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Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts.
– Sir Winston Churchill

Peak Lists of Colorado’s Twelvers

– Choose an Elevation Range

12er notes by Ken Nolan and Gerry Roach

  1. Colorado has 961 summits between 12,000 and 12,999 feet,
    of which 676 are hard ranked and 45 are soft ranked.

  2. List history: Mike Garratt, Bob Martin and Ken Nolan created the original Twelver list. Thanks to Hille Dais for initially entering the information into the computer, and thanks to Terri Horvath for importing the list into Access, which revealed some discrepancies. We have introduced nicknames for a few summits and contributed to the notes. Ryan Schilling first discovered the Mile, Parent, Rise and Range information, and I have imported that information to this list. The Rank CO column continues the rank number from the Thirteeners list. The Rank 12ers column is specific to the Twelvers.

  3. When two or more peaks have the same elevation, they are alphabetized by peak name.

  4. When a map elevation appears in or near a saddle, I ignore it when computing a peak’s rise or prominence, since I don’ know that it represents the exact saddle point. Instead, I use the saddle’s interpolated elevation based on the map’s contours. Ryan Schilling’s list does use map saddle elevations, so you may notice some small differences in the rise/prominence column between the two lists.

  5. PT 12,922 (Peak I) on the Vail East Quad. The map shows an extra contour line at the west summit. It is actually much lower than the 12,922 summit.

  6. PT 12,890 on the Storm King Peak Quad. The west summit that extrapolates to 12,900 may be a few inches higher than the 12,890 summit. The ridge between the two is easy.

  7. PT 12,820 on the Grand Lake Quad. The point that extrapolates to 12,820 is higher than the point labeled Chief Cheley Peak.

  8. Snow BM (12,825) on the Summit Peak Quad. The point to the north that extrapolates to 12,820 is the same height as the point with the benchmark. The ridge between the two is difficult.

  9. Hawk BM (12,793) on the Redstone Quad. The east summit is actually a foot or two higher than the summit containing the benchmark. The ridge between the two is easy.

  10. Sievers Mountain (12,780) on the Maroon Bells Quad. The point that extrapolates to 12,780, just south of the 12,773 point, is the high point. The map is missing a contour line for the pinnacle just west of, and actually slightly higher than, the 12,773 point.

  11. PT 12,740 on the Rito Alto Peak Quad. The map is missing a contour line at the summit of this peak. The summit is the next point east of the point that extrapolates to 12,740, just where the south ridge joins the main east-west ridge. The 12,740 point is higher than the 12,737 point, but about five feet lower than the true summit, and can be reached by an interesting third or fourth class scramble. The true summit is more difficult to climb.

  12. Mount Cumulus (12,725) on the Mount Richthofen Quad. The map is missing a contour line at the north summit. It may be slightly higher than the 12,725 summit. A large cairn and a register are on the north summit. The ridge between the two is easy.

  13. Comanche Peak (12,702) on the Comanche Peak Quad. The point marked 12,702, which has a register, is actually the lowest of the three southwest-to-northeast points on the ridge. The highest, and most interesting to climb, is the southwest point. Gerry Roach determined that PT 12,681 1/2 mile to the northwest is higher than all the points adjacent to the named, 12,702 summit. Point 12,681 has a benchmark on top with the elevation 12,716, and is listed as PT 12,716.

  14. “Snowbank Peak” (12,522) on the Rawah Lakes Quad. The map erroneously reports the altitude for this peak as 12,322 feet. In this case, the contour lines are correct, and the given altitude is wrong.

  15. Emerald BM (12,520) on the Emerald Lake Quad. The benchmark is on the summit, but is not shown on the quad.

  16. PT 12,505 on the Weminuche Pass Quad. The 12,505 point is actually higher than the point mile to the north that would extrapolate to 12,540.

  17. PT 12,500 on the Emerald Lake Quad. Bob Martin and Mike Garratt disagreed whether the 12,500 or 12,495 point is higher. Ken Nolan verified that the 12,500 point is the highest.

  18. PT 12,438 on the Pikes Peak Quad. The map, despite its unusual 20-foot contour interval, is inaccurate in the vicinity of this peak. It shows three north-to-south summits, with the north having one higher closed contour than the middle and south, and suggests low-angle, uninteresting terrain. Actually, severe granite spires punctuate the rolling tundra. The highest of these is on the middle summit, and is a Class 5.9 ascent.

  19. Borns BM (12,401) on the South River Peak Quad. The benchmark is on the summit, but is not shown on the quad.

  20. PT 12,311 on the Sams Quad. The map does not accurately describe the summit ridge. The actual summit is near the next closed contour northeast of the 12,311 point. Although the map suggests the presence of a pinnacle at the 12,311 point, nothing of the sort exists.

  21. PT 12,300 on the Palomino Mountain Quad. Bob Martin and Mike Garratt disagreed whether the 12,300 or 12,282 point is higher. Ken Nolan verified that the 12,300 point is the highest.

  22. Big Agnes Mtn (12,060) on the Mount Zirkel Quad. The south summit that extrapolates to 12,060 is slightly higher than the north summit marked 12,059. The ridge between the two is a scramble, but not difficult.

  23. Dome Pk BM (12,227) on the Dome Peak Quad. The map erroneously reports the elevation of this summit as 10,227.

  24. “DoDad Pk” (12,060) on the Rawah Lakes Quad. Gerry Roach determined that the western summit, which extrapolates to 12,060 feet, is higher than the eastern summit with a given altitude of 12,046 feet.

  25. There is a map error at the summit of 12,945-foot “Pink Pk”. The map shows two small summits - the eastern with a given elevation of 12,945 feet and the western with an additional contour giving it an extrapolated elevation of 12980 feet, which would give this peak a hard rank. However field observation shows that the western summmit is about 10 feet lower than the eastern summit. Thus, the extra contour on the western summit is spurious, and this peak only has a soft rank.

  26. On 7/16/08, Gerry did careful hand leveling from the summit of South Nokhu Crag and determined that North Nokhu Crag is 3 to 5 feet higher than South Nokhu Crag. The range is due to the uncertainty over what were cairn rocks on North Nokhu Crag’s summit. Since North Nokhu Crag has the given elevation of 12,485 feet, I list the elevation of South Nokhu Crag as 12,480 feet, which honors it’s highest closed contour, but does no extrapolation above that elevation. Thus, North Nokhu Crag is the ranked summit, and South Nokhu Crag is an unranked summit. The traverse between these two summits is hedious; approach the south summit from the south and the north summit from the north.

  27. Red Mtn F, formerly listed at 12,317 feet, has lost over 200 feet to mining activities. Recent measurements place its new elevation at 12,100 feet. It is still a ranked twelver with 480 feet of prominence, it is just repositioned in the list.

  28. Colorado’s Peak Distribution
Copyright © 2001-2014 by Gerry Roach. All Rights Reserved.
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