Pass BM P1K
Peak 10,018ft P300
Dirt BM P1K
Peak 9,660ft P300
Peak 9,580ft

Tue, Jul 27, 2021

With: Eric Smith

Story Photos / Slideshow Maps: 1 2 3 GPX


Eric and I headed to the northern part of the Gore Range in western Grand County. Our primary interest was Dirt BM which is both the Sarvis Wilderness HP and a P1K. The other summits were bonus peaks before and after the main event, occupying us until the early afternoon. We had risen early and left Steamboat Springs while it was still dark to give us a chance to beat the expected afternoon heat.

Pass BM

Pass BM is a P1K just west of Gore Pass on SR134. We used Forest Road 211 starting just northeast of Gore Pass, following it for several miles to a road junction where we found FR1C gated, the road blocked by downfall and evidently left for mother nature to recover. Starting out at 7:20a, we found the spur road easily navigated on foot with minimal downfall, following it for about 1/3mi, then another 1/3mi of cross-country with moderate amounts of downfall. It took us about 20min to reach the highpoint, found buried in the trees. The benchmark location is a short distance to the northwest, about 5-8ft lower. There we found a Mike Garratt register dating to 2000 and partial views to the northwest. Another 20min saw us back to our starting point.

Peak 10,018ft

This one is found on the north side of Gore Pass. FR185 and FR243 get one close to the summit on its east side, from where it takes less than 10min to hike to the top. This one had far more downfall scattered about, a harbinger of more to come.

Dirt BM

We used a 2018 track posted by Timothy Hutchings on PB, starting from the northeast off FR100, a well-graded dirt road that any vehicle could navigate. The outing is about 4mi roundtrip with less than 1,000ft of gain. Downfall would once again be the biggest obstacle on this one. We started with an old logging road gated at FR100, that follows the south side of a creek. After about 15min, we headed cross-country when the old road made a turn to the east. In hindsight we could have continued on the road which would have eventually turned back towards the summit, avoiding almost all the downfall, but the cross-country wasn't too bad, and probably faster. It took us about 50min to reach the summit where we found the tattered remains of the register reported by Tim. It dated to 2005, but the container was riddled with holes, rendering the paper a bit of a mess. No views from the summit. We followed the old road down on the return, this time heading cross-country when the road turned to the west. With the help of the GPSr, I was able to navigate us through the forest more directly back to where we'd parked the Jeep along FR100. This wasn't the Wilderness-y outing we were hoping for. Maybe next time we'll hike in the Wilderness, rather than just to the edge.

Peak 9,660ft

This seemed like it would be an easy bonus peak with FR131 getting us close on the north side. We found the road gated about a mile from the summit, part of a state wildlife area that was currently closed to vehicles. Ok, still not too bad, only a mile, right? More than half of this was walking up the gated road and then across a cowpie-infested meadow, leaving us only about 0.4mi of cross-country through dense forest remaining. This turned out to have the heaviest amount of downfall we'd encountered yet - logs of all sizes piled upon each other, requiring some crawling and hopping and other gymnastic manuevers to get through. Awful stuff, really, thank goodness only 0.4mi. We were surprised to find a register tucked under a small cairn along the summit ridge of this unnamed peak, left by John and Alyson Kirk in 2015, with only two other entries in the past six years. Looking for an alternate way down that would be less unpleasant, we followed north along the edge of the cliffy western side, finding easier going. One large section had seen all the trees cut down in an effort to create what we guessed might have been a firebreak. Later, I learned that the 2018 Silver Creek Fire had blown in from the west and this (and other cleared areas) had indeed been set up to arrest the advancing front, to some success. We got back to the main road and eventually back to the Jeep without any serious scrambling over deadfall on the way out. In all we spent about 70min on the roundtrip effort.

Peak 9,580ft

Our last stop was another unnamed bonus about two miles to the north. Unlike the last summit, this one had not been spared in the Silver Creek Fire, having burned over its entire summit. We parked at the Upper Sarvis TH and took about 25min to find our way to the summit across open meadows (cows happily grazing in various places), then up the burned-over forest slopes on the west side of the summit. The torched trees allowed for partial views, but nothing special. We returned back via nearly the same route to finish shortly after 2p. That was it for the day, time to head back to Steamboat and civilization...


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