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Pt 7100: Epic Close Call in Waterton Canyon

Have an interesting or epic climbing story? Post it here.
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Pt 7100: Epic Close Call in Waterton Canyon

Postby boudreaux » Mon Nov 11, 2013 9:37 pm

Pt 7100, Douglas County Ranked Peak, Waterton Canyon

The Waterton lot was completely full again on another beautiful, sunny Sunday afternoon! For the 2nd straight week people were out taking advantage of the few possibly remaining Indian Summer days!

In the ever pursuit of Adventure, I rode the 6 miles back to the Roxborough Trail again. I don't even know when the last time I rode this trail was, but I started up this sometimes steep trail toward Rox State Park at 2 pm. Took me about an hour to do this short trail, maybe 2 miles? I rode a lot of it, but was pushing the bike up the steeper parts. The pine tree with the steep little drop is still there, and riders have managed to make the trail go around this obstacle, don't blame them either! I can see how to do it, but don't have the stones to do it, besides, I left my helmet at home, so I was off the hook!

Got on the old utility road to start the long trek to Pt 7100. After about a couple 100 yards the road basically dwindles down to a faded game trail. Scared the piss out of some teenager, he was just squatting on the trail enjoying the serenity. Actually scared me a little too! Talked for a minute and then I left him to his peaceful place. It was up and down the Carpenter Peak/7100 ridge as you go North. On the 1st sub-point I could see, I was saying to myself, "Wow, that's a long way from here". I had a couple more like that too, and at 3:52 pm I called it a day. On the last point before 7100 it was still at least a half mile away, I could make the summit, but would never make it back to my bike and would have to spend the night in the forest ala Bear Gryhls.

I wasn't prepared for this nor wanted too and started running the downhill and flat sections whenever the trail was easy enough to see. The now nearly setting sun casts shadows that makes seeing the trail a lot harder, I got off trail quite a few times. With each screw up, I was costing myself valuable time I didn't have anymore. I could hear the coyotes howling to the east near the subdivision, that didn't worry me. Finally one more off trail miscue had me traversing a gulch because I went down a SE ridge instead of the main ridge. I could see my mistake and started across the hundred yard wide gulch. Eventually I was walking down the middle of the gulch for a short stretch. Then I noticed a lot of bear sign, then more and more, til I was standing in the midst of a lair! Oh Crap! Yeah, exact words, very fitting too! The scene from Jurassic Park came to mind where they stumbled into the boneyard. A big pile right in front of me looked liked something got aborted.

Well, it was just straight through the scrub now, fighting like mad to get through, I wasn't panicked, just a little rattled. I still was contouring the ridge at this point, but miraculously I stumbled upon the trail at the jct to Rox SP, back tracked to my bike at 4:42 pm. That was such a relief, but a long way to go. My sense of urgency subsided quite a bit once I retrieved my bike, but still had to negotiate a mountain trail. Riding back down that trail in fading light was hard. The sun was setting, a nice red glow was good to have, I guess it was beautiful, but I had other things on my mind. Once I got back up to the false summit of the trail following the huge crescent swing of the trail, it was a careful descent down the hill. Picture this, bald tires and very worn brake pads make a fun ride! Made it back to the canyon road happily unscathed as the last light of the sunset faded away. I tell ya, I didn't take a breath til I got back down to the road. That ridgeline is truly a wilderness area. If it weren't for my competent mtbr skills, this story might have had a different ending.

Got a nice soft moon light ride back to the dark empty lot. Glad that one was over, whew baby!

These late afternoon hikes have gotta stop!

Pt 6965
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Pt 7558, Pt 8098, Coffee Pot Hill, front to back
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Waterton Canyon Ridgelines
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Turkshead Peak
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Last edited by boudreaux on Fri Nov 15, 2013 9:06 am, edited 4 times in total.
Ragin Cajun

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Re: Pt 7100: Epic Close Call in Waterton Canyon

Postby DaveSwink » Tue Nov 12, 2013 4:06 am

Fun story. =D>

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Re: Pt 7100: Epic Close Call in Waterton Canyon

Postby boudreaux » Tue Nov 12, 2013 6:31 am

Glad you enjoyed it, but I may be getting too old for this s##t! Whoa!
Ragin Cajun

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Re: Pt 7100: Epic Close Call in Waterton Canyon

Postby DaveSwink » Tue Nov 12, 2013 2:14 pm

If you are not doing unplanned bivys, you're not pushing enough.

Joke.

Edit to make some small sense.

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Re: Pt 7100: Epic Close Call in Waterton Canyon

Postby boudreaux » Tue Nov 12, 2013 9:45 pm

Out in the bush, the difference between pushing it and good judgment is an unplanned bivy! A good bushwhack is no joke! I do have a good particular set of skills to meet that challenge, but a comfy bed is way better! :lol:
Ragin Cajun

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