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Couloir Climbing April 20

Need a climbing partner? Trying to form a hiking group for an outing?
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Re: Couloir Climbing April 20

Postby Kiefer » Tue Apr 16, 2013 8:57 am

Dude. Here in town, we've gotten about 2 feet of snow. There's piles down Main Street taller then me. Yesterday's snow was on the dry side. Overnight into this morning, it's noticeably more wet. Plus, temps up are gonna top out at 38 I believe before dipping back below freezing. I'm sure the Park has gotten more than that.
Stay out of Dragon's Tail. Bad news. :wft:
Listen to Scott.

We had plans to climb Savage (Saturday) but in lieu of the storm, we switched to Red/Hoosier Ridge.
Couloirs bad idea right now.

Gotta agree with Bean, why Dragon? (edit: saw your post)
I don't think the San Juan's got as much snow out of this.
If you're still intent on a coully, I'd probably head down south instead.

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Re: Couloir Climbing April 20

Postby Peakjumper » Tue Apr 16, 2013 9:19 am

Pikes has had high winds nailing it for about three days and picked up some decent snow over the weekend, but nothing like they have had up north. Most of the mountains in the state have probably picked up at least 1 foot over the last week with many of them reporting twice that in just the last few days. I would agree with the people that have told you to check down south. When I was up on Pikes Sunday there was tons of wind loading going on and a lot of natural slide activity(most of what I saw was east facing cornice collapses and wet/loose slides). Remember that wind is a huge player In snow safety also!! I would keep looking into something down this way but definatly keep an eye on conditions as you climb and be safe!! If you do go down this way let me know I have Saturday open and a free bed here in the springs with a great view of Pikes...

Re: Couloir Climbing April 20

Postby Nelson » Tue Apr 16, 2013 9:43 am

Kiefer and Peakjumper beat me to the punch but I have three things I would like you to read before you commit:

1) Today's avy report: https://avalanche.state.co.us/pub_bc.php It includes the following about the Front Range:

Avalanche Warning in Effect through 04/17/2013 10:00 AM
The Colorado Avalanche Information Center is extending an Avalanche Warning for the Front Range and Vail-Summit County zones. A band of heavy snow roughly aligned along the I-70 corridor from Glenwood Canyon through Boulder, including Vail Pass, the Eisenhower Tunnel, and Berthoud Pass dropped a foot or more of snow and an inch or more of water in the last 24 hours. Combined with strong southwesterly winds, you can expect dangerous avalanche conditions throughout today. Both natural and human triggered avalanches are likely. Some of these slides could release deeply buried weak layers resulting in large and destructive slides. A large natural slide in Butler Gulch on Sunday illustrates the potential. Avalanche danger is HIGH (Level 4) in the warning area.
It also points out that even where there has been less snow there has been"Brutal" wind.

2) Yesterdays avy report. It says basically that we have a winter snowpack, not a spring snowpack. That does not bode well for couloir climbing in the immediate future.

3) The accident report for the March 17 accident on Ypsilpon: https://avalanche.state.co.us/acc/acc_us.php

No more accident reports, please.

Nelson

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Re: Couloir Climbing April 20

Postby Peakjumper » Tue Apr 16, 2013 10:39 am

http://forecast.weather.gov/MapClick.php?lat=40.261576473697985&lon=-105.60436248779297
Looks like RMNP could get another foot or so before Thursday night too...
http://forecast.weather.gov/MapClick.php?lat=39.394837113317216&lon=-106.11454010009765
Looks a "little" drier up around Breck but still 10-12 inches in the next couple of days = rising avy conditions

There is many safe routes out there but I'm thinking that most of the couloirs might be out for a while until some of the natural cycles happen and even then. There is a good bet that some big ones will still be waiting for a little instigation!!

If you are stuck on RMNP contact Eli or someone over at [url]climbinglife.com[/url] these guys literally live in RMNP and will answer any questions you may have about the area.
Cheers!!

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Re: Couloir Climbing April 20

Postby ash-ish » Tue Apr 16, 2013 11:19 am

Peakjumper and others, I am not stuck with RMNP - but I am in the denver area for the weekend. I can drive may be up to 6 hours for a couloir climb. I am now looking for couloirs in Sawatch/sangres. any ideas will be helpful.

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Re: Couloir Climbing April 20

Postby Scott P » Tue Apr 16, 2013 11:58 am

any ideas will be helpful.


Sticking to a ridge route and avoiding the couloirs would probably be the best idea. Plenty of routes available.
I'm slow and fat. Unfortunately, those are my good qualities.

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Re: Couloir Climbing April 20

Postby ash-ish » Tue Apr 16, 2013 12:41 pm

Scott, I agree with you generally, but I want to exhaust all options. I live in Houston and do not get opportunities to climb a lot, but at the same time I understand to not let ambition overcome common sense and experience. If not for this storm, the weather was turning out to be good for couloirs in the front range. Sawatch still seems to be a cautious option. Again, I agree with you, but I have to justify every trip to CO to myself. I cant thank you guys enough for the input.

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Re: Couloir Climbing April 20

Postby Carl » Tue Apr 16, 2013 12:52 pm

ash-ish wrote:Peakjumper and others, I am not stuck with RMNP - but I am in the denver area for the weekend. I can drive may be up to 6 hours for a couloir climb. I am now looking for couloirs in Sawatch/sangres. any ideas will be helpful.


Sangres have gotten a decent bit of snow and a lot of wind recently. We were down there on Saturday in the Broken Hand pass area and the wind loading above treeline meant we had to kick steps in sometimes waist deep snow. More snow and wind this week will increase the danger and lower the fun (from a climbing standpoint) factor.

Re: Couloir Climbing April 20

Postby Bean » Tue Apr 16, 2013 1:20 pm

ash-ish wrote:Scott, I agree with you generally, but I want to exhaust all options. I live in Houston and do not get opportunities to climb a lot, but at the same time I understand to not let ambition overcome common sense and experience. If not for this storm, the weather was turning out to be good for couloirs in the front range. Sawatch still seems to be a cautious option. Again, I agree with you, but I have to justify every trip to CO to myself. I cant thank you guys enough for the input.

If you insist on a couloir climb, let the sheriff wherever you end up going know that you just flew in from Texas and will likely require their SAR team's services. Consider it making a reservation.

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Re: Couloir Climbing April 20

Postby EatinHardtack » Tue Apr 16, 2013 1:37 pm

Not going to criticize you for wanting a couloir. I will agree with others about a real concern for the snowpack right now. Honestly I know most of these guys just want you to be safe and make it back home to Houston.

If you want a fun snow climb (but not a couloir), try the East Ridge of NorthStar. Fun in snow. Be safe!

Re: Couloir Climbing April 20

Postby KyleS » Tue Apr 16, 2013 2:27 pm

ash-ish wrote: any recommendations on couloirs with short approaches in the san juans?

I climbed the Naked Lady Couloir on Snowdon Peak a couple weeks ago in stable conditions. It's only about 2 miles from Molas Pass. Long drive from Denver, though.
Obviously, you're going to have to assess avy danger for yourself, but the dust down here is turning the fresh snow to corn very quickly.

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Re: Couloir Climbing April 20

Postby ash-ish » Tue Apr 16, 2013 5:11 pm

Thanks again everybody for the input. I will aim for ridge climbs then. Any challenging ones where I can use my crampons and ice axes?

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