Blue Lake/Southeast Face

Page Type Page Type: Route
Location Lat/Lon: 40.08800°N / 105.633°W
Additional Information Route Type: Moderate snow climb/hike
Additional Information Time Required: Most of a day
Additional Information Difficulty: Class 2; 7 miles; 2,500 vertical
Sign the Climber's Log


From Colorado Highway 72 we turn west onto the Brainard Lake Road. My friend and I did this late in the year so the road was closed just east of Red Rock Lake. From there go to Brainard Lake staying on the north side of the lake. Once past the lake there is a junction in the road it is well signed follow the sign pointing to Mitchell Lake and Mount Audubon. Once at the parking lot go to the trail on the left which is right next to the outhouse. This is the Mitchell Lake trail at 10,500 feet.

Route Description

This is a well used trail and even with snow over it we didn't have any problems staying on the trail. After a mile Mitchell Lake will appear on the right (North) then after another mile of easy hiking Blue Lake will appear right in front of you (11,300'). Follow the trail on the right (North) side of Blue Lake and around to the back of the Lake. Here Mt Toll will be right in front of you with its imposing West face. This is where it gets fun. Look for a snow filled chute heading in a Southerly direction almost parallel with Toll's East face this is where you want to go up. Go right up the chute for approximately 500 feet until you reach a flat area at 12'100 feet. Here you will see a snowfield going up to Toll's summit. Go up the snowfield or head to the rocky section on the left to gain the summit. At the time we did it we were only able to go approximately 300 to 400 feet up the snowfield after that point it was getting icy so we made our way to the rocky section. If anyone would like to do the upper part of the snowfield I advise you to wear crampons. Like always the views from the summit were incredible.

When the snow melts out in the chute I can't tell you what it will be like. It was a great snow climb so do it when there is snow. Oct-June. Also the slopes past Blue Lake look like areas of potential avalanches so be careful and HAVE FUN!!

Essential Gear

Necessary item's - Ice ax is a must

Good boots for kicking foot holds in the snow

Crampons if the upper snowfield is desired. Because it gets steep and icy.

Wind Gear.

Any other essential gear needed for a long day

Miscellaneous Info

Climbing is dangerous and approach this peak with caution. This description was created from a hike in late November the conditions may vary depending on the time of year. The information contained in this description is based on the experiences I have had on this mountain. It is up to the climber in making good decisions and safe climbing techniques for themselves.

Additions and CorrectionsPost an Addition or Correction

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umbra alta

umbra alta - Jul 14, 2005 8:59 pm - Hasn't voted

Route Comment

In the fourth sentence of the route description there is a reference to the 'imposing west face'. It's actually the east face. : )

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