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Access to the entire Culebra range

Colorado 14ers access and fee issues only, please
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Re: Access to the entire Culebra range

Postby aaronmojica » Sun Mar 18, 2012 7:20 pm

To my knowledge nobody has attempted to hike the length of this mountain range: I feel this needs to be rectified.

It's been done but you won't find trip reports. Though, to my knowledge, the Blanca group wasn't included...
This has been at the top of my list for a long time. The main drawback is the FACT that the East side landowners of the Colorado Culebra range will chase you down (if spotted) and escort you to the waiting sheriff. The West side owners are just as bad. There's some good history on summitpost.

Re: Access to the entire Culebra range

Postby FireOnTheMountain » Sun Mar 18, 2012 7:31 pm

This may have already been mentioned or you may know it already (so I apoligize)...Look up Mt Maxwell. (link provided)

http://13ers.com/peaks/peak.php?peakkey=4010&peak=Mt.+Maxwell

Anything SOUTH of that summit whether along the ridge or on the slopes is private property. This includes Whiskey pass and all the way down to Red Mountain (and even furthur south of Red perhaps to the border). Anything NORTH of that summit along the ridge or on the slopes is within the San Isabel forest limits and therefore cool. This goes all the way to Trinchera the 13er and then some.
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Re: Access to the entire Culebra range

Postby painless4u2 » Sun Mar 18, 2012 9:13 pm

There are reports of successful access south of Mt. Maxwell, to Mariquita Peak at least, even while acknowledging hiking on private property:
"Mt. Mariquita is on private land just south of Mt. Maxwell. Because of the private land, Mariquita is most easily accessed by climbing Maxwell and then walking the ridge over to Mariquita. At least that's what we did. And on arrival on the summit of Mariquita we found a rock cairn and a register (from the Republic of Texas Mountaineering Association, no less)." This is from: http://www.sangres.com/mountains/mariquita.htm. Not that it makes it "legal", of course.
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Re: Access to the entire Culebra range

Postby Kiefer » Mon Mar 19, 2012 4:10 am

Northern Culebra Range.jpg
Northern Culebra Range.jpg (142.29 KiB) Viewed 1074 times


What Abe said,Yo!!! :D
"Wisdom comes from making mistakes.
Experience, is the knowledge of knowing what to do when one makes a mistake and wisdom,
stems from the changes we go through while learning from those mistakes."

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Re: Access to the entire Culebra range

Postby Boggy B » Mon Mar 19, 2012 8:45 am

Nice shot Kiefer.

Just remember, no one can prove you were walking on the east side of the ridge! Or west, depending on how you need to spin it. :-"

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Re: Access to the entire Culebra range

Postby Rich H » Mon Mar 19, 2012 9:15 am

I got busted climbing the range :) On the East Side. We started on Maxwell from the National Forest and hike south along the ridge to Culebra. Made it most of the way down and were starting up the North Ridge of Culebra. One of our party was sick so we bailed...we were supposed to hike back along the ridge on the way out. Instead we dropped down on to the East side - Getting over Miranda was tricky on the way in and I couldn't figure how to get her over it on the way back. We hiked out towards Stonewall and I and another of our group made it out...we hitched a ride back to our car from hotel at Stonewall. Nice family by the way. Two of our group stayed back and thought they were off private property...instead they set up camp at the Ranch HQ and got caught. They were pretty hostile towards them but gave them a ride back to the cars. It was then that I got caught up...the ranch hands were threatening us etc. We had all been up for well over 24 hours so we were pretty tired. They eventually 'let us go' and we drove back to Denver. Next day at work I get a call from the Sheriff's office asking where we accessed the land. I told them everything we did. Never heard a word after that.

Two things I learned from this. Tresspassing on its own is actually pretty mild - it is only when you add the criminal side to it which is where you do damage to the property. And two the ranches biggest issue was meth makers and poachers. We were neither - they just couldn't figure out why we would do what we did...

It is a pretty amazing hike. I have never seen so many large elk and bear in one place as we dropped off the east side of Culebra. I get the feeling this is what Colorado is probably most like if it had never seen Wesern Development. A rare glimpse.
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Re: Access to the entire Culebra range

Postby painless4u2 » Mon Mar 19, 2012 1:42 pm

So Rich, if someone were planning, hypothetically of course, a similar trip this summer, say, and use Mt. Maxwell as the start/finish point, and maybe a fast and light bivy overnight just off the ridge on the west side, if necessary, do you think it would be advisable to attempt? Hypothetically speaking, you know.
In their hearts humans plan their course, but the Lord establishes their steps. Proverbs 16:9

Bad decisions often make good stories.

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Re: Access to the entire Culebra range

Postby FireOnTheMountain » Mon Mar 19, 2012 1:47 pm

Yes. I, and by I, I mean someone else and 2 others, have tried twice (in winter). They did not make it due to weather I heard. They are bad people.

Very bad people.
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Re: Access to the entire Culebra range

Postby painless4u2 » Mon Mar 19, 2012 1:56 pm

Yeah, actually I had read the Dark Snake III awhile back. They hiked all night, missing some of the beauty of the area. That's one reason for a potential bivy to overnight half way. If one were to attempt such a terrible thing, of course.
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Re: Access to the entire Culebra range

Postby DeucesWild » Mon Mar 19, 2012 2:19 pm

painless4u2 wrote:Yeah, actually I had read the Dark Snake III awhile back. They hiked all night, missing some of the beauty of the area. That's one reason for a potential bivy to overnight half way. If one were to attempt such a terrible thing, of course.


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Re: Access to the entire Culebra range

Postby Rich H » Tue Mar 20, 2012 8:43 am

painless4u2 wrote:So Rich, if someone were planning, hypothetically of course, a similar trip this summer, say, and use Mt. Maxwell as the start/finish point, and maybe a fast and light bivy overnight just off the ridge on the west side, if necessary, do you think it would be advisable to attempt? Hypothetically speaking, you know.



Darksnake was done by a couple of friends who are both very good ultrarunners. Their times are fast and we could not keep pace - although I set it up to try and hit Miranda both coming and going in daylight so we started at night which slowed us at the start. Water would be the key for you. There isn't that much of it up there.
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Re: Access to the entire Culebra range

Postby painless4u2 » Tue Mar 20, 2012 9:19 am

Well, I'm certainly no ultrarunner! Being a ridge walk, I figured there would be little, if any water. Probably would require bringing a stash supply for the trip back. It would be similar to hiking the Guadalupes, which I've done many times. Also depends on the overnight bivy, hopefully located near a drainage source. Theoretically speaking.
In their hearts humans plan their course, but the Lord establishes their steps. Proverbs 16:9

Bad decisions often make good stories.

"Well, that didn't go as expected." - Brett Maune

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