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|Conditions Information||Posted By||Posted On|
|2013-08-11||Route: North Ridge
Info: 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.
|2013-06-29||Route: From Challenger Point
Info: 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.
|2013-06-24||Route: From Challenger Point
Info: Kit Carson avenue is still visibly snow-covered from the valley.
|2013-05-25||Route: Outward Bound Couloir
Info: 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.
|2013-05-17||Route: Outward Bound Couloir
Info: 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
|2013-05-03||Route: from the Needle
Info: Pic of the snow coverage on Kit Carson and Challenger. Taken from the Needle 5.3.2013.
|2013-02-03||Route: South Coolie from Spanish Creek
Info: 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.
Info: 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.
Info: The Crestone group got some (completely unforecasted) snow today. Edit: possibly a lot even.
Info: 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.
Info: A partial conditions report, by request. There was 1-2" of snow at 8400‘. There was certainly snow higher up but probably less than elsewhere. Image 1 shows Pt13546; image 2 shows Pt12740. Image 3: Pt13546, Pt13580, 13151, Challenger, Kit Carson.
|2012-10-14||Route: East Ridge
Info: Photo taken during a 10/14 hike of Humboldt‘s East Ridge. If the snow on Humboldt was any indication, the north aspects will hold the snow for some time, but the southern and southeastern aspects were already melting quickly. The deepest drifts we experienced on Humboldt were regularly spaced above 13,500, powdery, and averaged 3"-6" deep, maxing out at 12" in a few places.
|2012-09-30||Route: From Challenger Point
Info: The snow is slowly accumulating. The first photo was taken the morning of 9/30 at 8:45am. Some melted throughout the day, but more clouds/snow visited the peak during the day. On the slopes of Challenger Point, the melted snow is creating an icy base with new snow accumulating on top. The second photo was taken 13,000+ feet on Challenger Point and shows the snow between and covering the rocks.
|2012-09-22||Route: From Challenger Point
Info: Some lingering snow on northern aspects of Challenger and Kit Carson (see the picture). No need for gaiters, though. Otherwise, summer conditions prevail.
|2012-09-17||Route: Willow Creek Approach
Info: Snow on 12th (picture 1). 97% melted by 14th (picture 2). As of the 17th, almost no snow at all is visible from the valley (just a bit on the north face of Challenger). There does not appear to be any new snow on the 17th.
|2012-06-24||Route: North Ridge
Info: The lower section of the hike is extremely dry and the trail gets dusty. Once you cross over to the east side it is more green. Once you are at the top of the pass the Columbines are plentiful and in full bloom. The hike to the North Ridge is snow free, but there is one marshy area to watch out for. It is really straight-forward; just aim for the cliff bands. The grassy ledges were easy to navigate, the ridge is mostly in sight at this point so choose your path. The North Ridge was surprisingly snow-free, we brought axes but did not use them except to cross the Challenger couloir on the descent. The ridge was a blast, but it definitely demands your full attention. Holds were solid, but there are a few sections they are hard to find. Avenue is snow-free except a few patches that are completely avoidable. The descent from Challenger still sucks. Pic 1: Kit Carson and the North Ridge Pic 2: General idea of rock and angle, sorry I am blocking the view Pic 3: Avenue Pic 4: Standard route up Challenger
|Cool Hand Luke||2012-06-25||4||2|
|2012-06-20||Route: From Challenger Point
Info: The avenue is passable, but one area is a little tricky right now. The first photo shows the snow you can see from Challenger. Number 2 show a little choke point on the other side of the avenue which should be carefully crossed.
|2012-06-19||Route: From Challenger Point
Info: From the summit of Challenger, the view of Kit Carson avenue (ascending portion) is partially covered in snow. With closer inspection, the snow can be avoided by carefully navigating closer toward the cliff edge. The descending portion of the avenue has several snow patches, all avoidable except for one kick-step on the last patch before entering the gully. No traction devices or ice axe were used.
|2012-06-16||Route: From Challenger Point
Info: You could see the smoke settling in Alamosa county as we drove closer to the town of Crestone. I wasnt happy that we were breathing that in but it made for a really cool/weird sunrise photo. See photo 1. On Saturday the day we climbed smoke was not much of a factor. It was a long but fun day on Challenger and Kit Carson. The biggest problem were the Mosquitos from 8900 to tree line. As long as you kept moving they were not to bad. The trail was pretty dusty until around 11000 as well. We started just after midnight and before the lake it was so warm even in the middle of the night I was down to a tank top. I was told that I should camp at Willow Lake and I really should have listened. That lake was beautiful with one flowing waterfall and one frozen one. I have pictures if anyone is interested send me a PM. There was a decent amount of scree and lose rock as we ascended challenger. There was a couloir that you could of climbed up with crampons that paralleled the trail from about 12,750 to 13,900ft. We traversed the very top of it early in the morning and the snow was very firm. The standard trail was totally dry until the avenue on Kit Carson. See picture 2. There was some snow but it is easy to walk around it. We brought microspikes but never used them. Picture 3 taken of the Crestones just before we descended the second part of the avenue. My favorite part of the trip was free climbing up a low class 5 section that my other buddy also named Ryan (Dchild10) mentioned jokingly "hey we should climb up that" and I said ok and we ended up doing it and had a blast. See picture 4. If anyone knows if that route has a name let me know. We got a little off route but as we topped out we could see other easier sections that eventually crossed the standard route just before the summit. The decent was long but straight forward. I love the rock in the sangres.
|2012-06-15||Route: From Challenger Point
Info: Though visibly much smaller than last week, snow on the first portion of the Avenue can still be seen from the valley. Also, expect mosquitos.