|Peak:||Kit Carson Peak (14er)|
|Range:||Sangre de Cristo|
|Posted By:||Cool Hand Luke|
|Date of Info:||06/24/2012|
The lower section of the hike is extremely dry and the trail gets dusty. Once you cross over to the east side it is more green. Once you are at the top of the pass the Columbines are plentiful and in full bloom.
The hike to the North Ridge is snow free, but there is one marshy area to watch out for. It is really straight-forward; just aim for the cliff bands. The grassy ledges were easy to navigate, the ridge is mostly in sight at this point so choose your path.
The North Ridge was surprisingly snow-free, we brought axes but did not use them except to cross the Challenger couloir on the descent. The ridge was a blast, but it definitely demands your full attention. Holds were solid, but there are a few sections they are hard to find.
Avenue is snow-free except a few patches that are completely avoidable. The descent from Challenger still sucks.
Pic 1: Kit Carson and the North Ridge
Pic 2: General idea of rock and angle, sorry I am blocking the view
Pic 3: Avenue
Pic 4: Standard route up Challenger
Photos (click for slideshow):