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East Colouir

 

Page Type: Route

Location: Colorado, United States, North America

Lat/Lon: 39.69821°N / 105.89893°W

Object Title: East Colouir

Route Type: Mountaineering

Season: Spring, Summer

Time Required: Most of a day

Difficulty: moderate snow climb

Route Quality: 
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Page By: Niederbayer

Created/Edited: Jun 20, 2009 / Jun 27, 2009

Object ID: 523025

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Overview

East Colouir is hidden deeply at the end of Grizzly Gulch and offers around 900 feet of fun in the snow.

I forgot my camera at home when doing the climb- so unfortunately no pictures of this beauty:(

Getting There

Take Exit Bakersville on I 70.

The dirt road to Grizzly Gulch Trailhead/Stevens Gulch has some really deep ruts in its lower part (this spot gets worse every year) and is very bumpy. Personally I would not dare to drive with a "normal" passenger car further than to the point right below the deep ruts where you can park along the road (couple parking spots, heavily used) - you might as well just park at the parking area right at the interstate exit.

Hike on the road until it splits (marked by a sign "Grays Peak").

Turn on your right and walk down the dirt road into the Grizzly Gulch.

You will soon see the parking area for the Grizzly Gulch Trailhead on your left - this is as far as "normal" high clearance car can make it.

An old mining road continues for another 2 miles up Grizzly Gulch. Creek crossings and deep mud holes make it a 4 x 4 road only (road is very narrow!)


Follow the seldom used road up Grizzly Gulch until its end.

The road is crossing Grizzly Creek three times.

The creek is very powerful (and icecold) during the spring run off, bring walking sticks for the crossing.

A well used trail leads you further up Grizzly Gulch after the road ends - you have a great view of the East Face of Grizzly Peak from several clearings in the forest.

The East Colouir is the obvious big snow ravine leading up the left side of the East Face - you cannot miss it.

The trail will lead you to another creek crossing. Follow a faint trail on the other side heading in the direction of the prominent East Face of Grizzly Peak - the colouir is right around the corner.

Route Description

The lower 2/3 of East Colouir is a moderate snow climb - on its last 1/3 the colouir is a lot narrower and steeper.

WARNING:

East Colouir is topped by a cornice at least until end of June - avalanche danger can be considerable!


Evaluate the colouir conditions carefully before you attempt any ascent.

Start very early, climb fast and stay on the left side of the colouir as several rock juts offer a better protection against avalanches.

I would exit the colouir on its left side when reaching the upper third of the colouir - except you fancy climbing straight up the cornice as it is blocking the access to the ridge.

From there another snow field with no or only small cornices on its top leads you up to the main ridge.


From the ridge it is a straightforward Class 1+ hike up to the main summit.

Returning to your car:

Scramble down from Grizzly Peak in direction of Loveland Pass (Standard Route).

Gentle slopes lead down to Grizzly Gulch from the ridge connecting Grizzly Peak with Cupid.

Pick your descent point carefully - most of the ridge is heavily corniced on the Grizzly Gulch side until at least end of June.

Hike along the creek and you will soon be back on the trail you came up on.

Camping/Mountain conditions

Several clearings along the way offer great spots for camping.

Please do not build your own fire ring - there are plenty already dotting the landscape you can pick from.

Make sure your fire is really out when you leave the campsite and abide to any fire bans in summer.

Pack out what you packed in

The mining road crosses two avalanche chutes coming down from Mount Baker.

The basin below the East Face/Ridge of Grizzly Peak is prone to avalanches.



Essential Gear

helmet, crampons, ice pick are a must