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|Conditions Information||Posted By||Posted On|
|2013-05-12||Route: "Y" Couloir
Info: Broke in Bottomless Pit trail with snowshoes from Barr Trail switchback into Bottomless Pit area this morning. Took 4 hours to travel from Barr Camp to 12,500‘, almost to junction of Y & Railroad couloirs, but someone following the (now) broken trail may proceed quicker. We decided to turn back at 12,500‘ as snowshoes may not have provided enough traction above this point and crampons may have not provided enough flotation. By late morning the snow was wet and soft - we noticed numerous ‘pinwheels‘ of snow coming down these two couloirs as well as four small point releases on the east face of Pikes as we descended the Barr Trail below Barr Camp.
|2013-05-11||Route: Summit House
Info: Summit House Couloir is in from the top.
|2013-04-28||Route: Northwest Slopes
Info: Road to Crags and TH parking is muddy and mostly clear of ice. 2wd should not have a problem. Crags CG is of course still closed for the season and largely drifted in still. Several camp spots accessible along the road. Trail from th to just below treeline was very icy in the morning, with the temps hovering in the mid 20s until sunrise warmed things up. Above treeline there was still a fair bit of snow. Post holing was not an issue in the early morning. Significant melting took place between the trip up and back down. Snow was softer on the return trip but there was far less of it to deal with, only minor post holing back to treeline. From there it was icy mixed with slush and running/standing water over ice. A good set of micro spikes is invaluable for below treeline right now. Did not bring snowshoes and am glad, they would have been unnecessary. With the continued warm weather since Sunday, likely more snow has disappeared. That is until we get our next spring snow on Wednesday.
|2013-04-27||Route: East Slope
Info: Trail was awesome until about 500 feet above tree line. Made the first 9 miles in about 3.5 hours, then things really slowed down. I ended up getting a little off trail towards the top and took the northeast ridge up instead of the southwest. The bowl between the two was buried in snow and I did not want to cross back over and get back on trail. Post holing above tree line was a major issue, it was a pretty warm sunny day so the snow did not support me at all. Took about 3 hours to summit once I got above tree line, had the trail been clear I imagine it would have taken 1 hour, so take that for what its worth. Pretty miserable/exhausting above tree line, but definitely do-able. With the warm weather the snow should be going away pretty soon, but until then, beware of the post holing.
|2013-04-21||Route: Northwest Slopes
Info: Very snowy still when I went. Crags was accessible via 2wd and low clearance, snowy going in but muddy going out. Broke trail the whole way to my turn-around spot and VERY glad to have my snowshoes. Photos include the trail starting out and snow where I turned back. Unfortunately the photos don‘t really capture just deep the snow drifts were. It was still fun, but I didn‘t realize there would be that much snow still AND no trail to follow!
|2013-03-28||Route: East Slope
Info: After last weekend‘s snow storm, it appears that very few people have attempted the summit. Between the Incline cut-off and Barr Camp, the snow was mostly slushy and muddy. Between Barr Camp and the A-frame, there was very little packed snow, it was mostly thick in places & wet and post-holing was required. Above tree-line, the trail was mostly drifted over with snow, making route finding difficult. At this point, we made our own trail but due to the loose, wet, thick snow, post-holing became a major issue. After breaking trail and post-holing for another hour, we turned back due to lack of time (and a snow storm had just started), but we managed to get about 1.5 miles from the summit.
|2013-03-20||Route: Northwest Slopes
Info: Trail is snowpacked almost all the way to the treeline. But about a mile or so (500 vertical feet) before treeline, the trail becomes less packed and you hike straight up slipping through the snow. Its killer, but you can still do it without snowshoes or microspikes. Once we hit treeline, we bee-lined towards the Devils Playground to get out of the wind. It was brutally windy and my friends decided to turn back because they didn‘t have warm enough gear (their feet were soaked and ankles were cut from the snow). I hiked a little more ahead just to get a view of the peak before turning around to catch back up with them. Above Devils Playground, most of the snow had blown off the slope but you obviously have no protection from the wind so a face mask is necessary.
|2013-03-15||Route: Northwest Slopes
Info: Did Pikes yesterday from the Crags. The trail is boot packed all the way to 11,400 where it continues north (wrong direction). Look for our tracks that head back south around the pine tree. This track will take you up the coulior to the north of the standard route and keep you out of any deep snow. Simply cross over the knoll and get back on the standard route. Once above the saddle it is pretty much barren dirt to the summit with a few excursions over extremely hard packed snow. Snow shoes and micro spikes are not required. Road to the trailhead is very sloppy but I made it in my Honda Civic with a few scrapes on the bottom.
|2013-03-11||Route: Northwest Slopes
Info: Even after the heavy snow that fell a few days ago the Northwest slopes from the Crags trailhead is very doable. There is very limited snow for this time of year. The first mile of snow is packed well by cross country skiers and hikers so you don’t need anything for flotation or traction. Around 10,700 feet this changes and you will want snow shoes for sure, though this may not be the case for much longer. Whoever set the path for the winter trail did an excellent job as they veered off from the usual summer route along a path that is avy safe and on snow that is supportive enough for snow shoes. I’ve done the North West slopes in March before and even with snow shoes and tails it was miserable going, but that is not the case this year. I started breaking trail at around 12,000 feet where others had turned around, presumably because there was some potential for a small avalanche there. The slope looked well loaded with the snow from a few days ago, but it wasn’t very steep—maybe not even steep enough to be of concern. Still, to be safe, we crossed the small area of concern one at a time. Beyond this point the slope is wind scoured, so we ditched our snow shoes and started rock hopping across the deeper snow and followed the areas of shallow snow, which were easy to find as the grass blades were sticking out. Unfortunately at 12,700 feet I had to turn back. My dog and long time partner on the 14ers did not want to continue, so he and I turned back. I was surprised by this, but I guess he is past his prime now. No more long or cold hikes for him. My two friends decided to turn around a short time later. Too bad, we had made tree line in two hours and I think we could have made the summit in 3 to 4 more hours.
|2013-02-17||Route: East Slope
Info: Stayed at the aframe on 2-16, summited on 2-17. Trail is mostly bare to ankle deep snow, and the trail is now broken to the summit. Microspikes mandatory due to icy sections especially around barr camp, snow shoes are unnecessary. there is water available at bar camp, but all other water sources are frozen. there are no tracks leading out to the bottomless pit area.
|2013-02-10||Route: Northwest Slopes
Info: Storm came in Saturday night and was dropping several inches of snow. The winds above treeline were causing some drifting. We used the standard summer route instead of the winter variation since the snowpack is still quite low. Microspikes are very helpful on the route, but snowshoes are completely unnecessary.
|2013-02-03||Route: East Slope
Info: Ran up to Barr Camp this morning. Trail is at least 80% snow-free to there. No traction needed. To date, they‘ve only received a total of 17" this season. Unreal. A group of four went to the summit (almost) yesterday - said trail was mostly free of snow with only two or three short postholing sections. Conditions are prime for someone to lower the winter ascent record. Just sayin‘.
|2013-02-02||Route: Northwest Slopes
Info: The snow on the trail was packed down and it was easy to follow the trail. Microspikes were used for the ascent and descent except for the boulder scramble, where there was some packed snow. The wind chill made for a cold scramble to the summit, but it was beautiful day for a hike, particularly when the sun came out!
|2013-01-19||Route: East Slope
Info: The snow on the trail was very packed down. Microspikes were used above Barr Camp. There were a couple of icy spots, particularly near and around Barr Camp. No icy spots near the summit, but the snow was thick in a couple of places requiring post-holing. Beautiful day for a hike - sunny and very little wind!
|2013-01-19||Route: Northwest Slopes
Info: Where snow exists on the trail it is very packed down. Microspikes were used below and just above treeline as the snow is packed and slick in steeper sections. Beyond Devils Playground the snow is more sparse. The final push to the summit in the steep rock section holds snow in places. Snowshoes are absolutely unnecessary at this time.
|2013-01-16||Route: Northwest Slopes
Info: Trail is beaten down really well to tree line. Very little snow on the trail and it was melting with the heat today. Above tree line there was no path to follow due to the snow and wind over the past few days. Used GPS to find the trail from tree line to the saddle before the crags. Once in the saddle, the trail was wind blown but very evident. Deepest snow was about ankle deep. Watch the creek crossing just below tree line. The water froze way beyond the banks and is very slippery! Micro spikes and snow shoes are not required. Beautiful day to climb - warm and no wind!
|2012-12-30||Route: East Slope
Info: Did it with my son from the Barr Trail. No snowshoes needed, micro spikes would be useful in some spots but we didn‘t take them. Boot pack or bare all the way to the A frame. From tree line to summit its a mixture of wind blown and ankle deep drifts. This trail sees a lot of traffic. Big one day outing!
|2012-12-15||Route: Northwest Slopes
Info: Micro-spikes were perfect for the entire route. No snowshoes required. While climbing, got hit by a pretty good blast of old man winter, but it only accumulated 2-3 inches. Wind caused some drifting, but otherwise mostly clear.
|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