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|Conditions Information||Posted By||Posted On|
|2015-08-02||Route: Northwest Slopes
Info: Conditions are fine using the NW slope - I was a little surprised at how steep it was before Devils Playground and then it seemed to tame out the rest of the way. Keep in mind that Aug is training for the Ascent/Marathon so there was some traffic related to that. It was moderate/lite traffic on the back side, of course once you get to the top it is packed. I found the last mile of the trail folks were going off trail and not following the established trail that is parallel to the road (above it of course), it is easy to loose it, and it is not direct. The funny thing is, it is just as fast as we saw a couple go direct, we followed the trail and got to the top a little ahead of them. Just slow down and follow the cairns. I used the GPX route posted on 14‘ers and it was dead on. I have been up Barr many times, this was a nice alternative and 1/2 the distance/elevation. Much better for a up and back.
|2015-07-25||Route: East Slope
Info: Had to scramble get one of the last few parking spots on Ruxton at 430 AM. Ended up paying $18 for my 9 hour parking pass. Opted to hit the Incline up to the bailout. Moving a relatively slow pace we made the bailout in 35 min. Made Barr Camp in 2.5 hours. We slowed down a bit once above treeline and ended up making the summit in 5 hours and 45 minutes. Had to cross two small snow fields which were absolutely no issue. Tons of folks training for the PPA/PPM at this time so had to step to the side a lot. Rode the Cog train down from the summit which was a pleasant break from my typical M.O. of hitchhiking down... Took a look at the north face couloirs while at the summit, they are completely gone for the season.
|2015-06-30||Route: Crags Trail
Info: The trail from the Crags was in good shape. We ran into two snow fields just past Devil‘s Playground which were passable. Was surprised about the Boulder Field just before summit, follow the cairns and they will lead you to the top. Good hiking!!
|2015-06-27||Route: Northwest Slopes
Info: This route is almost free of snow. There were a few short snow crossings. All of them were well boot-packed and easy to cross. No need for traction, and wearing trail runners would have been fine.
|2015-06-27||Route: East Slope
Info: Trail clear until mile 11. Intermittent snow traversing and scrambling (to bypass switchbacks covered in snow) above mile 11 to the summit. Mile 11 to mile 12 snow has been compacted by foot traffic and is easily traversable while firm in the morning. Snow softened as the day progresses causing the footing to become slick. Typical snow cover encountered less than 1‘. Mile 12 to the summit required traversing of intermittent unconsolidated snow and scrambling to avoid snow-covered switchbacks. The snow cover was fairly soft and postholing did occur. Typical snow cover encountered less than 1‘. I found trekking poles and footwear with aggressive tread to be sufficient. Snowshoes/traction devices were unnecessary for conditions discovered.
|2015-06-22||Route: East Slope
Info: We took Barr Trail. Lots of snow up high still on Monday. Several 100-150ft snowfields to cross above treeline, but no problem without spikes or snowshoes. Trail is difficult to follow from the Cirque to Summit due to snow. Below the Cirque the tracks in the snow pretty much take you near the trail and connect back with the trail at the end. Not recommended with Teva‘s but we made it. My feet were wet and cold by summit, happy for dry shoes/socks. 1st 14er. . 12h20m Trip one way. Lucky we had great weather.
|2015-06-21||Route: Little Italy
Info: Little Italy has continuous snow still. There was one major rock fall this winter in the couloir that left the narrow section (about the ankle of the boot) full of rocks. No big deal on an ascent, but requires some caution when glissading or skiing.
|2015-06-21||Route: Flying W Couloirs
Info: Flying W Couloirs are still climbable, which is amazing for this late in June. The East couloir has about 200 feet of bare ground, the rest is in great shape. The middle has a small waterfall near the bottom that will soak you pretty good if you don‘t skirt it. The middle still has just enough snow near the top that you don‘t have to be on rock too much. The West Couloir has the usual three rock steps exposed. Some water on these but not bad.
|2015-06-20||Route: Northwest Slopes
Info: Left the Crags trailhead at 5am. Brought snowshoes but never put them on. No snow until about 12,750 ft. Crossed some short snow fields but the snow was firm enough without snowshoes. There was a decent boot track across the snowfields by the time I descended but the snow was definitely getting wet and soft around 11-12noon. The snow is melting fast and I doubt much will be left in another week or so.
|2015-06-20||Route: "Y" Couloir
Info: Climbed the Y Couloir Direct Route from Rumdoodle Ridge. Gates open at 7:30 AM and there was about a .25 mile long line of mostly fishermen at 7:15 AM. Parked on the PP Highway. We had originally wanted to do the Hero‘s Traverse but bailed on seeing the steepness of the snow field at the ridge. Still quite a lot of snow. Was really warm and the crampons wanted to slip a little. Slope is not too steep so never felt like I was going to slide. Saw a few skiers in the Y yesterday, the Rock Band had to be down climbed. My partner was able to get a good ski run in on the South Bowl as we were driving down the PP Highway.
|2015-06-20||Route: Northwest Slopes
Info: All the snow below 12,750ft melted today. Higher up there were maybe 10-12 short snowfields to cross. In the morning (I started at 5:40am) the snowfields were solid and only once when I was skirting Point 13,363 did I think I should put on spikes. I kept them in my pack, however. There was very little snow on the final push to the summit. On the way down (summited at 9:20) the snow was definitely softer and I post holed for maybe 30-40 yards total. No spikes, no snowshoes, no gaiters.
|2015-06-15||Route: "Y" Couloir
Info: Skiers right branch of the couloir is continuous (to the right of car wreckage). Clear snow past the crux to about 13.5k. Some avy debris after that, but still plenty of real estate left to ski. Entrance to the couloir is a non-issue, no cornice to speak of if you stay in the center.
|2015-06-14||Route: "Y" Couloir
Info: We skied/climbed the Railroad Couloir today but got a good look at the Y Couloir. Near the top, the eastern and direct branches appear to have good snow cover, with the direct being the most continuous. A few people skied the Y today and it looked like they had a smooth descent. Plenty of snow for climbing.
|2015-06-09||Route: Railroad Couloir
Info: There was plenty of snow in the Railroad Couloir (Photo 1, looking down). And it was in good climbing condition. A bit on the soft side after the morning warm-up, but not so soft that I worried about its stability. It looked like there was snow on most lines that a person could reasonably want to take (Photo 2). And the Railroad Couloir topped-out to a view that is unique in the Colorado mountains (Photo 3).
|2015-06-06||Route: Northwest Slopes
Info: Trail is mostly clear of snow with a few ice patches in the shade until treeline. See photos for snow. Warmer temps mean lots of postholing so flotation and waterproof shoes are highly recommended, even early in the morning and on this gray day. Warning #1: the friendly tourists resh off the cog at the summit like to ask hikers questions, even if the answers seem obvious! Warning #2: the park rangers were out in full force along the highway (especially b/c they closed the road just past Devil‘s Playground that day) - be prepared to take the trail up/down as it‘s intended and not the highway. Now we know how the animals in drive-through wildlife safaris must feel like... too bad nobody fed us
|2015-06-04||Route: East Slope
Info: I rode the 0800 train with two friends. Train had to stop to clear the tracks about three times and we summited a bit after 0900. We checked out the Summit House and conditions at the top of Railroad Couloir (it looks awesome). Had to walk down the tracks a bit to put skis on, right at the very top of the East Gully. Snow was firm (not icy) due to overnight temps just above freezing. No signs of avalanche activity, save for one very small wet slide to our left (north) on a south-facing aspect. Skiing was excellent initially and the slope is no steeper than 35 degrees. The slope quickly eases in steepness, and the lower we went the softer (slushier) the snow. We bypassed A-Frame and Barr Trail, and stayed in the gully until 10,500 feet, then hiked left (north) a short distance and caught Barr Trail. The hike down to Manitou Springs was hot and dry.
|2015-05-31||Route: Northwest Slopes
Info: Great day out from Crag‘s trail head. The road to the trail head is completely clear, although potholes are even worse than the roads in Colorado Springs. Snow started in patches almost immediately after the right turn towards Devils Playground and became heavy after about 11,000 ft. I started about 5:45 and it was easy hard-pack snow on the way up, but the warm weather may the route down pretty loose.
|2015-05-23||Route: East Slope
Info: Trekked up and down the mountain yesterday (23 May) with 14ers member ylingli via Barr Trail. From the trailhead to Barr Camp, the trail is mainly wet with sporadic water puddles and completely devoid of any snow. The snowline literally starts right at Barr Camp (10,200 ft). From Barr Camp to timberline, the trail is snow covered but nicely snowshoe/boot packed. Any deviations left or right of the packed trail and you‘ll be postholing. The snow is easily waist deep at the A-Frame Shelter level (11,500 ft). The "track" actually ended abruptly about a quarter mile from the A-Frame, where a series of foot prints then led in all different directions. This is because a hiker, attempting the summit without appropriate clothing or gear, and suffering severe hypothermia became lost and had to be rescued the evening prior. We did, however, complete the snowshoe-pack all the way to the A-Frame. Beyond the A-Frame, there is no followable trail. We wanted to avoid slide prone areas found along the standard route, so we opted to ascend the rest of the way above treeline via the southeast ridge. We summited and descended the same way. Snowshoes, and appropriate clothing and gear for snow travel highly recommended. There is deep snow on the mountain above treeline as well as HUGE drifts on the summit to contend with. With more unstable weather on the way, these conditions will only worsen. Picture #1 shows where the snow line starts right around Barr Camp. Picture #2 shows conditions just out of treeline as we gain the flanks of the southeast ridge (summit obscured by cloud cover). Picture #3 shows 14ers member ylingli on the lower portion of the southeast ridge. Picture #4 shows substantial snow coverage where sections of the standard Barr Trail are normally seen. In the direct center of the picture (just above the boulder), a small portion of the 16 Golden Stairs sign can be seen. After a lengthy period of turbulent weather including ferocious wind, a brief break in the cloud cover allowed us to see the summit. Picture #5 shows 14ers member ylingli struggling to stay upright, even with the help of the Observation Platform behind her blocking some of the wind. She is standing where the Cog Railway tracks would normally be found but are now buried in snow. Picture #6 was taken of me by 14ers member ylingli as we seek shelter outside the closed and buried Summit House. Picture #7 shows 14ers member ylingli and conditions, as we descend the mountain. Picture #8 is looking back and up at our tracks as we descend the southeast ridge. It took all of 5 minutes for our tracks behind us to be completely erased by the elements during the ascent, and I‘m quite certain that the tracks from our descent no longer exist either. On a side note, the recent caretakers at Barr Camp (Anthony & Renee) have moved on and are no longer there. The previous caretakers who resided on the mountain for 8 years (Neal & Teresa), are filling in for now. Regarding folks wanting to get up on the mountain and train for the upcoming Pikes Peak Ascent & Marathon, I don‘t know what to tell ya...the deep snow will be up there for a while.
|2015-05-21||Route: East Slope
Info: Barr trail wet and muddy up till about 9K feet (just past Experimental forest turnoff), but is dry and in good shape up to near Barr Camp. Near Barr Camp there is patchy snow. Neil at Barr Camp said they got several inches earlier in the week, and said there was still a ton of snow above treeline.
|2015-05-13||Route: East Slope
Info: I left for Barr camp around 5am via the Barr Trailhead. The trail was a bit wet and slippery for around the first one to one and a half miles, where you will also find a fallen tree bridging the trail about 2 and a half feet off the ground. After that the trail is dry until the experimental forest sign. There‘s a lot of runoff thru there including a rather large puddle right in the middle of the trail. You‘re clear again until you hit 5-6 miles where the snow starts to get patchy on the trail, runoff makes the trail a stream for a stretch, and you run into a limited amount of ice close to the camp itself. Against my better judgement, I explored above Barr for 3 hours after a quick stop for breakfast. It was, to put it lightly, rather snowy. I had no snowshoes or proper trekking poles, so I was post-holing at least once every ten steps. I was following a gentleman named Tom‘s footsteps, and he wasn‘t posting very often, so it may be my relative inexperience. It did snow/lightly hail while I was up there, but not much by the time I left. I wound up a few hundred meters below tree line at my turnaround time of noon. Today was pretty warm in the springs, so I would expect more melt off today, but we also had a quick storm run through this evening that may have dumped some snow up there. Your guess is as good as mine there. P.S. This is my first TR. Let me know if there‘s anything I left out, or that you want to know and I‘ll see what I can tell you.