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Pt 6965: Awesome in Waterton

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Pt 6965: Awesome in Waterton

Postby boudreaux » Tue Aug 06, 2013 9:24 am

Pt 6995 is a little peak in Waterton above Strontia Springs dam in Douglas Co. I rode 6.2 miles in the canyon to get near the base at the Bighorn shelter. A couple rams came out to greet me as I was getting ready to start, so I just procrastinated awhile watching them eat and drink. When I started up, I backtracked a few 100 yards to find a suitable place in the shade of the canyon. I chose a spot that had plenty of scrambling and bouldering opportunities. So there I was doing some bushwhacking, a little crag climbing, more bushwhacking and more and more crag climbing, I was basically linking up all the big crags so I could climb them on the way up. I think the hardest one was at least 5.8, I know this because one of them really made me work hard to figure it out and solve it's crux. I wasn't in a hurry and this was a good way to maximize the peak for the adventure. Of course, you don't have to do it this way, but I was having fun, all the crags are easily avoided!

Eventually I topped out on a false summit west of the true summit. The north slope of this bump has a nice forest, thought I might take this on the way down for a quick exit. The real summit is only about 350 yards away now, but a lifetime of scrub in front of me. I linked together a few openings, but the last 150 yards were fighting through 8' high hedges of hell, squeezing and forcing myself through the thickets, getting all scratched and beaten up. I had my gaitors on to minimize the beating.

It's a different beast altogether pushing through the scrub, you can't see more than a few yards in most cases, your intended summit is hidden from view most of the time. A brave new world way below the treeline, I make a lot of noise as I move along to alert any unsuspecting critter that I am coming.

At the summit, I build a cairn to the west of the true summit, which is just a huge thicket ringed by a dozen trees. I place a register in a stump next to the the cairn with a rusty old beer can already there. You get a nice view of Strontia Springs and Turkshead Peak as you climb up. On the summit, the view is not so great, but very peaceful and quiet depending on the weather that day. Today it was a slight breeze blowing creating a serene setting.

Back down the thicket to the bump, I take the north slope forest. It was what I hoped it would be, clear of scrub, deadfall and I made short work of it. Very beautiful in there with a nice ground cover of grass. But you have to be careful of what you wish for, even that grass proved to be a little slippery at times, but I managed to fall only a few times as I switched back and forth along the slope to the road. At the road, I had to downclimb some rocks, but it coulda been worse if cliffed out at a road cut. Short walk back to the shelter and the bike. Cooled off in the Platte, the water is really cold close to the dam, very refreshing. When I climbed back up to the shelter, a parade of Bighorn rams was marching up slowly for the encore finish to an awesome day.

I got some riding in (12 miles), bushwhacking, rock climbing, peak bagging, if I had a kayak it would have been completely awesome! I was happier than a camel on Hump Day!! Whuup Wooo!

See LOJ for 6965 in Douglas Co for more details, it was roughly 1200' of climbing from the road, took about 1 and 1/2 to 2 hours up since I was playing on the rocks too much, but I'm sure it can be reached in less than an hour if you skip the fun and hit it hard!
Last edited by boudreaux on Tue Aug 13, 2013 5:16 am, edited 3 times in total.
Ragin Cajun

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Re: Pt 6995: Awesome in Waterton

Postby boudreaux » Tue Aug 06, 2013 9:36 am

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Ragin Cajun

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Re: Pt 6995: Awesome in Waterton

Postby Brian Thomas » Tue Aug 06, 2013 9:43 am

This is excellent. My Lists of John checklist needs some 6er's and this looks like a nice one. Thank you for posting this =D> =D> =D>

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Re: Pt 6995: Awesome in Waterton

Postby boudreaux » Tue Aug 06, 2013 10:08 am

Brian, you will enjoy this peak, it will test your determination, mentally and physically! It's a ranked peak too!

Pt 7100 is also accessible from Waterton at Mill Creek/Rattlesnake shelter, which is just past the bridge in the canyon.
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