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Whetstone Mountain
Whetstone Mountain
Highest point
Elevation 12,527 ft (3,818 m)
Prominence 2,456 ft (749 m)
Isolation 9.39 mi (15.11 km)
Listing Colorado prominent summits
Geography
Location Gunnison County, Colorado,
United States
Parent range West Elk Mountains
Topo map USGS 7.5' topographic map
Crested Butte, Colorado
Climbing
Easiest route hike

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.

Geology

Whetstone Mountain is a laccolith, formed when magma intruded into sedimentary strata of Mancos Shale and the Mesaverde Formation approximately 30 million years ago. Subsequent erosion has removed the softer, overlying sedimentary rock thereby exposing the more resistant igneous rock that characterizes the mountain today. The mountain is composed of quartz monzonite porphyry and granodiorite porphyry. Whetstone Mountain was glaciated, and the most prominent glacial cirques are located on the north side of the mountain.

The mountain’s name stems from rock collected in the area by the Hayden Survey during the early 1870s. Whetstones (also called hornfels) are contact metamorphic rocks useful for sharpening tools.

Historical names

  • Wheatstone Mountain
  • Whetstone Mountain – 1927
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