I realize that this mountain is around 6000 feet shorter than a 14er but I had so much fun out here I wanted to post about it. I suggest viewing this report with large files so you can see the details better.
Back in January during the freezy freeze weeks, I went out looking for good spring hikes and upon ,Derek, Monster5 and SuperPolok's advice I took my brother up to Crescent Peak to check it out.
My secondary goal was to see how realistic it is for me to carry my HD camera in my pack for 14ers. I used a 40 liter REI pack with 3 liters in the bladder, and all my gear to simulate a 14er hike. After loading it up it topped out at 24lbs. Not horrible but heavier than normal for me.
Coal Creek Peak on right, Crescent Peak is the twin bumps - Target right bump
We parked at the turn off just past the strange gilded marble entryway to a mansion on a hill (currently un-built and most likely in foreclosure). The creek is low right now and there are plenty of rocks to hop across.
The turn off.
From this point forward, it's up to you. This place is a veritable playground of hiking and climbing. The following pictures are in no particular order, just some examples of our day. I was hoping to capture scale, rock style and condition, and potential for other climbers. One word of caution about the rock, it is marble and there are holds everywhere but we did notice places where it was loose and deceiving.
Also, I realize that these pics don't show us wearing helmets... in a few places we were irresponsible but for the majority of the day, we were never in any significant need of them.
Right off the bat you are greeted with lots of up and lots of fun
The rock - slabby glorious quartz filled marble...
My brother bottom right to give scale to a typical rib
Let's go... this way.
Come on up, the rock is fine!
Choose your own adventure climbing!
Eric standing on a mini ledge. Everything else is over two hundred yards across the valley. Need a better tele lens for depth of field!
This place is a playground... stick to the gully or hug the rocks and you can stay class 2 or 2+, we wanted a full body workout so we stayed relatively low but in the class 3 rocks practicing traverses, up climbs, down climbs, etc... we kept the exposure to less than 40 or so feet at all times. Being still new enough to mountaineering, climbing, etc... I wasn't sure how to tell if we were doing class 4 or low 5 stuff but we always kept three points of contact and really just had a blast. It looks like there could be some short class 5 areas but I am no expert and wouldn't be able to tell it was protect-able or what.
Practice makes perfect. Not as much exposure as it seems.
We did NOT take this face... up and over the ledge and then to the left, much easier.
Eric (left side middle) negotiating a down climb.
Little bit of snow but not bad.
A reminder that we're not so far from home.
All said and done, we did 2200 feet of elevation gain in .9 miles (steeeeeeep) but since we were taking the scenic route and practicing it took about four hours. At the top we were treated with some really great views.
I grabbed a quick time lapse of Denver too since I brought up the camera but wasn't too impressed with the hazy smog. The clouds and time of day wasn't ideal either so from that distance nothing in motion turned out so I scrapped it.
Green Mountain, Table Mountain, Ralston Buttes back side and Denver being hugged by the pines.
By 1:30, after a glorious turkey and provolone sammy, I realized I had to be at work at 5 to wait tables so we headed back down. Not wanting to be late we headed straight for the nearest gully and trucked it. If it is at all avoidable, avoid it. Take the time to down climb what you did because the particular gully we were in was nothing but loose scree and slick grass. Every step was either like surfing on rock (huge potential for a slide) or like trying to walk across a million playground teeter totters. EVERY step was a total guess. After a while the rock relented to deadfall and bushwhack, prickly plants everywhere, and just plain crap.
Typical scenery in the gully of death on the way down...
Two hours later, we were back at the jeep in time for me to run home, through the shower, into the ol' Rib City uniform and off to work. I'm actually kinda glad I wait tables because I average a few miles of walking a night so my legs don't get super sore after a hike like this. Thanks for reading!