Red Peak B  
Condition Updates  
Route: Zodiac traverse
Posted On: 2022-07-19, By: blazintoes
Info: A genuine traverse begins and ends on a summit and we chose to approach from the west to climb up Red Mtn B and traverse to Silverthorne aka Willow BM along all the technical towers and eventually end on Zodiac View which is the official terminus of the traverse. I brought one of my 60m twin ropes, a small rack of .3-#1 cams, stoppers, webbing, rap rings, rock climbing shoes, harness, helmet and my mini Jul belay device for the skinny 8mm rope rappels. We hustled 7 miles on the Gore Creek trail to Red Buffalo pass where we got wet feet from willow and creek crossing. Also you must walk 2.5 mph to avoid mosquitoes. We were on pace and summited Red Peak by 8 after a 0415 departure. The gorgeous day afforded time to enjoy the summit and plan our traverse of the 9 towers. Red is such a nice easy peak with good views of Dillon Lake, the Tenmile, Sawatch, and Front range. Once down Red we got our gear ready and started the class 4 scramble of Cancer our first tower followed by a 40' down climb to the first anchor. The webbing was in good shape and I rapped first but pre rigged my partner's making sure we would all get down safely. Also approaching from the west allows safe bail out options if weather or anything else stymies progress. We 3 rapped without issue and I coiled the rope and off we scrambled up the class 4 Capricorn tower. Another down climb to another good anchor and short rap followed by the one free hanging long 85' rappel. Wheeeeee! The next scramble up the twin Gemini towers was excellent and we found the north chimney up between the two and again the rap anchors were in good condition. At last we're starring headlong at Taurus' intimidating face and this was by far my favorite scramble of the day at a solid class 4 scramble. This reminded me of the Partners traverse with CarpeDM a couple years ago. Super fun! Another rap that was somewhat junky and my rope was getting abused. There is potential for slicing through the rope and I explained to my crew how to help ensure we don't do that now onward because we have the crux on Scorpio. Scorpio is the smallest of the towers and after the 80' rappel off Taurus you scoot east then hook around to Scorpios north side where there is a more technical face with positive holds and many places to put gear. I slung a small pinch of rock with a mini sling and stepped right over the face with excellent holds. Above the sling I placed my # 1 cam and continued up the west lichen face. The lichen was very thick but the climbing was low angle and I didn't place anymore gear. The summit anchor was in good shape and I put my partners on belay. They looked good on the summit and we were all happy to be done with the crux. The next tower Libra has a fantastic knife edge and Andrew looked good up on Libra Prime that is a short quick but loose class 5 move up and down. Sagittarius is a longer class 2/3 east ridge scramble and the old piton raps were rusty but again solid and in good shape. After this final 10th rappel we are looking at Aires the final tower that is a class 2/3 and decided to put all the gear away and put our hiking shoes back on. Aires goes quickly and the afternoon sun is hot. We choose the class 3/4 gully up to the saddle between East and Silverthorne because why not and our scrambling cups are filled. We hoot and holler at the top then decide to skip East because it's 1730 and we have a long way to go. We find the Willow BM and cruise down the ridge to our final summit of Zodiac view. The descent is littered with alpine flowers and we finally got annihilated by mosquitoes when filled up our water at a small creek at 11,000' We quickly bushwhacked backed to Gore Lake trail with Andrew's excellent navigation and finally back on Gore creek trail by 10pm for a successful Zodiac traverse, party of three. Nice job team! Muah! 
15 3
Route: Ryan Gluch/Red Buffalo Pass
Posted On: 2021-09-18, By: madmattd
Info: Easy trail conditions other than a myriad of half-broken bridges across numerous stream crossings near the Gore Range Trail/spur from Buffalo Mountain junction. Trail junction by the lake that heads towards Red Buffalo Pass isn't really visible until you are almost at it; hint: it's by the lake. Obvious options to cut up directly from treeline and cut off some distance if desired instead. I was surprised to find a solid use trail most of the way from the pass to the summit, other than the talus section half-way up. Stay on or just West of the ridge crest for the best going. On my way back I somehow ended up on a secondary spur of the Gore Range Trail just above treeline, which after following it for a while before realizing my error didn't seem like it would actually connect to the proper trail. Easy enough to cut down and join the correct trail but a bit surprising. I wonder where it goes? Tons of people near the falls that came down from the Ryan Gulch/Buffalo Mountain TH. That 400' reascent was unpleasant but short at least. 
Route: Via Red Buffalo Pass
Posted On: 2020-09-14, By: jfm3
Info: I ran the Buffalo Mountain Loop on September 13 and summited Red Peak from Red Buffalo Pass. There was minimal snow to cross in the upper basin immediately east of the pass, and some mud in the trees on the approach. There were a few steps of firm, cold snow on the ridge but these may melt out quickly. Photos: 1. Southwest view from the summit toward Holy Cross. Decent view of the upper ridge from Red Buffalo Pass here. 2. West view from the summit. The snow was never any more widespread than this on the ridge. 3. South view from the summit. There is snow on the north side of Eccles Pass but it was melting quickly. Unavoidable in some spots but no need for gaiters or spikes. 4. Red Peak, including the entire ascent ridge, from Eccles Pass. 
4
Route: South Slopes
Posted On: 2020-04-05, By: supranihilest
Info: From Buffalo Mountain Trailhead I took the South Willow Creek Trail to the base of Buffalo Mountain's Silver Couloir and then straight downhill to the creek where I crossed on a less-than-ideal snow/rock hop combo. I then made my way up to the Gore Range Trail and started heading west, following old cross country ski tracks and then once again blazing my own trail. I had intended to climb up to Red Buffalo Pass and take the south ridge but the entire ridge, miles long, was guarded by the most enormous cornice I've ever seen. I cut north prior to the Pass and took broad snow slopes up all the way to the summit. These slopes were beneath the slide angle but were still kind of uncomfortable. Fortunately the snow was stable, but there were numerous cornice falls throughout the day and by the time I descended the snow was softening and I was kicking down rollerballs and wet sloughs were releasing from rocky outcrops. If anyone ends up climbing Red in the next couple of days try and follow my lower track on the ascent; if you take the upper track where it splits you'll gain elevation that you're then forced to give up, only to have to gain it again. Also don't forget there's 400 feet of elevation gain coming out of South Willow Creek drainage. Flotation is necessary (I wore snowshoes from car-to-car), traction is unnecessary, and an ice axe is only nice if you aren't totally comfortable on moderate angle snow otherwise it's dead weight. 
9
Route: South Willow Creek
Posted On: 2019-07-21, By: RyanSchilling
Info: Snow-free until near Red Buffalo Pass, where it is easily avoidable. From there, the southern exposure has left the ridge clear all the way to the peak. Debris from a monumental avalanche covers the trail and creek for a section about midway up the valley, but the trail is pretty obvious coming out the other side. Astonishingly there weren't any mosquitoes. Have they not hatched here yet? 
Route: Via Eccles Pass (Meadow Creek TH)
Posted On: 2018-10-14, By: Wildernessjane
Info: Summited Red Peak via Eccles Pass from Meadow Creek TH yesterday. Microspikes were really nice to have on the hike in as there was lots of ice on the trail. We elected not to bring snowshoes but honestly they would've been really nice to have. The hike in to Eccles Pass was fine without them, but once dropping into the basin on the other side the snow got pretty deep (ranging from six inches on upward to 2-1/2 feet in spots). I'm sure we would've been much faster through the basin if we'd had them. With all the new snow, I would say snowshoes will be needed. The south ridge was snowy but we did not use any traction. 
1
Route: Zodiac Ridge
Posted On: 2018-08-14, By: jkillgore
Info: A small patch of snow on the S. end of ridge, but it is out of the way and we didnt detour to it. Otherwise, the route is very dry. Anchor-wise, it seems the rodents here love the taste of nylon and polyester. Supposedly the anchors were fine earlier this summer, but we found a few of them suspect. We beefed up a couple anchors with fresh cord and webbing, but I wouldnt assume they'll stay that way. The next group might want to bring 2-3 rap rings and probably another 20' or so of tat to really tighten things up. We also found a few of the rappel lengths listed in online TRs to be a bit short. Expect to use all of 30 m in a few places deemed to be 60'-90'. 
Route: Zodiac Traverse
Posted On: 2016-07-10, By: WillRobnett
Info: Came from the west side 
Route: View from down the hill
Posted On: 2016-06-29, By: WillRobnett
Info: View from down the hill 
Route: view from valhalla
Posted On: 2016-06-26, By: WillRobnett
Info: view from valhalla 
Route: from wildernest
Posted On: 2013-06-23, By: jeremy27
Info: A few snowbanks to deal with below treeline. A snowbank/cornice at red buffalo pass that is easily passable on the right. Clear hiking from the pass though we lost the trail. Good luck. 

Return to the main Peak Conditions page
© 2022 14ers.com®, 14ers Inc.