then. That was a long
time ago, so today's situation could be different.

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Re: Sheep Mountain 11,933' (Sawatch Range)

Postby Derek » Sun Jul 22, 2012 7:31 pm

ColoradoGuy wrote:I plan to climb Sheep Mountain (11,933 ft). This is west of Buena Vista and between Mt. Princeton and Mt. Yale. My map indicates both points are part of Sheep Mountain, but the taller summit is on the left. I'll probably hit the right point as well. A photo from BV ...

Image

Questions:

1. Has anyone in this forum community hiked it?

2. I'm looking at starting near Cottonwood Lake and climbing via Porphyry Gulch. Has anyone done it this way? If so, comments? (It looks like the most reasonable route.)

3. Is there a register on the summit? (If there's no answer in the affirmative, I'll bring a notebook and canister.)

I can not find even one trip report online from someone who has bagged this mountain.

-sg


The main mountain on the left is Sheep Mountain South (11939') and in the background is (I believe) Sheep Mountain North (11858'). Both are ranked peaks, over 500 feet of drop between the two. I went most of the way up Porphyry Gulch from Cottonwood lake campground, but didnt go all the way to either summit. (Was with an 8 year old) Below is a map of the portion we traveled. The mine road is just a couple hundred feet above the campground, but it didn't seem to gain a whole lot of elevation so I didnt use it too long. The slope is steep and crappy, but not dangerous and is very doable. It'll burn the legs. I didn't see any issues regarding private property when I was there, it was 2008ish.

Image

--D
"All dolled up in gabardine..."

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Re: Sheep Mountain 11,933' (Sawatch Range)

Postby ColoradoGuy » Mon Jul 23, 2012 12:07 pm

Thanks for all the information!

Well, we did it. At the end of the road was a large "no trespassing" and "private property" sign. We went around that area in the woods.

http://coloradoguy.com/sheep-mountain/colorado.htm

We got on the ridge of the south summit. Great view of Cottonwood Lake.

All in all, I'd say that was a MISERABLE hike, although I'm glad it's checked off my list. :)
It's a tough job, but someone has to photograph the mountain. www.MtPrinceton.org

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Re: Sheep Mountain 11,933' (Sawatch Range)

Postby Mel McKinney » Mon Jul 23, 2012 1:15 pm

Congrats Steve. Awesome way to celebrate reaching the summit! :D
Mountains cast spells on me - Why, because of the way Earth-heaps lie, should I be Chocked by joy mysteriously; stilled or drunken-gay? Why should a brown hill trail Tug at my feet to go? Why should a boggy swale Tune my heart to a nameless tale Mountain marshes know?
--- Belle Turnbull ("Mountain-Mad")

"Nothing is so embarrassing as watching someone do something that you said couldn't be done."
---Sam Ewing

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