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More triple divides

Letter from Ken Stitzel

Geography – February 2002 – Colorado Central Magazine


That was an interesting article about the triple divide at Headwaters Hill, “A Letter from the Editors: Playing the Name Game (and enjoying it)” in the September issue. However, if you are extolling the Closed Basin as part of the triple divide, there would seem to be three triple divides defining the corners of the basin.

In addition to Headwaters Hill, Blanca Peak divides water flowing to the Closed Basin via Holbrook Creek, the Mississippi basin via the Huerfano/Arkansas/Mississippi rivers, and the Rio Grande basin via Little Ute Creek/Ute Creek/Trinchera Creek/Rio Grande.

The third triple is an unnamed 13,628-foot point north of Creede, where a ridge running northwest from La Garita Peak meets the Continental Divide, splitting water between the Closed Basin via Saguache Creek, the Pacific via Cochetopa Creek/Tomichi Creek/Gunnison River/Colorado River, and the Atlantic via Willow Creek/Rio Grande. (See the map for the unofficially named “Phoenix Peak” on page 204 of “Colorado’s Thirteeners: 13,800 to 13,999 feet,” review also appearing in the September issue.)

Since “Point 13,628” doesn’t have an official name, interested parties can start another series of “Naming Quest” hikes, although the participation of desk-bound, chain-smoking editors becomes problematic at such elevations.

Ken Stitzel

Fort Collins