Peak(s):  Meeker, Mt  -  13,911 feet
Date Posted:  09/25/2019
Date Climbed:   09/19/2019
Author:  Dan_Suitor
 Mt. Meeker Southwest Ridge from Wild Basin Trailhead (Sandbeach Lake)  

I arrived at the trail head and started my solo hike of Mt. Meeker at 5 am. The trail to Hunter’s Creek is well maintained and easy to follow. Per my GPS, the distance to Hunter’s Creek was 3.6 miles. The start of the hike was dark and uneventful, hence, no pictures of this part of the hike. (Note, some of my pictures are in order of location but not time as I took them on the return trip.) Once you turn right and follow Hunters Creek, the trail becomes segmented due to the number of downed trees.

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Hunters Creek

I stayed closer to the creek until the falls. This is where the trail segments get harder to find and I found myself bush-whacking my way through some dense fallen trees.

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Lyric Falls
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Thick forest with downed trees
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Real thick!

When I reached the marshy area of Meeker Meadows, I decided to angle right onto higher grown to avoid the wet mess. There was more bush-whacking involved on angled terrain.

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Marshy Area
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Angled Terrain

I finally broke out of the trees and encountered a group of three bears. This was the first time I ever encountered bears on a hike/climb. After hollering “Bear! Bear!” a few times, they ran off. Thank God as I was by myself, far from anyone.

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Leaving the trees near where I saw the bears
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First view of Meeker

Next is where the terrain started to get steeper. I took the direct route up Meeker Meadows.

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Looking at the direct route (Toward the left side of the picture)
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Going up the steep direct route

The route description talks about Dragon’s Egg Rock. I could not tell that rock from any other group of rocks but continued the upward climb.

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Rock and grassy areas. Can you spot Dragon's Egg Rock?
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Continuing up. Dragon's Egg Rock is a little more distinguishable
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Looking down toward Sandbeach Lake.. Snow in September from the previous winter.
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Dragon's Egg Rock looks more like an Easter Island Head.
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Profile view of Dragons Egg Rock
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Dragon's Egg Rock

The climb to the cliff line at 12,200’ was long and tedious. I made a lot of switchbacks and took several breathers. At this point the grass went away, it became steeper, and there was a lot of loose dirt. I managed to avoid some of the dirt, but it’s impossible to avoid all of it.

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Getting steeper, approaching the ridge line
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Loose dirt

I finally hit the ridge line. Per my GPS, it was at 13,065 ft. I must say that at this point my legs were fairly fatigued, and it was taking longer than what I had expected. But the weather was good, and it was still way before my 12:00 turn-around time. The next objective was to climb the ridge line.

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Startup up the ridge line
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Continuing up the ridge line

With the exception of one or two spots, I stayed on the ridge line proper where the rock was more solid.

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Continuing up the ridge line, the summit is coming into view.

When the ridge line levels out, you see the crux of the route, a sharp exposed ridge line to the summit block. I went to what I thought was the summit block, just to realize there was another, slightly higher block about 50 feet away.

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Summit Ridge
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Summit ridge

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I continued on the sold but very exposed rock to the final block summit block, lifted myself onto it, and took in the scenery.

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Sitting atop the summit block with Longs Peak in the background
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Great views next to the summit block

Originally, I wanted to cross to Meeker Ridge but time did not allow. So I headed back down the long way from whence I came.

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GPS Stats almost 14 miles round trip
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GPS Graph

A few notes about the climb:

  • This is a long climb. My GPS listed it at 13.9 miles round trip and 5,686 feet of gain.
  • Along Hunter’s Creek, there are a lot of fallen trees. There are not as many if you stay closer to the creek.
  • The final ridge line to the summit block is exposed and narrow, but solid. The route description on 14ers.com lists the route as difficult class 2, however, Roach and even the contents in the route description on 14ers says to get to the summit block, you will be on class 3 terrain.

I hope you enjoyed this Trip Report and it helps future climbers of this route.

P.S. Thanks to Khieras for writing the route description on 14ers.com

P.P.S. If you decided to download the GPX file, only use it as a rough guide. There were several times when I found myself in thick woods along Hunters Creek, only to find that there may have been an easier route through it.


My GPS Tracks on Google Maps (made from a .GPX file upload):




Thumbnails for uploaded photos (click to open slideshow):
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31


 Comments or Questions
flyingmagpie

Dragon's Egg Rock
09/28/2019 08:38
Dear Dan;
This route turned me around twice as I was just beginning to climb the RMNP 13ers. The approach is long and tiring in itself. I didn't have the energy left to tackle the ridge itself after my two approaches. Endurance builds gradually, and goes away easily if not maintained through doing distance often. I too had difficulty identifying Dragon's Egg Rock from down below. Your close-ups explain the aptness of the name to me! Thanks for posting! Great solo climb, and great report! --flyingmagpie



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