The Slog Called Pole Creek Mountain

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The Slog Called Pole Creek Mountain

Pole Creek Mountain is fairly typical of many San Juan Mountain peaks. It starts on a trail, moves to an off-trail meadow, then to a steep grassy section, on to a section that can really only be described as a slog and finally, a rocky cap that can be ascended in a few different ways.

The steep grassy section on Pole Creek was really not bad. The bunch grass had created a number of small steps allowing us to make pretty good time. However, the rocky slog was something else. In this case I define the slog as a long, steep, pile of rocks that takes a considerable amount of time to ascend and, depending on the condition of your knees, even longer to descend. The rocks range in size from dinner plates to Volkswagen Bugs. Most are firmly wedged into place but, just as you start to feel comfortable, one will move just as you put your full weight on it, slowing your pace and making you test your footing on each step until your comfort returns.

The cap can present its own problems. In many cases you will find a “chimney” full of loose dirt and rocks that can be tricky to climb but doable. In others, you actually need ropes and climbing gear. In this case, part of the cap had broken apart so getting on top was pretty easy.

This trip was taken in August 2014 with my friend Peter and his dog Zephyr.

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I'm currently the Interim Director of Web Services at Fort Lewis College in Durango, Colorado. I enjoy traveling, hiking, camping, gardening, reading and more.