Ascent of Peak 7698 on 2018-06-10

Climber: William Musser

Other People:Solo Ascent
Only Party on Mountain
Date:Sunday, June 10, 2018
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
    Motorized Transport to Trailhead:Car
Peak:Peak 7698
    Elevation:7698 ft / 2346 m

Ascent Trip Report

I parked in general parking and it was a madhouse of bikers and people cooling off in the Bear Creek Canyon waters. I took the main Bear Creek trail to the western bridge following the GPS track of Zachary Micheck which is pretty darn good. His route was 4 miles round trip and took 3 hours and I wanted to get it done I deviated some to make it a faster ascent and that was 1.5 miles. I did meander coming down and that was 1.8 miles but my total was 3.3 miles instead of 4 miles. Also, despite my horrible bushwhack line coming down (more on that later) my entire trip car to car was 1 hour and 48 minutes so I did save time.

First thing I did to save time was not use the trail and switch back that he used to start. I swung west a little of his track and started my bushwhack earlier finding a non-maintained "use" trail starting up the NW ridge and followed his track fairly close after that. THe open areas take you to a closed contour subpeak with some nice rock outcropping you can scramble and I decided to check this interesting spot out later. There was a campfire ring up there and some odd rock stacking on the large boulders that someone had spent a bit of time making. Finding this spot is key to the hike as the saddle drops only 50 feet or so and then you take the north ridge to the summit. This line that Zachary took is the best way up although you will notice it takes you slightly on to private property in pursuit of the peak.

I tried to stay east of his line to stay on public lands but the natural openings and ridge line slides you back west onto Zachary's fine GPS track. Once you re-enter the public lands at the top, the peak is finally an easy bushwhack with open grass, tress spread apart and you swing to the east up to a few boulders that make the peak. There are not really much in the way of views but there is a jar with a sign in log that is easy to access.

On the way down, I wanted to stay on public land so instead of retracing my steps I left over the north side of the peak and started dropping fast instead of swinging back west along the open ridge. Big mistake. The terrain became very steep, there was lots of class 3 rock I did not want to climb down and thick woods. It was exhausting. Realizing that although I was on public lands but a dangerous place to be solo hiking (getting hurt here was way off trail) I worked back west contouring the best I could but a lot of up and down to avoid rock outcroppings and when I reached the big open saddle discussed earlier, I was a good 100 feet below it and had to up-climb. I relaxed on the summit rock of the outcropping and decided it was the finest place on the entire hike and deserved its own peakbagging point so I set one. As this place had rings of large rocks to hide in - I decided that this spot must be the Lair of the Bear!

From here I retraced my steps for a while but then saw the river and kids below and took a hard bushwhack line back to the west and ended up intersecting the trail much lower than where i started this journey and thus the extra mileage and gain. Much of my down line was steep, thick and horrible. I would take Zachary's path up and down as my recommendation.

Summary Total Data
    Total Elevation Gain:1370 ft / 416 m
    Total Elevation Loss:1370 ft / 417 m
    Round-Trip Distance:3.3 mi / 5.3 km
    Quality:3 (on a subjective 1-10 scale)
    Route Conditions:
Maintained Trail, Unmaintained Trail, Open Country, Bushwhack
    Weather:Hot, Clear
Ascent Statistics
    Gain on way in:1190 ft / 362 m
        Gain Breakdown:Net: 1170 ft / 357 m; Extra: 20 ft / 6m
    Loss on way in:20 ft / 6 m
    Distance:1.5 mi / 2.4 km
    Route:trail to bushwhack see TR
    Start Trailhead:parking  6528 ft / 1989 m
    Time:58 Minutes
Descent Statistics
    Loss on way out:1350 ft / 411 m
        Loss Breakdown:Net: 1170 ft / 357 m; Extra: 180 ft / 54m
    Gain on way out:180 ft / 54 m
    Distance:1.8 mi / 2.9 km
    End Trailhead:6528 ft / 1989 m
    Time:50 Minutes
Ascent Part of Trip: Denver-26

Complete Trip Sequence:
1Peak 76982018-06-10 a1370 ft / 418 m
2Lair O'Bear Point2018-06-10 b30 ft / 9 m
3Bandimere Ridge2018-06-10 c723 ft / 220 m
Total Trip Gain: 2123 ft / 647 m    Total Trip Loss: 1560 ft / 476 m

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