Crested Butte

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Crested Butte
A268, Crested Butte, Colorado, USA, 2008.JPG
Crested Butte from the north
Highest point
Elevation 12,168 ft (3,709 m) [1] [2]
Prominence 2,582 ft (787 m) [2]
Isolation 4.65 mi (7.48 km) [2]
Listing Colorado prominent summits
Coordinates 38°53′00″N106°56′37″W / 38.8833256°N 106.9436547°W / 38.8833256; -106.9436547 Coordinates: 38°53′00″N106°56′37″W / 38.8833256°N 106.9436547°W / 38.8833256; -106.9436547 [3]
Geography
USA Colorado relief location map.svg
Red triangle with thick white border.svg
Crested Butte
Location Gunnison County, Colorado, U.S. [3]
Parent range Elk Mountains [2]
Topo map USGS 7.5' topographic map
Gothic, Colorado [3]
Climbing
Easiest route hike

Crested Butte is a prominent mountain summit in the Elk Mountains range of the Rocky Mountains of North America. The 12,168-foot (3,709 m) peak is in Gunnison National Forest, 2.1 miles (3.4 km) northeast by east (bearing 59°) of the Town of Crested Butte in Gunnison County, Colorado, United States. [1] [2] [3] Ski lifts and runs of the Crested Butte Mountain Resort occupy the north side of the mountain.

Contents

Climate

The Köppen Climate Classification subtype for Crested Butte is "Dfc" which is continental subarctic. This climate type is dominated by the winter season with a long, bitterly cold period of minimal daylight hours, heavy snowfall and low humidity. The annual snowfall average is 198.4 inches (504 cm) with January recording the highest average snowfall at 40 inches (100 cm). July is the warmest month with an average temperature of 57.2 °F (14.0 °C) while January is the coldest month with an average temperature of 11.8 °F (−11.2 °C). The average temperature for the year is 34.7 °F (1.5 °C). [4]

Geology

Crested Butte is a laccolith, formed when magma intruded into Mancos Shale approximately 30 million years ago. Subsequently the softer, overlying sedimentary rock has eroded away, exposing the more resistant igneous rock. The bulk of Crested Butte is composed of quartz monzonite porphyry and granodiorite porphyry. The lower slopes consist of Mancos Shale overlain with debris from the granitic slopes above. The Mancos Shale at the base of Crested Butte can be an unstable substrate for building and result in geologic hazards such as landslides and earthflows. [5] [6]

Crested Butte is one of over a dozen laccoliths in the Elk and adjacent West Elk Mountains. The magma intrusions associated with these laccoliths resulted in contact metamorphism of the surrounding sedimentary rock and mineralization. The metamorphism also altered the bituminous coal present in the sedimentary rock into a higher quality coal, including anthracite, which was mined extensively in the Crested Butte area during the late 19th and early 20th centuries. [7]

See also

Related Research Articles

Crested Butte, Colorado Home Rule Municipality in Colorado, United States

The Town of Crested Butte is a Home Rule Municipality in Gunnison County, Colorado, United States. The town population was 1,487 at the 2010 United States Census. The former coal mining town is now called "the last great Colorado ski town". Crested Butte is a destination for skiing, mountain biking, and a variety of other outdoor activities.

Laccolith

A laccolith is a sheet-like intrusion that has been injected within or between layers of sedimentary rock. The pressure of the magma is high enough that the overlying strata are forced upward and folded, giving the laccolith a dome or mushroom-like form with a generally planar base. Over time, erosion can form small hills and even mountains around a central peak since the magma rock is likely more resistant to weathering than the host rock. The growth of laccoliths can take as little as a few months when associated with a single magma injection event, or up to hundreds or thousands of years by multiple magmatic pulses stacking sills on top of each other and deforming the host rock incrementally.

Mount Sopris

Mount Sopris is a twin-summit mountain in the northwestern Elk Mountains range of the Rocky Mountains of North America. The prominent 12,965-foot (3,952 m) mountain is located in the Maroon Bells-Snowmass Wilderness of White River National Forest, 6.6 miles (10.7 km) north by northeast of the community of Redstone in Pitkin County, Colorado, United States.

Grand Mesa

The Grand Mesa is a large mesa in western Colorado in the United States. It is the largest flat-topped mountain in the world. It has an area of about 500 square miles (1,300 km2) and stretches for about 40 miles (64 km) east of Grand Junction between the Colorado River and the Gunnison River, its tributary to the south. The north side of the mesa is drained largely by Plateau Creek, a smaller tributary of the Colorado. The west side is drained largely by Kannah Creek, which is received to the west by the lower Gunnison River. The mesa rises about 6,000 feet (1,800 m) above the surrounding river valleys, including the Grand Valley to the west, reaching an elevation of about 11,000 feet (3,400 m). Much of the mesa is within Grand Mesa National Forest. Over 300 lakes, including many reservoirs created and used for drinking and irrigation water, are scattered along the top of the formation. The Grand Mesa is flat in some areas, but quite rugged in others.

Crystal, Colorado Ghost town in Colorado, United States

Crystal is a ghost town on the upper Crystal River in Gunnison County, Colorado, United States. It is located in the Elk Mountains along a four-wheel-drive road 6 miles (9.7 km) east of Marble and 20 miles (32 km) northwest of Crested Butte. Crystal was a mining camp established in 1881 and after several decades of robust existence, was all but abandoned by 1917. Many buildings still stand in Crystal, but its few residents live there only in the summer.

West Elk Mountains

The West Elk Mountains are a high mountain range in the west-central part of the U.S. state of Colorado. They lie primarily within the Gunnison National Forest, and part of the range is protected as the West Elk Wilderness. The range is primarily located in Gunnison County, with small parts in eastern Delta and Montrose counties.

Needle Rock Natural Area

Needle Rock Natural Area is located at the western edge of the West Elk Mountains of Colorado. The surrounding terrain is characterized by laccolithic mountains flanked by precipitous cliffs, extensive talus aprons, forested mesas, canyons, and spacious, well-watered intermontane basins. Needle Rock is an intrusive plug of monzonite porphyry cropping out 3.5 miles (5.6 km) east-northeast of the Town of Crawford in Delta County, Colorado, United States. At an elevation of 7,797 feet (2,377 m), the towering rock spire stands 800 feet (240 m) tall above the floor of the Smith Fork of the Gunnison River valley. The massive rock feature originated in the Oligocene geological epoch when magma intruded between existing sedimentary rocks as the crown of a buried laccolith or possibly the underlying conduit of a laccolith. Subsequent erosion has exposed the prominent rock formation seen in the natural area today.

Tomichi Dome

Tomichi Dome rises north of U.S. Highway 50 west of Hot Springs Creek and south of Waunita Hot Springs Reservoir in the southeast quarter of Gunnison County, Colorado. It is situated within the Gunnison National Forest.

Mount Gunnison

Mount Gunnison is a prominent mountain summit in the West Elk Mountains range of the Rocky Mountains of North America. The 12,725-foot (3,879 m) peak is located in the West Elk Wilderness of Gunnison National Forest, 22.2 miles (35.7 km) west by south of the Town of Crested Butte in Gunnison County, Colorado, United States. The mountain is named in honor of John Williams Gunnison who explored the area.

East Beckwith Mountain

East Beckwith Mountain is a prominent mountain summit in the West Elk Mountains range of the Rocky Mountains of North America. The 12,441-foot (3,792 m) peak is located in the West Elk Wilderness of Gunnison National Forest, 13.4 miles (21.5 km) west by south of the Town of Crested Butte in Gunnison County, Colorado, United States.

Whetstone Mountain

Whetstone Mountain, elevation 12,527 ft (3,818 m), is a summit in the Gunnison National Forest of western Colorado. The mountain is located 3 mi (4.8 km) south of Crested Butte in Gunnison County. Whetstone Mountain is one of several prominent laccoliths found in the West Elk Mountains.

Mount Guero

Mount Guero is a prominent mountain summit in the West Elk Mountains range of the Rocky Mountains of North America. The 12,058-foot (3,675 m) peak is located in the West Elk Wilderness of the Gunnison National Forest, 13 miles (21 km) east of Crawford, Colorado in Delta County and 24.3 miles (39.1 km) west-southwest of the Town of Crested Butte in Gunnison County, Colorado, United States.

Marcellina Mountain

Marcellina Mountain is a prominent mountain summit in the West Elk Mountains range of the Rocky Mountains of North America. The 11,353-foot (3,460 m) peak is located in the Raggeds Wilderness of Gunnison National Forest, 15.0 miles (24.1 km) west by north of the Town of Crested Butte in Gunnison County, Colorado, United States.

Carbon Peak

Carbon Peak, elevation 12,088 ft (3,684 m), is a summit in the West Elk Mountains of Colorado. The peak is southwest of Crested Butte in the Gunnison National Forest. Carbon peak is a laccolith formed during the mid-Tertiary period, and is part of the “laccolith triangle” as described by the Colorado Geological Survey.

Mount Emmons (Colorado)

Mount Emmons is a mountain summit in the Elk Mountains range of the Rocky Mountains in north-central Gunnison County, Colorado, United States.

Italian Mountain

Italian Mountain is a high mountain summit in the Elk Mountains range of the Rocky Mountains of North America. The 13,385-foot (4,080 m) thirteener is located in Gunnison National Forest, 13.2 miles (21.3 km) east-northeast of the Town of Crested Butte in Gunnison County, Colorado, United States. Italian Mountain was so named because the mountain's tones were said to resemble the colors of the Italian tricolor: green, white, and red.

West Beckwith Mountain Mountain in Colorado, USA

West Beckwith Mountain is a prominent mountain summit in the West Elk Mountains range of the Rocky Mountains of North America. The 12,185-foot (3,714 m) peak is located in the West Elk Wilderness of Gunnison National Forest, about 16.5 miles (26.5 km) southwest of Crested Butte in Gunnison County, Colorado, United States.

Matchless Mountain (Colorado)

Matchless Mountain is a high mountain summit in the Elk Mountains range of the Rocky Mountains of North America. The 12,389-foot (3,776 m) mountain is located in Gunnison National Forest, 18.3 miles (29.4 km) east-southeast of the Town of Crested Butte in Gunnison County, Colorado, United States.

Ortiz porphyry belt Cluster of mountain ranges in New Mexico

The Ortiz porphyry belt is a cluster of small mountain ranges in Santa Fe County, New Mexico. The mountains are laccoliths formed by intrusion of magma during the late Eocene through early Oligocene that have been historically important as a mining district.

Anthracite Range

The Anthracite Range is a mountain range in the West Elk Mountains, a sub-range of the Rocky Mountains of North America. The range is located in Gunnison County of western Colorado and lies within the West Elk Wilderness of the Gunnison National Forest. The Anthracite Range is one of several prominent laccoliths found in the West Elk Mountains.

References

  1. 1 2 The elevation of Crested Butte includes an adjustment of +1.940 m (+6.36 ft) from NGVD 29 to NAVD 88.
  2. 1 2 3 4 5 "Crested Butte, Colorado". Peakbagger.com. Retrieved October 19, 2014.
  3. 1 2 3 4 "Crested Butte". Geographic Names Information System . United States Geological Survey . Retrieved October 19, 2014.
  4. Climate Summary for Crested Butte
  5. Prather, Thomas (1999). Geology of the Gunnison Country (2nd ed.). Gunnison, Colorado: B&B Printers. LCCN   82-177244.
  6. Gaskill, David. L.; Mutschler, Felix. E.; Kramer, John H.; Thomas, John A.; Zahony, Stephen G. (1991). Geologic map of the Gothic quadrangle, Gunnison County, Colorado. Washington, DC: U.S. Geological Survey.
  7. Streufert, Randall (1999). RS-37 Geology and Mineral Resources of Gunnison County, Colorado (PDF). Denver, Colorado: Colorado Geological Survey.