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Peak(s):  Pikes Peak  -  14,110 feet
Post Date:  05/31/2009
Date Climbed:   05/30/2009
Posted By:  ledhead69

 Pikes Peak - Y Couloir   

I hit the Barr Trailhead at 11:00 pm on Thursday night to make sure I got to the Y early enough on Friday. Due to a very unpleasant Mountain Lion encounter right around midnight, I had a solid adrenaline rush to get me to Barr Camp in record time. I took the extra time to take a nap on a bench until 4:00 am when I left for the Bottomless pit. The trail that leaves the main Barr trail and heads to the pit starts off dry and eventually becomes solid snow cover by the time you get to the base of the couloirs. Snowshoes wouldn't be practical considering the extra weight. I made it just fine with some postholing, but nothing too bad.

I don't have any pictures of this, since it was dark. But here is sunrise on the north face at 5:30 am.

The good part of the north face came into view pretty quick, and was pleased with the view.

The hero traverse looked like it had enough cover in case you are interested in that route.

I elected to traverse the slope on the north face and gain elevation in order to drop into the couloir a little bit further up. Here's another view that looks into the Y a little better.

Once I left the ridge that bounds the Bottomless pit on the East Side, I joined the Couloir right where the Railroad and Y meet. Here's a view up the Railroad--note the avalnche debris.

I started the Y couloir on old debris that was solid ice chunks with a light layer of dust on it. It actually made for really nice climbing, as it stayed put really well.

The rest was pretty straight forward. I opted for the left branch since there was plenty of crap falling off and rolling downhill from the western walls getting direct sunlight. The snow got kind of soft shortly after the crux of the climb. I was never concerned about sliding or keeping my footing, though. Up until that point, there was a small bit of sinking in, but nothing too bad. Here are pictures that should paint a better picture that I can.


Feel free to shoot me an email or PM if you'd like more information!

Thumbnails for uploaded photos (click to open slideshow):

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