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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.
7 Total Routes
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Mountain Project's determination of some of the classic, most popular, highest rated routes for Northern San Juans:
Featured Route For Northern San Juans
Section C 5.5 4b 13 IV+ 11 MS 4a R CO : Alpine Rock : ... : Telluride Traverse
This is a ridge traverse from Campbell Peak northwest to Hayden Peak, crossing the summits of ten 13'ers. They are, in order of ascent East to West: Campbell Peak, T.Zero, S3, S5, S6, Mears Peak, S7, S8, S9, and S10. Hayden Peak is a 12'er, and there are a couple of other mountains that must be climbed but are not recognized as such - the mountain just west of S6, for example. If completed from Section B of the whole 'Telluride Traverse' from Imogene Pass, Campbell Peak would not be included....[more] Browse More Classics in CO
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