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Routes in Mt Colden

California Flake T 5.9+ 5c 17 VI 17 E1 5a PG13
Southeast Slide T 4th 1 2 I 2 M 1b
Trap Dike (summer) T 4th 1 2 I 2 M 1b
Wine Bottle Slide T 5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b PG13
Type: Trad, 2000 ft
FA: unknown
Page Views: 2,411 total, 23/month
Shared By: rdlennon on Mar 2, 2009
Admins: Jim Lawyer

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The Southeast Slide formed in 1990 and has become known as a more remote, adventurous way to reach the summit of Colden without the two trails. Less classic than the Trap Dike, this slide is nonetheless quite exposed, a bit steeper, and sees far less traffic. The views back towards Marcy and Skylight are exceptional.

From the trail, bushwhack onto an area of sandy wash and continue up. The first half of the slide follows a narrow, twisting track along a stream and involves a few short scrambles. At about half height, the route opens onto a broad slab that continually steepens as it approaches the summit. The rock has had less than 20 years to weather, so it has tons of friction and makes a couple of improbable-looking swells easy. 3/4 of the way up, jog right through an obvious gap onto a parallel slide that quickly grows much steeper. With increasing discomfort, friction up the last 200 feet to a dense conifer thicket and the trail beyond.


The slide begins about 100 feet below Colden's ridgeline northeast of its summit and continues down to within 200 feet of the trail from Lake Arnold to Feldspar Brook. The base of the slide is easily identified from the trail, and starts about 1.5 miles from Lake Arnold.


4th class. Trail runners with good tread or Vibram-soled boots recommended.


Robert Hall
North Conway, NH
Robert Hall   North Conway, NH  
I did this slide back in....mid-90's, early 00's ?? and it looks like there's been some further "cleaning" of the slide, especially the photo shown of the top "pitch". Probably Irene scoured it. May 24, 2017
Nolan Huther
Clarkson University
Nolan Huther   Clarkson University
Also descended this route after Trap Dike. Great views, very unique, and when we went there were all sorts of flowers growing around the slide- like an alpine botanical garden we said. Good way to do Colden if you like spending time in open air. Jun 22, 2015
Goran Lynch
Oakland, CA
Goran Lynch   Oakland, CA
An awesome way to do this slide is a traverse: head up the Trap Dike to the summit, and drop down the SE Slide.

An important note is that there are several older, shorter slides on the SE face of Colden. The entire skier's right side of the peak, really, has a series of slides that are slowly growing back in. Generally, the moss and vegetation make them a bit slippery, but they are much less steep at the top than is the SE slide described above. We took a skier's right (climber's left) line down the SE face from the summit onto one of those slides and traversed left to the cleaner slide at tree-line. There was a roughly 10 foot cliffy step at the top, but otherwise this was a manageable route. I wouldn't want to descend the top of the skier's left slide without gear --- it looks like pure, steep class 4 pure friction climbing. Aug 13, 2011