Ascent of Greenhorn Mountain on 2012-08-16

Climber: Rob Woodall

Others in Party:Petter Bjørstad
Date:Thursday, August 16, 2012
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
    Motorized Transport to Trailhead:Car
Peak:Greenhorn Mountain
    Elevation:12347 ft / 3763 m

Ascent Trip Report

We climbed this pleasant easy hill the day after our respective Longs Peak and Twin Sisters ascents.

It's about 2 hours south on I-25, then we turn E on highway 165 which we follow past San Isabel to the apex of a hairpin bend N38.06636 W105.10460 where we turn L onto FR360 (Ophir Creek Rd, apparently renumbered since the Summitpost description we used). The road is good quality gravel all the way: ok for normal clearance cars. At N38.06678 W105.12429 (mile 1.2 measuring from the 165) we keep L on FR369; at a 4-way junction at N38.01723 W105.16600 we again keep L on the main road (mile 8.2). A few minor turnoffs and trailheads are passed before the road ends at our trailhead (N37.89396 W105.04157, 3493m, mile 24.2).

We complete the trailhead register (presumably for monitoring purposes as there is no requirement to sign back in at the end) and start hiking at 1311. We follow the obvious trail which heads for the mountain, passes through a belt of pines then zigzags L across stony ground to gain the ridge at a pair of cairns (N37.89782 W105.03416). An alternative from the trailhead is to keep R on an old (gated) forest road thus missing out the North Peak then ascending to a saddle at N37.88998 W105.02656, 3664m.

On gaining the broad grassy ridge via the "left hand" trail, the most efficient route to the main summit is to head SE angling L for a broad dip then descend to the 3664m saddle mentioned above. Alternatively it's possible to make a small diversion L or R to visit whichever of the two bumps is the North Peak (probably about P70m).

From the saddle there's a route choice: straight up the ridge to cross a minor summit (N37.88748 W105.02093, 3738m, P35m ish) with a fine view of the main peak - or to bypass L on a contouring trail. The final ridge climb has forest to the L; the ridge levels off and a cairn is passed then the summit is soon reached, marked with a low semi circular shelter cairn (N37.88146 W105.01339, 3774m).

The summit view is very hazy today (a couple we meet say it's due to forest fires in Montana); the Blanca Peak group 50 km SW is a vague distant shape. However the mountain itself is attractive with rocky stony slopes and a nice green ridge with scattered conifers.

There are signs of thunder so we skirt round the middle summit to the main saddle then descend to the old road. There is a trail which descends L from the saddle, or a rougher more direct route can be taken which saves a little distance and reascent. It's then a pleasant stroll back to the trailhead, where we arrive at 1510 after 2 hours hiking. Next day, the last of our trip, we summit Mt Powell.

Greenhorn Mountain photo album
Summary Total Data
    Elevation Gain:1248 ft / 379 m
    Elevation Loss:1248 ft / 379 m
    Distance:4.7 mi / 7.5 km
    Grade/Class:Yds 2
    Quality:6 (on a subjective 1-10 scale)
    Route Conditions:
Maintained Trail, Unmaintained Trail, Open Country
    Weather:Pleasant, Calm, Partly Cloudy
Ascent Statistics
    Elevation Gain:1215 ft / 369 m
    Extra Loss:328 ft / 99 m
    Distance:2.4 mi / 3.8 km
    Route:NW ridge
    Trailhead:FR 369 trailhead  11460 ft / 3493 m
    Time Up:1 Hours 10 Minutes
Descent Statistics
    Elevation Loss:920 ft / 280 m
    Extra Gain:33 ft / 10 m
    Distance:2.3 mi / 3.7 km
    Route:NW ridge
    Trailhead:FR 369 trailhead  11460 ft / 3493 m
    Time Down:50 Minutes
GPS Data for Ascent/Trip

 GPS Waypoints - Hover or click to see name and lat/long
Peaks:  climbed and  unclimbed by Rob Woodall
Click Here for a Full Screen Map
Note: GPS Tracks may not be accurate, and may not show the best route. Do not follow this route blindly. Conditions change frequently. Use of a GPS unit in the outdoors, even with a pre-loaded track, is no substitute for experience and good judgment. accepts NO responsibility or liability from use of this data.

Download this GPS track as a GPX file

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