Sunlight Spire
La Plata County, Colorado
Uploaded by Bivy Team


20 :23 hrs
8.5 mi
5671 ft

Sunlight Spire is located just east of Sunlight Peak and is recorded just below the 14,000 ft mark. It is not considered a true fourteener but is probably the most difficult of the fourteeners to summit in Colorado. To reach the approach or base camp, take the train from Durango to Needleton. The hike to the basin is scenic and easy. From the basin climb north to Twin Lakes then heading east to the saddle between Sunlight Peak and Sunlight Spire. Scramble southeast across the rocky ledge of class 3 moves. From here you'll have a good look at the spire and crack, but you need to rappel or downclimb a class 5.4 to the grassy ledge which will be your belay stance. There are many anchor possiblities here. The pitch from the belay stance to the summit is 85 feet long. It is 45 feet to the upper spire, climbing a 5.7 climb in this section. From here the vertical 40-foot crack to the summit is above you. Some climbers have rated the moves no harder than 5.9 while others stating it as difficult as 5.10D. The final move to the summit block is tricky but there is room on top to sit comfortably. The crack is really rough so tape is a good idea. There is a fixed anchor on top for rappelling to the base. Bring a standard rack up to #3 cams and medium to large nuts.

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