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Mt. Zirkel

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West Face Direct aka "Routt County Choss Rodeo" T 

Mt. Zirkel Rock Climbing 

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Elevation: 12,180'
Location: 40.82858, -106.66392 View Map  Incorrect?
Page Views: 190
Administrators: Leo Paik, John McNamee, Frances Fierst, Monty, Monomaniac, Kristine Hoffman (sitewide)
Submitted By: Keith Leaman on Jul 12, 2017
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Some of the Perry-Mansfield routes on Mt. Zirkel f...


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.

Climbing Season

For the North of Town area.

Weather station 24.6 miles from here

1 Total Climbing Routes

['4 Stars',0],['3 Stars',0],['2 Stars',0],['1 Star',1],['Bomb',0]

Featured Route For Mt. Zirkel
Rock Climbing Photo: I took this 1973 photo of the West Face  from Big ...

West Face Direct aka "Routt County Choss Rodeo" 5.10a/b 6a+ 19 VI+ 19 E2 5b  Colorado : Steamboat Springs : ... : Mt. Zirkel
This route was put up a few summers ago and climbs a buttress above the Mt. Zirkel, Big Agnes saddle. It is the cleanest and longest buttress north of the saddle.P1. Climb the clean face, moving left over loose rock to a belay (5.6). One could climb up the clean face to avoid loose rock. Protection above looks grim, though the rock looks okay.P2. Class 4 to exposed ridge.P3-4. Move up easy exposed ridge to the base of a rightward traverse to and overhang.P5. (crux) Climb the traverse (5.9) to st...[more]   Browse More Classics in Colorado

Photos of Mt. Zirkel Slideshow Add Photo
Rock Climbing Photo: Another view showing most of the West Face and the...
Another view showing most of the West Face and the...
Rock Climbing Photo: Sunset on our camp near the tarn below Mt. Zirkel,...
Sunset on our camp near the tarn below Mt. Zirkel,...

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