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|Conditions Information||Posted By||Posted On|
|2015-02-07||Route: Northwest Slopes
Info: Route it still good to the top! Trail has good hardpack (didn‘t use any microspikes or anything) up until treeline. Above there I lost the "trail" due to snow and had to freestyle it to the saddle. The trail can be seen again at the saddle and is straightforward from there. The cairns on the Class 2 section are clearly visible. On the way down microspikes would have been useful as the snow had softened and was slippery. On part to note is the section of the climb adjacent to Point 13,363. There was a hard packed snowfield in this area that warranted use of an ice axe. Other than that great climb! The road to Crags is a bit sketch like previous posts have been mentioning. Go SLOW and stay in the tracks and you‘ll be fine with 4WD.
|2015-02-06||Route: Northwest Slopes
Info: A quick update in case anyone is headed this way this weekend (Crags Route)...The storm that passed through a couple days ago didn‘t really drop much in the area--maybe 1/2" or 1" up higher. So, there is still a great, packed, track all the way up through treeline (microspikes recommended; follow the footprints not the XC ski tracks). Above treeline and on to the summit, it‘s a toss up whether to keep your microspikes on or just walk in boots with good traction as there is plenty of open tundra, rock, and packed or thin snow. The road to the trailhead is like a slot car track--if you get out of the slot, you‘ll probably get stuck, even with 4x4. So, from the Mennonite Camp on up, definitely AWD or 4WD and don‘t pull over if you meet someone head on--back up instead. (There were two guys digging out their 4x4 trucks and, a bit lower down, another 4x4 truck well stuck in deep snow just off of the road. Stay on the packed tracks!)
|2015-01-31||Route: East Slope
Info: Went up and down the mountain yesterday (31 Jan) via Barr Trail. From the trailhead to 3 miles up, the trail is pretty much devoid of any snow and only a few, short icy spots remain. Picture #1 shows trail conditions from 3 miles up and pretty much all the way to treeline. There is good boot-pack, but lots of underlying ice and traction devices highly recommended. Picture #2 shows trail conditions JUST below treeline, where the snow is a little deeper and postholing can become an issue once the temperatures warm up. As of this report, the snow was consolidated and frozen enough to eliminate postholing. Picture #3 shows that the trail above treeline is holding snow, but is also windblown enough to be followable. In fact, the trail is followable in its entirety from the trailhead to the summit. Picture #4 shows 1 of 3 prominent snowfields covering the trail around the 12,700 - 13,000 foot level, that need to be traversed. The picture shows 14ers member ylingli negotiating one of the snowfields. Do not take these snowfields lightly, as they are super consolidated and frozen over solid. An ice axe and aggressive traction devices highly recommended. Although it looks as though some boot-pack is being left in the snow, that is not the case. That is simply some disruption of the powdery layer (that had fallen the night before) covering the frozen solid snow. A slip down to the rocks below (which appear closer than they are) would be painful and certainly result in injury. Picture #5 shows one of the other powder-covered icy snowfields. Picture #6 shows 14ers member ylingli just below the summit. Picture #7 shows views during the descent with a section of the trail in the distance. Picture #8 shows conditions on the East Face during the descent. Also, 14ers member jrs1965 - you wanted a picture of the Y Couloir from the summit and I took 2 for you. I will PM them to you.
|2015-01-29||Route: Northwest Slopes
Info: You can get a Blues Mobile to the Mennonite Camp, but probably good to have AWD or 4WD after that to the Crags Trailhead. You could do it in front wheel drive with snow tires, but if you get off the tracks and into the ditch you‘ll be stuck without 4WD. The trail up through treeline is nicely packed--microspikes are the ticket. Above treeline the track I was following dribbled out and I found myself off trail, on a ridge somewhere, in the dark, in the clouds with low visibility, etc. (I started hiking at 2:30a.m. for some sunrise photography.) So, I bailed and will come back another day. Regrettably, Pikes was probably clear of the clouds judging from the summit cam later in the day--would have been great at sunrise. Keep an eye on the snowfall from this current unsettled weather/storm to see if it will negate this report.
|2015-01-26||Route: East Slope
Info: Hiked from Barr Camp to summit, breaking trail after the Bottomless Pit turn off. 3-4inches of unmarked snow on top of a trail base. Wore microspikes the whole way. Not too bad if you stay where others have walked -- a few inches either way means postholing. Trail snowy until A-Frame (two other hikers wore snow shoes with good success). Above A-frame the snow is windblow, drifted, and frozen over solid. Traction a must - poles a great help. The trail is pretty visible except for the portion approaching the long traverse, where we hunted around the slippery drifts. The Golden Stairs were slightly challenging due to ice and drifting. 4 different hikers summitted -- two in snowshoes/spikes and two spikes only. Some slips and falls due to lack of traction at times - but slow and sure won the day. Blue bird day -- just about freezing -- almos no wind the whole day. Hitchhiked down
|2015-01-05||Route: Northwest Slopes
Info: Skied from 2wd trailhead near Mennonite Camp to about 10700 feet. About 12-16 inches of base all along the route. Still some exposed rocks along the Devils Playground trail, but definitely a fun trip on XC skis. FYI there is a low hanging tree a couple hundred feet south of the four-way junction along the side trail that swings south and cuts off the cul-de-sac in the campground.
|2014-12-26||Route: Northwest Slopes
Info: Summited Pikes via crags on Xmas day. There is a great established trench all the way to treeline. Once past treeline the winds were transporting snow covering any tracks. But,its fairly easy to figure out once your there with the right beta,and maps. There was two guys who tried the day before and went too far left up the Angling zig zags before treeline, and got caught up in some nasty deep snow. I found there tracks where they split off to the left. Don‘t follow those. Continue following the tracks to the right. Once on the ridges,its pretty wind scoured with some drifts around. I used microspikes from start to finish,and no problems. 4" of new snow fell overnight,but the trench should be established enough to still easily follow. Galeforce winds up high alllll day long. Didn‘t see a soul all day long. It was an Epic ;)
|2014-12-20||Route: Northwest Slopes
Info: Was on snow pretty much the whole time after stepping out of the car at Crags TH. Used snowshoes all the way to the stated "final pitch" and then switched to microspikes. Same on the way down. Saw someone without snowshoes and he postholed a lot. Snow was very loose and non-supportive starting around 11,000‘ for the rest of the hike. Prior to then, trail was pretty well boot-packed. Starting up the steep sections after the "small clearing near 10,900‘" would have been miserable without traction.
|2014-12-20||Route: East Slope
Info: Went up and down the mountain yesterday (20 DEC) via Barr Trail. Picture #1 shows very packed down snow/icy trail conditions just after leaving the trailhead at 06:15, that continue up (for the most part) for the first 3 miles. Picture #2 has nothing to do with trail conditions but I thought it was a cool sunrise picture from yesterday. Picture #3 shows trail conditions pretty much from 3 miles up and all the way to Barr Camp. Picture #4 shows trail conditions just below treeline (well boot-packed with little to no postholing). Picture #5 shows a nicely consolidated snowfield covering the trail above treeline...this was exception, because the other 99% of the trail (above treeline) was powder soft snow as picture #6 shows and required some "work" to get through. Kudos to 14ers member climbing_rob & his wife for putting in some good boot-pack to the summit after this most recent snowstorm. Picture #7 shows trail conditions just below the summit. Picture #8 shows some late afternoon views during the descent.
|2014-12-07||Route: Northwest Slopes
Info: Path was clear to the summit on Northwest slopes. There were a few small spots that had some icy packed snow where we could have thrown on the micro-spikes but these areas were so short that it never seemed worth it. We were set with just boots and trekking poles. Had a warm day as well as soon as the sun came out.
|2014-12-03||Route: East Slope
Info: Went up Pikes via the Barr Trail on Wednesday, 12/3. It‘s in great shape, with some ice near Barr Camp and then mostly clear until about 13,000. I put Microspikes on at that point, and summited easily. I was the only customer at the summit building when I arrived. :-)
|2014-12-01||Route: East Slope
Info: The trail is mostly clear. Where it intersects with the Experimental Forest trail you may want micro spikes and above 13,000 feet. Trail still visible the whole way.
|2014-11-30||Route: East Slope
Info: Went up and down Pikes Peak via Barr Trail on 11/30. Essentially no snow until Barr Camp, then very little snow to the summit (no snow at all for much of it), all packed/icy. Snowshoes are not needed *at all*. Microspikes are a good idea, though it can be done without them, with some careful footing placements (one of the guys in our group left them by mistake and made it, but not recommended, Microspikes made it much easier and quicker).
|2014-11-27||Route: Northwest Slopes
Info: Crags route is mostly snow free to the summit. What snow is left is rock hard with no post holing. Summit section is easy to find and only minimal snow. Traction was nice to in the morning as parts of the trail are frozen. Made it to the trailhead easily in my Honda Civic.
|2014-11-22||Route: Northwest Slopes
Info: Took the trail from the Crags Trailhead to just before the talus. At that point it was too late in the day to finish the climb and return, plus the wind had picked up considerably. Up to that point there was some snow on the trail, but no ice. No traction needed, at least not as far as I made it. Of course, conditions have likely changed today with the new snow, but it was a beautiful Saturday. Phone/camera died after I crossed Pikes Peak Highway, so no pictures from higher up.
|2014-11-15||Route: East Slope
Info: Went up and down the Peak yesterday (Nov 15) via Barr Trail. There is actually more snow covering the trail from the parking lot to Barr Camp than there is from Barr Camp to the summit. That is because the storm that came through this past Tuesday and Wednesday had a very low cloud ceiling and left the upper elevations virtually untouched. The snow that does cover the trail is very minimal (inch or two) and no snowshoes are required. The standard trail above treeline is followable in it‘s entirety but be aware, that aggressive traction devices are highly recommended. This is because the residual snow from the storm in October has been subject to frequent freeze-thaw cycles and has left the snow on the trail in, what can only be described as, a very wind blown, hard, consolidated, icy condition. Picture #1 shows the cloud cover and storm over the Springs while the upper part of the mountain is in the sunshine (captured off the webcam from this past Tuesday). Picture #2 shows trail conditions a few miles below Barr Camp. Picture #3 shows the wind-blown east face. Picture #4 shows residual snow on the trail from October that is now extremely hard-packed to the point that my poles and microspikes were barely leaving a mark. Picture #5 shows how most of the trail above 13K looks due to the frequent freeze-thaw cycles. Picture #6 shows some of the more snow packed sections of the trail during the descent. It did snow on the mountain as I descended yesterday, but no "significant" new accumulation.
|2014-10-30||Route: East Slope
Info: Just finished hiking Pikes Peak yesterday via Devil‘s Playground/Crags trailhead. Surprisingly, the trail is still in perfect condition. The only time I saw snow was when I got closer to the summit. Even then, snowshoes or spikes are not needed. The only major feedback is I had no idea the last train ended at Noon on a Wednesday. I was lucky to have a few nice tourists drive me back to the trailhead.
|2014-10-19||Route: East Slope
Info: Up to 3‘ snow between summit and 2 mile. Generally 2‘ snow between 2 mile and A Frame. Barr Trail generally not visible. We have conducted numerous missions locating or rescuing people stuck in the snow. Tennis shoes and jeans don‘t work well in the winter as some people are learning. Snowshoes needed for any above treeline travel.
|2014-10-18||Route: East Slope
Info: Went up and down the mountain yesterday (18 Oct) via Barr Trail. Thought I would add some pictures in conjunction with the El Paso County SAR conditions report from above regarding Pikes Peak. Picture #1 shows the mountain from about 5 miles up on Barr Trail. You can see the amount of snow on the Peak. You can see the snow even better from Colorado Springs, but yet, as the EPCSAR conditions report eluded to, people still continue to head up there with inadequate clothing and footwear. I saw it all day yesterday. Picture #2 shows increasing ice and snow on the trail above Barr Camp. Picture #3 shows much more snow on the trail just below treeline although with sufficient boot-pack. Picture #4 shows conditions on the East Face proper, with no boot-pack on the standard Barr Trail. Picture #5 shows that even the Bighorn Sheep are post-holing! Picture #6, taken during the descent, shows that some sections of the trail are boot-packed but as the EPCSAR post stated, large portions of the trail are generally not visible. Prior route familiarity would be advantageous. On a side note, picture #7 show a huge boulder (not to be confused with the one from last year) that has come down across the trail about 1/4 of a mile from the parking lot. It is still easy to get around it though.
|2014-08-23||Route: Northwest Slopes
Info: Trail was in good condition with exception to icy boulders in the home stretch at ~13,400 feet. We started from the Crags trailhead at 5AM and arrived to this stretch around 8:30AM where the sun had not yet hit these rocks to melt the ice. It turned into a class 3 section where every step had to be tested before proceeding. Other hikers who arrived an hour later did not have this issue with only mild ice patches here and there. I would recommend leaving no earlier than 6AM this time of year if you want to avoid these icy boulders in the last half mile of trail. Also note that there are no other large mountains in close proximity and once above tree line the wind on Pikes Peak is tremendous and extremely cold in the morning. Make sure to bring a heavy base layer with gloves, glove liners, stocking hat, and a wind/rain jacket. Even with these basic essentials we were still starting to get hypothermic. Maybe it was just that particular day. Cheers.