Copper Ridge P500

Sun, Aug 21, 2022
Etymology Story Photos / Slideshow Map GPX

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Rainy day. We were up early, hoping the expected showers and thunderstorms would hold off until the afternoon. We had picked out two unnamed peaks on either side of Seedhouse Rd, north of Steamboat. It was raining lightly when the four of us started the 37mi drive to the trailhead, and never really let up the entire way. Our unfounded optimism that things would improve the further we drove never materialized. I was the first to admit defeat and request a retreat, knowing our cross-country route would be paved with shrubs and grasses laden with water that would have our boots, feet, and pants soaked within minutes of starting out. Not what I drove across three states to experience. Ingrid was the last to give in, and only because she didn't want to hike alone. The crappy weather didn't seem to deter her, only the lack of someone to experience it with. We turned around and drove 37mi back to Steamboat and promptly went back to sleep.

Many hours later, Eric and Ingrid had gone off to buy ski equipment at one of the Steamboat gear exchanges. I was busy doing stuff online and eventually noticed the weather had improved outside - the rain had stopped, the streets had mostly dried, and there was some blue sky. It could change again I knew, but figured I might get out to do something nearby in an hour or so. I picked Copper Ridge because it was only 15min away and both Eric and Ingrid had already climbed it. The ridge is found just north of Steamboat Springs. There is a turnout on County Rd 36 near its apex before it drops down to Strawberry Park Natural Hot Springs. A use trail starts from the turnout, climbing to the summit in about half a mile, while gaining almost 600ft. The trail is overgrown and features much aspen downfall. There was lots of climbing over, and some under these downed trees, and all of the foliage was wet with earlier rains. My boots, socks and pants got a good soaking, but the sky stayed dry until after I was done. The trees and downfall decrease near the top. The summit is fairly flat, offering no obvious highpoint. Trees partially block views, but there are some to be had to the west, south and east. After finishing up, I considered doing another summit in the area, but raindrops on the windshield quickly discouraged me - back I scurried to the safety of the Steamboat condo. Weather tough, I am not.

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