• Date - 03/06/2020
  • Elevation - 11,400'
  • Route - Stairway to Heaven
  • Miles - 2.0
  • Elevation Gain - 1,500'
  • ACME Mapper - Link
  • CalTopo - Link
  • Partners -  Brian Kooienga


Brian and I drove from Montrose, Colorado, to Eureka, Colorado, this Friday morning with high hopes of climbing Highway to Hell.  We crossed the base of Stairway to Heaven on the approach and quickly found ourselves waist deep in sugar snow on a steep slope.  We post-holed and tried to make progress with little success.  We realized our efforts were futile and decided to climb Stairway to Heaven as a consolation.  It had been eight years since I was up the route.  Brian led pitches 1, 2, and 4 while I was on the sharp end for pitches 3 and 5.  We didn't start climbing until 11:30, but had plenty of time to complete the route.  We stopped off at Avalanche Brewing Company in Silverton, Colorado, before driving to Ouray, Colorado, for dinner at the Outlaw Restaurant.


Stairway to HeavenJames on the approach.Brian on pitch 1.Brian on pitch 1.Brian on pitch 2.Brian on pitch 2.Brian and James at the top of pitch 2.Views towards Eureka, Colorado.James on pitch 3.James on pitch 3.James on pitch 3.James on pitch 3.Brian on pitch 4.Brian on pitch 4.Brian and James at the top of Stairway to Heaven.James rappelling pitch 5.Brian rappelling pitch 2.James rappelling pitch 2.Brian on the descent.Stairway to HeavenPrime rib at the Outlaw Restaurant.