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|Conditions Information||Posted By||Posted On|
|2014-02-22||Route: East Slope
Info: Hiked up and down the Peak via Barr Trail. There are sporadic icy patches during the first three miles (see picture #1). From three miles up and all the way to Barr Camp, the trail is ice/snow covered but with good boot-pack (see picture #2). From Barr Camp to timberline, the snow is significantly deeper but has "decent" boot-pack and snowshoes were not needed (see picture #3). From timberline to the summit, the mountain is mostly wind swept but there are large sections of snow that cover the trail and route familiarity would be advantageous - especially for the first mile above treeline. There are several rock hard consolidated snow fields that cover the trail and need to be crossed above 12,500 ft. Traction devices are highly recommended (see picture #4).
|2014-02-16||Route: Northwest Slopes
Info: I parked about 1 mile short of the Crags parking lot...see my entry under trailhead conditions. The route is well-packed snow all the way to treeline (the last 0.25 mile is a little off route, but no problem). The trail is bootpacked (i.e., no evidence of snowshoes) in the area of the long switchbacks. ~300 feet after treeline, and up to the dirt road (leading to Devils Playground), you are on your own, as the wind has filled the boot track. The ascending traverse is a mix of heaven and hell....windswept areas punctuated by postholing wallowfests. There are some rock-hard areas where the trail contours across Little Pikes Peak. Keep an eye on your route in the trees...there are divergent trails from snowshoers (e.g., where you turn left for the first significant upward grade, there is trail continuing straight; and, at the top of this grade, where you turn right for the long switchbacks, there is trail that continues straight). I did this as a full-moon climb last night. It was absolutely sublime. I had a blast...that‘s both a statement about my satisfaction and about the hellish wind.
|2014-01-25||Route: East Slope
Info: Hiked up and down the Peak yesterday. As of right now, Barr Trail is followable in its entirety. The snow is nicely consolidated, even in treeline, and postholing was a non-issue. Snowshoes were not needed. The main problem is the ice on the trail, so traction devices are highly recommended. There are sporadic sections of ice between the trailhead and Barr Camp (see picture #1), with lengthier sections closer to Barr Camp. From Barr Camp to the summit, the trail is consolidated snow mixed with ice. Picture #2 shows some of the consolidated snow fields covering the trail above treeline. Picture #3 shows trail conditions just below the summit during the descent. Picture #4 shows the icy trail just below treeline during the descent.
|2014-01-25||Route: Northwest Slopes
Info: Snowpacked trail to treeline (from Crags TH), then mostly windblown with few snowy sections beyond. Would‘ve been miserable without microspikes up to the ridge, but definitely no need for snowshoes at this point.
|2014-01-12||Route: Northwest Slopes
Info: What a difference a day makes. The "well packed trail" that Kumo described got obliterated above treeline by all the high winds and snow on Sunday. Still looks good in the trees and the road to the TH is still in great shape.
|2014-01-11||Route: Northwest Slopes
Info: This update is for NW slope from Crag TH: The trail is well packed all the way up to summit. Brought my snowshoes but never needed it. Microspikes was really helpful on the way up. As of today the Pikes peak highway is open all the way up to summit but the cafe was closed. The road up crag TH is passable for most passenger car. Although One car did get stuck for an hour close to the TH, just be careful the ditch on the side. enjoy!
|2013-12-14||Route: East Slope
Info: First 3 miles of Barr Trail are pretty icy due to heavy usage/freeze-thaw cycle and traction devices are recommended (see picture #1). From 3 miles up and all the way to Barr Camp, the trail is less icy and just nicely boot packed...traction devices still recommended. There hasn‘t been much/any foot traffic beyond Barr Camp for the last week, so you will have to work to get to timberline. The snow on the trail is wind-crusted on the surface with sugary snow underneath (see picture #2). The post-holing wasn‘t severe, just enough to cause some frustration. Above timberline, there was a 180 degree difference in the conditions. The upper mountain is wind blown, and the snow that remains is consolidated rock hard (see picture #3). My microspikes were barely leaving an impression on the snow. Post-holing was a non issue. Although I was able to follow Barr Trail in it‘s entirety, the first mile out of treeline was hit or miss because of the snow covering the trail. Route familiarity would be beneficial here. Picture #4 shows trail conditions during the descent.
|2013-12-14||Route: Northwest Slopes
Info: A cold day for a Pikes summit (-20F wind chill) but beautiful when the sun came out! Below treeline, there was mostly packed snow in the shade with minor post-holing approaching treeline. From treeline to the Devil‘s playground, there was wind packed snow, some thick in places and some major post-holing on the steep climb up to the saddle. From the Devil‘s playground to the boulder scramble, the recent strong winds have blown away some of the snow, leaving drifted snow here and there. The boulder scramble was challenging with some thick, soft snow and some post-holing, combined with windy, cold conditions! Gaiters and micro-spikes were used but snowshoes would have been helpful for the descent when the warmer, sunny weather started melting the snow.
|2013-12-08||Route: Northwest Slopes
Info: There is approximately 17 cm of snow at the Crags Campground. I was able to drive my front-wheel drive Honda (with snow tires) all the way to the trail head. There is just enough of a base to make the loop up to the Crags a beautiful cross-country ski.
|2013-11-23||Route: East Slope
Info: Hiked up and down the Peak (11-23). Picture #1 shows that there is snow starting from the beginning of the trail, and all the way to the summit. Not enough snow to warrant snowshoes, but Microspikes were helpful. Picture #2 shows trail conditions just below timberline during the ascent. Picture #3 shows conditions on the summit. Picture #4 shows trail conditions above timberline during the descent. We were able to follow the standard Barr Trail all the way to the summit, even with the snow on the trail above timberline. Some minor and sporadic post- holing can be expected.
|2013-11-16||Route: Northwest Slopes
Info: Trail was mostly clear with some areas of unavoidable snow just before Devil‘s Playground until the summit, not exceeding 6-8‘‘ in depth. Main difficulty of navigation was wind blowing the snow around. Didn‘t use or need microspikes or an ice ax, although the former might be helpful.
|2013-11-11||Route: Northwest Slopes
Info: Pretty smooth sailing going up the Crags Route today. Below treeline there was maybe 1-2 inches of packed snow in the shade. Above treeline in the early morning there was ice/frozen slush which turned to slush by 11 AM. A few drifts here and there which were less than 1 foot in height which I easily bypassed. I brought my gaiters and micro-spikes but they stayed in my pack during the entire trip. Was on the summit at about 815 AM and I was really wanting some coffee, doughnuts, and chili, had to wait until about 930 AM for the summit house crew to open their doors. Route should remain easy until the next storm blows in...
|2013-11-09||Route: East Slope
Info: Trail is almost totally clear of snow or very hard packed. I climbed today in trail running shoes. Spikes, gators, and snow shoes are not required.
|2013-10-27||Route: Northwest Slopes
Info: Intermittent dusting of snow to treeline, a bit more until you cross the road. Beyond that point, unless there is a bootpack to follow (there was one on Sunday, but it should disappear with the snow this week), gaiters and spikes will be required. Some postholing along the final pitch, but not a ton - mostly the snow was frustrating because you weren‘t sure if you were stepping on or between rocks. Careful!
|2013-10-12||Route: Northwest Slopes
Info: Got there Friday night. The road up to the trailhead was lightly dusted with snow, had to put my truck in 4 wheel to get up a small hill section, but on Saturday the sun was out and the road dried up and I saw many small sedans at the trailhead. Trail up to Devil‘s Playground was pretty snowy most of the way, later it turned to mud as I was heading back. Trail up to the summit was very snowy but still manageable. Some gaiters would have been nice. Definitely a hat and gloves are required from now on. Happy climbing
|2013-10-02||Route: Northwest Slopes
Info: Dry all the way to the top with minimal snow that was easily avoided. Won‘t stay that way long I fear.
|2013-09-28||Route: East Slope
Info: The trail is washed out in some places in the first 3 or 4 miles, but it shouldn‘t be a big concern. Light dusting of snow from 11,000-12,000. Beyond 12,000 feet there are patches of very dry, wind crusted snow increasing in size which won‘t disappear until next season. Microspikes/Trekking Poles weren‘t necessary, and I did it in trail runners and didn‘t get my feet wet (but I was there early in the morning when the snow was very hard).
|2013-09-14||Route: East Slope
Info: Just wanted to post a trail conditions report for the bottom half of Barr Trail. The trail is in the worst shape I‘ve ever seen as far as being damaged by the recent rains (in 17 years), but not horrible. If you‘re a trail runner, you will not be setting a PR for awhile. Ascended the Incline, went up to Barr Camp, and came down Barr Trail. Incline was not badly damaged. Just more pebbles on the RR ties than normal and some very minor wash areas. Barr Trail between No Name Creek to Barr Camp was fairly normal, no significant issues. Below No Name was where most of the damage was. Pictures don‘t show it, but some of the washed out areas were a foot or more deep and you had to straddle some of the areas, on the narrow sections, and waddle your way down. A few people wiped out and had some pretty good scrapes and young children really had a tough time...many tears. There‘s also a boulder (~5-6‘ in diameter) sitting in the middle of the trail, ~.75-1 mi from the bottom of the trail. Thank you Kevin and Terrie (Terri?, Terry? Terr E?) for modeling the size of the boulder and how to gracefully get around it. (Kevin, PM and I‘ll send you the pictures I took of you and your lovely companion). Can‘t speak for the trail above Barr Camp...sorry.
|2013-06-13||Route: Northwest Slopes
Info: Me and my girlfriend hiked from Crags Campground and the trail looked great on the way up. The warnings about the confusing trail detours by the pipes ended up being inconsequential due to the presence to good laminated direction sheets pointing the way. Ascending the switchbacks from 11k-11,800 were beautiful, looking back to the Crags area with the sun coming up. Watch for the tricky switchback at around 11,700. I missed it on the way up and down, as did a couple other hikers. The straight up section after 12,800 over the saddle to Devil‘s Playground is steep and hard (moreso than most books and websites let on). The final push up the summit is talus with some snow, but is decently marked and not technical. Plenty of marmots and chipmunks, and the doughnuts at the top were delicious. Hike down involves around 4 miles of exposure, so don‘t hang out too long on the top buying souvies.
|2013-06-09||Route: East Slope
Info: A few snow patches still exist above tree line. They were a little icy right after sunrise, but turned to slush by the time of the descent (~11 AM). Microspikes/Yaktrax were sufficient, and gaiters were not necessary. Trekking poles were nice to have for stability across the icy sections.