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#265 / 13,487' Storm Peak

Range › San Juan Range
Quadrangle › Silverton
Summit Location › Peak Route Icon N 37° 51' 33.59", W 107° 38' 20.29" (Not Field Checked)

Peak Summary

A steep and long vertical ascent up south-facing Boulder Gulch just out of Silverton, much on a trail. A high, scenic basin with two small lakes, followed by a steeper, loose rock couloir and a brief 3rd class scramble to obtain the summit. Outstanding flowers and remote feeling.

Storm Peak - Boulder Gulch Route

Class 3
Medium Day // Take a Lunch
RT From Boulder Gulch - Silverton: 12 mi / 3,900'
  • Trailhead
    • Boulder Gulch - Silverton Trailhead

      The following directions revised 2018 per Eddie Mack and edited by us from a Sept. 2020 visit. 

      From the east end of the town of Silverton, where the main, paved road splits, go straight on CR110 that heads up to the Silverton Ski area and Gladstone and make your way toward the cemetery. The paved road will curve around the town park, then will make a sharp turn to the left as it heads uphill. On that sharp curve, drive straight onto a dirt road that heads for the town cemetery. Just before a small building at the cemetery entrance, turn left onto another dirt road and follow it up a couple hundred yards to where it ends at a pond and some buildings that are part of the Silverton water supply. There will be a green painted metal gate across a road that heads east. You'll see a sign here for "La Chappelle" Park. Park in this vicinity. On weekends, you may have to park farther down the road near the cemetery. Accessing Boulder Gulch from County Road 2 and the tailings at the Mayflower Mill is no longer allowed. The above road, which cars are apparently not allowed on any more, heads ENE from the gate near some utility lines. Follow that road east for about a mile to a locked gate at 9,600 ft. elevation. This will be WNW and above the Mayflower Mill tailings. If by some chance this last mile of road is accessible to vehicles, there is only enough parking room here for about three vehicles. This last section of road is not rough  or steep, but a higher clearance vehicle is desirable because of mud-filled ruts. This road does not show on the USGS map, the FS2016 map or Trails Illustrated. It can be easily seen on Google Earth. Once you reach Boulder Gulch, you will need to find a way across the creek to join the trail that heads up the gulch. 


      Camping

      There is no legal camping in the immediate vicinity. If in need of a camp spot for the night, try driving farther up along the Animas to around Howardsville where a large open, rock-strewn field has become the summer domain of a multitude of RV's, campers, etc. This is across from the Maggie Gulch road and a vault toilet. There's a few campsites in the trees by the creek near the toilet. Or, north of Silverton on HWY550, drive up along the South Fork of Mineral Creek road and search out an at-large spot. Summer competition for campsites, especially on weekends, makes finding a quiet, private spot difficult. You can find additional camping possibilities to the south at Molas Lake and Little Molas Lake. 

    Peak Icon Route Map

    Route Info Storm Peak - Boulder Gulch

    Route Description

    Year Climbed: 2000

    Warning: From mid to later summer, this route can be done without ice axe, but earlier season attempts will REQUIRE an ice axe and possibly crampons or micro-spikes.

    From the gated trailhead parking, continue walking east along the old roadbed until you reach the creek in Boulder Gulch. Once at the creek, search on the east side of the creek near where the drainage narrows at some old mining activity. Look for a trail above the creek on your right. This trail will switchback up the mountainside and will then turn up the drainage, almost 200 feet above the creek. Follow the trail through some open trees then across an area of talus. That will be followed by open, grassy/tundra, a couple of switchbacks, and then will re-enter some more forest. Higher up, the trail will come close to the creek & some willows, then will ascend once again onto open slopes to avoid a steeper, rocky gulch section the creek flows through.

    Where the drainage splits, at 11,400 ft., the trail crosses the main creek above the confluence and heads NW toward Storm Peak. In a short while, an option of the trail will cut back to the east to return to the main gulch. Ignore this and continue on fainter trail, well above the creek on the north side now to a small lake at 11,880. This trail may fade out in lush vegetation with many flowers at times before reaching the lake. Once at the lake, continue hiking following the NW creek that drains two small lakes at the foot of Storm. Just below those lakes, the stream enters a gorge that you'll have to avoid. Once you arrive at the two lakes, study the south face of Storm, looming above you.

     From a position a little north and east of the two lakes, you will see a great couloir coming down from just west of the rocky summit. The couloir empties onto a broad talus slope, partially covered with tundra on the lower section. The upper couloir splits into two gullies. Hike up the talus slope and enter the couloir. The bottom section will go easily enough, but the upper, more narrow section will provide some challenge. You'll encounter all kinds of piles up loose rocks and some sandy areas as well. Footing will be difficult. Sending rocks and boulders tumbling down is likely. Helmet advisable. When the couloir splits, take the right fork. It will end abruptly at a very small saddle. From the saddle, climb (3rd class) up a short distance over large and firm blocks of rock in the direction of the summit. After about 20 feet of gain, things will level out a bit and you can then walk along the side of the ridge until you can gain the ridge and then stroll to the summit. Total time up will be around 4 hours. From the summit, gaze down into Cement Creek basin far below to the north and observe how much of this peak is well guarded by rocks, cliffs, spires and other approach problems. Congratulate yourself on your perseverance. Descend by retracing your route back down. The nearly 4,000 foot drop will seem unrelenting.


    Additional BETA

    Links to other information, routes & trip reports for this peak that may be helpful.
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