| Dead Dog Ski and Pikes Trail Run
This report is more for information about trail and mountain conditions than it is about the actual trips themselves. Full photo album available here(40+ photos).
On Friday June 6th myself and Scott joined a large group from summitpost and 14ers for a climbing of Dead Dog couloir on Torreys Peak the following morning. We left the trailhead around 430am and hit snow almost immediately. The snow was fairly solid as we all booted up the trail with minimal postholing. We reached the base of the climb just before 630a, with the couloir already fully lit in the morning sun and a party of 5 above us. We dawned crampons and axes and headed up. The snow was firm at first with pockets of punchable crust mixed in. Most of the group topped out around 830a under clear sunny skies and a light wind. Scott, Bobby, and I dropped off the summit on skis and down the East face, traversing into the upper reaches of Dead Dog. The snow was quickly softening as we made turns down the steep upper portion of Dead Dog. We took turns carving down the chute until we neared the bottom, where the couloir opened up and the angle lessened. From here we ripped some hard turns until the snow ended and we were forced to dismount.
Scott and I trudged all the way down to the parking lot, taking a short detour through the willows as we lost the trail near the bottom. Bobby managed to find a route to ski almost all the way to the trailhead by staying to the right(Southeast of the trail). There is still quite a bit of snow up high. The road to the trailhead is clear all the way, but much more rutted than usual, thus I would not recommend the road for any low clearance vehicle. Kelso ridge still has snow on it, the Emperor is still continuous all the way to the top of Dead Dog(but melting fast). The snow is best in the early morning around sunrise, by mid morning it's getting slushy.
Starting up Dead Dog, note the line of people.
Above Dead Dog nearing the summit.
Grays from the summit of Torreys.
Climbers exiting Dead Dog and nearing the top. Kelso Ridge in the background.
Scott carving down Dead Dog.
On Sunday June 8th I joined a dozen friends from Boulder for a run/hike up the Barr Trail on Pikes Peak. After getting word of 60mph winds and blizzard like conditions at the summit we still opted to head up and play it by ear. We started by plugging away up "The Incline", our first experience with the precipitously steep climb. The Barr Trail is a wonderfully smooth and runnable trail, and there is no snow up to treeline. Once out of the trees the clouds rolled up the mountain, occasionally engulfing us and dropping a little grapple. There are two 100ft long snow slopes to cross around 13K, then the snow doesn't pick up again until 13500ft, where there are small patches off and on to the summit. The snow is well packed and not difficult to cross for the most part. I topped out just under 4h after leaving the trailhead to throngs of tourist milling about. I quickly refilled my water and bolted back down the mountain away from the masses. The upper mountain is a tough run, being rocky and snowy right now, once below 13K the trail is a wonderful run all the way back to Manitou Springs. In all Pikes is incredibly dry and in great shape for summer hiking/running.
Pete nearing the top of "The Incline".
Pikes Peak summit in the clouds.
Upper slopes of Pikes Peak Barr Trail.
Thumbnails for uploaded photos (click to open slideshow):