BETA PHOTO: The Trinity Peaks, viewed from the northwest. Wes...
West Trinity Peak, part of the Trinity Peaks cluster, rises high among the remote and rugged Grenadier Range, within the San Juan Mountains in southwestern Colorado. At 13,765 feet in elevation, West Trinity is among the 200 highest peaks in the state. An excellent overview of the range is found here.
These mountains lie within the USFS's Weminuche Wilderness, with all the attendant restrictions. Further, open campfires are prohibited in the basin of Vestal Creek, at the northern foot of the peaks. West Trinity Peak, first ascended in 1941 by a CMC party, is most commonly climbed and descended via Class 2 scrambles along the west and east ridges (Roach 2001, Rosebrough 1986). The northern aspect of this peak, though, forms an arching face greatly reminiscent of nearby Wham Ridge on Vestal Peak, and provides for an interesting mountaineering outing.
Accessing the Grenadiers involves a long approach, and is most frequently done as an overnight backpack (although day trips are also not uncommon).
Either ride the Durango-Silverton train to the Elk Park stop (leaving you with a 5 mile approach), or hike in from the Molas Pass trailhead (giving you an 8 mile approach). Follow the Colorado Trail east from the Animas River, but turn south at the beaver pond and follow an unmaintained trail into the upper reaches of the basin at the northern foot of Vestal Peak.
Roach (2001) and Rosebrough (1986) provide good descriptions and more details of the approach. Good information is also available on summitpost.
The North Face of West Trinity Peak is sort of like Wham Ridge's less-attractive, older sister. The arching face is more blocky and ledgy, and has more loose rock than the neighboring north face of Vestal Peak. But it still makes for a fun morning romp.A band of overhung cliffs blocks the base of the face, but easy paths through can be found up the lefthand side. There is no single clear line once you are on the face; we aimed toward the center, following the line of least resistanc...[more]Browse More Classics in CO