Peak(s):  Mt. Herard  -  13,340 feet
"Medano Peak"  -  13,153 feet
Date Posted:  05/05/2013
Modified:  06/06/2013
Date Climbed:   05/05/2013
Author:  Monster5
 Herard South Couloirs   

The line probably already has a name, but we informally dubbed it the "Sand Dunes Couloir" as it is readily visible from the dunes as a meandering snow climb through cliffbands beneath Herard's SE sub-point. Naturally, the views are reciprocated once in the couloir.

Mount Herard and Medano Peak
TH: Sand Ramp trail (sandy 4WD with a shallow-moderate creek crossing). Located just past the first creek crossing on the Medano Pass Primitive Road when accessed from the National Park.
Stats: ~11.5 mi, 6K ft.
Difficulty: Brief class 4 on the approach. The couloir proper varies between 35-45 degrees with WI2+ sections. The ice can be bypassed. Other lines are available through the cliffs, but they didn't top out and were shallower. Yes, the route lacks the steepness of the NE lines, but it has aesthetic value. Season: March - early May.
Descent: The couloir directly south of Herard's summit. varies between 25-40 degrees. We glissaded; a summit ski is available down to about 11,500 ft.
Partners: General Boggs (Michael Davis), Kylie Hockenberry.

Route (crummy picture follows - ascended yellow; descended red. Sand slog approach and Medano not shown):

Follow the sand ramp trail NNW for 0.8 mi. After crossing Little Medano Creek and entering the dunes, leave the trail and hike up-valley (NE) on the left side of the creek.

After passing a long ridge and two smaller ridges on the left (~1.75 mi), take a left/north turn into a smaller drainage. Bushwack up the drainage via social trails and enter an incised, log-choked channel. Hop upstream.

A short waterfall blocks the route past the log section; it can be scrambled on the left (class 4) or climbed directly (wet class 3). A big horn sheep skull is currently caught in the falls.

Follow the channel as it bends slightly right and then left (NW) into the basin to the south of Herard. Ignore the boring or short stuff front, center, and to the left. The line center right makes for a good descent directly from the summit.

The better line is on the right (SW-facing). The left branch of the first couloir is continuous to the summit (right-left). The left-left and right-left-left and right-right branches are not continuous. Yeah, I don't understand those directions either. Just do whatever looks fun.

The short summit ridge is fairly straight-forward.

The traverse to Medano has an interesting cornice section. Boggy traversed it high, I scrambled down lower, and Kylie went through the middle.

Cleveland and the Crestones:

Herard from Medano. We had to regain it.

Glissade S from Herard

De-proached via the same route

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