Hesperus Mountain  
Condition Updates  
 
Route: Sharktooth TH
Posted On: 2019-11-06, By: Jonathan Deffenbaugh
Info: Summited Nov 2. Road's good until you reach the final section where you have 1.5 miles left on Forest Rd 346, best to park at the turnoff and walk the rest of the way, not worth getting stuck if you don't have 4WD. Hardest part will be reaching the final summit ridge. Couple of inches of snow (powder quality) on the west/northwest aspects of Hesperus. Best to hit sun lit ridges leading up to the final saddle on Hesperus where the snow is more consolidated, otherwise snow is fresh powder with rocks slippery underneath. Microspikes recommended. Great views from up top, could see all 4 states, including Shiprock, Monument Valley, Navajo Mtn, La Sals, Valles Caldera, Mt. Taylor, etc. Not much snow in the lower San Juans (i.e. southern aspects of Mt Wilson/El Diente, pretty bare, more snow further north, Needles/Grenadiers look great), get it while it's good! 
 
Route: Full West Ridge
Posted On: 2019-11-04, By: supranihilest
Info: Most people go through the basin below Hesperus and up steep talus to where the west ridge of Hesperus steepens dramatically; my partner and I did the full west ridge. The terrain is basically similar in that it's all loose talus, we just had a more pleasant stroll along the ridge than chuffing through the basin on a nasty rock glacier. From that point there's some Class 2+ to Class 3 scrambling on highly questionable rock as well as lots of steep hiking on loose and unstable rock. The south face of Hesperus is almost entirely dry and what little snow there is doesn't change the route in any way. The summit is capped in snow. We also investigated the traverse to Lavender and the rock is somehow even more loose and rotten; a thin veneer of snow over dirt with wild exposure caused us to turn around at the first major notch and we were sure there was more snow in the other notches that would make things very sketchy and make retreat difficult or impossible. 
 
Route: Standard Route from Sharkstooth TH
Posted On: 2019-07-18, By: bdloftin77
Info: Above treeline: Intermittent large snow patches on north face, mainly vertical. Varied between fairly slushy and more firm. Most can be avoided via the route I took going up (approximate route in yellow). Snow crossings are circled in red. The first snow crossing can be avoided by going further up and to the left beforehand. The second two were only ~20 ft patches, but relatively sleep. I had microspikes (not extremely helpful) and an ice axe (very helpful). The second two snow crossings could be done without an ice axe but with much caution and likely short falls to the bottom of the snow crossing. Summer conditions following the ridge to the top. Coming down (approximated by blue line) I glissaded for much of the downhill slope (~1100 ft, ~0.5 mi) til the forest. The snow was much more firm where I glissaded, so this could be a possible uphill snow route with proper snow travel gear, though it might be more slushy as time progresses. The first section though was ~40? degrees though. A bit steep, and glissaded more via a controlled self-arrest position while looking downward. The second, longer section was a lot less steep and easier to glissade in a normal position while controlling speed. (this was my first glissade in the mountains). West Mancos Trail through the forest: Great conditions from TH to stream crossing. A little ways after the stream crossing, the trail is lost in a confusion of snow drifts and avalanche debris. At this point, I headed up the snow toward broken trees, but went further right (west) because of smaller, more annoying trees (willows?). Lots of downfall, avalanche debris, and intermittent snow. Snow was a little slushy, but I didn't posthole much. Let me know if you have any questions and I can further detail the conditions. 
7
 
Route: western ridge line
Posted On: 2017-06-18, By: keeperoffrisco
Info: Lots of snow, very difficult. Crampons, ice axe required. Rope would have helped and allowed the rest of the party to summit. Recommended to wait until the snow melts. 
1
 
Route: Mancos Trail 621
Posted On: 2014-06-17, By: Horehay99
Info: Trail conditions were a little wet in the trees at time, but melting fast. Once above treeline there are some snow fields but all avoidable. Once on the west ridge line and summit shoulder there is no snow and you can ascend the west ridge line to the peak with no problem. Approach or trail runners are fine in regards to snow. May want some lightweight gaiters for the loose dirt. 
 
Route: From Sharkstooth Trailhead
Posted On: 2012-06-26, By: ChrisinAZ
Info: Snow-free. Gaining the ridge from the basin seemed the crux of the route; of the three major options, the leftmost scree/grass gully will go, but is uncomfortably steep and loose in spots. The rightmost option (a noticeably more grassy ramp) involves more distance and crossing tedious vegetated terrain lower down, but is probably the safest way up, and the ridge affords some nice views of Hesperus. The middle option, all talus, was not explored. Roads in were washboard-y, but in otherwise good condition. The last 1.8 miles to the trailhead is rocky, rough, and almost requires at least high-clearance; it‘s likely possible, though not recommended, to get a passenger car to the trailhead. Some fires are burning just outside of Mancos, and the smoke somewhat obstructed our views. Be aware of local fire conditions should you attempt this peak. 

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