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Recommendations for Durango Area

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Recommendations for Durango Area

Postby birdhead » Wed Apr 24, 2013 3:05 am

I'll be staying with my family near Durango Mountain Resort. Never been to the San Juans before and I'm looking for recommendations for peak climbs or really scenic hikes with 2000-3000 feet of gain that are within 30 minutes drive that can be accomplished at a moderate pace in 3-4 hours. Engineer Mountain is on my radar and Spencer Peak near Molas Lake looks doable in a quick trip. Can anyone vouch for either of these climbs in Spring conditions? What are the snow conditions like in these areas? Is avalanche danger something to worry about right now? I have snowshoes and crampons/ice axe, if necessary, but would prefer to leave them at home. Thanks!
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Re: Recommendations for Durango Area

Postby AndyJB444 » Wed Apr 24, 2013 2:52 pm

When are you visiting? I would expect snow to stick around in the high San Juans through the latter part of May, and depending on your route selection you may need the crampons/ice axe.

Avalanche danger is dropping down there, so it will probably not be much to worry about - just watch for wet slides in the afternoon.

Silverton and Ouray are worth checking out too if you have some non-climbing down time.
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Re: Recommendations for Durango Area

Postby birdhead » Wed Apr 24, 2013 3:14 pm

When are you visiting?

Heading up there this weekend.
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Re: Recommendations for Durango Area

Postby Teresa Gergen » Wed Apr 24, 2013 6:21 pm

Here is the page for Engineer Mtn on listsofjohn.com:
http://listsofjohn.com/PeakStats/Climbers.php?Id=843

Engineer Mtn has one short narrow Class 3 section that is fun scrambling when dry.

Using the link to the snow depth map from this page reveals that Engineer Mtn and the route to it from US-550 is under 50-75" of snow:
http://www.nohrsc.nws.gov/interactive/h ... &zoom9.y=8

The Weather link from this page for the lat/long of Engineer Mtn indicates weekend high temps in the 50s and lows barely near freezing; could be posthole hell.
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Re: Recommendations for Durango Area

Postby wuykats » Wed May 15, 2013 7:11 am

There is a great hike to the Old 100 boarding house high on Galena Mountain outside of Silverton. Trail starts at about 10,500 and ends at the boarding house about 12,500. Take the rd from Silverton to Howardsville, then towards Stony Pass. Scott Fetchenhier at Fetch's in Silverton can give you co-ordinates and more info. Narrow trail, steep in places with a 200 ft. scramble to get down to the boarding house. Spectacular scenery, very historical also.
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