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Introduction, Approach, Description, Descent, & Animal Alerts
ROUTE SUMMARY IMAGES
From the Los Pinos River Trailhead, hike twelve miles up one of the longest, flattest, mountain-wilderness valleys in Colorado. A mile before Flint Creek the trail starts climbing. Soon after the left turn up Flint Creek the Pope's Nose can finally be seen (photo above). Less than two miles up the Flint Creek trail there is a nice campsite below the Pope's Nose. Finally, a steep aspen forest must be climbed and slippery slabs dodged on the way up to the base of the wall.
First scramble off the summit. Then descend Fern Gully to the slippery aspen forest (climber's right of summit). One party reported finding a rappel anchor that they could not safely get too (near the bottom). There is some consensus that this descent is awful!
It might be longer, but descending the west side, climber's left, seems worth a try.
Moose and bears inhabit this wilderness. One textbook notes that the Wemminuche Wilderness is the southernmost pocket of grizzly bear habitat.
6 Total Routes
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Mountain Project's determination of some of the classic, most popular, highest rated routes for The Pope's Nose:
Central Buttress 5.10 6b 20 VII- 19 E2 5b A0+ Trad, Aid, 10 pitches, 1200'
Featured Route For The Pope's Nose
Arkansas Route 5.12 7b+ 27 VIII+ 26 E6 6b C2 CO : Durango : ... : The Pope's Nose
This is a great wilderness rock climb on clean granite. It doesn't get much better in the Weminuche! (or anywhere in the San Juans for that matter). It has a free climbing crux down low, some tricky aid up high, and lots of memorable moments in between. It should go free.Start in "fern gully" just uphill of Contraceptive Cracks....[more] Browse More Classics in CO
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