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Telluride Traverse

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Section A T 
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Section C T 

Telluride Traverse  

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Elevation: 13,000'
Location: 37.96652, -107.79865 View Map  Incorrect?
Page Views: 1,498
Administrators: Ben Mottinger, Leo Paik, John McNamee, Frances Fierst, Monomaniac, Kristine Hoffman (sitewide)
Submitted By: Stiles on Nov 14, 2013
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The 'Telluride Traverse' idealisticaly covers the entire skyline north of Telluride from Imogene Pass to Dallas Divide. It is divided into three sections: A, B, and C. Only A and C have been completed, separately.

Plan on about an hour per peak once you've gained the ridgeline. The rock quality is consitent to the Northern San Juans--chossy. Every color and texture of chossiness. Leave the rope behind for A and C. Section B is a whole other animal, and the potential there is yet to be experienced. Check it out and post up.

Section A is the skyline traverse from Imogene Pass to the summit of Mt Emma, summiting eight thirteeners and including Saint Sophia Ridge.

Section B is an unfinished project traversing from Mount Emma over Gilpin, 'Block Tops', Dallas, and West Dallas to the locally-named "T.O. Peak". All are thirteeners and inolve a concentrated amount of technicality. T.O. is the mountain behind Campbell Peak and west of Dallas when viewed from town. I do not know if it is possible to traverse across the top of Dallas, or to traverse the ridgeline between Gilpin and Dallas. Or from Dallas to West Dallas... The heart of the grand scheme.

Section C is a skyline traverse from T.O. Peak northwest over a handful of technical un-named 13ers, over Hayden Peak, around North Pole Peak and off the ridge to the north towards Dallas Divide. Ten thirteeners, including Campbell's.

Section A has been completed in eight hours, Section C in 15 hours. Section B is problematic.... The whole traverse is gauranteed be a most grand adventure.

Getting There 

To get to Section A walk or drive up Tomboy Road from Telluride to Imogene Pass (13,114').

To get to Section B climb Mount Emma (13,581').

To get to Section C climb Campbell Peak (13,213') and traverse north to T.O.

A map is most necessary, the more detailed the better. Wear your helmet and scree gaiters. Many bail options exist all throughout the traverse. It is also possible to ammend the traverse in many ways, study the map and go big!

Climbing Season

Weather station 1.5 miles from here

3 Total Routes

['4 Stars',0],['3 Stars',3],['2 Stars',0],['1 Star',0],['Bomb',0]

Featured Route For Telluride Traverse
View from Mount Sneffels looking south at the trav...

Section B 5.6 4c 14 V 12 S 4b CO : Alpine Rock : ... : Telluride Traverse
Section B is the unfinished middle part of the Telluride Traverse and covers the skyline north of Telluride from Mount Emma west to 'TO' Peak. Start on Mount Emma (13,581'), and traverse north to Gilpin Peak (13,694') over Fourth and low Fifth Class terrain around several towers on the ridge. The large cliffbands can be passed to the west with some exposed and unprotectable fourth class.The traverse to 'Block Top' (13,543') to the west is very challenging. This is as far as Section B has been ...[more]   Browse More Classics in CO

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By Stiles
From: the Mountains
Dec 3, 2013
$50 bounty paid to the first traverser of Section B, from Emma taking the ridge line over Gilpin, Block Top, Dallas, West Dallas and TO.

$100 for the complete traverse from Imogene Pass to Hayden Peak in a push.

A challenge for some beer money, an incentive for interest.
By Nik Mirhashemi
From: Telluride, CO
Dec 27, 2013
So has this ever been attempted and failed (section B or the whole thing)? And how much for a winter traverse?
By garrettem
Dec 30, 2013
I think "Black Top" may be more commonly referred to as "Block Top".
By Stiles
From: the Mountains
Jan 26, 2014
Block Tops, for sure, though "commonly" I doubt. Thanks -- poor memory. The name is rather fitting when viewed from Sneffels or Dallas Divide. I am working on getting photos up which illustrate the challenge.

Section B has been attempted following Section A from Imogene Pass, failure prior to Gilpin. Section B has not yet been attempted on its own.

Value of a winter traverse? Winter may hold an advantage if you could rely on snowclimbing over the scree/choss and ice holding the rock together. The problems are evident-short days, cold, unstable fluff snow on the north side, wind cornices, slower pace....

I would be delighted to hand over $150 to whoever can do the whole shebang in the winter. How's that sound for endorsement?

Bring a GPS to show the elevation profile - that would be really interesting.
By Nik Mirhashemi
From: Telluride, CO
Feb 26, 2014
You can keep the money. I only ask that I can name the traverse. "Telluride Traverse" seems a little bland, and it winter does have its advantages. I made it all the way to Mt. Emma and back into town in 26 hours before I couldn't take the postholing anymore. That road is a real bitch though.
By Stiles
From: the Mountains
Feb 27, 2014
Well done, Senor Sauce,
That sounds like a pretty long day in the snow. Eight mountains down, only those eight again plus Gilpin, Block Tops, Dallas, West Dallas, T. Zero, S3, S5, S6, Mears, S7, S8, S9, and S10 to go. Plenty of time up high to think of a more appropriate moniker. How was the first third? Any trouble getting around the Saint Sophia-like spires? How did you handle those stretches? Which route did you take off of Emma? Any trouble there? Avalanche danger? Thanks for sharing your experience!
Lucky trails, and I'll stick by my offer.
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