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Y Couloir in a week?

Colorado 14er peak questions and conditions should be posted here. 14er Trip Reports
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Y Couloir in a week?

Postby atalarico » Sat Apr 13, 2013 12:06 pm

Hey all,

So, I have some unexpected time off next weekend the 19th through the 22nd. I've been thinking about some snow climbs and classic mountaineering routes and the Y Couloir has caught my attention. Now, this was prior to the updated forecast which states we're supposed to get snow all next week. If the snow doesn't pan out, which it can have a habit of doing, and pack stabilizes to where CAIC lists moderate or below avy danger, a friend and I are thinking of climbing this route. We've both plenty of experience between us both (alpine ice/rock/snow climbing) (though there is never *enough* experience) and were looking forward to a great warm-up climb for the season.

A few questions; Does anyone have any recent photos of the route or beta? Is camping permitted near the Bottomless Pit? We're thinking of bivy'ing for the hell of it (and to ensure an early start). How far up can we park on the road these days? Anything else to know?

If the snow proves to be a little more dangerous than not, we're just going to find a fun ridge-line to hike. I've been turned back on Drift Peak, so that's top of the heap to complete.

Cheers!

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Re: Y Couloir in a week?

Postby Dave B » Sat Apr 13, 2013 12:43 pm

No first hand beta, but why not go up with Blitzen Ridge as plan B? Probably just need to carry (more) rock gear in case.

I've always heard the cornice is the big early season threat on the Y, but I know there is a TR on this site from it being climbed in May last year.

Edit: ahhhh, I see you're talking about the Y on Pikes, oops.
Last edited by Dave B on Sat Apr 13, 2013 12:46 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Y Couloir in a week?

Postby MuchosPixels » Sat Apr 13, 2013 12:43 pm

atalarico wrote:Hey all,

So, I have some unexpected time off next weekend the 19th through the 22nd. I've been thinking about some snow climbs and classic mountaineering routes and the Y Couloir has caught my attention. Now, this was prior to the updated forecast which states we're supposed to get snow all next week. If the snow doesn't pan out, which it can have a habit of doing, and pack stabilizes to where CAIC lists moderate or below avy danger, a friend and I are thinking of climbing this route. We've both plenty of experience between us both (alpine ice/rock/snow climbing) (though there is never *enough* experience) and were looking forward to a great warm-up climb for the season.

A few questions; Does anyone have any recent photos of the route or beta? Is camping permitted near the Bottomless Pit? We're thinking of bivy'ing for the hell of it (and to ensure an early start). How far up can we park on the road these days? Anything else to know?

If the snow proves to be a little more dangerous than not, we're just going to find a fun ridge-line to hike. I've been turned back on Drift Peak, so that's top of the heap to complete.

Cheers!


Hi, I think the best place to spend the night at treeline in the area is the A-Frame right next to the Barr Trail. Its a bit south of the Bottomless Pit but the trail connects to the bottomless pit turnoff not too far from there. There is water available right there and it has amazing views. If it is real windy from the west and sw the winds will come roaring down the amazing east face. Barr Camp is a few miles down the trail and its a great place to spend the night no matter the weather.

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Re: Y Couloir in a week?

Postby atalarico » Sat Apr 13, 2013 1:52 pm

I've read about the A Frame. It's first come first serve and it'll be the rare time I'm climbing on or near a weekend. Is it big enough for more than just two people? It's free to stay in, right? I'm pretty excited if this pans out. Pikes has been on my list for a long time and I haven't been above tree line near enough lately.

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Re: Y Couloir in a week?

Postby CO Native » Sat Apr 13, 2013 3:05 pm

The A-Fame is a mile and a half beyond the Bottomless Pit turn off. I don't recommend using it for the Y-couloir. If you're going to carry all your gear to the summit then the bottomless pit area is a great place to camp. There's a nice flat area there and access to water if it's not totally frozen.

The Y is pretty bare this year. It looks doable but not the greatest year to do it.

Here is a link to an image I took of it yesterday: http://www.friesema.net/junk/pikesnorthface2013.JPG
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Re: Y Couloir in a week?

Postby Jim Davies » Sun Apr 14, 2013 7:58 am

You can't leave your car overnight on the Pikes Peak Highway, so dayhiking only via that route (unless you can get someone to drop you off and pick you up the next day, but that could get expensive). Their hours are pretty bad for snow climbing - 9-3 until late May. Barr Trail is probably your best option, although going up Crags and down from Devil's Playground might be shorter.
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Re: Y Couloir in a week?

Postby Winter8000m » Sun Apr 14, 2013 11:05 am

Pretty sure the hours are 9 to 5 right now? Did some mixed climbing at Glen Cove the other day and we didn't get back to the car until 20 till 5. Needless to say we made it down in 17 minutes. :lol: :lol:

I have been caught not making the gate closure time and all they do is give you a warning to not do it again or you'll get towed...At that point you just call a friend in the springs to pick you up on the other side of the gate. ](*,)

A friend did Total Abandon the other day. From his pictures, conditions looked good on the Hero traverse.
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Re: Y Couloir in a week?

Postby Hoot » Sun Apr 14, 2013 11:32 am

The best camping options for The Y are Barr Camp and the Crags. I've not camped in the Bottomless Pit, but it looks reasonable. The top does look pretty thin this year, but there are lots of routes to choose from. I'll likely climb it the following weekend for my 8th year in a row. I'd love the hear what conditions you find this coming weekend.

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Re: Y Couloir in a week?

Postby CO Native » Sun Apr 14, 2013 3:59 pm

The Crags? That's on the west side of Pikes Peak, completely out of the way for the Y couloir.

If you want a shorter trip you can drive to the summit and use either Rumdoodle ridge or the Hero Traverse.

I threw some info together on this site once: http://www.hikingintherockies.com/fourteeners/pikes%20peak/northface/pikes_peak_north_face.htm

Not a great site I know but it outlines several of the options available.
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Re: Y Couloir in a week?

Postby Kevin Baker » Sun Apr 14, 2013 7:30 pm

The Crags is actually a great way to climb the Y, although it is a big day (~5800' vertical). I did it that way last year and probably will this year as well since I no longer live in COS. It really gives you a neat perspective of the Y descending Rumdoodle Ridge to the Bottomless Pit. You just have to start super early as descending Rumdoodle is a bit tedious with snow. Driving up the road is not ideal in April since the road doesn't open until 9 before Memorial Day, which mean you'll be in the couloir late.

Thanks for the pic, Josh. Hopefully Pikes will get a good dump this week!
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Re: Y Couloir in a week?

Postby Jim Davies » Mon Apr 15, 2013 12:47 pm

Winter8000m wrote:Pretty sure the hours are 9 to 5 right now?

I got that from here: http://pikespeak.us.com/Essentials/hours-and-fees.html
But more accurate info is here: http://www.springsgov.com/Page.aspx?NavID=75
It turns out that the entrance closes at 3, but the exit doesn't close until 5, as you said. You still can't camp, though.
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Re: Y Couloir in a week?

Postby CO Native » Thu Apr 18, 2013 11:36 am

We got some nice snow out of this storm. Glen Cove received 11 inches. Hopefully this will improve the couloir conditions. It doesn't look like the weather is going to be good for consolidating the snow though. Too cold today and tomorrow and then more snow expected over the weekend.
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