Type: Trad, Alpine
FA: unknown
Page Views: 2,167 total · 45/month
Shared By: chummer on Jun 29, 2020 · Updates
Admins: Leo Paik, John McNamee, Frances Fierst, Monty, Monomaniac, Tyler KC

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Warning Access Issue: Closed Area - City of Boulder Watershed DetailsDrop down

Description Suggest change

This is a traverse of the Blue Lake Basin starting as far down on the ridge connected to Little Pawnee as you can. Peaks hit are Little Pawnee (via exposed E Ridge), Pawnee, Toll, Paiute, and Audubon. Aside from a couple of notches, the entire traverse is basically Class 2-3, but it is right on the crest nearly the entire time. I think this is an excellent junior league traverse if you're looking to get into something harder and more committing or just want a big day up high. It's above 12.5-13K but pretty mellow. This is exposed the whole way.

Little Pawnee's E ridge is the crux and has the most techy moves in a couple of notches. Early/mid-season, they''ll have snow. Consider an axe or at least a sturdy branch! All difficulties on the ridge itself are passed on the N. Side.

Getting off Toll looks tough, but it's pretty easy. Take the obvious notch just down from the summit. Follow cairns, and use good route finding judgment. There is lots of loose stuff. Climb carefully. It is never more than 4th Class if you hit it right.

You're likely to find water between Pawnee and Toll before August. After that,  maybe not. Plan accordingly.

This is a very low commitment traverse. If you're over it, just pick a line back to the basin, and you're back on a superhighway in no time.

Location Suggest change

To link the full ridge, start at the Blue Lake Trail, but where the trail makes an obvious "V" just east of a small heart-shaped lake, cut south cross country aiming for a couple of gullies on the North side of the ridge. I took the western gully, and it was mellow. Hit the ridge, and off ya go. The nice thing about this route is that it deposits you right back where you started.

Protection Suggest change

Sticky rubber shoes and maybe an axe or spikes, conditions depending.