Peak:  Eureka Mountain A (13er)
 Route:  Eureka! Couloir
 Range:  Sangre de Cristo
 Posted By:  supranihilest
 Date of Info:  04/10/2021
 Date Posted:  04/10/2021

The Eureka! couloir is in perfect shape. Follow Hermit Pass Road to the signed trailhead and then continue straight ahead up a steep headwall. This is the first snow climb on the route and can be avoided by going higher on the road. At the top stay on the lower of two benches, the higher is sidehilly. Gear up at the base of the couloir then fire that sucker! Make a mental map of the couloir before going up, as there are several branches that go nowhere and it snakes around. With exception of the last 50 feet snow on the entire couloir was styrofoam to hard styrofoam, no mushy crap, no ice, no rock hard slab. Plenty of spindrift which has undoubtedly filled my tracks. The upper 50 feet was airy, icy, sugary garbage and hard to get purchase in. Some clawing my way up. I continued on to Hermit, Rito Alto, and 12,671, but you could down climb the couloir. Beware, it's pretty consistent in the 40-something degree range and the top is probably 50+.

Gear: I wore trail runners from the bottom of the road to 11,300 feet, then put on boots and snowshoes. I wore snowshoes to the bottom of the couloir then switched to crampons and axe. I would say flotation, axe, and traction are all mandatory.

Photos (click for slideshow):
#1) Eureka! couloir from afar. It’s the obvious big fat one on the right.#2) Getting close.#3) Looking up from the bottom.#4) Part way up.#5) Looking down.#6) Looking farther down.#7) Even farther!#8) A few options at the top.#9) The option I took, on the right in previous photo.#10) Looking down from the topout.#11) Route overview from 12,671. I took red, blue will save you some sidehilling on the upper bench.

Comments or Questions
04/10/2021 17:33
Looks fun, thx for sharing Ben.

04/10/2021 18:27
Brad, it's a great route, plenty of solitude up there today. Add it to your list!

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