Escaping The Nutshell
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We've long wondered how Mount Wuh got its name. It sounds Chinese, but the "h" at the end adds some doubt to that. To shed light on the question, Stefan suggested we email RMNP to see if they knew the origin of the name. Elizabeth Howard of the RMNP information office kindly and promptly answered our question by saying "the name of Mt. Wuh comes from the Arapaho Indian word for Grizzly Bear. It was named in 1923 by Roger Toll, even though, by that time, there were no more Grizzlies in the park".
Mt. Wuh is a mountain we'd never climbed before. It's one that seems not very challenging, so we kept putting it off. On the topomap it looks like a buttercup hike from either Bierstadt Lake or Hollowell Park. We were wrong about that: it's harder than it looks. We first tried to do it on June 8 2015 from Bierstadt Lake, but the snowy/swampy ground with thick forest diverted us and we ended up not reaching the top. For the second attempt, we tried it from Hollowell Park.
In Hollowell Park, we parked just below the parking area, since it was full. At an elevation of about 8400 feet, we started hiking at about 9:56 up the Mill Creek Basin Trail. After about a mile, we turned left at a three way trail junction where the sign says "Upper Mill Creek Campground 0.2 miles". The plan was to go there, then miraculously get to the top of Mount Wuh. At the next three way junction, we crossed a bridge to the campground.
From the campground, we headed west up the slope which forms the beginning of Mt. Wuh's east ridge. We soon came upon an old human built trail, which we began following southwest, thinking it might take us where we wanted to go. The trail continued southwest until all signs of it faded in the thickness of the forest. From there we began heading northwest toward the east ridge. This was rugged country of jumbly boulders and forest. We finally topped out on a knob of the ridge, then continued west up the ridge, topping out on a couple more knobs before reaching the summit.
We reached the Mt. Wuh summit at about 13:20. It's marked by a cairn, but we didn't find a summit register. From the summit, we could see Longs Peak, Glacier Gorge, Beaver Mountain, and Tombstone Ridge. Much of the view is obscured by trees.
For the return, we headed west off the summit, then south and east along the south side of the ridge, then basically followed the ridge back to Upper Mill Creek Campground. This ridge is quite rugged, and was slow going. We returned to parking at about 16:43.
The altitude difference from low (parking) to high (summit) was about 2400 feet. The total time for this hike was 6 hours, 47 minutes. The distance traveled is unknown because the GPS was accidentally kept on our dashboard at the end of the hike and not turned off until the museum at Moraine Park.
This hike is a good one if you like rugged off-trail hiking and want solitude.
|Place Name||Elev [ft]||Accuracy [ft]||Position (lat,lon)|
|Mt Wuh summit||10797||16||40.33364,-105.66071|
|Parking at Hollowell Park||8400||?||40.34213,-105.60432|
© 2012-2015 Stefan Hollos and Richard Hollos
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