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Ten mile range question

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Ten mile range question

Postby emiller » Fri Aug 15, 2008 11:52 am

After looking at several maps and google earth I was hoping someone on here could help me with a few question on a possible traverse. I was thinking of starting in McCullogh gulch going up the east ridge of Pacific. Then to the north over to Crystal. Then follow the ridge to the east over Father Dyer and Mt Helen and decending the east face of Helen. Then finally taking the Wheeler trail back to the car. From what i have read it should be all class 3 and Google Earth measures it right around 10 miles. My question is has anyone hiked this portion of the wheeler trail and what kind of shape is it in? Has anyone on here completed this in one day it looks like it would be killer.

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Re: Ten mile range question

Postby Layne Bracy » Fri Aug 15, 2008 12:13 pm

I did a similar hike last year. Starting at the Spruce Creek TH, I met the Wheeler Trail and then ran the ridge from Peak 9 to Atlantic Peak and descended to the McCullough Gulch TH. I then used the Wheeler Trail to return to the Spruce Creek TH.

In short, the Wheeler Trail is in great shape. As you may have noted on the map, it will require you to gain and lose 600' as you cross from the Spruce Creek area to the McCullough Gulch area, a painful bit of gain at the end of a long day. Your proposed route will be less mileage than mine but will involve more class 3, so they may be similar efforts.

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Re: Ten mile range question

Postby treydouglass » Fri Aug 15, 2008 12:21 pm

I've hiked it.
You can take public transportation back to Frisco, assuming you are starting in Frisco and ending at the top of Breck. Or come down the other side into Copper, and take the us back on I-70 to Frdisco.
I would think the ridge got some snow with this storm - if so, that would definitely increase the technical rating, IMO.

Also

you can def. do it in 1 day. The entire traverse is closer to 15 miles than the '10 miles' suggested by the name.

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Re: Ten mile range question

Postby BillMiddlebrook » Fri Aug 15, 2008 12:32 pm

emiller wrote:After looking at several maps and google earth I was hoping someone on here could help me with a few question on a possible traverse. I was thinking of starting in McCullogh gulch going up the east ridge of Pacific. Then to the north over to Crystal. Then follow the ridge to the east over Father Dyer and Mt Helen and decending the east face of Helen. Then finally taking the Wheeler trail back to the car. From what i have read it should be all class 3 and Google Earth measures it right around 10 miles. My question is has anyone hiked this portion of the wheeler trail and what kind of shape is it in? Has anyone on here completed this in one day it looks like it would be killer.

Doable, but a tough day. Pick a day where the forecast is bomber and start very early. I've hiked all of that terrain several times but never done the entire loop in a day. Your hardest climbing will be between Father Dyer and Mt. Helen and you definitely don't want to be there in a storm.

If you want to make your day a bit easier, you can do the standard route on Pacific by parking below Mohawk Lakes - you would be much closer to your car when you came off of Mt. Helen. This removes a fun part of the loop, but is a good substitute if you don't want to commit to the entire thing.

Good luck!
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Re: Ten mile range question

Postby emiller » Fri Aug 15, 2008 1:00 pm

definetly going to need an early start for this to bad i won't be out in colorado again untill summer of 09 :cry: . Layne is the wheeler trail easy to find off of the Spruce Creek road?

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Re: Ten mile range question

Postby Layne Bracy » Fri Aug 15, 2008 4:03 pm

emiller wrote: Layne is the wheeler trail easy to find off of the Spruce Creek road?


Yes, I remember all the trail junctions being well signed. The trail is shown on the USGS topo maps as a broken line, so you could also make a GPS waypoint to be safe.

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Re: Ten mile range question

Postby Jim Davies » Fri Aug 15, 2008 5:36 pm

Anyone ever climbed from the upper Mohawk Lake (the second one you come to) up to the east end of Pacific's east ridge? From the topo, it looks like you could possibly do a nearly-level traverse that would take you onto the ridge crest near where you get on it from McCullough Gulch, and if you started there you could return to your car without having to re-climb the ridge at the end of the day.
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Re: Ten mile range question

Postby emiller » Thu Aug 21, 2008 11:38 am

Bill,
Does the Father Dyer to Mt Helen ridge work equally well in either direction?

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Re: Ten mile range question

Postby Jim Davies » Thu Aug 21, 2008 4:45 pm

To kind of answer my own question, I got a look at the Mohawk Lakes-Pacific East Ridge area from across the valley this week, and it looks like grassy slopes leading up to the ridge from below the Continental Falls headwall. I may have to try this...
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Re: Ten mile range question

Postby emiller » Sat Aug 23, 2008 1:46 pm

Does anyone think this might be better to start from the spruce creek road? Then if you had to bail of the ridgelines anywhere you would be in the right drainage to get to your car. Is the wheeler trail reasonable to follow in the pre dawn light. I would think an alpine start would be a neccesary for something like this.

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Re: Ten mile range question

Postby elkheart22 » Tue Aug 26, 2008 7:31 pm

emiller wrote:Does anyone think this might be better to start from the spruce creek road? Then if you had to bail of the ridgelines anywhere you would be in the right drainage to get to your car. Is the wheeler trail reasonable to follow in the pre dawn light. I would think an alpine start would be a neccesary for something like this.


I would start from spruce creek & do Bill's route up Pacific first, then Crystal, finishing Father Dyer. That in itself would be a long day. You Can always bail off of Crystal- Pacific saddle, or north side of Father Dyer to upper Crystal Lake, however, a steep decent on talus.
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Re: Ten mile range question

Postby Jim Davies » Tue Aug 26, 2008 10:25 pm

Except Bill's route skips the east ridge of Pacific, which is miles of wicked fun. :D
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