RGP Attempt - Memorial Day Weekend 2004

Page Type
Trip Report
Colorado, United States, North America
Date Climbed/Hiked:
May 30, 2004
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Created On: May 31, 2004
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I didn't want to taint the summit log since I didn't reach the summit, but I thought I'd share my experience here as a trip report.

First, I have to say, the Pyramid is breathtaking. The hike alone was inspirational. Aaron did a great job of describing how wonderful this place is. Suffice it to say he is right. You have to see it.

I opted to camp at the 3rd stream crossing and attempt the summit on Sunday. Right away things went off course.... or should I say, I went off course. There is a sign immediately past the stream crossing that says "Skyline Trail." It pointed straight ahead, along the Weminuche Trail that I hiked in. The Roach book says the Skyline/Opal Lake Trail is about 100 yards past the stream. I did not see a trail after 100 yards. After maybe 500 yards I saw a trail to the right and I took it. After a few minutes on this trail it became obvious it was not going where I wanted to go (it wasn't climbing). I retraced my steps looking for the correct trail but did not find it. So I turned around again thinking surely I had been on the right trail all along, and it was about to start climbing right after I had turned back. It did not.

At this point I decided I would just scramble up the slope and hope to find the Opal Lake Trail. This took quite a bit of time but eventually I found it (I was off-trail from 10,650' to 11,850').

After that the hiking was pretty easy, and my first glimpse of the Pyramid and the Window erased any frustration I had felt. After about 12,200' snow started to be an issue and this slowed me down a bit. By the time I reached the saddle it was almost noon. Since there was still plenty of snow between me and the summit I decided I didn't have enough time, and decided instead to climb Point 13,278 to the northeast of RGP. This was relatively easy, and upon reaching the summit I was not disappointed in the slightest. Fantastic view of the Pyramid and the rest of the San Juans. 7 people had signed the summit log in 2003; I was the first to sign in 2004.

I thought to myself how fortunate I am to live in Colorado... because I can (and will) come back in the summer to try and climb The Rio Grande Pyramid again!

Epilogue: I followed the Opal Lake/Skyline Trail to the bottom on the way back. It actually dumps you onto the Weminuche Trail pretty much *immediately* past the stream. I'll put a note on the Route Page with more on this.


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