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The Lists of John

December 3, 2009 Hike 3 Comments
JohnKirk

John Kirk during the day he completed the 231-summit Park County list. Photo by Steve Knapp

Let’s say you really want to know the name, elevation, and location of every peak in the state along the Continental Divide, from 14,270-foot Grays Peak to an unnamed 9,296-foot summit north of Kremmling. Or all the mountains in Colorado that require fifth-class climbing. Or the high point of each of Colorado’s 64 counties. If categorizing and tracking peak ascents is your thing, you need Lists of John, the compulsive climber’s ultimate online resource.

John Kirk, 33, created this remarkable website in 2005, building upon his personal online database. Kirk, who lives in Arvada, moved to Colorado in 2001 and has climbed all the 14ers and county high points. Curious about the Lists of John, we sent him a few questions:

Mojo: What was your first Colorado peak, and what’s on your personal tick list?

Kirk: My first was Blanca Peak (14,345 feet). I completed the 14ers in 2004, and the 64 county high points in 2005. I’ve been chipping away at the 13ers list and have it down to a couple hundred now. I’ve completed all summits in Park County (231 peaks; first ever to complete this list), Gilpin County (22 peaks), Clear Creek County (64 peaks), and Lake County (47 peaks). Boulder County and Chaffee County will probably be completed next. I’d like to complete the highest 1,000 list—I’m over halfway. … Continue Reading

Jagged Mountain

November 17, 2009 Classics, Hike No Comments

Why do you think they call it Jagged Mountain?

Why do you think they call it Jagged Mountain?

As one of Colorado’s few high peaks with mandatory technical climbing, plus a splendid setting deep in the Weminuche Wilderness, 13,824-foot Jagged Mountain is as coveted as they get—it’s even a centennial (100 highest) 13er. Jagged’s isolation is part of the appeal. Most aspirants take the Durango & Silverton Railroad to Needleton ($89 round-trip, including a $10 charge for loading your pack into a boxcar). From there, it’s about 7.5 miles up a faint, often rugged trail along the Animas River and No Name Creek to reach high camp.

Jagged's north face.

Jagged's north face.

In the morning, you climb to 13,020-foot Jagged Pass, with superb views of the surrounding 13ers and 14ers, and then the real fun begins. Jagged’s eponymous summit ridge is a 500-foot-high turreted fin, cresting on one spire at 13,824 feet. After traversing steep, grassy slopes to the base of the north face, you wind up a circuitous route along ledges, gullies, and chimneys. The rock climbing on this route is rated 5.0 to 5.2, but in dry conditions many experienced scramblers don’t bother with a rope for the short boulder-problem cruxes.

Easy rock climbing just below Jagged's summit.

Easy rock climbing just below Jagged's summit.

If you’d feel more comfortable tied in, a 120-foot length of rope (much lighter than a full climbing rope) and a small selection of wired nuts and hexes is plenty; a 120-foot rope also is perfectly fine for the three short rappels that bypass the crux  sections on the way down.

Short rappels bypass the cruxes during the descent. In the background: Jagged Pass.

Short rappels bypass cruxes during the descent. Jagged Pass in background.

Near the top, the route crosses to Jagged’s south side and then climbs a steep chimney to an airy summit perch with extraordinary views, including the nearby fourteeners Sunlight, Windom, and Eolus. For a bonus wilderness adventure, return to Needleton by crossing the high pass into the Ruby Creek drainage, one of Colorado’s most beautiful spots.

Guidebook: Colorado’s Thirteeners, by Gerry and Jennifer Roach

On the web: Summit Post

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Recent Comments

  • Jamie Jones: The secret chute was only a secret top all you easterners....
  • Jeff: Awesome!!!! Are they ever going to be published in book form! These stories need to be made into a movie!!!!...
  • Karen D McCall: What a story, I read every word, absolutely enthralled. As an aging outdoor enthusiast headed for hip replacement, I can...
  • Kirk Miller: New rats in the Platte. Well done sir....
  • Dale: I met Clerin Zumwalt hiking on the Long's Peak trail back in the 1990's. He was with his family and was wearing his RMNP...
  • Ben Collett: Dougald, I miss the updates on this site. Anyway, there is a great route on the 4th Flatiron (see MP.com for details) th...
  • Tim: Thanks for the great writeup. We just did this loop yesterday and had a blast. Do you know if anyone has skied the coulo...
  • 14er Sports: Awesome accomplishment!...
  • Kailas: Yes Wick there are that many people. And they are all from back east or Texass... booooo. I've skied up here for ove...
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Firsts

A Fine Line on Arrowhead

March 26, 2010

A Fine Line on Arrowhead

Climbers Scotty Nelson and Gil Weiss have discovered (or maybe rediscovered) a great-looking moderate mixed route in Rocky Mountain National Park that might take pressure off overcrowded climbs like Dream Weaver or Martha. The line, which they called Deborah, splits the south face of Arrowhead above the high bench to the west of Black Lake [...]

Shelf Road’s Hardest Route Climbed

March 10, 2010

Shelf Road’s Hardest Route Climbed

Colorado’s Shelf Road , a network of vertical limestone cliffs near Cañon City best known for sunny moderates, has a new 5.13d pitch and may soon get its first 5.14. On Sunday, March 7, Mark Anderson redpointed a striking, super-technical arête at Cactus Cliff that was bolted in the early 1990s but apparently never free-climbed. [...]

New Route Likely Platte’s Hardest

February 14, 2010

New Route Likely Platte’s Hardest

Jason Haas, who’s working on a new guidebook to South Platte rock climbs, has just redpointed what’s likely the Platte’s hardest pitch, a roof seam that’s protected with removable pro and might be 5.14a. The new route, Comprometido, took about a year and a half to complete. Here, Haas tells the story.
While researching routes [...]

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Classics

Brain Freeze on Mt. Otis

March 18, 2010

Brain Freeze on Mt. Otis

In the heart of Rocky Mountain National Park, a granite spindle called Zowie protrudes from the convoluted south face of Mt. Otis. Just to Zowie’s left is a zigzagging chimney and gully system that holds an unlikely mixed-climbing gem. Brain Freeze was discovered very recently (early 2008) by Andy Grauch and Chris Sheridan. Several parties [...]

Lake Agnes–Seven Utes Loop

February 19, 2010

Lake Agnes–Seven Utes Loop

Kevin Landolt is a skier/climber/student, based in Fort Collins, who writes the fun Alpine Ambition blog for the Mountain Shop. Here, Kevin describes a favorite midwinter ski tour near Cameron Pass offering a little of everything.
Trailhead: Lake Agnes Road, 2.5 miles west of Cameron Pass
Tour Distance: 7.3 miles
Total Vert: ca. 2,900′
Season: Midwinter to spring; two [...]

Mr. and Mrs. Mesa

January 28, 2010

Mr. and Mrs. Mesa

Two of the wildest and most difficult water-ice pitches in the state are in plain view from Highway 50, en route to Ouray and Telluride from points north, plunging down the sheer face of Grand Mesa. Yet few people notice them, and far fewer have climbed them. The routes are tough, to be sure, but [...]

East Ridge of Mt. Bancroft

December 28, 2009

East Ridge of Mt. Bancroft

Mt. Bancroft’s rocky east ridge is a terrific mountaineering adventure for Front Range climbers, beginning less than an hour from Denver. The 13,250-foot peak is relatively close to the road, and avalanche danger can be easily managed, making this perhaps the most accessible technical winter summit on the entire Front Range. The east ridge offers [...]

Wild

Rarities: Wolf Moon, Arapaho Peaks

February 5, 2010

Rarities: Wolf Moon, Arapaho Peaks

Photographer James Beissel sent us this fantastic dawn-patrol shot of the full moon setting over South and North Arapaho in the Indian Peaks, shot from Flagstaff Mountain. Said Beissel: ”The first full moon of the New Year is often called the Wolf Moon. The name comes from Native American culture, in which it was associated with [...]

New Deal for Great Sand Dunes

January 20, 2010

New Deal for Great Sand Dunes

By Bob Berwyn
Stakeholders in the San Luis Valley have taken a giant step toward protecting Great Sand Dunes National Park from mining, energy development, and water exports. Lexam Explorations has agreed to sell its mineral rights if a $9.7 million deal can be finalized by May.
Great Sand Dunes National Park was created by Congress [...]

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