"Ooh La La!", as named by Gerry Roach in his Indian Peak Wilderness guidebook, is the remote peak that separates the two largest Saint Vrain Glaciers in the north eastern section of the Indian Peaks Wilderness. Ooh La La rises 285 feet from the connecting saddle with Ogalalla Peak so its promience is perhaps not enough to be considered a separate peak, although its position relative to the Saint Vrain Glaciers makes it an interesting mountain to climb. Ooh La La can be climbed from the east via either of the two northern most Saint Vrain Glaciers. Ooh La La can also be easily climbed once on the continential divide proper as a secondary peak if climbing near the adjacent Ogalalla Peak to the north.
The Saint Vrain glaciers area is also an excellent are for backcountry skiing in June and July although the 8 mile approach is long and a skiing excursion into this area is probably best accomplished as an overnight or multi-day trip.
From the east, the most common approach is from the Middle Saint Vrain trailhead which is reached from Camp Dick. Drive to Peaceful Valley along CO 72 (peak-to-peak highway). Turn west at signs for Peaceful Valley / Camp Dick. Drive the road west through Camp Dick until reaching 2WD parking. 4WD vehicles can continue another 4 miles west along a rough road to reach the Middle Saint Vrain trailhead. The initial 4WD road is somewhat rough but the road improves slightly although there are multiple water crossings as you climb up towards the Middle Saint Vrain trailhead. There are several campsites along the 4WD road. This road is also used by recreational ATVs and off-road vehicles. If you choose to park at the 2WD parking, you can either hike up the 4WD road, or take a hiking trail that parallels the road. The hiking trail is mostly isolated from the road giving a more wilderness experience. Hiking the road may be faster but is more tedious and monotonous.
From the Middle Saint Vrain trailhead follow the Saint Vrain Glacier trail for about 4 miles west. You will cross over the Saint Vrain Glacier creek a couple of times, which can be challenging when water levels are high earlier in the season.
The Indian Peak Wilderness is divided into zones. Ooh la la is in the Middle Saint Vrain backcountry zone. There are no special backcountry restrictions for this zone. See this link
for more information about backcountry camping in the Indian Peaks Wilderness.
Camp Dick and Peacefully Valley campgrounds are developed pay campgrounds which are along the 2WD approach road to the 2WD trailhead after turning off of CO 72 (peak-to-peak highway).
There are multiple undeveloped drive in campsites for camping along the 4 mile 4WD road between Camp Dick and the Middle Saint Vrain Trailhead.
There are no specific developed backcountry campsites in the Saint Vrain valley, however many pristine locations exist for camping with considerable solitude on the approach hike to the Saint Vrain Glaciers.
When To Climb
Ooh La La Express
Climbing Ooh La La is most interesting as a snow climb. Generally, snow climbing conditions in the Indian Peaks are best once the spring snowpack consolidates into firm neve and corn snow. Depending on this season this occurs from late-May to late-June. Conditions remain good throughout the summer into fall, although later in the season the routes will become more icy.
The northern most Saint Vrain Glacier route (Ooh La La express) will develop a bergschund that cuts off the upper couloir from the lower glacier by late-July to August depending on the snow year. It is best to climb this route before the bergshund forms.
The southern Saint Vrain Glacier route (Vrain Drain) has no bergshund but may have a cornice which melts back by August most years.
Traversing the continential divide ridge to climb Ooh La La should be doable most any time of year, although reaching this remote section of the continential divide may be considerably more difficult in winter.