Castle Mountain, Witcher Mountain, McIntyre Mountain, 9420, 9112, Dome Rock & Dog Head
Steve Knapp & I met in Littleton, then drove south on I-25, west on US-24, south on CR-1, east on Ranch Resorts Drive, then followed Apache Trail to its terminus. We hiked east eventually meeting up with Trail 46 in the Mueller State Park and Wildlife Area. We followed the trail to its apex on Dome Rock’s east ridge, followed the east ridge to its slabby northeast face. We scrambled up the grippy slab to the summit. Next, we descended the slab and Dome Rock’s north ridge, crossed Fourmile Creek and ascended 9112’s north face. We realized our route-finding error when we encountered mandatory 5th class terrain. We descended, then traversed slightly east finding the class three gully that leads to the summit. The gully was completely filled with snow, which made it seem more difficult than third class. We carefully descended the gully then made our way back to my vehicle.
9112 from Dome Rock
Steve checking out a potential 5th class route on 9112’s north face
Dome Rock from 9112
Dog Head from 9112
Beasley Hills from 9112
Next, we drove back down to CR-1, northeast on Hackamore Drive and west on Stirrup Circle to its terminus. We hiked towards, then up the east-facing gully splitting the north and south summits of Dog Head. Steve quickly recognized the first pitch of the climb. Steve put on his climbing shoes and free soloed the first pitch then belayed me up. It felt more difficult than 5.2 to me. I free soloed the final pitch which is primarily fourth class, except with a final bulge on crumbly rock. I belayed Steve up the final bulge. We were happy to make it to the top but now had to figure out how to get down since we only brought slings and there was nothing to sling to set up a rappel. We downclimbed a 5.easy chimney to the first rappel station. After the first rappel, we had to downclimb easy terrain to the next rappel station. After the second rappel it was a quick hike back to the car.
The awkward 5.2 pitch
Looking down the gully from the base of the first pitch
Steve starting the second pitch
9112 from the summit of Dog Head
Steve setting up rappel #1
The 5.easy chimney we downclimbed to get to the first rappel station
Steve rapelling from the first station
Looking up at the first rappel
Terrain between the two rappels
Steve rapelling from the second station
Next, we drove up west on Teller CR-12/Park CR-100, south on CR-71 scoping out our ascent route for 9420 on our way back, west on CR-102, southwest on Witcher Mountain Road and west on Witcher Mountain Trail to a decent parking area. We walked up the road briefly, then bushwhacked directly to the summit.
Witcher Mountain summit cross with Pikes Peak in the background
Next, we drove back to CR-102, then north on Stagecoach Road, east on Post Road and north on Wagonwheel road to near its terminus. We hiked north to the base of the summit, then traversed around its east side to the gully leading to the summit. We both free soloed the gully finding it rather easy despite the presence of snow. We opted to rappel since we carried all the gear up there.
Witcher Mountain from Castle Mountain
McIntyre Mountain from Castle Mountain
Next, we drove back to Post Road and followed it to its terminus. We hiked up McIntyre Mountain from there, but in retrospect we would have been better off starting from CR-102 since we encountered many ups and downs
Castle Mountain from McIntyre Mountain
Finally, we drove back up to the apex of the CR-71 and hiked 9420 from there finding some scrambling near the summit.