Peak:  Kit Carson Peak (14er)
 Route:  North Ridge
 Range:  Sangre de Cristo
 Posted By:  Cool Hand Luke
 Date of Info:  06/24/2012
 Date Posted:  06/25/2012

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):
Image #1Image #2Image #3Image #4

 Comments or Questions

That's my favorite
06/26/2012 14:06
Non-standard route on any 14er. Can't wait to get back up there this year!

Cool Hand Luke

Favorite Non-Standard
06/27/2012 01:08
It's hard to beat Halo Ridge with snow. I really do not have an absolute favorite non-standard route, but have several that I would gladly repeat.

-Halo Ridge (Holy Cross)
-Bell Cord (Maroon Bells)
-North Ridge (Kit Carson)
-Ellingwood Ridge (La Plata)
-West Ridge (Missouri)

Looking forward to the NW Ridge on Lindsey in a few weeks.

Have you ever looked at camping at the upper lake by the ridge for Kit Carson, Terry? It looks like it would be so much fun if you could hide your gear from marmots when you climb.

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