Potosi Peak  
Condition Updates  
Route: Yankee Boy Basin/Coffepot Saddle
Posted On: 2022-07-20, By: JasonKline
Info: Summer conditions. It's as loose as they say. 
Route: From 4WD trailhead in Yankee Boy Basin
Posted On: 2021-09-06, By: ScottLovesRMNP
Info: Summer conditions. The worst part of this route is the traverse between the base of Coffeepot and the Coffeepot-Potosi saddle. Overall one of the loosest mountains I've ever been on. Saw a guy up there with no helmet near the top, which seemed crazy. When traversing around to the east side of Potosi, stay with the cairns — you contour around the mountain farther than you might think prior to climbing the sandy gully. 
Route: North Couloir
Posted On: 2021-05-28, By: supranihilest
Info: Potosi's north couloir is in and tons of fun. We ascended from the outhouse on Yankee Boy Basin Road basically in a straight line up to Coffee Pot. Down low and near the upper ridge the snow is melted and there's plenty of scree and loose rock to contend with. The long middle section is snow. In the early morning it was crunchy but good for walking right up, in the late morning it was soft but relatively solid. From below Coffee Pot we descended to the saddle with Potosi, got axe/tool/crampons out and dropped 400 feet north down mushy snow. We traversed over to the bottom of the north couloir where snow was much better. The couloir is straightforward and consistent in the 40ish degree range. At a small saddle at the top we climbed a short, nearly vertical snow wall on mushy snow to the summit. No scrambling on the upper mountain currently. We descended the standard route on snow by dropping south from the small saddle at the top of the couloir. The route is cairned and we left solid tracks across it. In general it stays below the peak's upper cliffs and far above the cliffs low in the basin. We traversed around to the Coffee Pot/Potosi saddle and then descended rock and snow back towards where we ascended, making a final traverse to the right above cliffs before rejoining our ascent route. Do NOT go straight down from Potosi. Gear: crampons and axe mandatory. A second axe was nice but not totally necessary. Flotation not needed. 
13 4
Route: North Couloir
Posted On: 2021-05-25, By: desertdog
Info: We climbed the North Couloir and traversed using the summer route on our descent. We started at the Yankee Boy Basin Trailhead and worked our way straight up to the ridge. Then dropped off the north side to gain access to the couloir. Other than the start at the TH the route is mostly snow. The snow conditions are variable from hard pack to post holing. We did post hole in the Couloir, but nothing major. Did not need snowshoes. Axe and crampons mandatory. 
Route: North Couloir with descent of the standard route
Posted On: 2020-07-04, By: Wildernessjane
Info: Summited Potosi via the North Couloir with a descent of the standard route. The couloir was continuous and still in good shape. We started up the couloir at 6:40 and didn't have any problems with rockfall (for reference, it had reached 32 degrees on the summit of Sneffels the night before). However, there was plenty of evidence of the route being the shooting gallery it is known for. The standard route was clear of snow. 
1
Route: Southeast Ridge
Posted On: 2020-06-29, By: Grover
Info: Ladies and gentlemen, we have a new leader in the category of 'All-Time Chossiest Route Ever'. Move over "Thunder Pyramid", Potosi Peak is now champ. What you suffer through during the crumbling loose rock and dirt gives way to a rewarding summit of a distinct peak you can always pick out from other San Juan summits. Hiked up underneath Coffee Pot, turned right and hiked the saddle to Potosi. Route from low point of the saddle to the entire other side of the peak comes with a faint route and some key cairns. I tried to bolster any existing cairns that were helpful. As others have reported, you do need to go all the way around the SE Ridge to find the right gully. The exit ramp is easily seen, then you choose your best line up to the flat, pebble covered summit. I did take the escape gully down at the low point of the Coffee Pot/Potosi saddle. I scouted out the grassy terrain from below the night before AND from above with binoculars after the summit. I found the grassy passage to be at ~12,400', and there was a faint game trail I could pick out with the binoculars. I avoided the cliffs and merged right into the route I took up. 
5
Route: From Teakettle
Posted On: 2019-08-16, By: WildWanderer
Info: Summer conditions except for final gully: it has a surprising amount of snow, turning it into a class 3 scramble. The dirt around the snow is saturated with water and will suck your shoes off. 
2 1
Route: Standard
Posted On: 2018-06-08, By: illusion7il
Info: All clear. Looks like there are 2 major fires now. Pic was taken at 5:30pm 
1
Route: North couloir
Posted On: 2018-05-17, By: trailboss88
Info: Ascended from Yankee Boy basin to saddle, dropped down other side to climb North couloir. Significant rockfall during climb. Soft snow on saddle (in sun since sunrise) and rockfall in area led me to descend to Weehawken Creek trail via some bushwhacking. Hitched ride back to Yankee Boy. 
Route: North Couloir
Posted On: 2016-05-14, By: k-berger
Info: Made an attempt at the North Couloir on Potosi today. Approached from Yankee Boy, the road is clear up to the governors basin junction. Snow on the east facing slope between coffee pot and Potosi down into the basin was pretty wet as we made our way down to the base of the Couloir (around 730 or . Didn't feel that we had the time to climb and ski Potosi before that slope was unsafe since we had to reclimb it. Hot day out there, ton of snow still. First pic is of the North Couloir, second one is of the saddle back up to coffee pot / Potosi. Wet slide likely happened the day before. 

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