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Camping in June?

Trailhead conditions, directions, roads, parking, camping, etc. Trailhead Info/Status
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Camping in June?

Postby Dtapke » Fri May 03, 2013 11:28 am

So, I've done a bit of searching for more information, and can't seem to find any expert opinions on the topic, so here I am, humbly asking the advice of those that have gone before me.

I know and understand there is no correct answer for this, I'm just asking how terrible or potentially good(probably not) of an idea this is.

I'm from IL, and have spent multiple trips in CO, mostly in the RMNP area, typically fall (september/october) and have had 2 spring trips (may) I've spent some time at 13K and am familiar with the lack of predictable weather, which is why this is kind of a dumb question, but I'm going to ask anyways now that i've spent this much time prefacing.


Will camping at the boulderfield on the longs peak route during the first week of June be totally unreasonable? I'll have one inexperienced friend along with two mildly experienced friends. I'm hoping for an ascent of Longs but it's not something i'm set on, really I just wanna spend a night up there and maybe hit up Lady Washington, or go up to the keyhole. So just how unpredictable will the weather be this early in the "not quite summer"? has anyone here camped up there that early? What kind of overnight temperatures should i plan for/expect?3


Note: myself and one other are pretty experienced technical climbers, although ice climbing/snow isn't something we've done or are prepared for! some time spent down on some other crags will be done for the first few days of a 10 day trip to acclimate a bit to the altitude as well as probably a night at 9-10K before a night in the boulderfield. (weather permitting)

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Re: Camping in June?

Postby Scott P » Fri May 03, 2013 11:35 am

Will camping at the boulderfield on the longs peak route during the first week of June be totally unreasonable?


No, but you would be on snow.

although ice climbing/snow isn't something we've done or are prepared for!


If so, you definintely wouldn't want to climb Longs in early June. You would need an ice axe for sure (and the skills to know how to use it).

There are plenty of other mountains in Colorado that would be a better choice.
I'm slow and fat. Unfortunately, those are my good qualities.

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Re: Camping in June?

Postby peter303 » Fri May 03, 2013 12:00 pm

Last couple years the RMNP climbing ranger would post pictures and descriptions of the Long's Keyhole route, updating about every 10 days or so in June and July.
Before that they would just tell you on the phone whether it was "non-technical": no ice axe and crampons needed. Most years they declare non-technical sometime between July 1 and July 31. The occasional severe drought year might be earlier.

Thunderstorms are common May - September.

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Re: Camping in June?

Postby Dtapke » Fri May 03, 2013 12:21 pm

Camping in snow I'm ok with. Ice axes I'd probably want some experience in the sub 10K elevation range with an experienced climber first. Last spring in late may we were there and it was non tech, but it was a drought..

Thanks a ton for the replies, being out of state and only having been to the park a half dozen times or so it's hard to judge what i should expect!

Thanks for the info on the rmnp ranger posting pictures and descriptions, I'll definitely try to find that.


Any good suggestions on similar grade 3-4 mountains to climb with a good backcountry site 5-10 miles in this early in the year?

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Re: Camping in June?

Postby TravelingMatt » Fri May 03, 2013 3:52 pm

Dtapke wrote:Any good suggestions on similar grade 3-4 mountains to climb with a good backcountry site 5-10 miles in this early in the year?


Generally the further south you go in CO the less snow there has been. The northern ranges have been positively dumped on in the last month, and it's been mostly colder than average.

There'a a good chance the Sangres and San Juans will have summer conditions by early June this year. Any of the Sangres overnights (South Colony, Lake Como, Willow Lake) might be worth trying. I'd check the TH and peak conditions on this site right before leaving and be flexible.
So pleas'd at first the towering Alps we try,
Mount o'er the vales, and seem to tread the sky,
Th' increasing prospects tire our wand'ring eyes,
Hills peep o'er hills, and Alps on Alps arise!
-- Alexander Pope

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Re: Camping in June?

Postby Dtapke » Fri May 03, 2013 5:51 pm

If there's anything I've learned about spending time in the mountains it's to be flexible! Most trips I don't even plan, but a friend is coming along with that has never been out there so I'm trying to get somewhat of an itinerary.

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Re: Camping in June?

Postby jesseparker1 » Mon May 06, 2013 10:33 am

Yeah, I am heading out there the first week as well from Minnesota. With all of this snow in the last couple weeks it is going to be a tough decision. I was looking at a three day backpacking trip and come to find out it is hard this time of the year. I am open for ideas as well, I don't care about camping in snow, just not sure the wife would be cool with using and ice ax.

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