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Telluride is surrounded by thirteeners and four fourteeners with a plethora of technical options that can be ascended year round. The San Juans are the 'freshest' mountain range in the US (newest geologically), and the rock quality is generally chossy everywhere. Once the angle rears up to near vertical, however, the rock improves to a point of taking gear you can trust. Alpine routes are best climbed when ice is present for protection and to hold the choss together, but most can be climbed year round. Lots of alpine ice forms in the fall and spring. Many, many accidents and deaths have occurred to hikers on the local 14ers due to rockfall. Full winter ascents are rare and skis are almost required. The remoteness of these routes compromises rescue severely. It's best not to trust your gear, ever (don't plan on rappel descents or pushing yourself); however, the technical standard in the entire area is generally low (5.5-5.8, AI3-4). There are traverses aplenty, and most peaks can be descended with low grade downclimbing if not hiking by the hiking routes. Other hiking sites are sources of beta (13ers.com, 14ers.com, summitpost.com as well as the local guide service in town).
Telluride is in Southwestern Colorado. About 6 1/2 hours from Denver, 2 1/2 hours from Grand Junction, 2 1/2 hours from Durango, 2 1/2 hours from Moab, UT. The closest reasonably priced airport is 1 1/2 hours away in Montrose. You can fly direct to Telluride. The Victoria Inn is the cheapest accommodations in town. Groceries and liquor stores are expensive (as is everything else), so do your shopping before you arrive. There is a laundromat just outside of town in Lawson Hill.
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Mountain Project's determination of some of the classic, most popular, highest rated routes for Northern San Juans:
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Section B 5.6 4c 14 V 12 S 4b R CO : Alpine Rock : ... : Telluride Traverse
Section B is the unfinished middle part of the Telluride Traverse and covers the skyline north of Telluride from Mount Emma to 'TO' Peak. Start on Mount Emma (13,581'), and traverse north to Gilpin Peak (13,694') over Fourth and low Fifth Class terrain around several towers on the ridge. The traverse from Gilpin to 'Block Top' (13,543') to the north looks very challenging, as does the rest of the ridge over Peak 12,974 up to Dallas (13,809'). There is a huge notch in the ridge between Dallas a...[more] Browse More Classics in CO
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