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IPW Conditions / Recommendations

Colorado 13er questions, conditions, and other info should be posted here. Also includes topics related to 13ers.com. 13er Trip Reports
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IPW Conditions / Recommendations

Postby Hungry Jack » Sun Oct 13, 2013 6:22 am

Coming out on Tuesday for 5 days for a very late season trip. I don't have winter gear (spikes, crampons, etc.), so I am looking for options below 12k or so. Staying in Summit but willing to travel a bit, and was wondering if there are good options in the IPW, which we have yet to try.
I need more dehydrogenase.

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Re: IPW Conditions / Recommendations

Postby goingup » Sun Oct 13, 2013 7:21 am

Here is the upcoming weather forecast for the IPW:

http://forecast.weather.gov/MapClick.php?lat=40.05348&lon=-105.64648



I was in the Gores on Saturday (Keller Mountain a lower 13er). It was a gorgeous day but there was SO much snow (hip deep in spots on me [5'4"]) all the way down to the TH around 9,000 feet. It did not melt off above 12,000 feet by afternoon. It somewhat melted below by 3 p.m.

I think you are going to have a hard time finding anything to hike at this point without winterish conditions. I did not have snowshoes or an ice axe (brought it but left it in the truck) on Saturday and I was completely fine. I also wore a pair of $100 leather waterproof boots with a light hiking sock and my feet stayed warm and dry all day. I did have on gaitors which I could not have been without. I only put my microspikes on once we hit the ridge and used them for the class 3 scrambling. IMO they are a nuisance unless scrambling a rocky snow/ice filled ridge line.

Perhaps if you pick yourself up some gaitors and you have a waterproof boot the Sawatch range would be good for you? I have not been there in two weeks so I am unsure of the conditions.

If you are really stuck on the IPW (and I understand why) South Arapaho is a 13er and a pretty short and mellow hike. Again, I believe there will be snow.

Best of luck and have fun out there.
There is a pleasure in the pathless woods;
There is a rapture on the lonely shore;
There is society, where no one intrudes,
By the deep sea, and music in its roar:
I love not man the less, but Nature more......

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Re: IPW Conditions / Recommendations

Postby Hungry Jack » Sun Oct 13, 2013 7:46 am

Thanks for the beta. It sounds like the Front Range has more snow than the Sawatch, based on a smattering of reports. I am not wed to any particular place, but I was thinking the lower elevations of the Front Range might have less snow.
I need more dehydrogenase.

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Re: IPW Conditions / Recommendations

Postby ak47 » Sun Oct 13, 2013 7:51 am

Mt audobon was a great hike yesterday with minimal snow and no traction devices required. However the brainard lake road is closed and you must walk or bike in to any of the trailheads.

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Re: IPW Conditions / Recommendations

Postby jomagam » Sun Oct 13, 2013 4:44 pm

ak47 wrote:Mt audobon was a great hike yesterday with minimal snow and no traction devices required. However the brainard lake road is closed and you must walk or bike in to any of the trailheads.


Did you bike in ? Is there a decent alternative to that ? Hiking the road is 5.5 miles extra each way. Sourdough trail from the south nice but it's also 6 miles to the toll gate. Is county road 96 open to access the place from the north ?

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Re: IPW Conditions / Recommendations

Postby jomagam » Sun Oct 13, 2013 4:47 pm

Brainard Lake's website has:

Due to the 2013 flood, access to the Brainard Lake Recreation Area is from the south through Blackhawk. The Brainard Lake Road is closed to motorized traffic.

What does that mean specifically ? Is Lefthand Canyon still closed ? Blackhawk is pretty far from Brainard Lake.

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Re: IPW Conditions / Recommendations

Postby Dave B » Sun Oct 13, 2013 5:01 pm

jomagam wrote:Hiking the road is 5.5 miles extra each way.


I think hiking the road adds ~5 miles round trip not each way. I've walked it in 40 minutes before so it certainly can't be 5 miles.
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Re: IPW Conditions / Recommendations

Postby jomagam » Sun Oct 13, 2013 5:07 pm

Dave B wrote:
jomagam wrote:Hiking the road is 5.5 miles extra each way.


I think hiking the road adds ~5 miles round trip not each way. I've walked it in 40 minutes before so it certainly can't be 5 miles.


It's 5.5 miles to Long Lake TH, but you're right in that the winter gate would be down even if the road was undamaged so it's adding about 2.5 miles each way.

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Re: IPW Conditions / Recommendations

Postby Alpineair » Sun Oct 13, 2013 6:00 pm

Hungry Jack,

Check out James Peak, easy access from Summit County. If you want IPW north of that, Fourth of July TH out of Eldora. Do not believe the weather forecast, come on out and see for yourself. HTH!

Alpineair
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Re: IPW Conditions / Recommendations

Postby jomagam » Mon Nov 04, 2013 12:13 pm

Is the road to Brainard winter TH open now ? The website suggests so, but it'd be great if somebody could confirm.

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Re: IPW Conditions / Recommendations

Postby ak47 » Mon Nov 04, 2013 12:49 pm

The road has been closed since the govt shutdown, biking in is the best alternative, lefthand canyon is officially closed but is passable and open to residents, you just have to go around the blockades

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Re: IPW Conditions / Recommendations

Postby jomagam » Mon Nov 04, 2013 12:55 pm

ak47 wrote:The road has been closed since the govt shutdown, biking in is the best alternative, lefthand canyon is officially closed but is passable and open to residents, you just have to go around the blockades


Is it closed at the usual winter gate, or right from Highway 7 ? https://fs.usda.gov/Internet/FSE_DOCUMENTS/stelprdb5438381.pdf suggests that the road leading to the gate is open now.

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