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|Conditions Information||Posted By||Posted On|
|2012-12-02||Route: Northwest Slopes
Info: Basically summer conditions up there today. There are 3 very short bits of snow on the trail between Point 13,363 and the start of the summit talus. Traction is not necessary.
|2012-12-01||Route: Northwest Slopes
Info: Pikes Peak
|2012-11-12||Route: Northwest Slopes
Info: Pikes Peak got about 2 to 3 inches of snow, but the trail is easy to follow and is getting packed down well. Lower trail in the forest has the most snow, and the trail is not slippery yet. The trail coming out of the treeline is about 50/50 snowpack and dirt, but as you get into the Devil‘s Playground, there are some 12 to 18 inch drifts along the old dirt road, but it was easy to get through as we walked along the outside edge over rocks. Once on the Pikes Peak Highway, it was smooth sailing as the road was mostly clear, and we finished with a short climb of the cog railway to the summit house, but be careful, the railway is still running once a day and we saw the ‘Big Red Machine‘ parked at the top. We summited at 11:45 am and the train left about 12:20 pm, the house is open as long as the train is running. One more thing, when you pull up to the TH, you are at the Winter TH, just follow the Crags Trail through a couple switchbacks and you will eventually walk high above and past the summer TH and merge with a trail, look for a little brown sign here with an arrow pointing to TH, a tree with a white piece of paper will point you to the right shortly after this.
|2012-11-11||Route: East Slope
Info: Climbed up and down Pikes Peak via Barr Trail with my brother yesterday 11 Nov 2012. From the trailhead to Barr Camp, there are only sporadic patches of snow about an inch deep. From Barr Camp to timberline, the trail is snow-covered but only 2-3 inches deep and very nicely boot-packed. From timberline to the summit, the trail has anywhere from a half foot to a foot of snow. The snow wasn‘t very consolidated, so minor post-holing was an issue...gaiters recommended. Carried micro spikes, but didn‘t use them. The problem was the wind, and the snow spindrift!! Immediately after beginning our descent, we found that our boot track had been completely filled in as if we had never ascended the mountain. Not a big deal, because the trail was still easily followable, but it was like doing that section (between the summit and treeline) of Barr Trail twice because we had to endure the minor post-holing all over again! Pick a less windy day with less wind-chill and warmer temps if you want a more pleasant climb! Picture #1 shows my jubilant summit photo with the -17 degrees factoring in the wind chill values. Picture #2 highlights the extreme conditions above treeline. Picture #3 shows trail conditions, and my brother (top center of picture on trail) fighting his way through the snow spindrift. Picture #4 shows trail conditions while descending the East Face.
|2012-11-03||Route: Northwest Slopes
Info: Mostly dry. Patches of snow in the trees and talus field. Wore gaiters and brought spikes - didn‘t really need the gaiters and never put on the spikes. A beautiful day on the mountain!
|2012-11-02||Route: Northwest Slopes
Info: Trail is mostly brown, with a few patches of white all the way into Devil‘s Playground (my turnaround today). Packed micro-spikes, didn‘t need. Beyond the Highway crossing, looks like similar conditions heading towards the boulder pile summit approach. I‘d venture that there‘s some snow pack on the boulders, usually easily navigatable.
|2012-10-21||Route: Northwest Slopes
Info: I started off from around Devils Playground (where you cross Pikes Highway on the crosswalk at about 12,950 ft) & the conditions seemed good for most part. There were some paths that were damp & had a little snow on them, but most of it you could go around. As you begin to get up into the scrambling section, there may be some unavoidable patches of ice & snow. I would bring micros just in case...I kind of wish I did, but the traction on my boots seemed to work well enough as well as trying to find alternative rocks to scramble along.
|2012-10-14||Route: Northwest Slopes
Info: Road to the trail head was very easy for our car. In the morning (7am) there was about an inch of snow at the trail head, and as we increased our elevation, there was more snow. In some spots (usually snow drifts) there was a foot of snow, and one or two spots with snow up to our knees. Water resistant boots were fine, but I would have preferred to have gaiters too. It was quite windy from the top of the ridge to the summit, and very cold. On the way back down, the sun had melted the majority of the snow on the trail.
|2012-10-08||Route: Northwest Slopes
Info: Patches of snow pack & icy spots on final pitch, but not enough to bother with spikes in my opinion. Otherwise the trail was in great shape.
|2012-10-03||Route: Northwest Slopes
Info: Very dry trail all the way to the saddle after slope at 12,750‘ (Photo #1 just after saddle). Spotty, avoidable snow (crusty/icy) from here until the final, rocky pitch somewhere around 13,500‘ at which point it becomes mostly unavoidable. Microspikes and trekking poles aren‘t necessarily required, but they certainly are helpful. I put my spikes on around 13,700‘ or so I‘d guess (Photo #2). Definitely helpful on the descent to prevent slipping. Very windy on top (I believe gusts got up to 50mph around 10:30am today... just as I summited). Not sure how long this conditions report will be valid for with the cold front and possibly snow coming in tonight.
|2012-09-28||Route: East Slope
Info: No snow below a-frame. Above tree line trace snow to as much as 2 in. Not bad. However, patches without good sun exposure are now mush which will freeze overnight. Expect a mix of compacted snow (very little depth) and ice in the morning of sept 29 absent any additional precip.
|2012-07-11||Route: Northwest Slopes
Info: Trail in good shape. Beautiful mountain. Road to the trail head is showing more potholes. Many of the pot holes are a challenge for a small two wheel drive car.
|2012-06-09||Route: Northwest Slopes
Info: Some tiny snow patches still present, which probably will be gone in a few days. No need for traction devices. Summer conditions on the mountain.
|2012-05-27||Route: Northwest Slopes
Info: Windy, cold, but very beautiful!
|2012-05-25||Route: Via Crags
Info: Hiked Friday 5/25th. Trail mostly clear all the way. Only small snow patches here and there. No need to even use microspikes.
|2012-05-12||Route: "Y" Couloir
Info: We climbed Pikes via the Y today. Yesterday, we climbed Barr Trail and stayed at Barr Camp. There was very little snow on the trail to that point. What was there was easily avoidable. From Barr Camp to the Bottomless Pit turnoff, again, there was little snow. As mentioned in the report last week, there are several annoying, but not too difficult sections of deeper snow to be navigated to get into the Pit. We didn‘t go all the way into the end of Bottomless Pit, but climbed the rocks just to the east of the Y and the south of Bottomless Pit to a saddle level with the junction of the Y and the Railroad Couloirs. From there, we traversed into the Y itself for a very enjoyable climb. The rock step in the right branch is the only serious technical challenge and it‘s easy to avoid with some moderate mixed terrain on the left. We took the train down from the summit, which was a very, very pleasant way down. :-) Pic 1 is the Y last week and shows our route today. Pic 2 is a little before the junction. Pic 3 is just before the rock step. Pic 4 is after the rock step a little below the summit.
|2012-05-05||Route: "Y" Couloir
Info: Spent yesterday (5-5-2012) with my brother, climbing a little more than half-way up the East Face of Pikes Peak via Barr Trail, traversing around to the North Face via the Bottomless Pit Trail, ascending the Y Couloir, and then in the afternoon descending the entire East Face via Barr Trail. From the parking lot to the turn-off for the Bottomless Pit, the trail is completely snow and ice free. Along the 2.4 miles of the Bottomless Pit Trail, there are some sporadic short sections of deep snow, but there is good boot-pack/trench through the snow and snowshoes were not needed - see picture #1. The very bottom of the Y Couloir is much more melted out than I have experienced in previous years, but the upper-bottom and middle sections are snow filled & nicely consolidated - see picture #2. The top section is a mixture of deep snow along with some areas of thinner snow where ice axe placement wasn‘t too good because of the rocks below the snow - see picture #3. The last 10 feet out of the Couloir are on exposed rocks. Descending Barr Trail from the summit, there is only snow on the trail for about 3/4 of the first mile down & the snow is nicely boot-packed - see picture #4. The other 12.25 miles to the parking lot are pretty much snow free. Not sure how much longer the snow conditions in the Couloir will remain "ideal," with the warm temps the Pikes Peak region has been having.
|2012-05-04||Route: "Y" Couloir
Info: The Y-couloir is a little thin in places but looks good still. Here is a photo of the entire north face of Pikes Peak. It‘s a huge file so give it some time to load. http://www.friesema.net/junk/pikes_peak_5-4-2012.jpg
|2012-04-22||Route: Northwest Slopes
Info: the road was clear all the way to the trailhead. a mixture of hiking conditions were encountered during the day, largely due to the weather. overall, the snow encountered was either very hard or very slushy, and while poles were incredibly helpful, neither microspikes nor snowshoes were needed at all.
|2012-04-21||Route: East Slope
Info: Hiked up and down the Peak today (4-21-2012) with my brother, via Barr trail. From the Parking lot to Barr Camp, the trail is completely devoid of snow. From Barr Camp, to timberline, there are sporadic sections of ice where traction devices might be helpful - see picture #1. These areas had softened up nicely by the afternoon descent however. From timberline to the summit, the first mile (of the 3 miles from timberline to the summit) of the trail is pretty much wind-blown and devoid of snow with the last two miles snow-filled but nicely boot-packed and easy to follow. The trail does take a direct approach to the metal sign indicating the 16 Golden Stairs, as opposed to continuing south for one more switchback - see picture #2. Also, above the 16 Golden Stairs, the trail completely deviates from the standard route and takes a direct approach to the summit over an area of boulders, and has you summiting by the observation deck. My brother and I decided to "put a trail in" on the standard route to the summit which takes you further to the north and correctly right by the tribute plaque to Fred Barr and also brings you out on the summit by the metal trail mileage sign. Picture #3 shows my brother breaking trail behind me on the standard route just below the summit. Picture #4 (taken during the descent) shows the proverbial "fork in the road," where you can either continue on the standard trail to the summit which we are on, or head straight up over the boulders to the summit.