Ascent of Round Hill on 2019-06-23

Climber: William Musser

Other People:Solo Ascent
Only Party on Mountain
Date:Sunday, June 23, 2019
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
    Motorized Transport to Trailhead:Hi-Clearance Vehicle
Peak:Round Hill
    Elevation:11243 ft / 3426 m

Ascent Trip Report

Reports say you can drive easily to summit with a 4 wheel drive. I concur. There was but one spot where my Nissan 4 wheel drive would have had to negotiate carefully but by and large this would be rated and easy 4 wheel drive. It allows ATVs to the summit as well and I will remember that when I come back to do Sheep Ridge. I had my wife's car since my truck is with her in Maine. Her car is a Subaru Cross Trek. No issues on the fairly well maintained county road up to the forest boundary. From here her car would make it further but I did not want to beat it up and I just put new tires on her car so I parked it in the large grassy lot the forest service provides. There is room to pull in trailers and launch 4 wheel sport vehicles from here.

This hike has a long approach and I was on limited time so I brought my mountain bike with me. I had heard one could ride a bike to the top. That is true if you are a well seasoned to advanced off road mountain biker but I am a novice with this being my third time on the bike. I confess my hiking muscles are developed quite differently than the biking and I did not have the stamina on the bike to mount it long. In rougher rockier areas I dismounted. I would say based on the trail maps at other parks this would be rated green easy to blue medium since the rock outcroppings were not hard and there are no tight switchbacks. But there were areas of deep puddles and cobble stone challenges so I got off several times and walked the bike. I would estimate that I rode no more than 25% of the route going up as I was getting gassed and it took me exactly one hour to do the 3.2 miles. I should note that I have rarely used a mountain bike as an approach vehicle (perhaps only 4 times in my life?)

On the way down the bike was most nice and I was able to ride nearly 100% all the way down. I only dismounted in one very steep section where I was braking so hard to keep control my hands were cramping on the handles. My downtime was thus much faster, 30 minutes to cover 3.2 miles so I was averaging around 6.4 mph on the downhill ride.

The roads are easy to follow and you ascend through fir trees then through aspen, and near the summit some views open up of the nearby ranges. The pines up at the summit were Limber and Bistlecone. Not a high reward view hike but a differ slice of ecotones than I normally see. It is a long hall for a 300 foot prominence peak so I see nothing wrong if anyone wants to drive up to Breakneck Pass and park and then hike the rest of the way. That still earns the summit fine with more than 300 feet of rise left so you can "earn" the rise.

One final note for anyone using this as a mountain bike summit (it is recommended as such in the CMC book "Colorado Summit Hikes" by Dave Muller - the final half mile from Breakneck Pass to the summit is the easiest trail to ride. I am glad I did not stash my bike at the pass.
Hiking this totally would have been easier on my highly developed walking structure - the bike ride uphill was exhausting for me. But completing the 6.3 mile trip in 1.5 hours was perfect so I could beat the storms. It was actually snowing on me on the drive to the parking lot in late June. The book recommends 80 minutes up walking (I did it in 60 with some riding) and 70 down (I was in 30) so the downhill glide of the bike was a huge time advantage.
Summary Total Data
    Total Elevation Gain:1305 ft / 397 m
    Total Elevation Loss:200 ft / 60 m
    Round-Trip Distance:6.4 mi / 10.3 km
    Grade/Class:1, some 1+ steep
    Quality:5 (on a subjective 1-10 scale)
    Route Conditions:
Road Hike, Unmaintained Trail
    Gear Used:
Ascent Statistics
    Gain on way in:1205 ft / 367 m
        Gain Breakdown:Net: 1105 ft / 336 m; Extra: 100 ft / 30m
    Loss on way in:100 ft / 30 m
    Distance:3.2 mi / 5.2 km
    Route:4 whee drive forest road see GPS
    Start Trailhead:Pike National Forest Parking  10138 ft / 3090 m
    Time:1 Hours 
Descent Statistics
    Loss on way out:100 ft / 30 m
    Gain on way out:100 ft / 30 m
    Distance:3.2 mi / 5.2 km
    Time:30 Minutes
GPS Data for Ascent/Trip

 GPS Waypoints - Hover or click to see name and lat/long
Peaks:  climbed and  unclimbed by William Musser
Click Here for a Full Screen Map
Note: GPS Tracks may not be accurate, and may not show the best route. Do not follow this route blindly. Conditions change frequently. Use of a GPS unit in the outdoors, even with a pre-loaded track, is no substitute for experience and good judgment. accepts NO responsibility or liability from use of this data.

Download this GPS track as a GPX file

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