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Locations of summer snow

Info, conditions and gear related to skiing or riding Colorado Peaks, including the 14ers! Ski/Ride Trip Reports
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Re: Locations of summer snow

Postby tommyboy360 » Fri Aug 06, 2010 4:17 pm

Anyone been up to ski/board St. Mary's recently? I'm wondering what the current conditions are with the combined low snowpack, high temps and heavy rain this summer. My turns in August at St. Mary's last summer were rough. I'm assuming it's worse this year...
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Re: Locations of summer snow

Postby Tory Wells » Fri Aug 06, 2010 8:46 pm

Isabelle Glacier in the IPW....the peak in the photo is Apache (13,441') and the tarn in the photo sits about 12200'.
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Re: Locations of summer snow

Postby tommyboy360 » Tue Aug 10, 2010 8:26 pm

Thanks lanternerouge08!

I've wanted to visit this area ever since I picked up the book "Best Summit Hikes in Colorado" by James Dziezynski. I initially started doing the hikes out his book before I caught the 14er bug a year ago. Anyway, the picture you posted got me stoked to get after it today. Finally, a good weather forecast!

Climbed the Isabelle Glacier today and locked up August turns! The glacier was sweet. The first climb was about half way up the Queens Way couloir. The snow was variable on the climber's left of the glacier -- lots of runnels, water and rocks. I cut over to the center of the bowl and the turns were sweet. I went back up for a shorter second run in the upper right of the glacier. The snow was great today. The conditions were much better than my July trip to Castle/Conundrum.
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Isabelle Glacier is way better than SMG. It's also a beautiful area that reminded me of the California Sierras.
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It took me only 1hr15mins to get to the Long Lake/Isabelle Glacier TH in the morning from Denver. Note: $9 daily entry fee for the Brainard Lake Recreation Area but it's worth it. It's also a long hike with alpine gear but the elevation gain is not hard - the first part of the trail is long and easy, but the upper willows/marsh area was shin deep mud. The last part is a steep talus climb up to the base of the glacier but the views and cascade falls make it interesting.
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Re: Locations of summer snow

Postby Jesse Peterson » Tue Aug 10, 2010 8:37 pm

Nice, way to get after it tommyboy! Looks like some quality August skiing.
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Re: Locations of summer snow

Postby CR0SS » Tue Aug 10, 2010 8:59 pm

Isabelle Glacier looks great. Might have to make it over there at some point.

McHenrys notch couloir is another place that I am thinking about hitting up.
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Re: Locations of summer snow

Postby Elliot » Wed Aug 11, 2010 8:33 pm

This isabell jumpoff looks Great for some Aug. fish and ski mission

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Re: Locations of summer snow

Postby RisinOrion » Mon Aug 16, 2010 8:06 am

Hit Isabelle on Saturday (8/14) and it was fantastic! I wanted to get up Queen's Way but the snow surface looked like total shite so I decided to play it safe.

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Re: Locations of summer snow

Postby Mark A Steiner » Mon Aug 16, 2010 11:55 am

Was not close enough to view specific detals, but it appears the range from just south of the Arapaho Peaks northward through the Indian Peaks Wilderness, east side of the Divide, has many possibilities for the activity described here.
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Re: Locations of summer snow

Postby weissea » Wed Aug 18, 2010 2:35 pm

Yup, Isabelle Glacier is still a go. Skied 08/17/2010.
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more pics

Taking my time, half in the dark, and enjoying the sunrise it took me 4 hours to get to the glacier's base. Played for 2 hours. Then another 2 hours back to the car.
The snow is what you would expect (sun cups, runnels, mush), but I can check the August box on my ski every month list.

The area's beauty is right up there with some of the best. Its a popular place (apparently the most visited wilderness area in the country) and on my way down I saw upwards of 70 people on the trail (on a tuesday). On the way up I had the place to myself (4:00am start). Very enjoyable day.

RisinOrion which one is the Queens Way?

Thanks lanternerouge08 for making me aware of the glacier and tommyboy360 and RisinOrion for the update and pics.
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Re: Locations of summer snow

Postby RisinOrion » Wed Aug 18, 2010 2:46 pm

weissea:

The Queens Way is the couloir extending towards the Apache summit on climbers left. Yes - the elegant looking line that you spent all day staring at :D

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Re: Locations of summer snow

Postby weissea » Wed Aug 18, 2010 3:05 pm

Figured that, thanks.

..staring at it and thinking "If only I had brought alpine stuff instead of Tele..." The snow was indeed adventurous.
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Re: Locations of summer snow

Postby tommyboy360 » Wed Aug 18, 2010 3:12 pm

Such a sweet area. Weissea, You took some spectacular pics of Lake Isabelle at sunrise.

I had a similar experience. No one around in the morning and only 1 other car in Long Lake parking lot. However, heaps of people on the way out once you hit Lake Isabelle and the parking lot was overflowing. Totally understandable -- It's such a great area and it’s so close to Boulder/Denver and RMNP. The hike into the lakes is a relatively easy hike for kids and visitors.

Taking a break from my 14er pursuit to score summer turns was one of my favorite hikes of the year and I did NOT summit. I originally planned to drop the gear at the unnamed lake and motor up airplane gully for the summit. However, I decided to just take a couple of laps on the glacier and have lunch up there too.

My September turns last year were on a powder day. I hope we get a big dump again in September that will fill in the sun cups and runnels.
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