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Hagerman Peak
Elevation: 13,841 feet
Climbed: Aug 15, 2012
Mountain Range: Elk Range
Colorado Rank: 86th
Class Rating: 2+
Latitude: 39.111990
Longitude: -107.060200

Trip Report

Aug 15, 2012

Hagerman Peak Climb: August 15, 2012

The planned climb of Hagerman Peak was aborted in July of 2011 due to an aggravating hip injury that kept me off the mountain. I wanted to avoid repeating a drive into the town of Crystal or into Lead King Basin; therefore, a possible plan was hatched to climb Hagerman Peak as part of a tour of the classic Four Pass Loop trail.

Fortunately, my brother, Randy, and Wild Mike were interested in backpacking over the ~25 mile Four Pass Loop, as well as including an extra "Hiker's Choice" day. The Hiker's Choice day could be used to climb Hagerman Peak, hike to Geneva Lake or hang out closer to camp. I chose to climb Hagerman Peak, as did Randy. Wild Mike would explore closer to base camp.

Continue reading for a description of the Hagerman Peak climb. For a description of our Four Pass Loop journey, read the section titled Four Pass Loop: August 13-17, 2012.

Randy and I woke early on August 15 at our camp near the North Fork of the Crystal River (39.08815°N, 107.0507°W). After taking care of breakfast and other pre-climb activities, we started up the well-lit trail about 7:15 AM.

More to come...

Four Pass Loop: August 13-17, 2012

We began our trek of Four Pass Loop on Monday morning, August 13, 2012, when we departed Maroon Lake. Our hike ended four days later when we returned to Maroon Lake on Friday afternoon, August 17.

More to come...

Climb Aborted: Updated July 24, 2011

My plan to climb Hagerman Peak on July 22, 2011, was aborted without ever setting foot on the actual mountain.

On July 20, I drove from Colorado Springs to Marble, CO, and from there I hoped to drive into Lead King Basin on some rough four-wheel-drive roads. It was pitch black by the time I reached Marble. I first attempted the high road to Lead King Basin, which included an interesting crossing of Lost Trail Creek. Eventually I reached a fork in the road, without any indication of which way I should go. After initially checking out the left fork, I backed up in the dark and headed straight up the steeper, rocky right fork. At the top of the steep pitch, I encountered a somewhat intimidating hard right turn next to a snow bank. At this point, I decided to turn around, tricky though it was, and go back to try the low road.

I backtracked to the junction with the low road, retracing my route through the wide and fast stream. The steep bank on the downhill side stopped me on my first attempt to exit the stream, but I backed up and successfully exited on my second attempt.

I finally reached the junction to the low road, which would take me to the old town of Crystal. First, though, I had to navigate a narrow shelf road which hugged the side of the mountain. The Crystal River raged below me in the darkness to my right. After a ride full of "clinching" moments, I drove past the few buildings in Crystal to the parking area east of town. I spent the night there in my Xterra.

The next morning, July 21, I started hiking up the road to the four-wheel-drive trailhead in Lead King Basin and Geneva Lake beyond. I chose to conserve my limited gasoline, since I had burned more than expected the night before when I detoured onto the high road.

An earlier hip flexor injury was aggravated about 1/3 of a mile into the hike. Soon after I reached the fork in the road that leads to either Crested Butte or Lead King Basin, my destination, I was hobbling up the road, unable to lift my left leg without experiencing moderate discomfort.

I had too much invested in this trip to turn around immediately, so I slowly dragged myself for several miles to Geneva Lake. I pitched camp and spent the rest of the day and night at Geneva Lake. I had packed my 4-piece fly rod, so I wet a line in Geneva Lake while I rested my hip flexor. I caught and released one small trout, and hooked another.

I was hoping that my hip flexor would improve by the next day, but I was not surprised when it did not. I broke camp and hiked out on July 22, getting no closer to Hagerman Peak than what I could capture with my camera from Geneva Lake.

Climb Planned: July 20-22, 2011

I have tentative plans to climb Hagerman Peak via the Geneva Lake approach. I may climb the loose Class 3 Southwest Ridge route; my backup plan is to climb the South Face. The Southwest Ridge is committing and it is difficult to escape or retreat from this route, if necessary. The weather will have a final say on which route I choose or whether I am able to reach the summit at all.

Hagerman Peak is located between Snowmass Mountain and Snowmass Peak. The east side of Snowmass Mountain is still loaded with snow, which I could see from Grizzly Peak on July 4, 2011. I will not be able to see this eastern basin until I reach the final ridge to Hagerman Peak.

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