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Mount Silverthorne
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Salmon Lake Traverse T 
Zodiac Traverse, The T 

The Zodiac Traverse 

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

   
Type:  Trad, Alpine, 6000', Grade III
Original:  YDS: 5.6 French: 4c Ewbanks: 14 UIAA: V ZA: 12 British: S 4b [details]
FA: Stan Wagon, both directions
Page Views: 883
Submitted By: Ryan Marsters on Oct 9, 2015

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BETA PHOTO: The traverse from Zodiac View.

Description 

The traverse is most feasible, using mountaineering sense from South to North. North to South is significantly harder sans 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.

Location 

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.

Protection 

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


Photos of The Zodiac Traverse Slideshow Add Photo
Rock Climbing Photo: The Zodiac Traverse.
The Zodiac Traverse.

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