|Peak:||Challenger Point (14er)|
|Range:||Sangre de Cristo|
|Date of Info:||02/02/2013|
Trail was bootpacked to the stream crossing at 11,000 feet, which proved not to be the icy mess that I was worried it might be (photo 1).
Fresh trench led from there to Willow Lake and then headed up toward Mount Adams's west ridge. I left the trench at this point and crossed the slopes above Willow Lake. These had so little snow that they were not the avalanche hazard that they might normally be (photo 2).
I climbed the standard route, which consisted of fresh soft slab of varying thickness on older, supportive hard slab. In light of the day's events elsewhere and the resulting "Special Advisory Statement" from the CAIC, avalanche danger may have been higher than I thought. But it made for some pretty decent snow climbing by winter standards (photo 3).
The ridge to the summit was clear enough that a person could stay mostly on rock (photo 4).
Snowshoes, ice axe, and crampons all mandatory.
Photos (click for slideshow):