I drove down to Telluride last week (on the way to meet Chris Davenport) and joined up with Jason Troth for an attempt on El Diente peak. I’d done the regular route several times, and wanted to try something different so we picked a line on the north face. The snow climbing was steep and fun, but the rock on the upper 500 vertical feet was loose, with plenty of exposure. Without a rope and the time to deal with such terrain, we made the decision to turn around at about 13,600 feet. The backcountry skiing and snowboarding descent from our highpoint was fun, and the long day was the usual scenic slog over Rock of Ages saddle and back, using the Silver Pick Trailhead.
Rumors abound about this area being “closed.” It is indeed posted as trespassing, but I’d heard there was some question as to the legality of such postings, so we opted to use the trailhead and Silver Pick road anyway and it worked out fine (the road may be a county right-of-way, hence the question legality of use). I’d imagine that will change once the summer climbing season begins and the property owner starts defending his territory again.
Jason and I climbed most of the face, but didn’t make it to the summit because our way was blocked by some fairly stiff rock climbing, and we wanted a ski and snowboard line.