Peak(s):  Storm King Pk  -  13,752 feet
Nine, Pk  -  13,402 feet
Silex, Mt  -  13,628 feet
Guardian, The  -  13,617 feet
Date Posted:  09/30/2016
Date Climbed:   09/28/2016
Author:  seano
 Storm King to the Guardian   

Lacking a vehicle capable of getting to Beartown, I did these eastern Grenadier peaks as a long dayhike from Molas Pass via Vestal Basin. As usual, you can read some hopefully useful beta here, or the wordy version elsewhere. I also made a sketch of my route.

  • The pass between Vestal and Tenmile creeks is a notch near the center of the long, flat Vestal-Trinity saddle. On the south side, the best route seems to be a gradually-descending traverse linking grassy benches to about 12,000 west of and slightly below the two small lakes.
  • Peak Nine is 4th class from the saddle to its north. Climb to the notch to its west, then descend a short way down the other side to get onto the south face. Once there, stay below the ridge until at or past the summit, which is not obvious from below.
  • Lake Silex looks like a horrible place for humans, surrounded by loose, lifeless talus. Instead of dropping down to the lake and up to the saddle to Silex's southwest, it is much more pleasant to traverse around from Peak Nine, which is mostly class 2 with an occasional bit of class 3-4.
  • The descent from the western saddle between Silex and the Guardian to lower Stormy Gulch is class 2-3. Head north first, then along the stream east until you can contour around north again on decent game trails. There is a faint but usable old trail leading from lower Stormy Gulch south of the creek to near Trinity Lake. This route saves a lot of time versus going down to the Vallecito trail, especially if you're camped in Vestal Basin.
  • I am very curious how hard the ridge is between East Trinity and Storm King, as a loop traversing from the Trinities to the Guardian and back via Stormy Gulch could be a fun, ambitious adventure.

Storm King to East Trinity from the north

The Guardian from Peak Nine

Silex and descent to Stormy Gulch from Guardian

Upper Tenmile Creek from Vestal-Trinity Pass

Vestal-Trinity Pass is near the center

Thumbnails for uploaded photos (click to open slideshow):
1 2 3 4 5

Comments or Questions
Matt Lemke

Nice man!
10/05/2016 21:27
You continue to amaze....not many people get out more than me. Well done!

10/06/2016 14:55
I've enjoyed ending a good summer in the Weminuche. I hope you've had a good summer in the mountains as well.


Nice report
10/09/2016 09:00
Not sure how you do it in one day but great job on your outing! I did a similar route but in four days,hiking out towards White Dome peak from the Trinity lakes area!

How to dayhike it
10/10/2016 14:27
Short answer: don't bring camping gear ;-).

Longer answer: With a 5-7 lb daypack instead of a big overnight pack, you can run the downhills and move a lot faster cross-country. I find that outings that would take me 1-2 nights camping can usually be done in one long day. I do this a lot, and have pretty good fitness this summer, but most people can go a lot farther in a day than they think they can.

This is great
10/26/2016 21:45
Both as a TR and as a reminder that I need to schedule a return to SW Colorado. Thanks!

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