Vestal Peak

Vestal is a lovely peak situated in a high alpine basin with a number of other high 13ers including Arrow Peak, the Trinities, Storm King and Electric Peak. The primary access routes to this area are via train from Durango, exiting at the Elk Park area. From this point a good but steep trail leads approximately 4 miles to the basin. An alternate access route is by Molas Pass, though this involves at least 45 switchbacks. The imposing Wham Ridge, a sweeping countenance of rock dominates the peak itself, which is a lot less intimidating to climb than to look at. The rock is outstanding down low, getting progressively looser towards the top. If ascending Wham Ridge, the descent is off the back of the mountain, crossing to the saddle between Arrow and Vestal and descending from there to the basin. Robert Rosebrough's guide: Climbing Colorado's San Juan Mountains is an excellent guide for this area.

Elevation (feet): 13,864
Elevation (meters): 4,226
Continent: North America
Country: United States
State: Colorado
Latitude: 37.6894
Longitude: -107.602
Difficulty: Scramble
Best months for climbing: Jul, Aug, Sep
Year first climbed: 1908
First successful climber(s): William Cooper and John Hubbard
Nearest major airport: Denver
Convenient Center: Durango

Thanks to Amy Hoeptner for adding this peak.

Trip Reports

NOTE: Trip reports were previously called "Summit Logs" - same feature, new name

There are 5 trip reports for Vestal Peak.

Select any entry from the list below:

  • Log #21424 - by an anonymous user on Sep 08, 2008
    Climbed Wham ridge. Superb face with a classic CO downclimb. Easy 4th class solo if you stay on the center of the face. Can get harder with some 5.
  • Log #15516 - by Erik Salo and Clarke Yeager on Aug 02, 2002
    We climbed Vestel via the Wham Ridge. Roped up a few pitches above the grass ramp that traverses the middle of the face. We stayed roped until the top and were surprised as it took about 15 pitches....
  • Log #15517 - by Jay Eggleston on Dec 25, 2000
    Wham Ridge
  • Log #15518 - by Austin Field on Oct 27, 2000
    Vestle is the most unique peak I have ever done. I also summited via the Wham ridge. We used 2 double length fixed lines to prosek up. Our guide soloed the whole thing.
  • Log #15519 - by Amy Hoeptner on Oct 05, 2000
    We summited via Wham Ridge using ropes for the top 8 pitches, though it certainly could be soloed if one had the inclination to do so.