|Peak:||Longs Peak (14er)|
|Date of Information:||07/23/2011|
Did Longs north face, Cables route, yesterday. Parking at 8am was an issue, but we encountered surprisingly few visitors on the mountain, and no large groups.
The approach is completely dry. Snow below the technical rock section can be avoided by climbing left, then across, with the exception of a narrow apron at the base, which has good kicked-in steps.
The Cables route itself has no snow or ice, but plenty of water running through the cracks and grooves. In retrospect, we did not feel being roped was necessary were it not for the water coming off the snowfield from above. Unless your rope is new and triple-dry, expect it to get soaked. The climbing was still very pleasant with numerous good holds on dry rock on the face to the right. There is also a fine-looking 5.7ish finger/hand crack about 50 feet right of Cables, which had no water and would make an excellent alternative on a busier day.
The snowfield above is fading rapidly. It can be avoided by traversing loose rock, but the good steps and softer snow across the middle make it a safer option. We opted to use axes. Approach shoes worked well for the entire route.
My partner was there this time last year and was pleasantly surprised at the paucity of visitors. There were maybe four or five tents in the boulderfield, and we saw maybe eight or ten people come and go during an hour's time on the summit in pleasant afternoon conditions.
Photos (click for slideshow):