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Trip Details

Date Friday  8/16/2019
End Date Sunday  8/18/2019
Group Fort Collins
Event Title Coxcomb, 13,656'
Start Time 7:30 AM
Status Complete
Leader John Raich
Member Price Free
Available Participants Full- Join Waitlist
Type Trip
Trip Type Scramble
Climb Type Trad Lead
Climbing Class
Pace Moderate
Trail Mileage 12
Elevation Gain 4000
Driving Distance 600


Big Blue Wilderness, Uncompahgre National Forest

Carpooling arrangements to be worked out later.

For more info Contact

John Raich,


Day 1: Drive to one of two possible trailheads and backpack to a backcountry camp. Both trailheads are accessible for 2WD vehicles.
Day 2: Approach to the start of the technical climbing route on the S side of Coxcomb. The technical portions of the route are described below. Return to camp.
Day 3: Pack up camp, backpack to the trailhead, and drive home.
Preference is given to participants willing to adhere to this 3-day timetable.
Approach, climb, and descent will be casual to moderately paced.


(a) Cimarron West Fork. Drive to the West Fork trailhead near Owl Ck Pass at about 10,400'. With a 4WD vehicle, one may be able to drove a bit further, depending on the condition of the 4WD road and a stream crossing. Backpack up the Wetterhorn Basin Trail to camp at about 11,500'. From camp, climb to the 12,500' pass W of Coxcomb. Lose about 400' of elevation and contour to the start of the climb on the S side of Coxcomb.

(b) Cimarron Middle Fork. drive to the Middle Fork trailhead at about 10,000'. Backpack up the Middle Fork Trail about 4 miles to camp at about 11,500'. from camp, take the Coxcomb Trail to Coxcomb Pass at about 12,900', Contour around the S side of Coxcomb to the start of the technical route. This may involve loosing about 200' and regaining it on the way back.

Technical Route Sections

* 4th class climb from the bottom of the SW side of the summit block to an alcove. This class 4 step over a detached block was obliterated by a rockfall about 2 years ago and may well have changed from available route descriptions.
* Scramble to the base of a chimney.
* Low 5th class climb of the chimney.
* Scramble along the top of the exposed ridge to a notch.
* Rappel into the notch. Leave the rope for the return.
* 4th class climb of opposite side of the notch.
* Walk the narrow and exposed ridge to the summit.
* Return requires re-climbing the mid 5th class step that you rappelled, use the toprope that you left.
* Rappel the chimney from anchors (may need to construct). 2 ropes may simplify the rappel.

Route description:
You may want to take a look at a CMC climb of Coxcomb in Sept 2000:
This is not a light and fast scramble, we will use trad technical mountaineering methods and gear.
Maps: USGS 7.5 Minute Wetterhorn Peak, Trails Illustrated #141


Required gear and experience

Backpacking gear (tent, sleeping bag, pad, cooking gear, food for two days, water treatment or filter, headlamp, trekking poles optional),
Mountaineering boots and clothing,
Technical climbing gear (helmet, climbing harness, several locking and non-locking carabiners, Autoblock or Prusik cord, belay/rappel device, slings or personal anchor system, several pieces of long webbing for rappel anchors).
Ice ax - Check with trip leader.

All participants should have completed a CMC basic mountaineering course or equivalent and have some experience climbing 5th class rock. You need to be comfortable rappelling with a self-belay.
If you can bring a rope and pro gear, have rock leading experience, and are willing to co-lead, please inform the leader.

This is a register with leader trip, contact: