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|Conditions Information||Posted By||Posted On|
|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.
|2013-06-08||Route: East Slope
Info: Saturday, 6/8, I summit Pikes Peak twice. I started from Barr Camp, and I can report the hike up is good to go, until you hit the last 1/2 mile prior to the summit. And only then, you only have to deal with soft-wet-snow in certain places, mostly around the 16 golden steps. Be prepared to get your feet wet, but other than that, this peak is good to go from the East Side. After summiting P/P, I went down to the Crags Campground via the crags trail thru the Devil‘s playground. After a nice run down, I turned around and re-climbed P/P back up the same north-western trail. There is more snow on the western side of the mountain, but once again, it really only comes into play for the last 1/2 prior to the summit. After my 2nd summit of the day, I ran back to Barr Camp. I used trail running shoes, and I had no real issues with the snow, other than wet feet here and there. So I am here to report, that both of the common routes are good to go for the new peak season. Happy Trails.
|2013-06-08||Route: Northwest Slopes
Info: Crags Route (6/8/2013) - One of the lower stream crossings is covered by snow. You can either walk across on the snow (which I did) or there‘s a good detour through the bushes. A few more snow crossings before the final pitch but nothing really worth noting (nothing deep or exposed and you could walk around some of them if you wanted to). The trail on the final pitch is still pretty much covered in snow but you can avoid a lot of it by bouldering most of the way up. Definitely no spikes or axe needed.
|2013-05-26||Route: East Slope
Info: I climbed Pikes Peak via the Barr Trail on the 26th. The route was mostly clear of snow to timberline. The previous night was warm (47F at Barr Camp), so without the freezing night there was a lot of postholing. Take good boots and gaiters. Snowshoes may or may not help, depending on conditions. Get an early start (i.e. don‘t wait for those pancakes in Barr Camp) for hard snow. Conditions should be fairly easy early in the morning, but with very soft snow once the sun starts heating the snow up. For the upper 1/2 of the route above timberline, the trail is hard to find and almost everyone was going straight up the shallow gully. For the descent, an ice axe is definitely recommended and there was still some good glissading.
|2013-05-25||Route: East Slope
Info: Barr Trail is essentially clear of snow to about 2.5 mi from the summit. Then the trail becomes lost in the snow. But, plenty of people were up there today & good steps were kicked in going straight up the gully.
|2013-05-19||Route: Northwest Slopes
Info: Hiked the whole way in boots this morning and was fine. If you start early in the morning, traction devices could be useful but are by no means necessary. Be prepared for a bit of postholing on the descent. I brought snowshoes with me but never put them on.
|2013-05-18||Route: East Slope
Info: A mellow alternative to the north facing couloirs. Wanted to ski the Y or Railroad but the snow had been sunbaked and the frozen. Railroad is in from the summit, maybe a 50 ft down climb in the Y. Only about 32* at 10:00am. We were a little leary of the steep pitches in the couloirs so we opted for the east slope. It was frozen hard and only softened slightly as we were climbing back up. Never got above 34*. We stopped at ~13000 ft but could have skied to tree line. This is a mellow slope though, if that‘s what your looking for.
|2013-05-18||Route: "Y" Couloir
Info: Climbed the mountain with my brother via Barr Trail to Bottomless Pit, up the Y Couloir, then down the East Face. Barr Trail to Bottomless Pit cutoff is free of snow. First mile of Bottomless Pit Trail is free of snow, but used snowshoes for last 1.4 miles to the North side of the mountain. The basin leading up to the Couloir is nicely snow-filled, in fact, the truck that the guy drove off the summit in 1992 is barely visible in the snow. The Y Couloir is nicely snow-filled from top to bottom with lots of snow that will last well into the foreseeable future. Conditions in the Couloir were conducive for a good climb. We descended the mountain via the East Face, where there is some boot-pack on the standard Barr Trail, but most people (including us) are using the prominent snow-filled gulley to ascend/descend the mountain. There is some significant snow on the East Face of the mountain, and boots and gaiters are recommended although we saw people in low-top trail shoes and/or tennis shoes with VERY wet feet. Timberline back to Barr Camp had some sporadic, lengthy snow patches where traction devices would be helpful. Barr Camp to the parking lot is, of course, free of snow. Picture #1 is looking up the Y Couloir, with two climbers (and their snowboards) above us. Picture #2 shows conditions in the Couloir and my brother below me. Picture #3 shows my brother topping out of the Couloir. Picture #4 shows the snow-filled gulley on the East Face that most people are using to ascend/descend the mountain right now.
|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.