San Juans tech routes


Original Post
Ray Hellinger · · Gunnison, CO · Joined Feb 2006 · Points: 350

After several days in Chicago Basin recently I decided I need to do a lot more trips in the San Juans this spring/summer/fall and get on some of the more obscure technical routes. However, its hard to find a partner that can swing a few days, and even harder if it is (preferably) during the week. Anyone interested? I've spent a lot of time in the backcountry here and done quite a few routes already....
Ray

Nick Kohn · · Durango, CO · Joined Jun 2012 · Points: 0

I just moved to Pagosa, although I have done seasonal work here for 5 years now. I have been looking for someone to show me the ropes around the area. I have mostly just been poking around myself and hitting a few crags in the Durango area. I was sport climbing for about four years and used to pull 5.11 with a little bit of effort on my part but two years ago I tore four of my pulley tendons so I have been out of the game for awhile. I just started getting back into it and am itching to get out and go although I am not super strong right now. I have some experience in trad. A few 5.8 leads and I spent two weeks in Yosemite following multipitch 10s about two and a half years ago. I work at Sonlight camp up 4 mile road in Pagosa and have quite a bit of backcountry experience in the area. Because of the nature of my work I only get 24 hours off a week during the summer but this fall I will be able to take extensive time off and would love bring the beer and be the mule for a little direction in the Pagosa area. It seems like there is a ton of potential for obscure alpine stuff that no one bothers to look for and although I don't have a ton of experience the alpine environment is where I want to take my climbing. Sorry this is so long but let me know if you are interested and perhaps we could go craging on a Saturday afternoon.

Ray Hellinger · · Gunnison, CO · Joined Feb 2006 · Points: 350

Nick, not a lot of alpine climbing around here. In the alpine its too loose and broken. Makes for great traverses and trail runs, but not climbing. We do have a few great crags tho. Piedra River is amazing (but closed at the moment due to fire). Big Meadow is very good and has potential for some more routes. I am in the middle of developing a new area in Blanco Basin. I have 8 routes finished and am in the process of getting 5 more done very soon. There is potential for another 50 or so in the upper cliff band. There also needs to be some development at V-Rock and another granite cliff band above Harris Lake. Apparently S. Price has started developing a crag up Nipple Mtn Road. If you have any experience with route development, please let either of us know. Otherwise, you are more than welcome to join us as we work on these areas (can always use someone to help clean the routes up).

If you want alpine climbing, you need to go to the Needles, Grenadiers and Sneffels ranges. I just got back from a trip to the Grenadiers and did a new variation (for me) of Wham Ridge and the North Face of Arrow Peak. Tons of available climbing for someone willing to put up with a little choss. I'll likely be heading back up in the fall and may make a quick trip or two this summer. Let me know what your work schedule is and we can figure something out.

I think a fun "trifecta" would be to climbing NF of Arrow, direct line up Wham ridge and NF of West Trinity in a day.

s.price · · PS,CO · Joined Dec 2010 · Points: 1,348

West face of Sheep mtn. on Wolf Creek pass. Did I just let that out?

Ray Hellinger · · Gunnison, CO · Joined Feb 2006 · Points: 350

Have you checked out any of the rock faces on the peaks north of Eagle? The South Ridge of Eagle Peak is kinda fun. Mostly just scrambling tho....

s.price · · PS,CO · Joined Dec 2010 · Points: 1,348

I think Troy could tell you more about that.

Nick Kohn · · Durango, CO · Joined Jun 2012 · Points: 0

Thanks for all the feedback guys. I have climbed Eagle peak and spent a bunch of time up in the Upper four mile lake/Turkey creek area. I climbed a very rocky, loose, steep peak north of Eagle that we call Widow maker. It isn't titled on USGS maps. I have heard of sheep mountain but have not had a chance to check it out yet. I have also climbed Nipple mtn. All super fun scrambling but nothing super technical although the poor rock quality adds for a little bit of excitement from time to time.

I have no experience in developing an area or putting up new routes but I am always up for learning and I do know how to use a tooth brush and a broom so the least I could do is clean. I am available only on Saturday afternoons until the end of August (then my schedule clears up) but if anybody goes out on Saturdays and wants some help just PM a few days before hand and I can meet up with you.

Ray I would love to climb some of that alpine stuff with you this fall. And help out with whatever projects I can until then.

Ed L · · Slowida · Joined Nov 2008 · Points: 80

The north west face of Silex has seen some action as well as the NE ridge off Storm King. Great high camp in the cirque between the two. There is some great looking stone up around Jagged. E face of Monitor is a classic line. Don't forget about the Popes nose up the pine and all that vallecito/lemon granite. I always wanted to go up vestal basin over trinity pass and begin the needle traverse by going up Storm King and moving on the ridge over peaks 8,7,6, Jagged, Knife Point, up Sunlight and out. Heading north into No Name creek before Jagged would be a great option as it would set you up for monitor and provide a more scenic descent.

Ray Hellinger · · Gunnison, CO · Joined Feb 2006 · Points: 350

Just did Jagged Mtn, car-to-car from Vallecito TH via Leviathan Cr. 13.5hrs. Long day.

Does anyone know of any climbing on the NFs of Vallecito and Leviathan peaks? Looks like some good stone....especially Vallecito....

Ed, did the NF of Storm King a couple of yrs ago....GREAT route!

Ray Hellinger · · Gunnison, CO · Joined Feb 2006 · Points: 350

here are some pics of the NF faces of Vallecito and Leviathan....

Leviathan

Leviathan

Vallecito

Vallecito

Vallecito

Ray Hellinger · · Gunnison, CO · Joined Feb 2006 · Points: 350

I'd also be curious if anyone knows of any routes done on Organ Mtn....

Organ Mtn

Ray Hellinger · · Gunnison, CO · Joined Feb 2006 · Points: 350

Just did the NE Ridge of Storm King. Great route! Lots of fun scrambling in the 4th class range with a couple 5.6 and 5.8 pitches thrown in. Did it as a car-to-car from Beartown in 12.5hrs. Long day but was fun moving through all that terrain!

Ray Hellinger · · Gunnison, CO · Joined Feb 2006 · Points: 350

Does anyone have beta on the SE Chimney descent of Pigeon? I'm wondering if you need two ropes to rap it still. Looking at doing a climb of the NF of Pigeon this weekend and don't wanna have to do the long walk around of the normal ascent route.

Ray Hellinger · · Gunnison, CO · Joined Feb 2006 · Points: 350
Ray Hellinger · · Gunnison, CO · Joined Feb 2006 · Points: 350

Just did a great climb of the NF of Pigeon. About a 1,000ft of 4th class climbing and then 4 roped pitches up to 5.9. Great rock and a lot of fun. Here are some pics......

NF of Pigeon. Red-line we took. Blue-I believe this is the route Ormes describes as the "grassy ledges".

Jenn 4th classing the lower portion of the climb.

Upper headwall showing our route

Jenn coming up the first pitch

Jenn coming up the 3rd pitch.

Timmamok Murphy · · Durango, CO · Joined Sep 2008 · Points: 100

thanks for all the pics!

Ray Hellinger · · Gunnison, CO · Joined Feb 2006 · Points: 350

The North Ridge of Pigeon is a climb that has to be done (as far as I know it hasn't). I was looking at it all day on our climb and it looks spectacular (the Exum Ridge of the San Juans?!....haha, ok, probably not). Anyway, here are some pics of it......

A stellar line....

A look at the ridge from Ruby Lake.

Looking at the ridge head-on showing the first tower.

Ray Hellinger · · Gunnison, CO · Joined Feb 2006 · Points: 350
Ray Hellinger · · Gunnison, CO · Joined Feb 2006 · Points: 350
Guideline #1: Don't be a jerk.

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