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North Couloirs

North Couloirs

North Couloirs

Page Type: Route

Location: Colorado, United States, North America

Lat/Lon: 39.00950°N / 106.4982°W

Object Title: North Couloirs

Route Type: Mountaineering, Skiing

Season: Spring

Time Required: Most of a day

Difficulty: Intermediate or Advanced Snow Climb; Advanced or Extreme Ski Descent, D7 or D13

Grade: III

Route Quality: 
 - 1 Votes


Page By: Brian Kalet

Created/Edited: Apr 30, 2007 / Apr 6, 2012

Object ID: 289582

Hits: 2611 

Page Score: 74.01%  - 4 Votes 

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Sayres Benchmark is a bicentennial thirteener, standing high as the 129th highest peak in Colorado. Sayres' North Couloirs are the aesthetically pleasing couloirs many notice from the summit of La Plata Peak. There are many options to choose from on the north face, but only the easiest and most difficult routes are described.
Sayres Benchmark s North Couloirs
Sayres Benchmark's North Couloirs

Getting There

Drive 14.5 miles west on CO 82 from the US 24-CO 82 intersection or 9.2 miles east on CO 82 from Independence Pass to the well-signed La Plata Trailhead.

Route Description

Folow the La Plata Gulch trail until it starts climbing out of La Plata Gulch and up La Plata Peak and continue up La Plata Gulch. Sayres Benchmark's striking north face will soon dominate your view. Climb and/or descend either couloir. The looker's right, called Grand Central Couloir, is the easiest and is rated as a D7 on the D Scale with a maximum slope angle approaching 40 degrees. The looker's left, called X Rated, is the most difficult and is rated as a D13 on the D Scale with a maximum slope angle of 48 degrees.
Sayres Benchmark s North Couloirs
Sayres Benchmark's North Couloirs. Click to enlarge.

Roundtrip Distance: 10 miles
Elevation Gain: 3758'

Essential Gear

Ice axe and crampons if uncomfortable on frozen snow.

External Links

Andy Dimmen's Trip Report
April 19, 2007 Trip Report
June 10, 2006 Trip Report + History
June 19, 2005 Trip Report


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