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Ascent of Cronin Peak on 2011-07-20

Climber: Chris Ells

Date:Wednesday, July 20, 2011
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
Peak:Cronin Peak
    Location:USA-Colorado
    Elevation:13870 ft / 4227 m

Ascent Trip Report

This peak is no longer "North Carbonate". It is officially named Cronin Peak.
Start at 5 am. East Ridge route follows 4x4 road till 13089 ft, then you drop off towards the saddle between Antero and Cronin. During the initial part of this route you are gaining elevation but getting further away from your objective. When you turn towards the saddle, you are finally moving in the direction of the peak.
From here I lost about 250 ft of elevation going up and down until reaching the saddle. Yes, there is an improbable small lake that you can see from about 12900 ft. Then I ascended the ridge (easy) on talus until the summit was attained. There is a slight false summit en route. The view from the summit was outstanding.
After 10 minutes on top, I descended the Noth Ridge, which was a more direct line towards my camp on the Baldwin Gulch road. That ridge is mostly fun, consisting of walking on fairly solid rock and talus. It is a bumpy ridge though with several bumps and minor points to cross over.
I had difficulty finding a good exit point from the ridge, however. I did not see any grassy tundra slopes as mentioned in the guide book.
Finally I didnt want to go any lower on the ridge as it was taking me too far South and I had been on it for about a mile, so I just down-climbed some tree-ed minor cliffs, but these had a lot of nasty very loose talus and scree. This was very unstable and not pleasant to descend. After descending, I crossed a talus field to the East of Baldwin Creek, then crossed that creek and ascended straight West to the road. I ended up about 1/4 mile and 200 vertical feet below my camp, so I walked up the road till I reached camp.
It was 5 hours round trip total.
Summary Total Data
    Total Elevation Gain:2570 ft / 782 m
    Total Elevation Loss:2770 ft / 843 m
    Round-Trip Distance:5 mi / 8.1 km
    Grade/Class:2
    Quality:5 (on a subjective 1-10 scale)
    Route Conditions:
Road Hike, Open Country, Bushwhack
    Weather:Pleasant, Breezy
Ascent Statistics
    Gain on way in:2470 ft / 752 m
        Gain Breakdown:Net: 2170 ft / 661 m; Extra: 300 ft / 91m
    Loss on way in:300 ft / 91 m
    Distance:3 mi / 4.8 km
    Route:East Ridge
    Start Trailhead:11700 ft / 3566 m
    Time:2 Hours 
Descent Statistics
    Loss on way out:2470 ft / 752 m
        Loss Breakdown:Net: 2370 ft / 722 m; Extra: 100 ft / 30m
    Gain on way out:100 ft / 30 m
    Distance:2 mi / 3.2 km
    Route:North Ridge
    End Trailhead:11500 ft / 3505 m
    Time:2 Hours 



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