Peak Fifteen  
Condition Updates  
Route: South Couloir via Ruby Basin
Posted On: 2022-07-12, By: Wildernessjane
Info: Summited Peak Fifteen from Ruby Basin. There was snow in the scree/approach gully but it was avoidable. The lower half of the couloir was pretty wet in sections but doable. Took the Garrett and Martin variation instead of the standard slabs, which was easy enough to locate thanks to the Chicago Transplant's Summitpost picture (many thanks!). Used Metolius UL cams #7 and 8 in the first anchor and #1 and small black Tricam in the second (would take a third small peice if doing it again and bringing up followers - #2 was too big). I also used a couple small/medium sized pieces (#2 or 3 and 5 to protect my seconds on the traverse). We used a 60 meter half rope folded over, which was great for the first pitch but needed to simul a short distance to get to a decent anchor on the second. Leader is basically soloing the crux section but rock quality was pretty good here, especially relative to the rest of the mountain, and it is short. We reinforced/backed up a couple of the rappel anchors and carried out some old tat. I would recommend taking some extra webbing and examining the conditions of the anchors. Storms are building really fast right now. We had clear skies on the summit but got rained/hailed on as we were scrambling down to the last rappel station in the couloir. Fortunately the storm moved through pretty quickly. I also think this gave us better traction on the approach/scree gully as this descent was much more pleasant than expected. 
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Route: South Couloir via Ruby Basin
Posted On: 2021-08-04, By: Shattuck311
Info: South Couloir has running water but no snow left. All rap stations on the way down have good slings. Summit register needs a pen/pencil if anyone is willing to carry one up  
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Route: South Couloir via Ruby Basin
Posted On: 2021-07-31, By: tjf242424
Info: The approach gully from Ruby Basin is dry. There's actually snow buried under the gravel, but we didn't even realize until we were plunge stepping on the way down and uncovered the snow. But no need for any special gear. The south couloir between Peak Fifteen and Sixteen is obvious when you've reached it. There is lots of water running down the gully and both 4th class sections are very wet but climbable in approach shoes. The exit from the gully is fairly obvious, but I have no idea where the best line for the crux pitch might go. The line we climbed was easy, but the rock quality was pretty poor. After unroping, the rest of the way to the summit was obvious. There's no writing implement in the summit register. We made multiple rappels on the descent, including down the wet 4th class sections of the gully. The water would make downclimbing fairly tricky. Once back to the Little Finger saddle, the descent back to camp goes quickly. We did it in 8:15 camp to camp. Photo: Leave the Animas River Trail where a long line of tree branches placed end to end point the way to the start of the Ruby Basin Trail. 
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Route: South Couloir via Ruby Basin
Posted On: 2021-06-25, By: desertdog
Info: We hiked in from Purgatory Flats TH. Lots of downed trees after the Columbine Carving on the Aspen Tree. This made following the trail tough, so there was some bushwacking. It took us 9 hours to reach the lakes. There is snow both on the slope to the saddle and the gully to the technical section. I think this made the climb to the saddle a bit easier. We used crampons and our axes in both areas. Also water is running down the gully. We descended in a light rain. Get ready for a long day. It took us 12.5 from our camp at the lake. 
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Route: South Couloir via Ruby Basin
Posted On: 2020-09-09, By: Marmot72
Info: Route was as dry as could be wished for, with only a few traces of water in the ascent gully, but then the peak got 6-12 inches of snow on 9/8. Register has no writing utensil. 
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Route: South Couloir via Ruby Basin
Posted On: 2020-08-16, By: angry
Info: Hiked in 17 miles from Purgatory to camp at ~11,400. Ascended the couloir east of Peak 15 between Little Finger and Point 13,290 which was crap scree. From the saddle, we made a descending traverse to about ~12,500 to the south facing col. There was some water running in the class 4 section but it is easy climbing so we just scrambled up. We traversed over to the 5.4 crux pitch and that is when we brought out the rope, placing only one nut for pro. This was also very short and easy. From there, a quick jaunt to the summit. On the descent, we missed the first rappel station and ended up down climbing to the rap anchor that puts you at the 15/16 saddle. A quick ascent of 16 and then we down climbed to the top of the wet class 4 section and used the two rap anchors there to descend. 
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Route: South Couloir via Ruby Basin
Posted On: 2020-07-01, By: Jakomait
Info: Bit of snow and wet rock up the S Couloir, upper part is totally dry. Rap anchors are in OK shape, most have some new steel biners on them, thanks to who ever did that. 
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Route: South Couloir via Ruby Basin
Posted On: 2018-07-03, By: illusion7il
Info: The peak is so dry there wasn't even a trickle of water in the couloir. Took a beating pushing my way up and down the New York creek drainage. All rap stations had 4-5 pieces of webbing/slings and I'm sure they are all from last year, but they obviously all held me. Smoke got very dense in the afternoon. Summit pic was at 2pm. Big thanks to Hoot for putting up the route description as it worked perfectly. The republic of Texas summit register is in rough shape. John Kirk started a new one last year is the only signature. Thoughts: The rock quality is horrible. I can not believe how many hand and foot placements just crumbled away. Hopefully I cleaned up the climb a little for the next person. There is no way I could have climbed this without rock shoes. A 60m rope worked great for all the rappels. 
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Route: South Face
Posted On: 2017-08-10, By: Stratosfearsome
Info: Peak 15 today from camp at Ruby Lake. Animas and Monitor on Tuesday after I aborted my first attempt on fifteen because of 8am rain storms. Too dangerous. Wednesday it rained at 6:30am. Took a rest day. Not a drop all day today, Thursday, 8/10/17. Backpacked out to Purgatory Flats after the climb. Ouch. Anyways, Peak 15 is a chossy, steep, complex beast. The 15-16 couloir has zero snow, but quite a bit of water running down it. Various places on the face were wet from monsoon seepage, but avoidable. The gully up from Ruby Basin, east of little finger has some snow coverage but I bypassed it easily on the left (east.) Free solo up, rappelled one 70 foot section back to 15-16 saddle. Bring your A game. Also, strangely, there was a Republic of Texas Mountaineers summit register up top. Wonder how that got there... 
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