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Lizard Head Peak, Colorado, USA


National Weather Service photo (fair use policy)

Lizard Head Peak is the signature mountain in Colorado's Lizard Head Wilderness in the San Juan Mountains. Mountaineers consider this volcanic pinnacle the state's most dangerous climb.

In 1899, U.S. Geological Survey geologist Whitman Cross described the pinnacle thus: "At the base it is a bedded mass of andesitic breccia ... and a horizontal banding is visible far up on its walls, although a vertical fissuring renders this obscure in many places. It is possible that there is here a rounded or oval neck of massive rock ... which has indurated the surrounding tuffs, so that the core is concealed by a shell of this character."

Thanks to the Web for serving up the hair-raising story of the first ascent by Albert Ellingwood, in 1921.

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