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Emma to T.Zero 

YDS: 5.6 French: 4c Ewbanks: 14 UIAA: V ZA: 12 British: S 4b R

Type:  Trad, Alpine, 22000', Grade IV
Original:  YDS: 5.6 French: 4c Ewbanks: 14 UIAA: V ZA: 12 British: S 4b R [details]
FA: open project
Season: Summer
Page Views: 507
Submitted By: Stiles on Nov 22, 2013

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BETA PHOTO: A closer view at Block Tops (13,543') from Sneffel...


Section B is the unfinished middle part of the Telluride Traverse and covers the skyline north of Telluride from Mount Emma west to 'TO' Peak.

Start on Mount Emma (13,581'), and traverse north to Gilpin Peak (13,694') over Fourth and low Fifth Class terrain around several towers on the ridge. The large cliffbands can be passed to the west with some exposed and unprotectable fourth class.

The traverse to 'Block Top' (13,543') to the west is very challenging. This is as far as Section B has been taken. There are rapell anchors on ths first tower encountered. Block Top gets serious, as does Dallas (13,809'). These are the cruxes of the whole traverse. There is a huge notch in the ridge between Dallas and West Dallas (13,741') that will present another crux. From Gilpin west to this notch looks very, very challenging and presents the unknown ground. From the notch to 'TO' (13,735') is third class. 'TO' is the mountain north of Campbell Peak and the second highest peak in the traverse behind Dallas.


Mount Emma can be climbed a number of different ways from Telluride. The West ridge can be climbed from Sneffels Highline Trail at Fourth Class, or the South Face, or Southwest ridge (from Greenback Mountain, come in from the south to the summit of Greenback - its West Ridge don't go). You can also hike up Tomboy Road; turn uphill at the Bullion Tunnel and hike the ridge over Little Mendota and Mendota Peak and cross St. Sophia Ridge. St. Sophia can be bypassed to the East any number of places along the traverse.


The difficulty and requirements of climbing Dallas Peak are known and dictate what you need to carry - a thin rope and small alpine rock rack at a minimum, likely. This complicates logistics considerably, as carrying this gear would slow the pace to a point of negating completion. It would be best if it were possible to get to and across the top of Dallas Peak without a rope.

It is easy to see vertical breaks in the ridge of several hundred feet in height from the vantage of Sneffels or from the large parking pullout atop Dallas Divide. Lending their name to Block Top, these verticalities will provide the excitement of Section B, and very well may require a rope to get over or around. Like on Dallas, the vertical rock up high is much more solid and good pro can be found.

Photos of Emma to T.Zero Slideshow Add Photo
Rock Climbing Photo: A view of the north faces of Dallas (left) and Wes...
BETA PHOTO: A view of the north faces of Dallas (left) and Wes...
Rock Climbing Photo: From Sneffels looking south towards Gilpin and Blo...
BETA PHOTO: From Sneffels looking south towards Gilpin and Blo...
Rock Climbing Photo: View from Mount Sneffels looking south at the trav...
BETA PHOTO: View from Mount Sneffels looking south at the trav...

Comments on Emma to T.Zero Add Comment
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By Stiles
From: the Mountains
Sep 1, 2014

Block Tops continues to be a problem to be solved.
Easier access to the saddle between Gilpin and Block Tops can be had via the Sneffels parking lot in Yankee Boy Basin to attempt the scary meat of the traverse.

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