Rinker Peak  
Condition Updates  
 
Route: South Slopes
Posted On: 2020-10-11, By: supranihilest
Info: The trail from Willis Gulch Trailhead is easy to follow until about 10,600' when it runs into a massive pile of avalanche debris. Here the trail splits and you'll want to go up and (mostly) around the debris pile. The remaining trail to the cutoff for Rinker's south slopes is easy. There are switchbacks up the first half or so of the slopes, then it's a straight shot to the ridge. The ridge itself is covered in talus all the way to the summit. The best descent, even if you do the Twin Peaks as well, is to return via Rinker's south slopes, even if you add the Twin Peaks; the Twin Peaks saddle gully descent is terrible, very steep and incredibly loose. I wore microspikes down the gully due to how loose it was. Conditions on this route likely changed significantly between my summit and now; it was snowing and blowing hard and harder while I was up there and there's likely been a decent amount of accumulation up high. 
 
Route: Twin Peaks B Saddle Descent after Rinker Peak
Posted On: 2020-07-17, By: Trotter
Info: Summer conditions. Note the avy debris has still not been fully cleaned up. Several times you have to go off trail or clamber over logs. Also, once you hit treeline, there are large patches of willows almost in tunnel closeness for about a mile. Cannot be bypassed, and if it has rained recently you will get sopping wet. Bring rain pants if its rained in past 24 hours. Otherwise fun route. 
 
Route: Ridge
Posted On: 2020-05-31, By: WildWanderer
Info: Summer conditions below treeline, very little snow above treeline, and all avoidable. No traction needed. Summited Twin Peaks first, took the ridge to Rinker, and went back the way I hiked in. 
8
 
Route: Willis Gulch Approach
Posted On: 2020-04-26, By: supranihilest
Info: The freeze overnight was weak and the snow is awful. I found numerous spots of punch crust with bottomless facets below. I turned around after about 3 miles since it had taken me hours to get that far with the poor conditions. There's also significant avalanche debris still piled up in the gulch near 10,800 feet that was a pain to climb through. I'd perhaps be more inclined to take the full ridge next time. 
2 2
 
Route: South Slopes
Posted On: 2019-08-01, By: RWinters
Info: Update: There were 3 avalanche fields to deal with, however the Forest Service was up there as I was descending. The first debris field is around 10,600. It has been cleared. The 2nd debris field at about 10,800 (picture) May/May not be cleared. FS was not sure they could get it cleared or have time. Debris field #3 is minor with a few quakes aspen trees at about 11k. Snow on the ridge is avoidable. 
2
 
Route: South Slopes
Posted On: 2019-07-10, By: IHikeLikeAGirl
Info: Identical to the previous conditions report from July 7th, but just wanted to add my own personal rating system to the avy debris fields. ;) There are 4 distinct areas of avy debris: - The first one, kinda sucks, but one can muddle through, but better to leave the trail and traipse through (in a flattish area) away from the creek and then venture back to the trail. - The 2nd and 3rd really suck, BUT...there is a faint, climber's trail that has been established to heads uphill, near the start of these sections of debris. Keep your eye peeled and you should see it. If you get into horrendous downed stuff, back up and look for the faint climber's trail...or just a better way to get around this, that goes uphill a bit. - The 4th is just a minor annoyance. Mainly you'll be stepping over knee high debris, that covers the trail. Also, there is still some snow on the ridge, but it was easy to kick steps into (think Quandary). I did use microspikes, but probably wasn't necessary. PM me if you want pics of specifics. 
 
Route: South Slopes
Posted On: 2019-07-07, By: bmcqueen
Info: Rinker is predominantly summer conditions. There is still a little snow at the top of the gully, but it is avoidable. Unavoidable, however, are a few avalanche debris fields on the approach. Somewhat time consuming picking our way through those. 
4
 
Route: South Slopes
Posted On: 2019-05-20, By: Cereal
Info: Summary: There is a good-sized cornice on the final east ridge up to the summit, and I was unable to summit. The trail is completely dry for the first 1.5 miles (just before photo #6 in the route description) and goes quickly. After that, it is mostly snow, but I was able to bare-boot it just fine. The trail is easy to follow and continues to go quickly, until... Lots of older and newer avy debri after the two log bridges (you are now climber's right of the gulch) make it slow-going and impossible to stay on the actual trail. I would recommend staying as close to the gulch as possible; I ended up getting too far up to the right of the gulch and it wasn't worth the effort. I don't think anybody skis this thing, but there is continuous snow from the ridge down to the gulch on the south slope. There are a handful of dry patches and rock outcroppings to climber's right of the standard route that I hopped between to gain the ridge. Gaining the ridge and looking to the left at the summit, I saw the cornice about 200' below the summit. It is south-facing and pretty substantial. I put on microspikes and went up to take a look, hoping there might be a way around it to the right (north). But I got to about 300' of the summit and turned back, as there was no safe way to pass. I was able to bare-boot it over to the Twin Peaks and down the shoulder. Great views of Elbert and the 13ers south of 82 from the Twins, as well as the Twin Lakes and the Mosquitos! 
2
 
Route: South Slopes
Posted On: 2018-06-21, By: desertdog
Info: One of the many things I like about 13ers is the lack of crowds. The only person I saw today was a guy first thing in the morning, backpacking with nothing on but a T-shirt and bright blue bikini underwear. It seemed awfully chilly to be wearing nothing but bikini underwear, but to each his own. Summer conditions all the way. The trail is in deep forest and easy to follow. Once you are high in the basin it is overgrown but still pretty easy to follow. The south slope does have trail segments, but I elected to go straight up. The slope is farther than it looks, so be ready for some suffering. Once on the summit, I could see people on La Plata and was glad I had the summit to myself. I took a quick nap in the quite sun and went over to tag Twin Peaks. No snow on the ridge to them either. Great weather and nice day in the mountains. 
5
 
Route: Twin Peaks ridge/Big Willis trail
Posted On: 2016-08-30, By: JasonKline
Info: Got snow on August 29 while I was hiking there as well as later that evening, but the snow was mostly gone the following afternoon. 
 
Route: Big Willis gulch
Posted On: 2016-07-04, By: SnowAlien
Info: Sadly, no snow left on the route (except for a small avoidable patch near the summit). Bringing skis is not advisable Trail early on is wet, but gets dry as you climb higher. Wildflowers are nice. p.s. Hiking downhill for extended periods of time sucks. Why anyone would wanna do that? 
7 1
 
Route: NE Ridge
Posted On: 2012-02-26, By: Matt Lemke
Info: Today a friend and I climbed Rinker Peak and Twin Peaks from CO 82. This was a 12 hour day as we had to break trail all the way to treeline and it seemed no one had ever been up there in a long time. Anyone know when Rinker was last climbed? Anyway, it took us 5 hours to break that steep NE ridge which we started right off the highway near Twin Lakes. 2.5 hours later we summitted after heading over Twin Peaks. To our surprise there was no wind too speak of and the sun was out all day. Actually it was very warm. 7.5 hours up, 4 hours down. Plunging down our trench we made was very entertaining! Currently, there is now a 2-3 foot deep trench all the way up this ridge. Above treeline the class 2 and Class 2+ sections were not bad at all. Most of the area above treeline on this ridge was free of snow. We ditched the snowshoes at treeline. Too bad lots of snow will be falling tomorrow night...guess we get exclusive rights to this one hehe! We chose to do this peak as this route is pretty safe from avy dangers and it is an important bi-centennial...a list I may eventually finish after finishing the centennials this year. Happy climbing, Matt 
 
Route: Willis Gulch
Posted On: 2011-07-18, By: Papillon
Info: No good no bueno. The bridge at the Willis Gulch TH is out. There is a replacement bridge sitting there but it will not be installed until October per the FS. Alternate ways to cross the creek are as follows: 1) About 1/6 mile west on CO 82, there are two pull offs that will accommodate a handful of vehicles. There is a Gaging Station here and a foot bridge that will take you across. 2) About 1/2 mile west on CO 82, there is access from the Parry campground. The FS advises you to contact the host at the campground because parking is limited. There might be a $5 day use fee as well. Image 1: old bridge Image 2: the void Image 3: new bridge 

Return to the main Peak Conditions page



© 2020 14ers.com®, 14ers Inc.