This microcache is hidden in an area of the South Platte known as the Devil's Head. There is a National Forest firetower in the vicinity that is still in operation (one of the few left along the front range as far as I know) and a worthy hike on its own. Amazing views abound. There is also supposedly a topaz mine in the area, originally found in 1893 and subsequently "lost" - i.e. the prospector who found it wasn't able to remember how to get back to it, only that it was on the "southwest side of a creek." Gems have been found in the area, but the exact location of the mine has not. The area opens when the snow melts in the Spring and closes again when the snow starts up again in the Fall. Access is via Rampart Range Road.
The climbing at the Devil's Head is relatively unknown, but the rock is a superb, fine-grained granite uncommon in (unique to?) the South Platte. Gorgeous views and beautiful summer temperatures make it a great destination for hiking, climbing, etc. Be very aware of the lightning hazards - it's pretty exposed up there.
The cache is a micro (film canister) because anything larger would be found too easily by climbers who frequent the area. The readings at the exact cache site itself were only accurate to about 90' according to my Etrex Legend. This is probably due to the fact that a massive granite wall was blocking a number of the "birds" above. However, I did take readings directly above the cache after topping out on the wall. These were accurate to 18'. Due to the accuracy of my readings, the degree to which the film cannister is camouflaged, and the fact that you'll need to be on belay while searching for it, I rated the difficulty a 4.5. With more accurate readings and/or with use of the hint below it's probably more like a 4. The terrain grade is definitely a 5.
If you find the cache, please replace the camouflage!
There is no pencil/pen in the cache, but there is a piece of paper to sign if you bring your own writing utensil. To make it easier to log the visit you can just email me with the contents of the cannister (please do not post this information in your logs, encrypted or otherwise!).
Extra info: There is a small out-of-print climbing guidebook by Todd Anderson called "The Devil Made Me Do It" that you may have luck finding in a local mountaineering shop. There is also route description information on ClimbingBoulder - probably a good place to start if you're not familiar with the climbing here.
On belay! Be safe!
|Dangerous area - use caution Technical Climbing, Special Equipment Required