Mount Sopris – Photo of the Moment


Mount Sopris is a twin peaked mountain that sits at the confluence of the Crystal and Roaring Fork rivers. It has the unique distinction of having two summits that are exactly the same height, 12,953′. It also boasts one of, if not the, most dramatic vertical rise in Colorado. From the river at it’s base, to the summit, is an elevation gain of about 6,200 feet in less than 3 miles. It’s a popular objective for peak baggers and skiers, though I would argue there are much better ski descents in terms of bang for your buck. But I digress. The mountain also offers climbers some interesting terrain in the form of the Laundry Chutes, named after local mountaineer Chris Landry. The four chutes come off the east summit, and offer varying levels of challenge depending on the time of year. Perhaps the most engaging, from an alpine climbing standpoint at least, is the couloir that is furthest climber’s right. Generally around the second week of October, if there’s been some snow up high, you can find a fun climb that follows 200 feet of ice to some snow climbing, to an easy but fun rock ramp that puts you right on the top of the peak. Not world class, but certainly worth a trip if you’re in the area and want an alpine adventure.

This time of year, the peak is clothed in bright yellows and golds as the aspens and scrub oak change color. Throw in a fresh snow, and you’ve got quite a sight to behold. I’ve been here awhile now, and I never get tired of staring up as this beautiful peak.

Locals Corner

Bulldog Creek Dog Walk (IV WI 4+)

Hayden Carpenter and Tom Bohanon recently repeated an obscure ice climb on the south side of Mt Sopris. Given a brief mention in Jack Robert’s ice guide, Bulldog Creek Walk is described as being 100 meters of WI 4. What they found was seven pitches of ice in a remote setting that makes for one […]

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