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Ascent of Ouray Peak on 2019-09-15

Climber: William Musser

Others in Party:glen mizenko
----Only Party on Mountain
Date:Sunday, September 15, 2019
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
    Motorized Transport to Trailhead:4x4 Vehicle
Peak:Ouray Peak
    Location:USA-Colorado
    Elevation:12957 ft / 3949 m

Ascent Trip Report

The 4 wheel drive to the upper parking was a moderate ride. We used a Toyota 4 runner and stayed in 4 high. Rough in places but as 14ers.com says like a 3 out of 6.

We parked below the gate off FR 394. We later learned that the easiest bushwhack of this previously uncharted peak would have been straight up from the parking lot but we thought we were clever taking the road uphill some then finding a track and going up. This was a bad plan. Following our GPS one can see our track. It hurt.

There was no beta information on 14er.com nor summit post, nor peakbagger; but we later found info for this peak on LOJ. I enterred it as a new peak on peakbagger and the prominence calculation I did matches the assumptions used in LOJ. IGlen thought "hey and extra credit climb before our ascent of Grizzly Peak. Ouch!

We followed the rough track of some old USGS trail that shows up on the quad but at some point all I remember is being on steep 40 to 45 degree slopes of scree and grass slipping and sliding and having to toe punch into the slope to keep from falling. Kick stepping up this was tiring. At some point I realized that the mountain goat guide I was following (Glen) was much more comfortable on such terrain than me and I tired of worrying about tumbling down slope and saw some nice rocky pinnacles to scramble and certainly the rock was better than the slippery scree. Bad call!

Working into the formations the rock was crap. You can see the GPS track I took into that mess. I highly recommend staying to the right and sliding around on the scree for safety as every foot hold and handhold was breaking away in the gray rock. At one point I dislodged a huge boulder that according to Glen was skipping up in the air about once every 100 feet as smashed its way down our track. I was stuck in a mess of rocky sandy crumbling labyrinth of decaying rock and there was no place to find level ground to put away my poles or gloves so I ended up losing some equipment fighting and clawing my way up to safe purchase. Glen, the ever-faithful partner followed me up to safety after hearing the rock-slide to make sure I was alive. Finally, climbing out of this class 2+ and class 3 rock, I noted to Glen that I have not been that worried in trapping myself in bad material like that in many years. It was not that steep but it was that rotten that every move you had to test every single hold and even then you constantly dislodged rocks. I would NEVER ever think about going up into that crappy rock again. Do not follow that line through the gray rock!

I can not recall a peak ever in my life where I spent so much time worried about falling and tumbling. too much loose material. I was actually begging for interlocked talus. Finding the summit safely we contemplated our next move. Grizzly is in the distance but as we hiked down the west ridge to the little sub peak we could see that we would have to up-climb a tower of class 4 and 5 of the same crappy crumbly gray rock! and if we made it past that without getting hurt there is a nasty horn on the next ridge (see point 13441). We thus, down-climbed back down a less treacherous route than the one we came up to skirt around the ridge coming east off of the horn 13441. We down climbed to an elevation of 12,036 losing 900 feet to safely get around the obstacles on the ridge connecting the horn to Ouray (both the towers and the horn) and now we could ascend Grizzly. See TR for Grizzly for continuation.
Summary Total Data
    Total Elevation Gain:1637 ft / 498 m
    Total Elevation Loss:30 ft / 8 m
    Grade/Class:1,2,2+,3
    Quality:6 (on a subjective 1-10 scale)
    Route Conditions:
Road Hike, Maintained Trail, Unmaintained Trail, Open Country, Bushwhack, Stream Ford, Scramble
    Gear Used:
Ski Poles
    Weather:Pleasant
29F start then up to 40F
Ascent Statistics
    Gain on way in:1622 ft / 494 m
        Gain Breakdown:Net: 1607 ft / 490 m; Extra: 15 ft / 4m
    Loss on way in:15 ft / 4 m
    Distance:2.1 mi / 3.4 km
    Route:see GPS track
    Start Trailhead:Upper 4 wheel parking  11350 ft / 3459 m
    Time:12 Hours 
Descent Statistics
    Loss on way out:15 ft / 4 m
    Gain on way out:15 ft / 4 m
    Route:see GPS track
    End Trailhead:sub summit (false peak)  
Ascent Part of Trip: Grizz

Complete Trip Sequence:
OrderPeak/PointDateGain
1Ouray Peak2019-09-15 a1637 ft / 499 m
2Grizzly Peak2019-09-15 b2094 ft / 638 m
3Garfield Peak2019-09-16 c521 ft / 159 m
Total Trip Gain: 4252 ft / 1296 m    Total Trip Loss: 1835 ft / 559 m
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. Peakbagger.com accepts NO responsibility or liability from use of this data.

Download this GPS track as a GPX file




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