southeast couloir

Page Type Page Type: Route
Location Lat/Lon: 37.68930°N / 107.6022°W
Additional Information Route Type: Hiking, Mountaineering
Seasons Season: Spring, Summer, Fall
Additional Information Time Required: Half a day
Additional Information Difficulty: 3
Sign the Climber's Log


The easiest approach to the climb involves taking the Durango & Silverton Narrowguage Railroad to the Elk Park Stop. Otherwise start from Molas Pass and hike the extra miles in to the railroad crossing. From there, head up the Elk Creek trail for about 2.5 miles to a distinct Beaver Pond. Directly past the Beaver Ponds take the trail to the right, the Vestal Creek trail. This trail will stay on a bench above Vestal Creek most of the way up the valley. It is a difficult and poorly maintained trail. In a Meadow that sits well below the saddle between Arrow and Vestal there is a trail to the right. There are good campsites in the trees a little further along th trail, and the climb starts here. If you want to do the approach and climb all in one day, it will be a very, very long day.

Route Description

Follow the trail from the Lower Meadow up the hillside to a flat area below the saddle between Arrow and Vestal. Find the best route to the ridge of the red rock glacier that fills this area and follow this to the steep ascent up to the saddle. Climb the scree slope to the saddle. Once on the saddle follow the ridge to your right until you hut the slopes of Vestal. The trail will stay on a low ascending traverse of the slope for around .5 miles, until it reaches a large steep gully. The route goes up the west wall of this gully. Stay out of the bottom of the gully as rocks most likely will fall through here while you climb. The route stays on a series of legdes and block for 500-700 feet up this gully. Near the top the gully takes on more of an ampitheater form. Stay to the left here. Just below the ridgeline leading to the summit is the base of a small steep gully. Ascend to the summit ridge from here. The summit ridge is quite narrow with great views. hike maybe a hundred feet along this ridge to the summit. This route is used as the descent route for Wham Ridge.

Essential Gear

This gully might be a snow climb early in the season.

Miscellaneous Info

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