South Slopes/South-East Gully

South Slopes/South-East Gully

Page Type Page Type: Route
Location Lat/Lon: 37.97610°N / 105.5547°W
Additional Information Route Type: Hike/Scramble
Additional Information Time Required: Most of a day
Additional Information Difficulty: Class 2+
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If you have a 2WD car, park at the South Colony Trailhead at 8760ft. From there follow the South Colony 4WD road for approximately 4.3 miles to the beginning of the South-East Gully or for approximately 5 miles to the beginning of the South Slopes route. Up to this point the routes follow the same trail as the West Ridge route.

If you have a 4WD car, you can continue further up the road and find parking. For the South Slopes route it would be best to drive all the way to the final 4WD parking at 11040ft.

Route Description

South Slopes: (approx. 12 mile round-trip from South Colony Trailhead)

This route starts 5 miles from the South Colony Trailhead on the 4WD road at approximately 11000ft. You will reach a point on the road where the road starts to descent towards the creek and the final 4WD parking area and there will be a large clearing which allows you to see most of the South Slopes, including some cliffs around 13000ft (you cannot actually see the summit from here). From this point head straight up Humboldt Peak (north) and find the best route given the current conditions. During the winter and spring you will most likely get to choose between snow gullys and rocky sections and your route will depend on the snow conditions. During the summer this route could be a long climb through willows and on scree and rocks. However, either way, the climb will be exhausting and the views of Broken Hand Peak and the mountains to the south will be great. Unfortunately you cannot see the Crestones until you reach the summit.

Note: 1. Stay to the east (right) of the cliffs for the easiest ascent route. 2. The average slope of the steeper part of this climb is 35 degrees. 3. Be aware of potential avalanche danger.

South-East Gully: (approx. 12 mile round-trip from South Colony Trailhead)

This route starts 4.3 miles from the South Colony Trailhead on the 4WD road at approximately 10700ft. In order to take this route as an ascent route, it requires some route finding since there is no obvious turn-off point from the 4WD road. I primarily see this route as probably the fastest descent route from the summit if the conditions are good and thus I will discuss the route starting from the summit. However, the route could provide a great snow climb up the gully which averages 30 degrees.

For the easiest descent from the summit, head south towards the South Slopes and then traverse to the east (left) into the South-East Gully. Once you reach the top of the gully and the snow conditions are good/save, you can either plungestep or glissade down the gully for approximately 3000ft. Once you get to treeline and below, the gully narrows and you will reach a set of cliffs at about 11000ft. You can now either downclimb these cliffs (probably 30 feet) or find a path around them through the woods on either side. Once you pass the cliffs, continue down the gully through trees for approximately 200feet in elevation until you reach the 4WD road.

Note: The slope of the gully eases significantly over the last 200feet and route finding becomes more difficult. However, simply head south (downhill) and you will soon reach the road.

Essential Gear

Standard gear for Colorado hikes/climbs. Snowshoes or Crampons could be useful depending on conditions.

Miscellaneous Info

If you have information about this route that doesn't pertain to any of the other sections, please add it here.



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