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Rio Grande Pyramid - Western Slopes/Ute Creek Approach

Colorado 13er questions, conditions, and other info should be posted here. Also includes topics related to 13ers.com. 13er Trip Reports

Rio Grande Pyramid - Western Slopes/Ute Creek Approach

Postby KyleS » Mon Jul 16, 2012 4:52 pm

I've obviously heard time again about the Weminuche Pass approach to Rio Grande Pyramid, but I was wondering if anyone has any info on a Western approach. I feel pretty confident that the Ute Creek TH can be used to access the vicinity of the Window and my original plan was to make a loop ending at 30 Mile TH, but I was wondering if anyone has climbed the West or North faces of RGP. If say, the Southwest ridge is class 3 solid rock, I'd much rather scramble up that than hike all the way around to the East side just to slog up some scree. I'm also curious if there is some reason why no one accesses RGP through Ute Creek; everything about it seems more dramatic than the anticlimactic Weminuche Pass route.

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Re: Rio Grande Pyramid - Western Slopes/Ute Creek Approach

Postby Chris P. » Mon Jul 16, 2012 5:47 pm

My guess as to the overwhelming popularity of the Weminuche Pass route is that (1) it's listed as the primary route in Roach's book and (2) the mileage is lower from the Weminuche Creek TH. In terms of preference; yeah Ute Creek is great but I happen to like the Weminuche pass area also, and there are ways to ascend the east and north sides of the mountain without climbing the scree gulleys.

I've never climbed the peak from the west, but I've climbed up through the window from East Ute and it's really easy to go up those grass slopes, and I know that the southwest ridge can be done at class 2 (don't think there are any necessary class 3 sections unless you just want to spice things up), so that should make a pretty good route.

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Re: Rio Grande Pyramid - Western Slopes/Ute Creek Approach

Postby Summit Lounger » Mon Jul 16, 2012 6:19 pm

I did the RGP as a day hike from Ute Cr. trailhead. It is a beautiful way to go. There is no bridge across the Rio Grande. Bring an extra set of shoes for the crossing, then stash them for the return. In July, it was knee to mid thigh deep, and 50 feet across in a normal snow year. There are good campsites where the middle and east Ute cr. converge. Climbed up the NW ridge (class 2), and descended the SW ridge (class 2 with a little route finding). Enjoy.

Re: Rio Grande Pyramid - Western Slopes/Ute Creek Approach

Postby KyleS » Tue Jul 17, 2012 9:15 am

Thanks for the info! I was beginning to think that there was something preventing a Western ascent and that's why no one does it...

Summit Lounger wrote: Climbed up the NW ridge (class 2), and descended the SW ridge (class 2 with a little route finding).

Does this mean that there isn't route finding required on the NW ridge (ie. a trail)? Is the turn for the NW ridge obvious? Hints on where? I think I can find the SW ridge pretty easily since it starts above treeline.

Does either route have options for class 3 scrambling along the way? One more than the other?

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