Peak(s):  "Golden Bear Pk"  -  13,010 feet
Date Posted:  04/07/2019
Date Climbed:   04/07/2019
Author:  13erRetriever
 Golden Bear: Three Lifts, a Cat, and a Skip Away!   

"Golden Bear Peak"
Elevation: 13,010
Rank: 634
Date Completed: April 7, 2019
Mileage One Way: ~.4
Gain: ~150

Okay, so to preface I'm fully aware that we cheated majorly on our hike of this peak. However, when looking for a trail report for this route I couldn't find anything that involved using the snowcat that Loveland offers and wanted to remedy that. So here we are! Colorado's easiest winter 13er!

We've skied Loveland in-bounds at least once a year for the past four years we've been living on the Front Range, and I always knew that Golden Bear was there but never really made it a priority. That's a mistake. This is a delightful little summit with some easy skiing, and with just a tad bit of effort you yourself can claim you have skied off of a 13er! The directions are as follows:

1) Drive to Loveland and park for FREE.
2) Buy cheap lift ticket. Visit ski patrol to get a FREE catski pass after signing a waiver.
3) Ride lifts and ski to where the snowcat picks up near the top of the Divide.
4) Ride FREE snowcat to Gate 4.
5) Hike .4 miles, climbing 150 feet, to the top of Golden Bear, passing signs for Gate 5 along the way.
6) Ski off the summit, and repeat steps 3-6 until 2:30.

Yeah, it's that easy. The last cat goes up at 2:30 and we had patrol follow us up to close it down, so don't plan on hanging out on the summit after that time. The cat drops everyone off at Gate 4, but the route is plowed to get to Gate 5 and it's an easy walk over. Once you reach Gate 5, you are essentially already on Golden Bear. A 5 minute walk up the bump will bring you to the summit. I didn't measure this with my GPS but Google Earth tells me that from the Gate 4 dropoff to the summit was about 150 feet of vertical and .4 miles. When in doubt, follow the crowds. You will not be the only one taking advantage of this awesome opportunity for a summit and some great turns. Patrol told me that the cat would try and run until the last day of the season, scheduled for May 5th this year. So go out there and get it!

19295_04
The route from where the cat drops off at Gate 4. Golden Bear is the gentle hump to the left.
19295_05
The rest of the route after reaching Gate 5, just a skip to the top!
19295_03
Hagar and Citadel from the summit.
19295_02
We are those people, sorry. If it counts, I'm at #59!
19295_01
Lots of tracks down from the summit! We aren't expert skiers by any means, mostly enjoying steep single blacks, and found the descent to be pretty easy with good soft snow.



Thumbnails for uploaded photos (click to open slideshow):
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 Comments or Questions
12ersRule

Rock Chutes
04/08/2019 10:30
Hopefully, you caught these too right above lift 8. Fun short steep section.

I enjoy this route much better than I do the summer route. And I wouldn't consider it cheating at all.

Try the short hike at Steamboat sometime to Mt Werner sometime and enjoy the terrain up there. I've never even bagged Mt Werner in the summer before, but I absolutely count it. So many peaks, you need to hike 20+ miles and many vert just for 1 peak, so enjoy these easier days.



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