I was in Colorado for the first time this week, and I had some extra time on Saturday, so I decided to hike a peak. I planned on doing Pikes via Crags today, but I forgot to turn on my alarm clock last night. With less time available than I had hoped, I opted for Raspberry Mountain instead. (Thanks to shknbke for pointing me to other peaks around Pikes.)
Up the road(s)
A storm blew in on Friday, and it dumped snow yesterday and today (Saturday). The road was plowed all the way to the trailhead, and when I got there I found about 6 inches of snow on the ground. Someone had already been partway up earlier today, and I followed their tracks up the road. They ended on the road pretty far short of the summit, so I had to find my own way after that.
Wandering through the forest
Due to my change of plans, I didn't have a map. I had loaded a few GPS waypoints, and I used those to make my way, but I'm pretty sure I lost the trail at some point since I ended up crawling through the forest as I got to the last steep section before the summit.
I climbed up on top of the point directly south of the summit that's about 10,240' and I got a nice view of the top from there. I also picked out a better route for the (short) rest of the way.
To the top
The route description makes this route sound pretty easy, but my poor routefinding skills made it a little more interesting. Without a map, I thought that the false summit about 300 feet south of the true summit was the real thing, and I started climbing it to reach the top. It was pretty easy third class, and then fourth class. I decided at that point that I had the wrong route, and I descended a little way and then headed a little further north, where I spotted the true summit. After a little more third class sandstone, I was on top.
On the way up, I wondered why Raspberry Mountain was called Raspberry Mountain, since I sure couldn't see any raspberries. I think I may have discovered its etymology while I was standing on top of it: it doesn't grow raspberries, it looks like a raspberry. The top is covered with rounded sandstone boulders that kind of look like the bulbous seeds of a raspberry.
Although I got a good view of
the top, it was really cloudy today, so the view from
the top was pretty unspectacular. I snapped a couple quick pictures (including one of my ice-frozen hair), and then descended the way that I came.
Stats and gear
Round-trip time was almost exactly three hours. Snow depth was 8-10 inches by the time I got back down. I wore mountaineering boots, gaiters, waterproof pants, and warm mittens. All were pretty helpful. Avalanche danger is almost nonexistent on this route, and an ax and crampons were certainly not necessary. This would be a great snowshoe trip with a little more snow.