Queens Way

Page Type: Route
Lat/Lon: 40.05800°N / 105.651°W
Route Type: Snow Coulior
Time Required: A long day
Difficulty: Class 2+


Queens Way Couloir, Apache PeakBegin your royal ascent of Queens Way by way of Long Lake Trailhead. The first couple of miles is relatively easy travel on Pawnee Pass Trail. At 2-1/4 miles, or approximately 10,887 feet in elevation, you will want to fork left at the trail junction for Isabelle Glacier. This will take you along the Northern flanks of Lake Isabelle. Another 1-1/2 miles will place you at a small glacial pool at the base of the glacier. This is the point where those mountaineers who still fear and feel intimidation will pause to confirm their goal for the day. The start of the couloir still dangles another 600 feet above you and getting there will be a stout warm up to the couloir proper. Carefully judge the conditions and amount of snow, and pick your line up the glacier accordingly. In late season it's easy to go North and above the pool to gain the glacier. If you climb in the winter or early season, use caution and understand that there is a very cold pool of water there. Becuase of this, we flanked high and left (South) of the pool. You’re now on your way...

Route Description

Gerry Roach, in his guide book Colorado's Indian Peaks, Classic Hikes and Climbs, states this snow couloir to be a humble 35 degrees. I recall it feeling quite a bit steeper. The climb itself is self explanatory. Once in the couloir, climb up and out. Your efforts will be well rewarded. Once at the top of the couloir, look back for an amazing view of the glacier and the lakes it feeds. From here, take a direct line to the summit, or skirt North to gain the ridge and follow it to the top. The common descent route on Apache is via the East Ledges as described by Kane here.

Essential Gear

As always, bring a standard mountain daypack with your custom tailored gear/clothing arsenal. A mountain axe and crampons will likely be required to do this route.

Miscellaneous Info

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