Geohashing Pendleton Mountain

First, I would like to thank xkcd for coming up with a phenomenal Spontaneous Adventure Generator. For those who would like details on how it works, look here; for those who just want the gist, it basically takes your location, the date, and the value of the Dow Jones Industrial Average at its most recent opening, encodes the values, and then converts that to new coordinates. This means that for every single day, you’ll get a randomized location that’s reasonably close to you, and with the exception of weekends, there’s no way to know where it is in advance.

Yesterday morning I saw this post, which led to research, and which led further to realizing that geohashing is a legitimate way to kill some time, and that there are tools out there to make it easier to determine the day’s location. I found that West Denver’s location for today (Denver is split into two major areas because of the way the process works) was about 5 minutes from the top of a mountain. This mountain turns out to be called Pendleton, and there is zero information about it out there, which isn’t surprising since it’s “only” at 12,275′. If there’s one thing I’ve learned in CO, it’s that once you get down below 14,000′, no one seems to care anymore. After hours of planning, I found a route that would work, though no trail was expected. I was able to convince Nate to come along for this boondoggle, and picked him up at 7am.

An hour and a half later, we were starting from Guanella Pass Road, a few miles from the road closure (which has been closed for several months now, due to a rock slide). This is the view from the car, with nary a trail or road in sight.


Nate was characteristically excited to get started.


I was just glad to be out in the mountains. There’s not much like a mountain boondoggle to clear your head.


For a while we were practically crawling, as it was steep, fairly loose, and full of underbrush.


It made for some decent photos at least.


Aaaaannd…more bushwhacking.


Eventually things started to open up a little, though not entirely.


This pipe was riveted together from sheet metal. Unreal.


After more trudging through the snow and downed trees, we at last hit treeline.


My GPS’ compass was acting weird, which led to a bit of meandering through the alpine tundra.


At long last, the point was reached. Note that the elevation shown is off; the correct elevation is roughly 12,135′.


Hero shot!


The summit of Pendleton Mountain was only a few hundred feet away, so off we went; and a minute or two later, we were there. The register was much like the one I found on Mount Goliath a few years ago, a simple mason jar left by Gerry Roach. This one was left in 2006, with fewer than 10 people checking in since.


It’s ok, we’re from the internet.


America’s finest beer, two non-consecutive years over a spread of 114 years.


I can say with near-certainty that no one has ever had pants as bright as mine on this mountain.


What separates cool, historic structures from old crap? If it’s fallen down, it’s old crap.


There are apparently no photos from much farther down, as we were just wanting to get down and back to the car. We followed a trail for a while, but eventually had to bushwhack down the steep, loose crap that we had to fight our way up through. It certainly was a boondoggle, but what an adventure!

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2 thoughts on “Geohashing Pendleton Mountain

  1. Outstanding!Great pics. Looks like it was lovely. Thanks for sharing.We ought to coordinate an expedition some time in the future!

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