"Golden Bear Peak", 13010'
Hagar Mountain, 13220'
"The Citadel", 13294'
TH: Loveland Ski Area, ~11000'
approx 7miles/3700' RT
6hrs 50min RT
The Citadel has been on my list since seeing it from Pettingell a couple years ago. Thanks to Hakan Bergstrand, whose trip report(1537 in Fourteenerworld.com Archives) was very helpful! Read his times and weep!
I parked just outside the huge parking lot for the Loveland Ski Area at the bend in highway 6 before it heads up to Loveland Pass. This is on the east side of the Eisenhower Tunnel. At 4:35am I walked into the parking lot, passed the buildings, and started up the dirt service road. After a short hike, passing south of the east entrance to the tunnel, I saw a clearing from a ski run on the slopes to the right and decided to start the ascent there.
Every so often a loud air horn sounded, and I hoped I hadn't triggered some alarm! The slopes were grassy and pleasant to ascend. As daylight broke, Citadel's summits looked far away, and I wondered if I was on the right ridge. After a long gradual ascent, I summitted Golden Bear at 6:10am and took a 15 min break.
The hike north to Hagar Mountain is over rolling hills with some ups and downs. The large summit block requires some scrambling, and I topped out at 7:25am, making an hour for the traverse. The NW face of Hagar has very steep drops!
After scrambling about the summit, I left Hagar at 7:45am, heading NE along the ridge to Citadel. The ridge between the two peaks is a fun walk, with nothing too difficult necessary. As I started up Citadel, I lost sight of the notch between the two summits. Just when I was wondering where the notch was, I saw it below me on the right, and shortly after reached the west summit at 8:25am!
The summit is a small perch, and I walked over to a couple other high pinnacles, one requiring a small hop/large step with a little exposure. From the west summit, the east summit looked somewhat tricky.
I descended to the notch, then found two 10-foot chimneys to choose from in making my ascent. I ascended via the left one and ended up descending via the right one. Once above the chimney, getting to the east summit proved no challenge.
I left the east summit at 8:45am, avoiding the final 50' on Hagar by traversing around it on the south side, then walked the long slopes back to Golden Bear, arriving at 10:20am.
The descent to the service road went quickly enough, and I returned to the car at 11:25am. A fun day scrambling on the Continental Divide!
No comments posted yet.