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Peak(s):  Hagar Mountain  -  13,220 feet
The Citadel - 13294
Date Posted:  08/22/2009
Date Climbed:   08/22/2009
Author:  Aubrey
 Hagar Mountain & The Citadel   

Some stats for reference ...
Total Distance: over 7 miles
Total Elevation Gain: about 3,500'
Trailhead: Dry Gulch
Start: 5:50 a.m.
Hagar Summit: 8:45-8:55 a.m.
Citadel's West Summit: 9:45-9:50 a.m.
Citadel's East Summit: 10-10:05 a.m.
Finish: noon
Sorry, not so many words on this trip report ... I'll let the photos do most of the talking.

Hagar Mountain and "The Citadel" have eluded us on a couple attempts. We leveled the playing field by waiting for the snow to melt and the weather to perform.

As we hiked up the gentle road to Dry Gulch, past the locked gate, I-70 quickly fell away to our right. Shortly thereafter we killed our headlamps.

We followed a broken road, then a broken trail. And when it seemed like the right time, we started angling up the slope to the right. Some areas were wet and boggy, but overall it wasn't that bad.

Bushwhacking up the steep slope on mixed terrain -- woods, bushes, grass, dirt, gravel, rotten logs, game trails:

After breaking above the trees we continued to the shelf at about 12,000', then we contoured below the base of The Citadel's south ridge.

About to cross the boulder field at the base of The Citadel's south ridge:

In hindsight, it would've been easier to just skirt below the boulder field, which would've only caused us to lose 100 feet or less.

After skirting a hump, we had to descend and pass to the north of a tarn ... our remaining route up to Hagar Mountain in red:

As we climbed, the terrain changed from grass/wildflowers to gravel to boulders to solid rock near the top (it's too bad the scrambling isn't longer):

Continuing our push up to Hagar ... you can see the hump we descended and the tarn we passed far below:

We kept wondering where all the people were. It was the weekend. It was a bluebird day. Yet we hadn't seen a soul. Not complaining. Just wondering.

The higher we got, the better the rock became:

In general, we followed the vein of gray/marble rock:

Even though it's brief, the scrambling below Hagar's summit was tons of fun:

The easiest ways up were no more difficult than Class 3, but you could easily take more challenging routes if you wanted to:

Jen gaining Hagar's summit:

Hagar's summit has some amazingly airy drops:

Jen took this pan from Hagar's summit:

As we descended Hagar, on our way to The Citadel, we stayed high and found ourselves on some interesting sections:

Here was an exciting chimney that we down climbed (vertical pan):

The ridge to The Citadel was rather fun; it had some easy trail sections but it also had some Class 3 climbing sections, including a couple mini knife edges:

The ridge to The Citadel (west and east summits in the background):

Pan taken on the ridge:

Climbing up to The Citadel's west summit from the ridge:

Hanging out on the west summit:


A look back at Hagar from the west summit of The Citadel:

The Citadel's east summit, viewed from the west summit:

Jen climbing up to The Citadel's east summit from the notch above the gully that splits the two summits:

Pan of Jen on The Citadel's east summit; in the background, Hagar on the left and the west summit on the right:

Me down climbing from the east summit; I didn't have any problems going up, but I had to carefully pick hand and foot holds on the way down:


Going down the short but ugly gully:


A rough look at our route back down:

When we got down to the trees we came across a couple on their way up to the saddle (below The Citadel). They were the first and only people we had seen all day.

General thoughts ...
Scrambling: Spectacular, albeit short
Exposure: Very real, yet manageable (few exposed climbing moves)
Routefinding: Fairly easy (relatively speaking, of course)
Views: Stellar (amazing that this place is just off I-70)

Our general route:

Dry Gulch parking at noon: 4 cars
Herman Gulch parking at noon: completely packed

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

Comments or Questions
08/24/2009 02:21
Don‘t tell anybody about these mountains.

What a blast!
09/20/2010 14:37
I did a similar route only I made it more stupidly grueling by parking at Loveland Pass and walking along the divide for what seemed like miles, and descended via Dry Gulch. I was not so lucky with that whole hitchiking thing, though, which made the end pretty sucky. (I did get a ride finally, about a mile from my car, which is good because I was plumb out of gas at that point!)
The mini-knife edge was a nice warm-up for anyone who is wigged out by Capitol's knife edge, I think.

The beauty of this hike? It was a bluebird Saturday and I saw all of 3 people (right near the west entrance to the Ike tunnel) Beyond that, it was me and the mountains...!

Hope you guys are doing great!

11/30/2010 17:20
for turning me on to some new mountains to climb - and bonus: close to home. The scrambling on Hagar is short but it looks like the traverse to The Citadel's east summit makes up for that for a great smiles per mile rating. Hagar and The Citadel have neat-looking summits.

Sweet report - I enjoy seeing the less-traveled mountains.

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