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List "Climbing Colorado's Mountains (book)" By John Kirk

Comment # 1 by susanjoypaul on 2015-10-08:
Here is some additional information about the list: (1) The summits all fall into one of three categories. From page 2 in the book: (A) “The legally accessible highpoints of every major mountain range and subrange, major hills, mesas, plateaus, and sand dunes are represented, totaling 58 highpoints and comprising the first category.” (B) “In the second category, major mountain passes are represented, with high trailheads and short approaches to the surrounding peaks… …Note that there are many more passes through Colorado’s mountains—not included in this book and accessed by rough road and trail—for you to discover as you expand your travel among the peaks.” (C) “A handful of local favorites comprise the third category. These are popular peaks, climbed often by local residents, and representative of the diversity of Colorado summits.” (2) I wrote the table of contents (and book proposal) in the summer of 2012, started researching and writing the book in the fall of that year, and completed the manuscript in November 2014. Although edits were made from 2014-2015 (I had to cut nearly 22,000 words from the original manuscript to meet the predefined format set forth by the publisher, and to satisfy my contract), there is some new information now available that did not make it into the final manuscript, or the printed copy. This includes: (A) Gardner Benchmark (9286'/9290') in Garfield County was believed to be the highpoint of the Roan Cliffs, and the Roan Plateau. However, it has since been determined that Point 9300 to the northeast of the benchmark is higher, so if you want to reach the highpoint of the plateau, you can skip Gardner Benchmark (which is no longer listed as a summit on LoJ) and just shoot for 9300 instead: (B) When I visited Fishers Peak Mesa, my GPS showed the elevation of a point west of the trail as slightly higher than that of the cairned summit east of the trail. I do not trust my GPS for determining exact elevations, and there is a good possibility that the eastern summit is actually higher. I note in my book to "tag both, to ensure your summit," and until the area is properly surveyed we may not know, but based on feedback from several sources the eastern point is likely the higher of the two. (C) The Laramie Mountains Highpoint now has the unofficial name “Killpecker Mountain” and is listed as such on LoJ: (3) I used my best judgment when deciding which mountain range and subrange highpoints to include and which to omit. Here are a few notes on my decision-making process: (A) I omitted any summits that were not accessible through an *easy* and *legal* process. The table of contents originally included (Uncompahgre Plateau HP) Horsefly Peak, (Uintah Mountains, Dinosaur Area HP) Zenobia Peak, and (Sleeping Ute Mountain Area HP) “Ute Peak,” but I removed them to avoid issues with the publisher and with landowners. I realize that none of those areas are official mountain ranges (per the GNIS) but they are important land formations, and I would have included them if I could. (B) I also omitted highpoints that lie outside Colorado’s borders, which is why the highpoints of the Colorado Plateau and the Uintah Mountains are not listed. (C) I omitted any HPs that I thought would be disappointing for the hiker/climber. The GNIS list includes many remote, low-elevation ranges, i.e., the Ant Hills. I did not visit the Ant Hills, or include them or their highpoint in the book. (D) I *did* include the Cimarron Range, which is *not* on the GNIS list, but which is noted in many guidebooks and online mountain range “lists.” The definitions of the beginning and end points of the range vary between sources, however, and some claim Uncompahgre Peak as the highpoint, while others denote the range as terminating at Wetterhorn Basin. I listed Coxcomb Peak as the highpoint, and I expect there to be some disagreement with that choice. I did list Uncompahgre as the HP of the San Juan Mountains. I spent a lot of time poring over maps and reading through mountaineering guidebooks and mountain geology books, and consulted a geology professor as well in determining my final choices, but there seems to be differences of opinion in what constitutes a mountain range or subrange, and where exactly those ranges begin and end, so I had to eventually just make some educated guesses based on available information. Enjoy the list! Susan Joy Paul

Comment # 2 by John Kirk on 2015-10-08:
Thanks Susan - this book really gives the reader/climber a well-rounded sampling of CO. Glad I could be a part of it.

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