Trip Report
Lizard Head ----=TR
Thursday July 16, 2009 12:12pm
A group of us Grand Junction folk went to Silverton for the Fireworks.
Silverton always provides one of the best shows because of the acoustics that the surrounding mountains provide. While some of us went for a hike, Jenn and I went down in between Durango and Silverton to Cascade Canyon and checked out this huge flume and did some climbing in one of the best locations.
After the fireworks we somehow made it back to camp and mumbled about our previous plans to go up past Telluride and do Lizard Head Peak In the morning.
I balked at it as I know more people who have failed at this because of the weather than have succeeded. It seemed especially unlikely because we were still in Silverton. Garrett knew a short cut and at a not so alpine start of seven we drove over Ophir Pass. Jenn's subaru having mild issue with some spots. We passed a troop of "off Roaders" that seemed disappointed by the Subaru's performance.
When we arrived at the pull out I already had assumed in my mind that it would just be a hike but everyone seemed to think differently and wanted to press on to climb. The first crux was getting Kodi the Husky past all of the sheep that were being herded.
On the hike up we were serenaded by probably 200 hundred head of elk bugling. Kodi was on patrol making sure no scent or crevice was left unexplored.
I saw that the weather was starting to build and swirl around the peak but we decided we would at least get to the base.
The weather was still looking iffy, but we decided to give it a try. By this time it was probably 1. I was amazed the weather was still holding. There was three of us and to save time I climbed up and brought them both up. This was probably not the best idea as the quality of rock is so poor but they kept close together. The rock is just a series of stacked cubes waiting to explode on you. Luckily the climbing was easy.
The hairiest part was the shoulder you had to traverse to get to the second pitch. Much loose rock which we hoped Kodi was expertly dodging. Second pitch provided solid rock compared to the first pitch. Soon we were up and saw the summit register with fewer recorded ascents than expected.
Some Choss Rapping got us to the top of the first pitch where a re bolted anchor greeted us. I pulled outwardly on some of the webbing that held some relics left at the belay and they both came out. Probably not from the first ascent in the 20's.
Kodi was happy to see us and we set off back to the car. I marveled at our luck. It was quite the scenic choss pile.

  Trip Report Views: 667
About the Author
Cuckawalla is a trad climber from Grand Junction, CO.

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  Jul 16, 2009 - 12:15pm PT
Nice work !

  Jul 16, 2009 - 12:15pm PT
Whoa. . . nice TR.

Beautiful doggie!


Thanks for postin' up!


Trad climber
Lee, NH
  Jul 16, 2009 - 12:18pm PT
Leapin' Lizards! How cool to find a well-illustrated TR of that peak.

Trad climber
Lee, NH
  Jul 16, 2009 - 12:22pm PT
And Kodi deserves steak for (1) not chasing the elk, and (2) expertly dodging those rocks.
He was waiting patiently by your packs?

Trad climber
Santa Clara, CA
  Jul 16, 2009 - 12:23pm PT
Nice job, glad the weather cooperated with ya.

Kodi's a fine looking pup.

Trad climber
Santa Monica, California
  Jul 16, 2009 - 12:34pm PT
Wow! that Kodi is the fluffiest red Siberian I've ever seen. I used to have a red, he had the wandering lust and was always taking off.

I climbed that glorious pile in the mid 70's, sure put the new Joe Brown helmet I had just bought to good use. You guys didn't start until 1:00????, the lightning gods must have been with you. We rapped off of that thing with electric tingles up the back of our necks at about 2:00 in the afternoon.

Great pictures, looks like things haven't changed much in 30 years.

Trad climber
Grand Junction, CO
Author's Reply  Jul 16, 2009 - 12:42pm PT
Kodi is the biggest wanderer ever! He always comes back unless he is captured. It can be a bit frustrating!

Mountain climber
The Other Monrovia- CA
  Jul 16, 2009 - 01:48pm PT
Nice TR!
Now please mail me my pitons!

Trad climber
Boulder, CO
  Jul 16, 2009 - 01:54pm PT
Ha ha - I have a ring angle right here on my desk that I hand-extracted from Lizard Head in 1983.

El Presidio San Augustin del Tucson
  Jul 16, 2009 - 02:50pm PT
Awesome photos!
Thanks for posting.

Trad climber
The pitch of Bagalaar above you
  Jul 16, 2009 - 03:51pm PT
Fantastic pictures of what seems to be a perfect day!

Looks like some good booty there!


Trad climber
The state of confusion
  Jul 16, 2009 - 05:22pm PT
Nice job! Great pix!

I plan on getting up that rock pile one of these days!

Trad climber
Hustle City
  Jul 16, 2009 - 05:28pm PT

Trad climber
Nothing creative to say
  Jul 28, 2009 - 04:07am PT
seems there is a trend there of hand pulling pins.

++ choss bump

what exactly did you rap from then?

  Jul 28, 2009 - 07:22am PT
Cool. Nice mix of photos. Lucky wx.
J. Werlin

Social climber
Cedaredge, CO
  Jul 28, 2009 - 08:51am PT
Thanks J--

been wanting to do that one, A friend over here in Paonia did the first winter ascent way way back. Love the San Juan rock. But you gotta get up outta the heat these days, eh?

Trad climber
Grand Junction, CO
Author's Reply  Jul 28, 2009 - 09:20am PT
Been trying to stay away from Junction as much as possible, so blasted hot! Probably a little cooler where you are at aye?

  Jul 28, 2009 - 09:56am PT
Hey Chuckawalla nice TR. You do seem to have been graced with favor by the lightning gods as Ydpl8s said. Not a good place in a buzz. Speaking of which, while I was checking out the pic of your cool old, hand pulled booty pins I noticed a stem. Doesn't look like you were eating grapes.

Trad climber
  Sep 16, 2009 - 08:34pm PT
another one about climbing.

Trad climber
Choss Creek, ID
  Sep 16, 2009 - 11:23pm PT
Bump for Adventure!
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