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Climb Horseshoe Mountain via Boudoir Couloir

Fairplay, Colorado



7 miles

Elevation Gain

2500 ft


Added by Kyle C

A moderate snow climb up a 13er with the possibility of skiing back down.

Horseshoe Mountain is a peak that is ranked in the top 100 tallest peaks in Colorado at 13,898 feet, and it can be done in the summer but is arguably more fun in the spring as a snow climb. Avalanche safety, snow climbing, and snow safety experience is necessary.

To get to the trailhead, follow 285 south from Fairplay until you reach 4 mile creek road. Take a right on 4 mile creek road and follow that past a few campgrounds, dispersed sites and trailheads until you either reach a parking pull off or snow makes the road impassable. There are residential houses along this road so please be considerate with parking. If the upper spots are taken you may need to park where the road stops being plowed.

From where you are able to park, follow the road up until the trailhead and bridge that you are able to cross the creek with. After you cross, follow an old road as it switch backs up the mountain. As you get to about 12,000 feet the mountain and couloir should come into view to your southwest. Pass two small lakes that make the start of Fourmile Creek until you get to the bottom of the obvious couloir that runs continuously from the top of the mountain to the base below.

Make your way up the moderate snow pack using your ice axe and crampons as necessary. It can be icy and fairly steep at the top. After about 800 feet of climbing you will reach the summit and a nearby abandoned building that can be used as shelter from the wind.

From the top you can either ski/descend down the couloir you just climbed or follow the ridgeline to your north back to meet the trail that you ascended. There are multiple old mining roads to choose from. Be careful not to trend too close to the edge on your way down as there can be cornices on the eastern side.

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