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Ascent of Mount Glennon on 2017-03-19

Climber: William Musser

Others in Party:Karen Musser
Date:Sunday, March 19, 2017
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
Peak:Mount Glennon
    Location:USA-Colorado
    Elevation:6473 ft / 1972 m

Ascent Trip Report

Tried this again - this time with my wife. I parked once again at the small parking lot off Soda Lake Rd. Then I paid attention to the turn off where I goofed last time. The county park trail is well defined with man-placed steps as is starts to asdend the the northest shoulder of the mountain. Soon it comes to the main bouldering area where people come to practice their climbing skills and on a Sunday warm afternoon there were rock climbers bouldering like crazy where the main defined trail bifurcates into two directions. From this point the trail NO LONGER is well defined in either direction. Last time I went left thinking the trail would continue up the NE side of the mountain but it does not. This time I studies the aerials and saw that there is a trail on the western side of the mountain that appears to switchback up to the top and I has seen the carved hiking ledge at times only 40 feet below the western cliffs when I climbed it.

My plan was to figure out how to cross the lower shoulder ridge on the north and re-find the missing trail. I asked many local people we met along the way and all 10 people I asked had no clue how to get to the western side trail. Finally one boulderer in the main bouldring area near the trail bifurcation said if we headed through the class 3 rock we would refind it on the other side. So off we went. And once again we could not find it. I will jump ahead and tell you the secret as we did downclimb the western side later that day find the trail and found where it is lost in the class 3 shoulder and NO IT IS NOT MARKED. The secret is to downclimb the main bouldering area where the main tail birfucates adn the rock stairs end and go down around the large boulders around say 30 to 40 feet lower and pick up a poorly marked use path. Stay about 40 to 60 feet below the climbers and you will find a poor use path that will take you below the spine with only a brief class three crossing. When the use trail ends it will be confusing and you may be urged to upclimb but you should find a cairn about 2 feet tall there ( I increased the existing cairn from about 12 inches to 2 feet tall). At this junction the actual trail is level ground and straigh ahead at a west by SW bearing. Look on the aerial carfully and you can clearly see where this trail dead-ends into the hogback spine.

This trail is on some sort of nearly level trail that becomes more like a roadbed as you contour the mountain around the west and finally to a southern bearing. This roadbed trail can be seen on the aerial clearly and in fact is visible from the red rocks area. The trail itself is not used often and is overgrown with brush but is obvious to follow. I can not comment on how to take it all the way to the top as we only found it coming back down so back to the route we took....

Back at the bouldring area we crossed the spine ridge but headed up the obvious easier path of class 3 rock avoding areas of 3+ 4 or 5 and that took us slightly up hill and long away from the trail we were seeking. Soon I stumbed into the same damn rock shelter by a large pine that I stumbeld into last time so I knew we were not on the right side of the ridge again - somehow despite taking the right bifurcation trail instead of the left... the easier slab formations had me back to the same spot as last time.

Karen was struggling in her shoes ( I can not ge her to wear proper boots) and was slow on ascent. We got the higher part of the hogback where there were views and began the journey of the class 2, 2+, and 3 along the spine. It was obvious we were not going to get the summit together and get back down by dark so I left Karen enjoying Gator Aid and the views at the first high pinncale and contineud another nearly half mile to the true peak. You cross many false peaks along the way. As you head south the hogback has more and more exposure. You have your choice of class 2, 3, and 4 routes depending on what you enjoy.

Once again at the summit I could not find a trail off the summit from the east but once again I could spot the roadbed trail - one level down slope some 400 feet and another up near the wall about 50 feet below. This time I found an obvious rift in the wall about half the way between the first closed contour pinncale on the USGS map and the true peak where you can safely up/down climb the wall withough class 3+ to 4 to 5. But Karen was all the the way back at the first pinnacle closed contour of the lower shouder. When we hooked back up she was still struggling a bit with there footing with her non-hiking boots and the wall of the west ridge began to break up into a simple class 2+ to class 3 downclimb so she asked if we could just bushwhack the western side to the obvious trail down some 400 feet below. Sure why not? That way I could figure out where that illusive trail crosses the lower spine. The bushwhack down the western slopes is not as difficult as the eastern side from my first trip. I was able to find many deer trails to use along the way.

One last note - the trailwe followed around the spine and back to the car parking was level and the one on the aerial BUT at one point it said we were about to enter private property. This was very confusing because our phone GPS continued to show that this use trail - roadbed was jsut inside the GREEN public park area so either the survey is off or the mapping but my phone showed that we never stepped foot for a minute outside of the public lands shown on Google Maps. Who knows?

Great Views! and a very fun scramble along the ridge back but it is long scramble. It is not class 1 or 2 trail at all up top.
Summary Total Data
    Elevation Gain:973 ft / 295 m
    Distance:2.8 mi / 4.5 km
    Grade/Class:1,2,3,3+
    Quality:6 (on a subjective 1-10 scale)
    Route Conditions:
Maintained Trail, Unmaintained Trail, Bushwhack, Scramble, Exposed Scramble
    Weather:Windy
80F hot; windy at summit
Ascent Statistics
    Elevation Gain:873 ft / 265 m
    Extra Loss:180 ft / 54 m
    Distance:1 mi / 1.6 km
    Route:Trail to hogback then followed top spine
    Trailhead:Parking off of Soda Lakes Rd  5780 ft / 1761 m
Descent Statistics
    Extra Gain:100 ft / 30 m
    Distance:1.8 mi / 2.9 km
    Route:downclimbed back spine near shoulder then bushwack
Ascent Part of Trip: Denver-4

Complete Trip Sequence:
OrderPeak/PointDate
1Green Mountain2017-03-16 a
2Flagstaff Mountain2017-03-16 b
2North Table Mountain-Quarry Peak2017-03-17 B
3Sugarloaf Mountain2017-03-16 c
6Mount Zion2017-03-17 F
10North Table Mountain2017-03-17 A
14Centennial South Peak2017-03-17 C
14(Attempt) Centennial Cone2017-03-17 D
15Peak 78142017-03-17 E
17Peak 71802017-03-17 G
18Lookout Mountain2017-03-17 H
19Colorow Hill2017-03-17 I
20South Table Mountain2017-03-18 J
21Castle Rock2017-03-18 K
22Peak 71802017-03-18 L
24Lookout Mountain2017-03-18 M
30Mount Glennon2017-03-19 M



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