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Kit Carson Peak  
Report
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Route  Conditions Information  Posted By   Posted On    Photos  Comments Likes Dislikes    
2014-07-14  From Challenger Point  Still lots of mosquitoes about... Esp. at TH and just before the lake. No camping spot is safe! The "Avenue" has two little patches of snow that are completely manageable. The way back down via Challenger standard route was treacherous; wet and loose. addrock528   2014-07-14  0     Edit Delete 
2014-07-04  From Challenger Point  Great conditions on the peaks, mosquitoes were awful by the lake and trailhead. Avenue still has some snow on the south side but only a very short section, no snow gear needed. marcstrawser   2014-07-04 3  1    Edit Delete 
2014-06-19  (any)  6/19 UPDATE: MOSQUITO ALERT. Bring protection or suffer. 5/22 : There has been an insane amount of snow over the last month; however, the ongoing daily dust storms certainly make it crappy in places, and probably particularly on west-facing slopes. 5/26 : Much new snow over the weekend, on top of the red-looking dust layer. 5/29 : Despite the dumping of the last weekend, 3 straight 80-degree days have resulted in the melting of almost all snow below 13k feet. Gibson and 12740, both of which had nearly full snow cover even before the weekend storm, are now nearly devoid of it. Many west-facing slopes still have good snow cover above ~13k feet, and north-facing slopes and gullies probably have good snow well below that. 6/5 : Heavy melting. Much snow still remains on the Avenue. See picture. 6/14 : Despite a couple minor snowfalls there has been extreme melting. Most peaks are snow-free to the summit, with snow in just a few gullies and the occasional small snowfield above 13k. However, the avenue still has significant visible snow and I would guess is 1-4 weeks from being "in". Also, be sure to check out the other conditions reports on the peak that have more precise information on specific routes: http://14ers.com/php14ers/peakstatus_peak.php?peakparm=23 jdorje   2014-05-22 2  6 1    
2014-06-17  From Challenger Point  Attempted KC from Challenger. Route was clear and mostly snow free to The Avenue. We were able to make it past the snow on the avenue to about halfway. At that point the rock becomes covered in this ice. I chopped a step in it, but slipping at that point was certain death. Since we didn‘t bring anything to protect the move, we turned back here. The area is probably passable on the snow higher up with crampons and an axe, we just didn‘t want to risk it. The rest of the avenue looked dry enough to be passable. Did not get a look at the other side but I heard word it was clear. The ice should become passable in 1-2 weeks without snow equipment. Not sure why the last photos aren‘t the right way up but you get the idea. LivingOnTheEdge   2014-06-18 8  4 2  Edit Delete 
2014-06-15  From Challenger Point  Longtime Lurker...here are the conditions and photos of the Kit Carson Avenue on Sunday 6/15;The initial (ledge) ramp sloping upward from the Challenger Point/Kit Carson saddle to the Kit Carson/Prow saddle is almost melted out along its entire edge. One section remains troublesome that is about 10 feet long with thick ice on it. On the continuing KC Avenue sloping downward & east there is still a lot of ice & snow. It is very deep in the areas sh own in Photo #8 and #9 of the Route Description. Eagle Eye   2014-06-17 5  3    Edit Delete 
2014-06-13  Outward Bound Couloir  Negligible snow until I reached the base of the couloir. The snow was mostly hard-pack on the way up with occasional soft areas. The upper portion of the couloir that remains in the shade was very hard-packed. The scramble from the top of the couloir to the summit was mostly dry with some rotten patches of snow but not too troubling. Left the summit at 8:30. The upper couloir was still hard. The snow became progressively soft after reaching the sunny areas. Upon reaching the bottom portions it was mostly thigh deep post holes. DynamicPursuits   2014-06-14 4     Edit Delete 
2014-03-30  Willow Creek Approach  Hike-able without floatation to the top of the headwall. OB and Kirk both in good condition. South face holding decent snow. Recommended après: http://blisscafecrestone.comBliss Cafe George James   2014-03-31 1     Edit Delete 
2013-10-10  (any)  10/10 : All non-gully snow had melted. However there was a ton today. Snow line down to 8000‘. 9/22-9/23 : Much snow: http://14ers.com/phpBB3/viewtopic.php?t=41699&p=506054#p506054 9/19 : Snow last night (not much, melted off fast). 9/17 : No more snow, conditions look good. 9/15 : Some snow today. I only saw Challenger west face but it looked like a dusting. Peaks have only been visible briefly each day so it‘s hard to be certain but there was nothing (except the hail, still visible) on the 14th. 9/7 : Pictures here: http://14ers.com/phpBB3/viewtopic.php?t=41475&p=502897#p502897. 9/2 : There was an absolute ton of hail on Challenger and Kit Carson on the 2nd or 3rd. This stuff doesn‘t appear to have melted yet. jdorje   2013-09-04  0  3      
2013-09-21  From Challenger Point  Small patch of snow on Avenue between Challenger-Kit Carson saddle and Prow (see photo). --bb--   2013-09-22 2     Edit Delete 
2013-08-18  Willow Creek Approach  The standard route to Challenger and Kit Carson is dry and completely free of snow and ice. The Avenue was fun! SilverLynx   2013-08-19  0     Edit Delete 
2013-08-11  North Ridge  The heavy rain and cold temps on Saturday night iced up much of the upper route. Pic 1 taken about 9:30 looking up the North Ridge shows the east (left) side dry and the right (west) shaded side holding a lot of snow and ice. Ascending the crest of the ridge I had to clean snow and ice out of the holds for my right hand and foot. Pic 2 taken about 9:45 is topping out a tower along the ridge with snow and ice visible at left (west). This was some of the scariest conditions I have ever encountered, it would have been impossible to downclimb. Pics 3 and 4, taken at 11:00 and 11:15 respectively, show snow and ice on the route between Kit Carson and Challenger. Brian Thomas   2013-08-12 4  4    Edit Delete 
2013-06-29  From Challenger Point  We were able to make it up KC via The Prow and got some great beta shots. Most of the snow has melted out. While there is still a bit of snow for stretches on the avenue, it is easily passable with essentially zero challenge from Challenger over to the top of the prow. Beyond that, there are one or two very small stretches which may give some pause, but they were pretty easily bypassed. The avenue aside, the final pitches up KC were clear as was the summit and the upper North faces of Challenger. Several pics attached - feel free to PM if you‘re curious for more info. Zambo   2013-06-30 3  2  Edit Delete 
2013-06-24  From Challenger Point  Kit Carson avenue is still visibly snow-covered from the valley. jdorje   2013-06-12  0  4    Edit Delete 
2013-05-25  Outward Bound Couloir  Approach from Willow Creek is dry until about 1.5 miles from the lake. After that, there is 100 ft on, 100 ft off of character building post-holing. The OB couloir was in fantastic shape when I topped out at 7 am this morning. Travelling the avenue required some exciting steep-snow traversing but was rock solid. Descending via Challenger Peak standard route is not recommended. By 9-10, I was regretting my decision due to soft, unstable, or otherwise icy conditions all around. ledhead69   2013-05-25  0     Edit Delete 
2013-05-17  Outward Bound Couloir  OB Couloir is full right now. Snow layers were bonding well but beware of upcoming wet slides if the current heating continues. Lots of snow. The confines of the couloir get a limited amount of sunhit and we found stable conditions to the top. Again, with lots of snow. There‘s snow coverage from the top of OB to the summit of Kit Carson and we used crampons to the top. Pic #1: Entering OB Couloir Pic #2: Upper couloir Pic #3: Snow below the summit Pic #4: Back in the couloir BillMiddlebrook   2013-05-18 4  4    Edit Delete 
2013-05-03  from the Needle  Pic of the snow coverage on Kit Carson and Challenger. Taken from the Needle 5.3.2013. Carl   2013-05-04 1  1      
2013-02-03  South Coolie from Spanish Creek  We used the Spanish Creek approach to go for Kit Carson and Challenger yesterday. The "TH" is non existent, difficult to find and on private property...but the local Sheriff says the owner‘s don‘t mind a few travelers in winter. There was very little snow at first, and getting into the canyon and past the National Forest boundary is the route finding crux. Luckily 2 teams had been in the day before and we were able to follow tracks. We did not start until after 6am due to the route finding difficulties. Snowshoes are needed once you enter the burn area but the trench was excellent. The upper basin is as beautiful as any I have seen. The South Colouir on Kit is fairly mellow and was filled in with snow. The climbing was easy. Some used snowshoes, others used crampons. The gully up to kit is completely filled in with snow. All 4 climbers made the summit. The weather was beautiful until the afternoon when the winds picked up and clouds rolled in. The avenue is in spring condition now. Some parties might want a rope. 2 of us crossed the avenue and bagged Challenger. I thought this was the crux of the day. I Man   2013-02-04 4       
2012-12-16  (any)  3-4 inches of snow fell around 8400‘ on the 14th - real wet, sticky stuff on top of the dry powder from the previous week. There‘s a lot less snow visible up high than I‘d expect, but clouds never fully cleared. Photo 1 shows 13546 on the left and unranked 13151 on the right, from the 15th. Ceiling is around 13k. Just a quick update - it snowed about as much again overnight on the 15th->16th. Everything is quite snowcovered now. jdorje   2012-12-15 1       
2012-12-06  (any)  The Crestone group got some (completely unforecasted) snow today. Edit: possibly a lot even. jdorje   2012-12-06  0       
2012-11-27  (any)  Another partial-report-by-request. Since the snow on the ~10th there has been no additional weather. Rare tiny packets of snow remain on the ground around 8400‘; I doubt there are any trailhead access issues on the west side. A reasonable amount of snow is still visible up higher, but much has melted. North-facing slopes and gullies probably hold a fair amount; Challenger N slopes and Kit Carson avenue would likely be among those. Snow on south-facing ridges and slopes should be avoidable. I would guess. No clue about the eastern approaches, though the wet valley side gets plenty of sun too. Photo 1: 13546, 13580, 13151, Challenger, Kit Carson. 13580‘s lack of any visible snow is pretty striking. jdorje   2012-11-27 1       

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