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Routes in Mt. Zirkel

West Face Direct aka "Routt County Choss Rodeo" T 5.10a/b 6a+ 19 VI+ 19 E2 5b
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Elevation: 12,180 ft
GPS: 40.829, -106.664 Google Map · Climbing Area Map
Page Views: 518 total · 34/month
Shared By: Keith Leaman on Jul 12, 2017
Admins: Leo Paik, John McNamee, Frances Fierst, Monty, Monomaniac
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Description

This peak was named after the German geologist Ferdinand Zirkel Ph.D. The mineral zirkelite and the Dorsum Zirkel - a wrinkeled ridge on the moon are also named after him. He also did early studies in microscopical petrography.

There are 15 peaks in this Wilderness Area over 12,000', Mt. Zirkel is the highest at 12,180'. With a prominence of 3,470', it ranks 14th in the state. We have approached the west face from the saddle between 11,777 and dropped down steep slopes to lake 10,700 and over the saddle east of peak 11,544. The climbs are often circuitous with varying degrees of quality of rock but were always challenging and enjoyable.

Getting There

It's been 40 years + since we climbed on Mt. Zirkel's west side, but I think we took the Gilpin Creek trail from Slavonia and followed that to about 9800' where the trail crosses the creek and heads up to Gilpin Lake (maybe 4 miles from the trailhead).

At this point, we continued north for another mile or so, following the creek bed to a fork in the creek. The west fork goes to the cirque at the base of Peak 11,777's eastern aspect. We took the northeast fork for another mile to 10,800' and camped near a small tarn at Mt. Zirkel's base.

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