Wednesday, August 06, 2014

Cerro Colorado (6,990 ft,)
Deadman Peaks West (6,987 ft.)
Deadman Peaks East (6,970 ft.)
Deadman Peaks North (6,910 ft,)
Cerros Colorados South (7,051 ft.)
Cerros Colorados North (7,050 ft,)

6 Aug., 2014. OK; don't ask me who comes up with naming schemes like this. But those are the real names given to this cluster of unranked peaks located along the Continental Divide Trail just west of the Rio Puerco basin. (That's the trail, not the actual Continental Divide, but that's yet another story...) Additional crew member: Marjean the adventure dog.
I started on the short (1,000 ft. or less) section of BLM road 1102 which is coincident with the CDT, and followed the road north almost to the saddle between Cerro Colorado ("CC") and Deadman Peaks West ("DPW"). I left the road before the saddle because the direct ridge route up CC is rocky, and I found an easier, grassier route angling up the east slope to the long ridge crest. Once there, I turned left (south) and found the highest point to be a touch farther south and farther west than the literature values. Time to top: 25 min.
I more or less re-traced my steps back to the road, then set off free-lancing my way up the west slopes of DPW. I found one small cleft in the small cliff band, after which is was an easy uphill stroll to the small summit. This is the most "mountain-like" of the six peaks on this trip. Time to second summit: 35 min.
The trip across the division between DPW and Deadman Peaks East ("DPE") is unobstructed by cliff bands or rocks, so I quickly traversed east the the third peak of the day. Time to third summit: 17 Min.
Deadman Peaks North ("DPN:) isn't even listed on all lists, and it is the lowest and smallest of the three peaks making up this little group. It looked too easy to pass up, so I descended DPE's northwest ridge, and found an easy way through the one cliff band below DPN's summit. Time to fourth summit: 9 min.
On to the last two. After dropping through the cliff band, I headed more or less directly east and down in the direction of Cerros Colorados North ("CCN"). At the bottom, I encountered the plainly visible and lavishly cairned CDT. I followed it south and east to the saddle between CCN and Cerros Colorados South ("CCS"). At the saddle, I decided it was six of one, half a dozen of the other, as to which peak to scale first. I chose CCS, my high point for the day. Time to fifth summit: 22 min. The view of the Rio Puerco basin from here is well worth the climb.
I returned to the trail at the saddle, then climbed basically north up to the wooded summit of CCN. Time to sixth summit: 12 min.
After that, it was just a return to the saddle, where I again picked up the CDT. Instead of re-climbing anything, I simply followed the trail south past DPE and back to the road near where I had begun. It made a nice little loop, which my GPS recorded at 5.12 miles. Total time: 2 hrs., 50 min.
I got a perfect summer day, and, aside from seeing one truck heading north on BLM 1102, I didn't see a single other human being all morning.
There are a few pictures from this trip, but I haven't published them yet. They're available to anyone really interested.Long life and many peaks!


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