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|Conditions Information||Posted By||Posted On|
|2016-04-19||Route: East Slope
Info: Two days on Barr Trail at Pikes Peak, but no summit (4/18-4/19). Did an overnight tent in snowy conditions at Barr Camp around the 6.5 mile marker. The trail is mud & slush for the first 3 miles up to the top of the Manitou Incline. The trail is surprisingly broken-in for the entire way to Barr Camp, despite massive snowfall during Winter Storm Vexo from 4/15-4/17/16. Although the trail is discernible, it deteriorates in condition & depth as you approach Barr Camp. Snow shoes or skis are advisable. Could only able to push 1 mile past Barr Camp due to consistent knee high post-holing, then retreated when conditions turned to thigh/waist high post-holing. The trail was still partially discernible up to mile 8 or so. You would essentially be breaking trail from mile 8 onward. Pikes Peak & surroundings remained obscured by dense cloud cover from Friday until late Monday afternoon, 4/19.
|2016-04-02||Route: East Slope
Info: Snow was present from the whole hike from the top of the manitou incline on. There was a good trench in place all the way to Barr Camp; microspikes were all that was needed. 1/2-3/4 mile past barr camp, tracks ended and we started to break trail through the deep snow. Snowshoes were mandatory from this point on. We got off the summer trail at some point, but took a pretty direct route route to the A-Frame. Above treeline there was still a lot of snow we had to break trail through. We stayed on the south facing slope of the east face (we never crossed the gully and went to the cirque overlook/1 mile sign) and took a more direct route to the 16 golden stairs before summiting not too much later. The summit had opened not too much earlier to car traffic and the cog railway so we hitchhiked down. A ranger on the summit told us there was whumpf sounds and cracks reported by someone who went up the northwest slopes that day as well. We experienced no signs of avalanche concerns on our route.
|2016-03-12||Route: East Slope
Info: Barr Trail is dry from Hydro trailhead to No Name Creek. Then it's mixed of dry patches and snow covered sections to Barr Camp. After Barr Camp, it's hard packed to the treeline. Above the treeline, it's mixed, some dry sections and some snows. Right after the 2 miles to go sign, the trail crosses two snowfields that made me wish I had more than just my spikes. I avoided those snowfields on the descent by going directly from the grand traverse to the big boulder formation at 12,500. The top mile has a lot snow on the trail but not much snow elsewhere. Summit is bone dry. 5am start, 11am at the summit. Not much of a breeze even on the summit. 3 hours coming down.
|2016-02-27||Route: Northwest Slopes
Info: Road is clear to Mennonite Camp. One 2WD low clearance car got stuck within 20 yards going past the gate and we pulled them out with a chain. Some other high clearance vehicles made it further up the trail but none all the way to Crag's campground. The trail was packed and we used only microspikes for most of the trail up to about 11,000 feet. There was a split in the trail and we continued right as directed per GPX file and we followed ski tracks until the snow became waist deep even with snow shoes. We tried for for a good while before turning around. We ended up deciding to try the a set of foot prints that went to the left back at the split which roughly followed the typical Devil's Playground trail per GPS and was also marked with pink ribbons. We followed that for awhile using snow shoes comfortably as the trail was relatively packed until the snow again became very powdery and in places waist deep. We tried to make it to tree line thinking maybe conditions would be better but came to fine that the snow continued at this depth. Realizing it was a mistake we turned around at about tree line. Most people who tried to continue on the typical route to the right ended up turning back. I would be interested to see if people ended up making summit. Either way there is likely now a decent trench on the regular route to the right for as far as people were willing to go as there was some decent traffic today. I would definitely bring spikes and snow shoes. Can't say I would recommend this route unless others did end up summiting. Will try again some other time.
|2016-02-20||Route: Northwest Slopes
Info: Road conditions! Do not go up past the Mennonite camp.unless you have chains, 4x4 with good tread or you just want to get stuck. The Crag route itself was good. No one needed snowshoes today, the trails (bushwhacked and better trails) were packed enough for one person to walk up. Micro spikes were helpful. As the day went on, the trail at lower elevations was melting and becoming slush. The th parking lot.is.not passable. Multiple people got stuck in it. Trip report to follow...
|2016-02-20||Route: Northwest Slopes
Info: Approach: road fine for most any vehicle up to 0.4 mi past Mennonite Camp where I parked. Nice plowed parking area that was mostly full when I arrived. DO NOT attempt driving farther if you don't have a burly high-clearance 4WD! I believe at least two vehicles got stuck a short distance past the parking area. Route: Crags TH is signed and obvious. I barebooted the entire way up, though microspikes would make life easier up to around 12k--parts of the trail are hard packed and/or icy. From around 11k-12k, the bootpacked trail becomes steep and uneven, and does not follow the summer trail route; there's ~3' of snow on either side of the route. Above 12k, mostly bare ground can be followed most of the way to the summit. There is one slightly tricky crossing on hard-packed snow while traversing the slopes of Little Pikes--some might prefer microspikes for this, I just kicked small steps and used trekking poles. Gear: microspikes are very useful but not absolutely essential. Snowshoes aren't needed at this time and may actually be more of a hindrance on some parts of the route; some post-holing is inevitable, but infrequent. I found trekking poles helpful. Did not bring an axe or crampons, and did not need either. Also: if anyone spots a GPS somewhere around 12k, please PM me! I set it down on/near a good sitting rock along a decently snow-free line of descent, and was unable to find it again...
|2016-02-20||Route: East Slope
Info: The first 3.5 miles up the Barr Trail is mostly dry with snow and ice only scattered In various shaded portions. Sorry for having no pics on this post, camera died on the way up!! Go figure. At mile 4, and all the way up to about mile 7, there is a nice hard now pack, great for the microspikes. This section gets a bit looser after 12pm after being exposed to hikers and sunlight throughout the day. Mile 7 - 9.5, the trail is still snow covered but with a softer, moderate pack. Your likely to post hole here and there, but mostly the pack is solid enough. Once you get above the tree line, the trail gets slightly softer but is nice and easy to follow due to the various accents over the last few weeks. Most of the trail is easy to follow, but be aware that a few trekkers decided to cut up the snow pack in various spots. The tracks are nice to follow if you wanna work on your footing technique a bit. I had fun with it and it made a shorter climb. Crampons are nice in this section, around mile 10, but microspikes do just fine here as well. The traverse towards the 16 golden steps is pretty straight forward, there is a nice snow pack most of the way towards the summit and some of the trail is even exposed, making it easier to follow. Overall it was a straight forward climb and the trail is easy to follow! It's a long day though, so be prepared! Hope this helps!
|2016-02-11||Route: Northwest Slopes
Info: You can drive about 1/2 mile after Mennonite camp and park in nicely groomed parking lot. Trail to Pikes summit is great up to about 3 miles into trail. I lost the trail on the steep area at around 12000-12500 ft. I was post holing for about 2 hours with no luck reaching tree line. Snow shoes are a must in my opinion is you might get off of trail. My trip was a horrible day due to I had a ride waiting on summit for me and I had to turn around and head back down to the Crags trail head. I ended up walking back to Divide to get cell service so that I could call my ride. Overall, the trip would have been successful if I had snowshoes in my pack.
|2016-01-27||Route: Northwest Slopes
Info: We arrived to the trailhead around 6:15AM and were one of two groups going up. Based on the previous trip report (that the other group was also going off of) said that microspikes were all that one needs to summit - so no one had snow shoes. The trail was well packed and easy to follow at first. At 1.3 miles, there is a packed trail that goes left - GO RIGHT. Soon after, the trail became a bit deep for just spikes. A tress was marked with orange tags (picture 1). By about 1.7 miles, it was very difficult to tell where the trail went and we were in about 8" of fresh snow. There was another spilt (picture 2) - neither of which looked to have been on for some time and we went left as it seemed to be the best choice of the two. By now, we were struggling up 18+ inches of snow and it was quite difficult at some points. At mile two, the trail simply stopped. We knew we were on the right path as at that moment, we came to a tree with three orange tags reading "WWSS " - this was the third of three trees with these tags. We ended up traversing up large rocks in waist-deep powder to a nice clearing (2.2 miles) where we decided to make our own trail going south. The snow was all powder, but going slightly downhill the 16" was not too bad. Somewhere around 2.65 miles, we found the trail again and could see the direction that we needed to go. With a visible trail, we thought the worst was over and started heading back up the mountain. The next half mile was one of the most difficult hikes I have ever done. Even though the trail was visible, we were sinking down past our waists and struggled every step (picture 3). From 11,240‘ to the next clearing at 11,500 - we sunk every step and had accumulated serious snow and ice in places we did not want them. There is a beautiful rock with little snow that we stopped at to admire the sun begin to come over the mountain, and we could clearly see Longs Peak in the distance. It had taken us 2:50 to reach this point, and we were far behind our schedule - and the cold wet feet told us that we should not continue up. From this rock, it did look like spike would be more than sufficient and the remaining hike would likely be rather easy to the summit. Make sure you have snow shoes!
|2016-01-23||Route: Northwest Slopes
Info: Parking at trail head has room for about 5 cars, get there early. I started at 5:00a.m. and was 3rd car to park. Trail was evident, snow packed and only needed micro-spikes (a must). Summit house was open because road was plowed to the top. Road was is excellent condition.
|2016-01-17||Route: Northwest Slopes
Info: Micro spikes were sufficient, no snow shoes needed. I was happy I had goggles due to strong wind gusts (you might want to bring a facemask). Started at Crags at 9am and returned at 5pm. Have fun!
|2016-01-16||Route: East Slope
Info: Trekked up and down the mountain via Barr Trail. The NOAA summit-specific forecast called for a mostly sunny but cold and "blustery" day with a high temp of 8 degrees and wind chill values of between -20 and -30 degrees. The forecast did not disappoint. The trail, from the trailhead to about 3 miles up is seriously icy...traction devices highly recommended for the entire trail, but especially these first three miles. From 3 miles up, and all the way to Barr Camp, the trail is mostly hard packed snow with some ice. From Barr Camp, and all the way to timberline, the snow on the trail is deeper but nicely boot packed and no snowshoes were required. From timberline to the summit, the wind was the main issue. Blustery was an understatement. The sustained wind was bad enough, but the gusts were ferocious. I was actually being peppered by small pebbles, chunks of snow and ice. Because of these high winds, large sections of the east face are completely wind blown and scoured and the snow that does remain is nicely consolidated and postholing was not an issue. There are even a few lengthy sections of the trail completely devoid of snow. The extended forecast calls for these high winds to continue, so hold on to your hat and be prepared to get knocked around a bit.
|2016-01-16||Route: Northwest Slopes
Info: I did the Crags route today. It was well packed through the trees. Above the trees it was either wind/sun hardened enough to walk on or too windblown to have any snow there. I never had to break out my snowshoes. All you need to climb the Crags right now are microspikes (plus all the normal winter climbing gear, obviously). Easy going underfoot. The wind on the other hand was nutso today! Almost got knocked over so many times! But of course that will change from moment to moment. For you skiers, there‘s not enough snow on the headwall just above tree line to ski it. Too many rocks. After I headed up this morn, apparently some skiers came up to treeline to peek at the snow and turned back, but they packed the trail even better. The bowl on the East side of the headwall looked nice. I‘m not a skier, but it looked like good coverage over there. It took me from 9 to 4:30 to make it up and down. The slowest section was the boulder hopping towards the summit - the snow in between the rocks is difficult to know if it‘s a good place to step or not, thus it takes a lot of extra care. I parked about 1.5 miles down from the TH because I just didn‘t want to mess with people getting stuck, but it looked like my subaru would have made it to the TH just fine. There are about 6 packed spaces at the TH.
|2016-01-02||Route: Northwest Slopes
Info: Started from Crags Campground at 730 am and -6 F. Road in is snow covered, careful how far you take a 2WD as I don‘t recommend trying to go to last parking lot. Trail from start to Devils Playground was hard snow pack, above that was combo hard snow and rocky ground and had to watch for deeper snow that you could sink into in just a few places. We wore micro spikes the entire way and never had an issue. 4 hours to summit and 3 back down. Special thanks to all those that have packed the trail in nicely...lol.
|2016-01-01||Route: East Slope
Info: Good bootpack from Manitou to the summit thanks to the AdAmAn Club. Microspikes are handy, especially low on the trail where the snow is now polished ice.
|2015-12-23||Route: Northwest Slopes
Info: Good boot pack up to timberline. Between timberline and saddle, trail vanishes - mixed powder and wind blown hard layers. We wore snowshoes to the first rocky outcropping. From there to summit, no flotation or traction required. Pretty wind blown with a few patches of snow that were not a big deal.
|2015-12-16||Route: Northwest Slopes
Info: Went up the Crags trail today making it pretty close to treeline. I broke trail the entire way from about 1 mile before Crags Campground (4WD trucks/jeeps may make it to within 1/4 to 1/2 mile). Snow is DEEP the higher you get, was pushing through knee deep (waist in some spots) snow towards the top of the trees. Made for some fun powder turns on the board, but be ready for a slog on the ascent. If you are following my tracks, they do go off trail a bit towards the end as I was just looking for a good spot to ski from. Try and stay near the trail and the snow won‘t be quite as deep.
|2015-12-12||Route: East Slope
Info: Trekked up and down the mountain yesterday (12 Dec) via Barr Trail. It was definitely a little "spicy," with 8 inches of new snow and some cold temps forecast. The 8 inches of snow that was forecast never really materialized, and the mountain received more like 3 inches. The first 3 miles of the trail had been devoid of snow (although icy) during the ascent, but after yesterday‘s snow, the trail is now snow covered from trailhead to summit. Again, the new snowfall was not "significant," and as of right now, IMO, snowshoes will not be needed. Traction devices, however, are highly recommended. Because of the colder temps and strong winds on the mountain, the deeper, residual snow (from previous storms) found above Barr Camp and all the way to the summit, is nicely consolidated which made for "easier" travel, even with the 3 inches of new snow during the descent. Postholing was minimal.
|2015-12-06||Route: Northwest Slopes
Info: Parked a mile from Crags Campground. Hiked the road which was packed by skiers & snowshoers to the campground taking the trail from there not the Crags Trail from the parking lot. Lots of snow to contend with making it slow going but it was packed down previously before the last snow so never needed the snowshoes. At treeline stayed further left then usual trying to stay in more grass & rocks then trending further right higher up to reach the saddle we crossed many short snowfields postholing. Still not continuous enough to need snowshoes. Left snowshoes once we hit the old road. Postholed here & there on the old road to Devils Playground, still snowshoes wouldn‘t have been needed. The trail from here was covered in ankle to calf deep snow which we were mostly able to avoid by staying on the sides of the trail. Near Little Pikes Peak had a hard snowfield to cross. After reaching the road again there was even less snow to contend with on the trail up to 13,400 where we turned around. Didn‘t look like snow would‘ve been an issue to the summit.
|2015-11-22||Route: East Slope
Info: Hiked up and down Pikes on the Barr Trail on Sunday because I like to torture myself. First 3 miles, little to no snow, some ice. Mile 4 to Barr Camp, packed snow, easy going. Barr Camp to treeline, good amount of snow for November, trench/packed snow in place for about 3 miles, softened up on the way back. Treeline to summit, very little snow, some ice, some drifts. Did not bring the snowshoes. Probably wore the microspikes for 20 miles. Thanks for the previous report kman. This was a lot easier in August!