• Date - 04/06/2018
  • Elevation - 11,500'
  • Route - Campground Couloir
  • Miles - 2.0
  • Elevation Gain - 1,100'
  • ACME Mapper - Link
  • CalTopo - Link
  • Partners - Brian Kooienga, Kevin Smith


Brian, Kevin, and I had been talking about climbing in South Mineral Creek for years.  If the routes were in, avalanche conditions were poor.  If avalanche potential was low, the routes were never in.  It is also more difficult to catch these routes when you are coming from the Front Range in eastern Colorado.  The three of us had a great trip to Cody, Wyoming, two months prior, and wanted to get some more climbing in.  Despite it being early April, we took a gamble and made a drive down to the San Juan Mountains.

We left Denver, Colorado, late on Thursday evening and and got a hotel in Montrose, Colorado, for a couple of hours of sleep.  We woke up Friday and finished the drive to South Mineral Creek and were able to drive all the way to the campground.  The Campground Couloir was in good shape and we finally got to climb it.  Kevin led pitch 1 and Brian led pitch 2.  We rappelled down and then traversed to climbers left and I led a third pitch since we were in the area.  Afterward, we went into Silverton, Colorado, to get a hotel and have some pizza and beer.


South Mineral CampgroundGearing UpCampground CouloirCampground Couloir (Bonus pitch 3 is on the left.)Campground CouloirKevinBrianJamesKevin leading pitch 1.Kevin leading pitch 1.Brian leading pitch 2.Brian leading pitch 2.Brian and Kevin traversing to pitch 3.Bonus Pitch 3Kevin, Brian, and JamesSilverton, Colorado