Of Colorado's 584 thirteen thousand foot mountains, Pilot Knob has always ranked among my favorites. I'd sort of forgotten about the love affair I used to have with this guy in the 9 years since I climbed it but I knew it would be worth going back to share with Dominic. This time we'd forego the standard Ice Lake Basin approach and take advantage of perfect spring snow to climb up its west face, a route that would be an absolute scree nightmare when dry.

The summit ridge was more airy than I remembered and somewhat interesting in crampons. The exposed crux traverse near the end was holding some snow and we were quite happy to have hauled a rope up with us.

After reversing our steps off the summit ridge we traversed moderate to steep snow slopes over to Golden Horn, circling around to its south side to take advanatge of the easy standard route to the top. The subsequent descent down into Poverty Gulch was short and sweet.

Peaks Climbed: Pilot Knob (13,738') & Golden Horn (13,780')

Location: San Juan Mountains, Colorado Trailhead: 10,200 ft on FS Road 627

Difficulty: Class 3, Moderate Snow Mileage & Gain: 9 mi, 4,100 ft

Date Climbed: 5/30/2016

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