Northwest Face “Classic”

Page Type
Colorado, United States, North America
Route Type:
Spring, Summer
Time Required:
A long day
Rock Difficulty:
Class 4

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Northwest Face “Classic”
Created On: Jun 17, 2006
Last Edited On: Jul 11, 2006


West Face Route MapRoute Map
Since the closure of issues surfaced in 2005 the effort to create a Standard Route has been undertaken by the Colorado Mountain Club, Telluride Mountain Club and a number of individual climbers. This information is from first hand knowledge of the route.

Getting There

Cairn that marks the West Face Route Start

Follow the normal road approach to the Silver Pick Road Parking area. Leave the Silver Pick Road just before the second gate. Look for the cairn marking trail and turn west (left). Route finding is important since the trail is not well defined. Follow the cairned trail till you reach the open scree slope. A better defined trail was evident in May of 2006 leading across the base of the slope. This will improve over time. Navigate to the point north of the land closure and until it joins the Burro Trail. (See Route Map)

Route Description

Take a left and go up...
Stay on Burro Trail until you reach the “Y” junction south of Big Bear Creek. Turn southeast (left) paralleling the left bank of Big Bear Creek on a well defined pack trail to 12,200 feet. A small camp site is located at 12,000 feet makes for a good overnight for an pre-dawn start; the route is completely visible from this point Continue in a southeasterly direction leaving the drainage and climb directly toward the top of the bowl.
West Face Route

At the top of the bowl climb directly toward the well defined gully that leads to the summit ridge. The gully is full of loose rock and involves some moderately exposed 4th Class climbing. Near the top of the gully angle left on what appears to be an obvious line and finish on the last few meters on the easy ridgeline leading the summit.

Essential Gear

For late spring and early summer conditions crampons and an ice axe are necessary. A helmet is a must!

Winter and early spring be prepared for avalanche conditions; beacons, probes and shovels.

External Links

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Northwest Face “Classic”

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