from Dunraven/North Fork Trailhead

Page Type
Trip Report
Location:
Colorado, United States, North America
Date Climbed/Hiked:
Apr 7, 2007
Activities:
Hiking
Season:
Spring
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from Dunraven/North Fork Trailhead
Created On: Apr 9, 2007
Last Edited On: Aug 26, 2011

The Hike

Start time: 8:01 am
End time: 5:08 pm
Total time: 9:07
Total distance: 11.5 miles
Average speed: 1.3 mph
Elevation gain: 4040 feet
Elevation loss: 4040 feet
Average Slope: 13.4%

We started the hike at the Dunraven Trailhead (40.4756,-105.4605), in cold riming fog. I had checked my favorite weather model (NAM) the previous night, and it had predicted the top of the cloud layer to be at 10,500 feet. With this hope, we headed up the Bulwark Ridge Trail through the beautiful winter wonderland created by the rime ice on everything around. For the first half of our hike, we could easily follow the Bulwark Ridge Trail, but as we got higher, we began to lose the ever-narrowing trail under the deep snow, and eventually lost it altogether. From here we followed the crest of Bulwark Ridge toward the northwest, and somewhat surprisingly, ascended through the clouds at 10,500 feet! (The previous week, the same model did a poor job in its prediction.) We ascended to a small unnamed and unranked summit (10,890',40.5124,-105.5078), where we got a great view of the two Signal Mountain Peaks ahead. From there, we descended back down into a saddle and then up to the summit of South Signal Mountain.

The summit area was relatively broad and flat, with two major rock outcrop groups, 600 feet apart; the USGS Topo map indicated that the true summit is toward the western side of the flat area, but the rock outcrop on the far east side appeared to be higher. We went up the western one, to make it official, and my GPS indicated it was at 40.51876,-105.51827. The views from the top were stunning, as the surrounding high peaks appeared to be like islands in a sea of fog! It was a bit breezy at the summit, so after a few photos, we headed back down to a rock outcrop just above timberline and ate our belated lunches. The descent down was the opposite of the way up, except that even more rime ice covered everything when we went back down!

For a photo slide show of this hike, you can go to: www.joeandfrede.com/colorado/bulwark_ridge/bulwark_ridge.htm





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from Dunraven/North Fork Trailhead

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Geography

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Parents

Signal Mountain & South Signal MountainTrip Reports