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Let’s get going! We can go a long ways in six hours!
– Dick Springgate

Pine Ridge – 11,909 feet

This unranked summit is at the junction of Pine Ridge, which rises from the southeast above the East Longs Peak Trail, and a long ridge running northeast from Granite Pass below Mount Lady Washington. Overlooked by millions and minions alike, Pine Ridge provides many stout viewpoints of its surrounding giants. This humble summit makes a good winter outing.
Upper Pine Ridge as seen from 10,650 feet on Pine Ridge Upper Pine Ridge as seen from 10,650 feet on Pine Ridge

The ridge’s highpoint is out of sight beyond the skyline
Jennifer Roach gazing west from the summit of Pine Ridge on Valentine's Day Jennifer Roach gazing west from the summit of Pine Ridge on Valentine’s Day

Otis and Hallett Peaks are left of center
Gerry took these photos on 2/14/04.

USGS 7.5’ Quadrangle: Longs Peak

Southeast Slopes
– 5.6 miles RT, 2,509 feet net and total, Class 2

Start at the Longs Peak Trailhead, and follow the East Longs Peak Trail for 1.5 miles to the crossing of Larkspur Creek at 10,260 feet. From here, continue another 0.2 mile to the fourth switchback beyond the crossing of Larkspur Creek. Do not confuse the crossing of Larkspur Creek with the crossing of Alpine Creek, which is farther up the trail. Leave the East Longs Peak Trail at the fourth switchback at 10,500 feet, and hike 0.15 mile west-northwest up through open trees to the south of Larkspur Creek to reach treeline at 10,700 feet. Continue 0.5 mile west-northwest up sweeping, open slopes to a break in the slope angle at 11,720 feet. From here, you will be able to see both summits of Pine Ridge to the north as well as the summit ramparts of Battle Mountain to the west. Continue 0.25 mile north to the first, rocky summit with the extrapolated elevation of 11,940 feet, then continue 0.2 mile north to the second, rocky summit with the given elevation of 11,909 feet. This is the summit of Pine Ridge.
The map indicates that the summit with the extrapolated elevation of 11,940 feet is the summit of Pine Ridge, but Gerry’s careful hand level measurements from both these summits determined that the northern, 11,909-foot summit is indeed higher than the 11,940-foot summit. Thus, the map is wrong. Since the northern summit has a given elevation, it is reasonable to assume that the highest contour line on the 11,940-foot summit is spurious, and that it is less than 11,909 feet. Accordingly, Gerry uses 11,909’ for the elevation of Pine Ridge.

Variation – Pine Ridge
– 5.9 miles RT, 2,509 feet net and total, Class 2

Hiking along the length of Pine Ridge makes the route slightly longer and tougher. In compensation, the views from the crest of Pine Ridge are expansive both to the east and the west. Start at the Longs Peak Trailhead, and follow the East Longs Peak Trail for 1.1 miles to the place where the trail flattens out at 10,100 feet. Leave the trail here, and bushwhack 0.8 mile west-northwest along or near the crest of Pine Ridge to treeline at 10,900 feet. The crest of Pine Ridge is often rocky and rough, but the knarled trees and views will reward your effort. From treeline, hike 0.6 mile west up an open slope to join the regular route at 11,720 feet.
Copyright © 2001-2021 by Gerry Roach. All Rights Reserved.
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