#265 / 13,487' Storm Peak

Range › San Juan Range
Quadrangle › Silverton
Summit Location › N 37° 51' 33.59", W 107° 38' 20.29" (Not Field Checked)
Neighboring Peaks › Peak Icon Tower Mountain Peak Icon "East Storm"

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
Long Day // Back for Dinner
RT From Boulder Gulch: 12 mi / 3,900'
  • Trailhead
    • Boulder Gulch Trailhead

      From the east end of the town of Silverton, where the main, paved road splits, veer right onto blue-signed County Road 2 which heads up along the Animas River. (On Trails Illustrated map #141, this road is labeled as #110.) Drive about 1.7 miles to an historical marker with a fairly large parking area, on the south side of the road and across from the tailings of the Mayflower Mine. The creek from Boulder Gulch cuts through the two large tailings piles. Begin your hike from this historical marker.


      Camping

      There is no legal camping in the immediate vicinity. If in need of a camp spot for the night, try driving further 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. 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.

    Peak Icon Route

    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 historical marker parking area, walk a short distance east along the road and then head up along the east side of the creek that cuts through the tailings. Once through the tailings, continue hiking on the east side of the creek until 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 east 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.

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