Peak(s):  Gilpin Pk  -  13,694 feet
Date Posted:  06/12/2020
Date Climbed:   06/07/2020
Author:  osprey
 Spring Gilpin  

Gilpin Peak draws the eye of the climber on Sneffels.


Above picture: Northeast Face of Gilpin Peak photobombing an angry climber ascending the Scree Couloir on Sneffels in February, 2020. The North Central Couloir is seen in the middle of the picture. The ridge from Blue Lakes Pass is on the far right. The Northeast Couloir, which I ascended, is to the left of the ridge.

It looks like the ridge from the Blue Lakes saddle would be a good way to ascend but read Bergsteigen's TR on this peak before attempting it. She advised the climb would be better as a snow climb.

And so at 0600 I was at the parking area next to the outhouse with a view of Gilpin Peak in the background.20183_65

I followed the road to the Woods Lake spur trail and went up the trail and soon came to Woods Lake. 20183_62

I crossed the gully and followed the scree rib as it curved south and reached a bench on the north side of the peak. The Northeast Couloir is about the middle of the picture.


Soon one reaches the base of the North Central Couloir. The couloir looks like a reasonable ascent to the col and then a short climb to the summit to the left. Appearances are deceiving however. Skiers who ski the couloir report that they needed to abseil into the couloir and so I continued to the Northeast Couloir which is seen in the second picture below. The third picture is taken at the entrance to the couloir. The fourth picture is about halfway up.


A blurry picture about 75% of the way up.
A little late in the season to make a complete ascent on the snow so I got to enjoy some of the famous scree.
The cornices were about six feet high. I exited the couloir on the snow ramp to the left of the cornices. This section was fairly steep.
Looking west from the col. Blue Lakes can be seen below. I took off my crampons here and turned east. The rest of the route is on the south side of the ridge and is on solid talus.
This belay/rap station is about 20 feet from the col on the way to the summit. The slopes here are not steep and it is too far from the col to abseil into the col and thus serves no purpose as far as I could see. I left it there in case someone else needs some cord and a new biner.
Do not get your hopes up. This is a false summit.
Near the top of the false summit. And my glove.
Looking back at the col.
The real summit is seen from the false summit. The exit of the North Central Couloir is also seen. Looks steep and gnarly. Glad I did not attempt it.

Dallas Peak.
Mt. Emma and the Telluride Ski area.
The Wilson Group and the quaint Telluride Mountain Village.
Teakettle, Coffee Pot and Pozole peaks under a threatening sky.

And then I descended the ascent route. The YBB road was busy with 4wheelers and ATVs when I reached it.

This was a fairly easy climb in the snow and avoids the loose scree described in summer trip reports. It is about 6.5 miles RT if you can drive to the outhouse. A very nice half day climb with great views.

And stay away from the North Central Couloir.

Thumbnails for uploaded photos (click to open slideshow):
34 35 38 40 41 43 44 48 49 50 51 52 53 54 55 56 57 58 60 61 62 63 65 66 67 72 76 77 80 82 83 84 85 86 87 88 89 90 92

 Comments or Questions

06/13/2020 07:13
Great job Tom! That area is so cool

Boggy B

06/20/2020 15:16
Nice job. I laughed at "Pozole." You should have bootied that gear. Someone must have been having a rough day to leave a shiny new locker there. We've been up there since and didn't notice it, not that I'd have found it even if I knew it was there.

06/20/2020 18:38
Yes the YBB is a beautiful place and I am still grateful for your leading on TeaCoffee. Or maybe it was TeaCovfefe. My memory fades.

06/20/2020 18:36
Thank you. I have more carabiners than I will ever use. It would be interesting if someone could tell the story of why the gear was left. Must have been an epic.

   Using your forum id/password. Not registered? Click Here

Caution: The information contained in this report may not be accurate and should not be the only resource used in preparation for your climb. Failure to have the necessary experience, physical conditioning, supplies or equipment can result in injury or death. and the author(s) of this report provide no warranties, either express or implied, that the information provided is accurate or reliable. By using the information provided, you agree to indemnify and hold harmless and the report author(s) with respect to any claims and demands against them, including any attorney fees and expenses. Please read the Safety and Disclaimer pages for more information.

© 2021®, 14ers Inc.