“This is a classic alpine mountaineering route along a high ridge.”
— J. Bella
Type: Backcountry or Sidecountry
This is a Wilderness, so no mechanized equipment or drones are allowed. South of this route is Taos Pueblo land, which is not open to public access. Please respect this historic boundary. Those caught on Pueblo land can have their possessions confiscated and be subject to Tribal Law.
This Class 3+ route starts off with a short, yet challenging pitch above the West Simpson Saddle Approach
. The move often requires navigating a precarious patch of ice between rocks. Once above this pitch, climb the slopes towards West Simpson Peak. The ridge between West Simpson and Simpson Peak is where the technical climbing is.
This section requires navigating through sharp volcanic rock outcrops at the top of several steep, gnarly couloirs. Careful route-finding as well as technical rock climbing skills are required. Ropes are not necessary, but there are a few moves where protection may be beneficial. After topping out on Simpson Peak (12,970'), follow the ridge heading north towards Wheeler Peak. A primitive trail is worn into the rocks, which is usually exposed by strong winds. After a series of storms or during a snowy winter, be ready to encounter variable wind drift features covering the trail.