Ascent of Wolford Mountain on 2018-07-22

Climber: William Musser

Other People:Solo Ascent
Only Party on Mountain
Date:Sunday, July 22, 2018
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
    Motorized Transport to Trailhead:4x4 Vehicle
Peak:Wolford Mountain
    Elevation:9182 ft / 2798 m

Ascent Trip Report

After a long day of peakbagging with Dennis Stewart it was time to head home and finish moving my things into a new home. But despite a long hard day to collect the HP of Rio Blanco County, I wanted at least one big prominence peak to end the weekend. I had spied the route on the way to meet Dennis and was only wondering about access. Access is not an issue. This entire wonderful mountain with high prominence is in a 4 wheeler-outdoor explorers pleasure park. The roads are in great condition and the maps are everywhere telling you what a car, jeep, motorcycle, or ATV is allowed to do. So coming into the town of Kremmling, you head away from town towards the obvious mountain backdrop and one of the last remote paved streets will take you to County Highway 22. Now this is a misnomer calling this road a "highway" it is a rural road.

Soon you will come to a fork with a well graded dirt road called County Highway 224. Ok now, CR 224 is really a misnomer. This is NOT a highway but it is a really well graded dirt road that is narrow and meanders all throughout the off road park providing access to hiking trails, jeeps, trucks, ATVs and some very high end motocross trails for motor bikes with riders that must be crazy cuz some of the routes up the weathered hills were ridiculously steep. With bad weather coming in fast, very few riders were out and I had the narrow road to myself. A high clearance vehicles is not needed for most of the way but it is convenient. 4 wheel drive is not needed as long as you stay on CR 224. Most roads off of it, however are intended for off-road vehicles.

Find point 8455 an elevation in a tight hairpin curve in a 4 wheel drive only "seasonal road" that heads westward off of CR 224. This is your trailhead. I found the road easily as their is excellent cell reception in the park since it is so close to the town of Kremmling. My google maps and peakbagger application navigated me to the road with ease. Still fighting the storm closing in, i turned left and headed up the season road. This is a loose road, moderately steep with deep ruts. This is no road for a car - you want clearance and 4 wheel drive. If it rained this would be a muddy mess. I used 4 high all the way up never needing 4 low. The ruts (erosion rills) due to rain were deep and you would not want to get a tire in one of these ruts as you might get stuck but the spacing is fine between the ruts and you can can navigate around them - and I had zero issues topping out on the ridge where there is plenty of room to turn around once you get to the top. The hairpin in the road is to get you around an open field fence. I parked on the other side of the hairpin now seeing the small tower at the top of the peak and the very steep jeep trail up to the peak which was gated closed. I would not want to have tried to take my pickup truck up that jeep trail any way it was very steep and loose. For real 4 wheelers.

From here you are talking about a 2 mile round trip hike or if you park further down by the jeep gate perhaps 1.6 mile RT. The distance to the top is misleading. I was racing the rain coming in and figured it was a 400 foot climb but it turned out to be over 700 feet.

This is mountain lion territory if I ever saw it. So when coming around blind corners near rocky outcroppings, or under large pines trees, I made a lot of loud "I am not afraid of no kitty cat" type noises as I hope to continue my peakbagging endeavors without seeing one. The summit has the nice views you would expect of a 1k prom peak but I could hear thunder rolling in so I began to jog the way back. I got pelted with graupel on the way down.

Summary Total Data
    Total Elevation Gain:757 ft / 230 m
    Total Elevation Loss:30 ft / 8 m
    Round-Trip Distance:1.8 mi / 2.9 km
    Grade/Class:1,1+ steep jeep road
    Quality:6 (on a subjective 1-10 scale)
    Route Conditions:
Road Hike, Maintained Trail
    Gear Used:
Ski Poles
    Weather:Drizzle, Pleasant, Calm, Overcast
about to storm; graupel fell on me
Ascent Statistics
    Gain on way in:742 ft / 226 m
        Gain Breakdown:Net: 727 ft / 221 m; Extra: 15 ft / 4m
    Loss on way in:15 ft / 4 m
    Distance:0.9 mi / 1.4 km
    Route:closed off jeep trail (very steep)
    Start Trailhead:Hairpin curve in 4 wheel drive trail  8455 ft / 2577 m
Descent Statistics
    Loss on way out:15 ft / 4 m
    Gain on way out:15 ft / 4 m
    Distance:0.9 mi / 1.4 km
Ascent Part of Trip: Dennis Stewart Weekend

Complete Trip Sequence:
 Peak 120082018-07-22 b328 ft / 100 m
 Wolford Mountain2018-07-22 c757 ft / 231 m
1Flat Top Mountain2018-07-21 a2564 ft / 782 m
2Flattop Mountain West2018-07-21 b 
3Rio Blanco County High Point2018-07-22 a2897 ft / 883 m
Total Trip Gain: 6546 ft / 1996 m    Total Trip Loss: 3665 ft / 1117 m

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