Peak(s):  Teakettle Mtn  -  13,819 feet
"Coffeepot"  -  13,568 feet
Potosi Pk  -  13,786 feet
Date Posted:  09/08/2020
Date Climbed:   09/05/2020
Author:  bludwig
Additional Members:   Sbenfield
 Yankee Boy Trio   

The trailhead for these three peaks is at the bathrooms by Yankee Boy Basin. I'll start off by saying that a 30m rope is probably plenty for both Teakettle and Coffeepot, we had a 60m and it was trailing super far below the base of each climb. I attached a .gpx file but note that my app stopped recording a few times (not sure why) so there are some gaps.

Both Teakettle and Coffeepot each had several slings for a rappel or setting a top rope. However, one of the slings on Coffeepot ripped when I pulled on it so it may be worthwhile to bring your own.

We started from the bathrooms up the trail (it's short and the last trail you'll see for most of the day) around 3:00AM and made our way up the wonderful choss pile to the saddle of Coffeepot and Teakettle. There is a cairned trail that traverses below this saddle and into the gully that leads to an easy scramble over to Coffeepot. The approach to the saddle took far less time than expected so we were waiting in the dark for a bit for the sun to come up. If you're climbing this earlier than September, you may not have this issue.

Awesome view of Uncompahgre as the sun came up. Fortunately, the smoke from the wildfires wasn't too bad this day.

For a few more pictures on this gully section, I found the information from the trip report by yaktoleft13. Unfortunately, I didn't take any pictures in this section. The gully is straightforward, loose Class 2.

The climb for Teakettle was a fairly basic set of 5.3 moves to the sling and setting a top rope was very secure. I preferred to climb up the chimney but you can do a big boulder-style move up the face to the right of that.

Free solo climb up Teakettle, I preferred the chimney over the face.
Steve rappelling off of Teakettle, there were several slings and eyelets to use.
Make sure to take a picture in the arch before heading over to Coffeepot!

Coffeepot felt very straightforward, you're in a very narrow crack so carrying the rope on your backpack doesn't work. I ended up tying in and soloing without a belayer. Be prepared for the last move to push you in a very awkward direction. If you're downclimbing without a rappel, this move is very awkward.

I'm not sure why the quality got messed up here but the crack up Coffeepot is only a few moves long. Don't go too deep in the crack or you won't be able to move!

After Coffeepot, we put all of our climbing gear away and began the slog over to Potosi. I found this to be neverending and constantly asked why I suggested adding it onto our itinerary. The approach is very tedious until you reach the final gully, which is very well cairned. We made our way up the Class 2+ gully and up the short face to summit to the humongous summit.

Potosi from Coffeepot

After returning down the gully and walking back to the Coffeepot/Potosi saddle, we began the descent down the "trail," which was really just where all of the loose rock got pushed away. There is some nice scree-skiing here but overall, this is the worst part of the day, by far. You'll slowly make your way down to a massive gully that cliffs out, I recommend cutting to the climber's left before entering that gully. Make your way around some grassy areas before another gully. Again, stick to climber's left in this one. The loose rock in this gully is extra dangerous and gets a lot of momentum. You'll make your way out of this gully and into a much less steep area and work your way back to the road and probably have to walk up the road to your car. We followed the gpx and beta from alexhenes for the Potosi portion if you want more information. 20674_05

The loose gully on the way back to the road.
Potosi from the bottom, near the road.

Alternatively, rather than go to the Coffeepot/Potosi saddle, you could continue back up to the Coffeepot/Teakettle saddle and descend there. I'm not sure that the rock is much better but there is less route finding around multiple loose gullies.

My GPS Tracks on Google Maps (made from a .GPX file upload):

Thumbnails for uploaded photos (click to open slideshow):
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Comments or Questions

Excellent work!
09/08/2020 15:01
Good work on a big weekend! It was good to meet you guys up on Gladstone

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