Geissler Mountain (Sawatch Range, CO; ~13,320')

Geissler Mountain is a two-pronged summit on the ridge just West of the Continental Divide North of Independence Pass. The East Summit (~13,320') is slightly higher than the West Summit (13,301'), but the latter has the distinction of having an exact elevation assigned by the USGS. Both are easy off-trail scrambles which provide nice views for a moderate effort.

Topo Map


Many possible routes. All are I, Grade 2 or 3


M. Garret and B. Martin, Colorado's High Thirteeners (Appendix), Cordillera Press (1992)

West Geissler Mountain (far right) in June from Linkins Lake

Date: June 20, 2004

Party: DB solo

Route: South Slopes of West Summit

Time: 3 hrs roundtrip from Linkins Lake

Trip report:

Monique wanted to paint at Linkins Lake, so I set out towards Geissler Mountain, whose West Summit I had not done yet. I went straight for the West Summit, and except for a few soft snow fields there was nothing to slow me down. After a bit over an hour I was on the summit, where I found, to my considerable surprise, a register placed by the Colorado Mountaineering Club. Since I had climbed Elbert the day before, I now recognized it when I saw it. Indeed, the main summit, South Elbert, and Bull Hill are all visible from West Geissler. There was t-storm activity to the West, but otherwise the weather and the visibility were good. For the way down I decided to do the entire ridge around Linkins Lake, traversing Point 13,186 South of Geissler, and descending to Linkins Lake from the South. This turned out to be quite nice, with some third-class moves on the ridge, and more soft snow fields, so that I kicked myself for having opted for sneakers over boots. Right on the summit of Point 13,186 one of the squalls I had seen to the West caught up with me and pelted me with some snow and ice, but as it was not electric it was okay. Shortly below the lake I found Monique vigorously watercoloring away (the watercolors turned out very nice) and soon we descended back down to our car.

Photo Gallery:

Click the pictures to see a larger image.

The summit of West Geissler View SW from the summit of West Geissler