Crossing the High Divide -- Web Interface

Calico Pass

If you have read the book, you will know that Calico Pass was my bane. It took several attempts over a period of three years (2004-2006) to reach this pass. Despite my failures, I believe that there are three viable (and not terribly difficult) routes to Calico Pass. Pictures from all three are included here, along with a series of haiku giving creative expression to my various attempts and failures to reach the pass (the publisher did not feel that such free form interpretation of route finding was appropriate for inclusion in the book).

Successful climb of Calico Pass from Billings Lake (western approach) -- July 2006

Looking north down the Grizzly Creek valley from Calico Pass. Grizzly Lake can be seen in the distance. The rough road to Pomeroy Lakes
Looking south down the Cyclone Creek valley from Calico Pass. Pomeroy Pass from near Lower Pomeroy Lake

Approach to Calico Pass from Cyclone Gulch (southern approach) -- August 2005

Start of the trail along Cyclone Creek from Shavano Road (Co Rd 240). Trailhead for Cyclone Creek approach
Evidence of the trail ends shortly after this marker, about a mile up the Cyclone Creek valley. Last trail marker in Cyclone Creek valley
View of Calico Pass ridge from just above the last trail marker. View of Calico Pass ridge from above last trail marker

Approach to Calico Pass from Grizzly Lake -- June 2006

Start of the road toward Grizzly Lake. This turn-off looks very much like a driveway, even after turning onto it. As described in the book, it is best to park at the large parking area just before the St. Elmo junction on the Hancock Road (FR 295), then walk the quarter mile to this turn-off. The Grizzly Lake Road is blocked by a large rock about a quarter mile beyond the pictured turn-off, so there is little use in driving. Turn-off toward Grizzly Lake
Grizzly Lake in the foreground and the Calico Pass ridge in the background. Calico Pass ridge from above Grizzly Lake
Looking north toward Grizzly Lake from high on the Calico Pass ridge. View north from high on Calico Pass ridge
View of the Calico Pass ridge from below. The pass is likely the low spot toward the right side of the picture, left (east) of a more jagged section of the ridge. View of Calico Pass ridge
Jay and Steve descending from Grizzly Lake. Jay and Steve descending from Grizzly Lake

Calico Pass Haiku

From the Pomeroy Lakes basin, really more of a recon than a full-out assault:
Attempt number one
Careful peak over the ridge
Decision to stop

From the Grizzly Lake valley, although due to taking the wrong road, we never actually made it into the Grizzly Lake valley:
Grizzly Lake is sought
The road too steep and stony
Iron Chest Mine our prize

From Cyclone Gulch on the south:
Misty moisty day
Cyclone Gulch trail quickly lost
Wet talus threatens

From Grizzly Lake again, this attempt was marked by the minor success of at least making it to Grizzly Lake:
Grizzly Lake willows
Guard the mythical trail, and
False maps bring crushed hopes

And the final, successful venture starting at Billings Lake:
Bumpity jeep road
Before glorious ridge hike
Brings the long-sought pass

Updated: April 16, 2010