Type: Alpine, 2000 ft (606 m)
FA: ??
Page Views: 10,237 total · 45/month
Shared By: Chris R on Feb 1, 2003
Admins: Leo Paik, John McNamee, Frances Fierst, Monty, Monomaniac, Tyler KC

You & This Route

23 Opinions

Your To-Do List:

Add To-Do · View List

Your Star Rating:

     Clear Rating

Your Difficulty Rating:

-none- Change

Your Ticks:

Add New Tick


The Y Couloir is an aesthetic snow climb on the steep, north face of Pike's Peak. It affords over 2000' of vertical gain and deposits the climber smack on the summit.

To access, get into the Bottomless Pit. This can be accomplished from either the Barr Trail (~10 miles, easy hike), from the Crags campground trailhead (~6 miles, harder hike), or have a good friend drop you off on the toll road (~1 mile, harder hike, and $10 toll, plus no easy way down). Bivy in the Bottomless Pit.

The line is obvious to the south. Head south and begin climbing up the obvious gully. The Y couloir branches to the west (climber's right) off of the main line, about 1/3 mile up. Climb into it as the angle increases. You soon come to two branches that give this line its name. The left arm of the Y immediately climbs a rock step that can vary from moderate 4th class to technical 5th class, depending on snow depth. The right arm moves over an ice bulge, which can generally be bypassed on the left. After surpassing either difficulty, continue up your chosen arm to the summit.

In February, we started climbing at 4:00am, and topped out at 7:30, just as the top of the couloir was getting sunhit. Check out Dawson's Guide to northern 14'ers for a more succinct description.

The Crags approach is by far my favorite way to get to this classic climb.


Ice axe & crampons. Pickets if you're not comfortable on steep snow.