Direct SE Face Route

Page Type
Colorado, United States, North America
Route Type:
Hiking, Mountaineering, Mixed, Scrambling
Summer, Fall
Time Required:
A long day
A hard rock climb. Loose rock + lots of exposure.
Rock Difficulty:
5.2 (YDS)
Number of Pitches:

Route Quality: 1 Votes

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Direct SE Face Route
Created On: Sep 9, 2009
Last Edited On: Dec 10, 2010


For all of you risk takers out there, here is a more dangerous alternative that puts you directly on this mountains South-east face. This part of the Elk Range, known as the Ruby Mountains, contains EXTREMELY loose rock and thats what makes this route a long day challenge. This is an extremal unpopular to an unknown route that only 10 people at the most have attempted. I have attempted an easy way to get up this route even though I have climbed the mountain 5 times before, but could not summit due to the weather. This route is extremely dangerous and is only for experienced rock climbers looking for more of a challenge. The main route up this is the SE Slopes, but this route is used by the locals. Since I have not personally experienced every variation of the entire route, some of the info on this page will be coming from the info that my friend, who has actually climbed every variation, gave me. He explained it as a "hard-core bad-ass stupid fun adventure".

Getting There

Getting to Crested Butte should be very easy, but once your there, go out of town, passing the cemetery and to the left is a sign for Slate River Road. Take this 2WD dirt road down to a sign that is marked Daisy Pass Tr. There is a parking area for 2WD vehicles. This is the beginning of the route if you have a 2WD vehicle, if you have 4WD vehicle, feel free to go across the river and enter paradise as you roll into the Daisy basin landscape. If you keep going down the road you will see a side road going down to a river. Park before you go down that road because that road is closed and that is the beginning of the route up Schuylkill. In front of you is a huge towering waterfall falling about 150 feet down from Augusta Mountain. That should be a good mark for the beginning of the trail.

Route Description

Route ReferenceRoute Reference
From the starting point explained above. Go up a steep shale slope until you get to a land slide that has been partially cleared so ATVs and dirt bikes could get through. Then you continue up the dramatical eroded trail. The summit is in view the entire time. You zig-zag up the valley until you get to a marker that tells you that ATVs, Dirt bikes, Mountain bikes, or Jeeps are not permitted. Only hikers and horses are permitted. But if you go past the marker, you are taking the Daisy Pass SE slopes route. If you go back to the start of the previous zig zag, you will look in front of you and see a pond. In the spring, this pond may be covered in snow. There is no trail but this is what you are going to do. Go towards the pond as you are hiking up towards the rock slope on the mountain. You will come to rock slide of gray and medium sized rocks that lead up towards the mountain. Often, there is snow on this slide. The rock slide is located right along the grass and rock line. For reference, use the image to the left for all the possible options. Keep going until the part where the rock slide gets really wide from there, your options begin, here is the list of options.

Option 1:

To your right, you see a steep, but easier way to get onto the ridge by the mountain instead of ascending the face of it vertically. If you take this route, you will only be experiencing a hike with 2 or 3 Class 4 pitches. The beginning of this route, the slope on which you walk on is about two feet wide. The first pitch is very mild and you could go around it. The second pitch is a little harder. It is a 90 degree rock wall that rises about 25 feet with no way around. If you do not want to use ropes or don't have ropes the day you climb this, go around it by balancing your self on the cliff like slope. You gain alot of exposure doing this and it is very dangerous. After you pass this you don't walk far before approaching the next pitch. If you want to consider it a pitch you certainly can, but some people would argue. You could scramble up this easily, But you are forced to scramble around it and in the process you gain alot of exposure. After that you get to the ridge and you can scramble to the summit from there. This is the safest option, but if your looking for a dangerous adventure, go with option 2.

Option 2:

This is for all the people who want a dangerous adventure. Ropes are required if you take this way. Make a left and scramble up a rock field until you get to the rock cliff. Make a sharp left and balance your self on the slope until you see a crevice above you to your right. You go up the crevice. You will run into numerous pitches while going thought the crevice. You are basically taking crevices that kind of zig zag up this the hole time. After you are up this crevice, you will see nothing but a rock climb from here on out. You have two different ways of getting to the summit from here. If you look far to your left you will see a huge rock wall unlike the rest of the face. You go over to that rock wall and go around it to the top of the ridge leading to the summit. Or you can you directly up and follow a sort of invisible line of rock until you get to a part where it becomes a steep and dangerous scramble to the summit. Either way you are going to need ropes. Once you get to the summit it would be a good idea to take a different route down because repelling down this could be difficult due to the sharp edges and unpredictable rock.

Option 3:

This option is about the same except you are traversing over from the start of Option 2 or you are going up from the pond. For this one you are rock climbing a little more and there are less crevices. Eventually it brings you up to the big rock wall that stands out. You could go around the rock wall to the ridge, then summit or you can do a dangerous traverse to Option 2 and finish off the climbing there. This is the most dangerous option witch I don't recommend.

Essential Gear

Ropes are required for this. With out them, you can not take this way. A good rock helmet and a good pair of hiking boots are also essential for this. And plus all your basic hiking equipment.

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