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Pikes Peak Y couloir?

Colorado 14er peak questions and conditions should be posted here. 14er Trip Reports
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Pikes Peak Y couloir?

Postby dangerjohnson » Tue May 19, 2009 4:09 pm

Has anyone the Y Couloir on Pikes from the Devils Playground TH recently? I am thinking about doing it tomorrow, but am wondering about the snowpack? According to the P.P. Hwy hotline the road doesn't open until 9am. How much sun does the couloir get?

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Re: Pikes Peak Y couloir?

Postby slopestyle » Wed May 20, 2009 4:39 pm

I saw a couple of folks climbing up behind me after my ski descent today, was that you?

~Sam
Life's journey is not to arrive safely at the grave in a well-preserved body, but rather to skid in sideways, totally worn out, shouting, "HOLY s**t!!...WHAT A HELL OF A RIDE!!!!"

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Re: Pikes Peak Y couloir?

Postby dustj » Wed May 20, 2009 6:09 pm

How were the conditions and how far is the road open? Conditions permitting, I was thinking of skiing the 'Y' or the 'RR' this weekend.
A voice is calling, "clear the way for the Lord in the wilderness"
-Isaiah 40:3

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Re: Pikes Peak Y couloir?

Postby Geof3 » Wed May 20, 2009 6:48 pm

Was up there Friday. Both are getting pretty boney from a skiing perspective and these last couple of days have been really warm and resulted in quite a bit of snow melt. Lot's of rocks just under the surface. From a climbing perspective, no issues. Summit might be open (it has been for the last few days) but there is a front moving in, so that's anybody's guess.

We decided to stay off of both the RR and the Y due to the snow situation. It is difficult to tell what the rock band looks like in the Y from above. The main start was probably doable with solid jump turns, but again we could see several rock "dark spots". Eat one of those up on the top, could be a big bad game over.

The RR is about the same, but it doesn't have the objective danger of the rock band across it. About half way down was basically dry with a thin snow line adjacent. It would have gone, but we chose to hit Little Italy and a lap in the 16 mile bowl as it was just a better overall option for the day.
Blue Steel

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Re: Pikes Peak Y couloir?

Postby slopestyle » Thu May 21, 2009 11:04 am

Yesterday I got a full summit ski of the left branch. I clipped in on the top but had to side step past some rocks for the first 20 vertical or so before I could make any turns. The snow was actually ok, a bit icy in spots and slushy in others, but not to bad. The rock band did have a slip of snow going through it but I opted to downclimb instead, it was a fairly narrow strip of snow but obstacle was easy to get past. I had continuous snow down to where the angle gets pretty shallow in the cirque when the snow gets spotty at best. I opted to climb back up the rail road couloir to check on its conditions. Snow was continuous until the last 150 feet when you had to do some scrambling periodically on some rocks, nothing really crazy though, also the snow cover was getting thin towards the top. I tried the right branch on Mothers Day and don't recomend it from that experience. The ice bulge then was getting pretty rotten, we did have a bit of a later start that day though. However the right does have a small cornice growing right now at the top, snow also looked to be continuous as well from what I saw at the summit and at the branch down below. This storm comming through right now might help to freeze things up a bit and may keep it in condition a bit longer, or at least for the holiday weekend. I would recomend getting up soon if your wanting a true summit ski descent though, I'm betting that it will melt out in the next few days if it gets warm at all.

The road was open to the summit, but who knows what this storm right now will do if anything...

~Sam
Life's journey is not to arrive safely at the grave in a well-preserved body, but rather to skid in sideways, totally worn out, shouting, "HOLY s**t!!...WHAT A HELL OF A RIDE!!!!"

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Re: Pikes Peak Y couloir?

Postby Geof3 » Thu May 21, 2009 12:06 pm

slopestyle wrote:Yesterday I got a full summit ski of the left branch. I clipped in on the top but had to side step past some rocks for the first 20 vertical or so before I could make any turns. The snow was actually ok, a bit icy in spots and slushy in others, but not to bad. The rock band did have a slip of snow going through it but I opted to downclimb instead, it was a fairly narrow strip of snow but obstacle was easy to get past. I had continuous snow down to where the angle gets pretty shallow in the cirque when the snow gets spotty at best. I opted to climb back up the rail road couloir to check on its conditions. Snow was continuous until the last 150 feet when you had to do some scrambling periodically on some rocks, nothing really crazy though, also the snow cover was getting thin towards the top. I tried the right branch on Mothers Day and don't recomend it from that experience. The ice bulge then was getting pretty rotten, we did have a bit of a later start that day though. However the right does have a small cornice growing right now at the top, snow also looked to be continuous as well from what I saw at the summit and at the branch down below. This storm comming through right now might help to freeze things up a bit and may keep it in condition a bit longer, or at least for the holiday weekend. I would recomend getting up soon if your wanting a true summit ski descent though, I'm betting that it will melt out in the next few days if it gets warm at all.

The road was open to the summit, but who knows what this storm right now will do if anything...

~Sam


Sam,

Cool... sounds like a good day!
Blue Steel

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Re: Pikes Peak Y couloir?

Postby dangerjohnson » Fri May 22, 2009 11:21 am

On Wednesday, We climbed the Y Couloir-left branch. Starting at the pull-out above Rumdoodle ridge at about 9:30 am we descended the ridge into the Bottomless Pit. The snow was pretty wet and mushy most of the way. The rock band was a bit interesting. My partner Bill and I chose different adventures going up to that. As we neared the summit we were nearly wiped out by a watermelon size rock that was thrown/pushed by a tourist. We summited around 2:30 pm. If I ever do this route again I would probably get dropped off the night before to get an earlier start. I don't know if I would do the same approach, camping in bottomless pit?

Sam, that was us behind you. We watched you climb the railroad couloir above us.

-Chris

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