North Ridge

Page Type Page Type: Route
Location Lat/Lon: 39.33970°N / 106.1394°W
Additional Information Route Type: An Easy Scramble
Additional Information Time Required: Half a day
Additional Information Difficulty: Class 3
Sign the Climber's Log


This route starts from the Montgomery Reservoir Trailhead.

This trailhead is located on the reservoir's west side at 10,920 feet. From the Hoosier Pass Summit, go south for 1.1 miles. You will see a sign for Park County Road 4. Turn right onto this dirt road. Follow the dirt road west until you see the reservoir. Upon reaching the reservoir, you will come upon a fork in the road, take the right branch. This section of road travels around the lake and you should follow it until the road turns 4WD There will be a small parking lot on your left, park here.

Route Description

From the parking lot, follow the 4WD road west as it meanders past the north side of Mount Lincoln. As you follow this trail, the Middle Fork of the South Platte River will run parallel on your left side. After 2.5 miles, at 11,640 feet, you will have to cross a stream forging its way towards the South Platte. Here you will notice a small trail on your left side. Take it. This trail will slowly make its way towards the Democrat-Traver saddle. Around 12,100 feet the trail will fade out. Continue your hike in the general direction of the previously mentioned saddle across the tundra and scree.

At 13,200 feet, you will reach the Democrat-Traver saddle, turn south(your left) and quickly scamper up Point 13,460. From here you can view the remainder of your route. It may look challenging. It is not, but it's still fun. From the beginning of the ridge, you can climb the easy 3rd class along the ridge or hike the climbers trail along the right side of the ridge. About a quarter of the way up you'll reach the crux. The crux is a tooth-shaped rock which requires you to come directly to the ridge's crest. You can safely traverse this obstacle around its right side, then downclimb 10-15 feet to safety. Here, you must climb a 3rd or 4th class pitch to regain the easy life. There are three lines in front of you. The easiest one is the pitch on the far right. Descend 10 feet and climb upwards as it slants to its left to connect with the other two routes at the notch you must gain to continue forward. From here, you can use the climbers trail the majority of the time, but you are forced to return to the ridge for a few simple 3rd class moves. At 13,600 feet, you will encounter the remains of an old mine. Climb the scree slope above the mine and connect with the climbers trail which will lead you to the summit block. Upon reaching the summit block, you are faced with the last climbing obstacle. You may proceed around its left side on the scree to avoid it completely but a quick climb straight up this tower on easy 3rd class will provide a final, quick thrill for walking the final 50 feet to Democrat's summit.

Essential Gear

Bring a helmet. The route isn't tough but there is rockfall.

Miscellaneous Info

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