Friday, April 08, 2011

Mount Garfield (yet again)
7 April, 2011: Mount Garfield (10,940 ft.) is the second-highest ranked peak in El Paso County. (That's right: There's nothing in between 11,000 ft. and Pikes Peak at over 14,000!) Despite this a) there's almost nowhere down in Colorado Springs from which its summit can actually be seen, and b) its summit is very rarely visited.
Map junkie that I am, however, I actually climbed this peak somewhere back around 1976. I climbed it a second time in the spring of 2007. On neither of these forays did I find the summit register, which another climber's trip report said was there. So, facing banishment from Colorado, I decided that finding, and signing, that register was a "must do."
By bushwhacking my way up the southwest slopes from FS trail 667, I finally found the elusive register--although I walked right past it once before re-tracing my steps and noticing it. Upon opening the metal (not PVC!) canister, I found not one, but two CMC registers, the older one placed in 1979 and still far from full. It still gave the CMC's address as Denver instead of Golden, where they are now located! I have no way of knowing whether or not the 1979 register replaced an older one but, based on the infrequency of entries, it seems unlikely--which means that, when I first climbed this peak, no one had ever even placed a register, and I was actually one of the first handful of people to reach this summit. Now I've done it three times, an obscure link the chain of my completion of El Paso County peaks.
TH: the Gold Camp Road closure parking lot above Helen Hunt Falls
RT: 6+ miles, 6 hrs., 25 min.
Vert: about 3,500 ft.

Long life and many peaks!


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