Gilpin Peak  
Condition Updates  
Route: Yankee Boy Basin
Posted On: 2022-07-20, By: JasonKline
Info: Summer conditions. Not as loose if you can follow the trail from the Sneffels saddle, but it gets bad if you lose the trail. 
Route: NE Couloir
Posted On: 2022-06-02, By: Grover
Info: Keeping the updates on Gilpin Pk. moving along. First off, a big thank you to Wentzl who posted a close-up view of Gilpin in his conditions report on Mt. Sneffels yesterday. Super clutch timing to see an image of the basin and peak less than 12 hours before heading up. NE Couloir is still in good shape for those considering it this weekend. However, the whole basin is suffering from suncups though. I elected to go right at the top of the couloir, as that side was easier to put steps in with sun hit, compared to the exit on the left of the cornice, which was noticeably icy in the shade. Once on the ridge, it is dry, as others have stated recently. The very summit of Gilpin does have snow on it. Ski's/Board's: There is plenty of snow in the basin still, if you are looking to get in some June laps. Might be like going over highway rumble strips though. Gear: Poles and spikes in the morning to get to the apron of the couloir. Crampons, ice ax and helmet for the couloir itself. 
3 1
Route: North Central Couloir
Posted On: 2022-05-31, By: slawrence2011
Info: Thanks so much "Funsizetiff" for the awesome beta! Since I was already in Ouray, I ended up going for this one. I never found the "NE slopes Couloir" you took, as I assumed I would hit that before I hit the North Central. After running into your friend at the TH on the way down, I understand this route is actually right of the N Central Couloir, not left like I had assumed. Would this make it the "NW slopes couloir"? Anyway, conditions were perfect for climbing the right leg of the N Central couloir, the top got very thin, and I had to go far left to get my crampons deep enough. I thought downclimbing it would be tough, but move by move, not too bad. Great ski down - a couple high consequence jump turns, then easy money through the abundant small rocks popping out. 
4 4
Route: NE Couloir
Posted On: 2022-05-28, By: funsizetiff
Info: Climbed Gilpin this morning via the NE slopes couloir. Was able to drive to 11,580' on the YBB road with a 4Runner, would not want to take a vehicle any higher right now. Took Wrights Lake trail where it splits from the YBB road to the base of the couloir. Trail has some dry sections, but is mostly snow covered. The couloir itself stays in the high 30/low 40 degree range, and was sheltered from the wind today. It has small suncups in the middle but smooth at the bottom. Had we brought our snowboards we would have been able to ride from the top of the couloir to within 100 yards of the truck. Corniced at the top, we exited to the left which was the steepest part of the climb. Dry from top of couloir to summit, a nice trail through the talus. On descent, we took the gully next to Wrights Lake trail and were able to stay on snow all the way to the junction of Wrights and YBB road. North Central couloir, which we did not climb, has a large cornice over climber's left and center exits but the right branch is doable. Included pictures for anyone interested. 
Route: Yankee Boy Basin
Posted On: 2021-07-03, By: MC.Ikema
Info: Small cornice (6-10 ft high) blocking the gully to the summit ridge. No traction used, however, a hard freeze would've made it challenging to cross. Warm temps will probably melt out the right side in the next two weeks. 
Route: North Couloir
Posted On: 2021-06-03, By: desertdog
Info: We left Yankee Boy TH at 3am and got to the bottom of the couloir a little before 5am. The couloir is in good shape, but there is plenty of evidence of rock fall. In addition there is a large cornice at the top, which can be avoided by taking the right arm of the couloir. The last quarter of the climb is 55 to 60 degrees. I definitely would not begin climbing this any later than we did. We descended what we thought was the summer route, which is snow covered. Snowshoes not needed for the approach. You may want to bring a second tool for the upper part of the couloir. 
Route: Traverse from Sneffels
Posted On: 2020-10-12, By: bkcheck
Info: Made a failed attempt at the ridge traverse from Blue Lakes Pass to Gilpin. Immediately before you arrive at the Gilpin-Sneffels col (just to the north of the col), there is a rock pinnacle with a sharp drop on the west side, and a steep, exposed, loose climb on the east side. Couldn't find any stable handholds through here and I would rate the climbing a stiff 4 or low 5, so I bailed. My advice is to follow the commonly recommended route and just drop a few hundred feet down along the Blue Lakes trail before aiming for the col -- you're not saving any time traversing the ridge anyway. 
Route: From Yankee Boy Basin
Posted On: 2020-07-04, By: WildWanderer
Info: Mostly dry, with a few minor exceptions. I used microspikes to cross a few areas of snow below the ridge, and at the top of the gully I used an ice axe and crampons to get over the snow. I would not have been able to summit without an ice axe/crampons, but a couple who summited after me felt comfortable climbing on the rocks above the snow, so it's doable without traction to someone with a higher risk tolerance. Otherwise, summer conditions in the basin. 
Route: Ne couloir
Posted On: 2019-04-28, By: cottonmountaineering
Info: Very warm for this time of year, snow was good enough for climbing and great skiing. The NE couloir is pretty mellow except for the exit which is about 50 or 55 degrees for about 10 ft. The road is plowed to Virginia mine pending the gate opening. 
Route: Ridge standard
Posted On: 2018-06-07, By: illusion7il
Info: Very Steep snow ?70 degrees? to get to reach the upper ridge. Crampons and axe mandatory. 
Route: Yankee Boy Basin
Posted On: 2017-08-17, By: TravelingMatt
Info: Dry to summit. Goes Class 2. Leave the Blue Lakes Trail at the junction with the Wrights Lake Spur and head for the southern end of the Gilpin/Sneffels col, maintaining your elevation until you can ascend an obvious grassy slope. North ridge is very loose in spots with packed dirt and chiprock angle-of-repose scree. A climber's "trail" (mostly an indentation in the scree) exists but may not provide the best footing in places. Generally you hug the north ridge as closely as possible while staying below gendarmes. Once on Gilpin's main upper ridge (the ridge that goes to Dallas) it is virtually Class 1 to the summit. 
Route: Yankee Boy Basin
Posted On: 2017-08-05, By: JasonKline
Info: Snow was avoidable. Route was pretty loose up to the ridge, but became much more solid on the ridge. 
Route: Northeast Ridge
Posted On: 2016-07-07, By: TravelingMatt
Info: This was an abandoned attempt for several reasons, primarily a blister on my toe that made every step excruciating. Anyway, I started from Yankee Boy Basin and gained the ridge via Blue Lake Pass on the north end of the ridge. I went this way because substantial snow blocked easy access to the south col much closer to Gilpin's summit. Ascending to the south col is recommended, due to the ridge's undulating nature and a loose, steep section just to the north of the south col that must be negotiated when traversing from the (more northerly) Blue Lake Pass. See first pic; didn't try the steep part but may go Class 4. From the south col, the route up to Gilpin's summit involves ascending the gully on the ridge's left/east side, and snow seemed to block easy entrance to this gully. At the top of the gully is a deep cornice as well. See second pic. Long story short, "summer conditions" on this peak still seem a couple weeks away. 

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