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Ascent of Mount Richthofen on 2014-09-02

Climber: Edward Earl

Date:Tuesday, September 2, 2014
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
    Motorized Transport to Trailhead:Hi-Clearance Vehicle
Peak:Mount Richthofen
    Location:USA-Colorado
    Elevation:12940 ft / 3944 m

Ascent Trip Report

On CO-14 mile post 62.4, which is ~27 miles E of Walden or 2½ miles W of Cameron Pass, I turned S into the Colorado State Forest State Park (don't ask me to explain that name) toward Lake Agnes. There is a self service pay station at this entrance where all visitors are required to pay a $7 daily vehicle use fee. Note or zero your odometer at this point. Just 0.1 mile later I passed through an open gate. At 0.4 miles is another pay station. At 0.6 miles I turned R following a sign to Lake Agnes. Immediately after this turn I proceeded through an open gate and across a bridge. At 0.8 miles I stayed straight at a junction, following another sign to Lake Agnes, and through an open gate. At 1.9 miles I arrived at the Lake Agnes trailhead, where I parked.

I hiked the trail 0.8 miles to Lake Agnes, following signs at junctions. A use trail proceeds through the talus around the left (E) side of the lake. Upon reaching the far end of the lake, I crossed a small stream and picked up a boot path that climbed up into the forest above. Within a few minutes the trail divided and faded ( it's hardly necessary anyway) and I soon emerged onto a talus moraine above. The going was easy and efficient; the talus was stable and the slope was not very steep. I quickly gained ~1000 feet elevation on talus moraines. Then the slope steepened and the talus gave way to loose scree for the last 300 feet or so of elevation to the ~11980' saddle that lies ½ mile W of the summit of Richthofen. I veered E toward the summit. For the first ~300 feet of elevation above the saddle, the slope remained mainly loose scree. Then it changed back to good stable talus and boulders, especially near the handful of outcrops that protrude from the otherwise mostly smooth ridge. The going remained good after I passed the 12800' false summit and continued on the narrow ridge that dropped 50 feet to the base of the main summit block. An easy class 3 chute with multiple variations gains the summit plateau, which harbors a windbreak with a register.

Overall, Mt Richthofen is a quality climb. Except for a short distance near the saddle ½ mile W of the summit, the quality of the talus is consistently good and the mountain is an enjoyable experience.
Summary Total Data
    Elevation Gain:2740 ft / 835 m
    Extra Gain:50 ft / 15 m
    Distance:6 mi / 9.7 km
    Route:Lake Agnes, west ridge
    Trailhead:Agnes Lake TH  10300 ft / 3139 m
    Route Conditions:
Maintained Trail, Unmaintained Trail, Open Country, Scramble, Exposed Scramble
Ascent Statistics
    Time Up:2 Hours 35 Minutes
Descent Statistics
    Time Down:2 Hours 



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