Palmyra Peak
Northeast Ridge
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Difficulty:
 Class 4 
Trailhead:San Sophia Station
Start:10,540 feet
Summit:13,319 feet
Total Gain:2,779 feet
RT Length:9.00 miles
Author:dweiss2
Updated:7/2019
Weather:NOAA Forecast
Conditions:5 reports
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Trailhead

From the center of Telluride, head west on W Colorado Ave toward N Aspen St. After 3.4 miles, at the roundabout, take the second exit onto CO-145 heading south. After 1.7 miles, take a left (East) onto Mountain Village Blvd. After 1.6 miles, turn left into the Mountain Village Parking Garage located behind the Mountain Village Market. The lower gondola is found just East of the garage. Once in Village Plaza, walk to the second gondola leading to the San Sophia Station.

Route

Start at the top of the Telluride Gondola (starts at 6:30 AM). From here, follow the "See Forever Trail" to the top of Revelation Lift 15. Take note, if you want to save some effort, do not go up the small grassy bumps, instead follow the very clear dirt road, thus skipping the small hills that lead to the tops of the lifts 23. After about 2.7 miles, you will reach the top of Revelation Lift 2. From here, follow the signage leading you to the "Gold Hill Chutes 1-10". Follow the well travelled path across the dirt and grass 3 4, making your way toward the "Gold Hill Stairs" 5 6. From the top of these stairs, contemplate the weather and your energy level. From this point, you have about 1.3 miles to treeline, across the ridge with a descent of the Northwest Ridge. From this point, a fast hiker will take about 50 minutes to the summit, an average hiker about 1.5 hours. An average hiker will take 2.5 hours from this point to reach the summit and return to treeline.

From the top of the stairs, pass Gold Hill Chutes 9 & 10 on your right, with belay chains to your left above each. In the winter, these are a worthy ski descent! Once past the chains for Chute 10, head East (left) up through a small notch 7 and cross onto the Southeast side of the ridge above Bear Creek 8. Sidehill along the loose ridge, staying below the initial gendarmes. Just before the slope becomes steeper and more exposed, take a right and reach a notch in the ridge (put your helmet on here). From the ridge crest take a left up a tan-colored, grassy chimney 9. At the top of this chimney, you will see a large open grassy gulley in front of you with the first class 4 chimney ahead 10. Options abound, but with careful route-finding, the climbing only required 1 or 2 class 4 moves for a taller climber.

The easiest route follows the dirt gully to the right, with a short traverse to the left onto the grassy chimney about 20 feet up across solid rock. Once in the second chimney, make your way up to the notch 11. A short downclimb leads to an easier section of hiking across loose dirt and grass 12. Shortly, you will encounter a large rock slab which is best circumnavigated to the right (northwest) an exposed dirt ledge 13. Once you have passed the slab, you will move back to the southeast side of the ridge where an easy hike along dirt 14 leads to one last grassy chimney (chimney 3) 15.

From the top of this chimney, only difficult class 2 hiking remains along the ridge 16. Follow the path of least resistance, staying close to the top of the ridge 17 all the way back into the Telluride Ski Resort property, and the top of Senior's ski run. From here, only 100 feet or so of exposed class 3 climbing remains to the summit 18. A short climb up a slab brings you to the summit.

From here, it is best to descend the Northwest ridge, following the well marked flag poles left by the resort 19. The hiking is steep and loose, but not exposed 20. Expect to take around 45 minutes or so to reach the top of Prospect Express (lift 12) from Senior's ski run about .85 miles away. From this point, quickest route down is to follow Galloping Goose to Ute Park to Sundance 22. This will take you all the way back to Market Plaza in Mountain Village and the gondolas.

Skiing?

During the ski season, all of the couloirs above Gold Hill 10 are out of bounds, and are not mitigated. However, a climb of this route can be significantly shortened (though not easier) by riding Revelation Lift 15 and skiing Senior's on the way down. This reduces a climb of the ridge to an elevation gain to 635 feet and 1.25 miles. This route would be VERY DIFFICULT with snow.

Notes

A helmet is recommended. This route only requires a few class 4 moves with more difficult climbing available. The majority of the route requires class 2 and 3 climbing. This route is also almost entirely above treeline, so plan your weather window accordingly.
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Topo

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