Welcome to Climax!

Welcome to Climax! (HM21H9)

Location: Leadville, CO 80461 Lake County
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Country: United States of America
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N 39° 22.046', W 106° 11.304'

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A whole lot of Colorado history has happened right here on top of Fremont Pass. And it all happened because of a metal most people have trouble pronouncing.

Molybdenum (moll-ib-den-um) is used to harden steel.
More molybdenite ore (the unrefined form of the pure metal) has come from Climax Mine than any other place on the planet: 470 million tons.

In the seventy-six years it took to mine that ore, more than 60,000 workers drew a Climax paycheck.
The company town across the road (which once boasted a population of 3,000) had a state championship basketball team, the first television reception in central Colorado and the highest post office in the nation.

The spot where you're standing lay at the base of one of the state's first ski areas, and there was a top-secret World War II observatory just up the hill.

There was a gas station, beauty shop, grocery store and luncheonette on this spot in the Fifties, as well as a saloon called the Slop Chute.

We hope you'll spend more time in this place to learn a few of its stories, and come to understand what is truly special about the place in the sky called Climax.

The County Line War

Some of the most powerful magnets that draw people to a place are water and the potential for wealth. There is no shortage

View of Climax Molybdenum Mine beyond the marker. Bartlett Mountain, Clinton Peak and McNamee Peak can be seen in the background, behind the mine buildings and structuresof either on the summit of Fremont Pass.

The Climax Mine property straddles the Continental Divide, and three major streams originate here: the Arkansas and Eagle Rivers, and Ten Mile Creek.
Water on the Leadville side of the pass flows into the Gulf of Mexico, more than 1500 miles from where the water on the Copper Mountain side of Fremont Pass reaches the sea in the Gulf of California.

While the Continental Divide is a real geographic feature, the boundary line between Summit and Lake counties is not.
No one paid much attention when it was established in 1881.
At that time, there was no hint of the enormous wealth that lay beneath Bartlett Mountain.

The legal description of the county line was vague, but it was generally accepted that the Climax orebody was in Summit County. In the early 1900's though, one of the companies that was battling for control of the newly-discovered molybdenum deposits on Fremont Pass filed mining claims in Lake County, asserting that the existing claims filed in Summit County were invalid because the boundary line was drawn in the wrong place.

The claims touched off a lawsuit between the counties that became known as the County Line War.
The eventual verdict placed Climax Mine in Lake County, with the result that millions of dollars in property taxes were paid at the courthouse in Leadville, rather than
in Breckenridge.
HM NumberHM21H9
Placed ByClimax Molybdenum Company & the Federal Highway Administration
Marker ConditionNo reports yet
Date Added Wednesday, September 6th, 2017 at 1:01pm PDT -07:00
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Locationbig map
UTM (WGS84 Datum)13S E 397627 N 4358225
Decimal Degrees39.36743333, -106.18840000
Degrees and Decimal MinutesN 39° 22.046', W 106° 11.304'
Degrees, Minutes and Seconds39° 22' 2.76" N, 106° 11' 18.24" W
Driving DirectionsGoogle Maps
Area Code(s)719, 970
Closest Postal AddressAt or near CO-91, Leadville CO 80461, US
Alternative Maps Google Maps, MapQuest, Bing Maps, Yahoo Maps, MSR Maps, OpenCycleMap, MyTopo Maps, OpenStreetMap

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