Adventure Projects is hiring a web engineer to join us in Boulder, CO
Mountain Project Logo

Routes in Mount Silverthorne

Salmon Lake Traverse T 5.4 4a 12 IV 10 VD 3c
Zodiac Traverse, The T 5.6 4c 14 V 12 S 4b
Order Wrong? Sort Routes
Type: Trad, Alpine, 6000 ft, Grade III
FA: Stan Wagon, both directions
Page Views: 2,168 total · 57/month
Shared By: Ryan Marsters on Oct 9, 2015
Admins: Leo Paik, John McNamee, Frances Fierst, Monty, Monomaniac

You & This Route

1 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 traverse is most feasible, using mountaineering sense from south to north. North to south is significantly harder and most accounts report major bypasses.

The traverse encompasses 9 named towers, from South to North: Cancer, Capricorn, the Gemini Twins, Taurus, Scorpio, Libra, Sagittarius, and Aries.

While the traverse only encompasses the Zodiacs, which can be accessed from either basin to the East or West, some may argue a ridge traverse begins and end with a summit. Red Mtn. B serves as a good start to the South and either Mt. Silverthorne (aka Willow Benchmark) or East Thorne serves as a good end. I personally like the idea of ending with Zodiac View as it is aptly named.

The downside to adding Red is that it tacks on a half mile of class 2 talus. Have fun with that.

Climb Cancer's south face at class 4 max. Downclimb the northern side for a bit until reaching a cliff. Rappel 60 feet (webbing around boulder) off the east side to a ledge. Follow the ledge back to the ridge.

Scramble up Capricorn at class 4 max and downclimb a little until another cliff. Either rappel 30 feet or downclimb the 30 feet at highly exposed class 4 to a small ledge with webbing around a boulder. Rappel west 85 feet, steep and some free hanging, until landing on the ridge.

Scramble up the twin summits of South Gemini Twin at class 3/4. To downclimb, utilize canyoneering technique and drop the North chimney between the sub summits. Or rap up to 50 feet.

Scramble up a gully on North Gemini Twin, and turn left to find a clean 15 foot dihedral on the N side. It goes at perhaps 5.easy to the summit. Scamper up and down.

Taurus' face is intimidating at first, but it goes at class 4. The somewhat junky 80 foot rappel to the north might be downclimbable.

Scramble up the East side of Scorpio, and curl around to the North face. Climb the NW aspect, and hook a left to the summit (5.6, 30 feet plus 15 feet of easier), rappel down.

Scramble up and over Libra, walk the knife edge, and climb the mini-tower "Libra Prime" (5.0, loose blocks) or bypass it on the right.

Class 2-3 up Sagittarius, rappel 40 feet north. The existing station is just below the summit between the twin summits.

Class 2-3 up and over Aries, and you're home free.

Silverthorne can be grunted at at class 2 followed by a class 3 to 4 gully up to the summit plateu. Hook a left for Silverthorne or a right for East Thorne (class 3) depending on where your car is.

If tacking on Silverthorne and descending to the West, consider tacking on Zodiac View via the SW flanks of Silverthorne (class 2 annoying stuff). Zodiac's grassy flanks will be welcome. We descended the grassy drainage West of Zodiac View until intersecting the Gore Lake Trail down to Gore Creek.

A detailed TR.


This is in the Eastern Gore Range. We shuttled, starting at the Buffalo Mtn. TH in Silverthorne and ending at the Gore/Deluge TH in East Vail. Without a shuttle, start at the Gore/Deluge TH or one of the other confusing Silvethorne THs. If daytripping just the towers, it might be easiest to go from the Willowbrook Rd. TH in Silverthorne.


Light rack, c4s #0.3-1 to backup the raps and protect Scorpio.


Rob Griz
Rob Griz   Frisco
I free soloed this section while running a loop from Vail to Frisco. Gore Crk TH start, Meadow Creek TH finish. Started north on Willow, then 5.6 up NE face Thorne, down to Zodiacs, tag Red then Buff, and out Lily Pad to Meadow Crk. I was shut down on some of the pinnacles (time, rock quality), finding traverses mainly on E faces. An exciting and under-explored section of the Gore, you will definitely have it all to yourself. Jan 15, 2017
Jason Killgore
boulder, co
Jason Killgore   boulder, co
A small patch of snow on the S. end of ridge, but it is out of the way, and we didn't detour to it. Otherwise, the route is very dry. Anchor-wise, it seems the rodents here love the taste of nylon and polyester. Supposedly the anchors were fine earlier this summer, but we found a few of them suspect. We beefed up a couple anchors with fresh cord and webbing, but I wouldn't assume they'll stay that way. The next group might want to bring 2-3 rap rings and probably another 20' or so of tat to really tighten things up. We also found a few of the rappel lengths listed here to be a bit short. Expect to use all of 30m in a few places deemed to be 60'-90'. Aug 14, 2018

More About The Zodiac Traverse