Peak:  Kit Carson Peak (14er)
 Route:  North Ridge
 Range:  Sangre de Cristo
 Posted By:  Brian Thomas
 Date of Info:  08/11/2013
 Date Posted:  08/12/2013

The heavy rain and cold temps on Saturday night iced up much of the upper route. Pic 1 taken about 9:30 looking up the North Ridge shows the east (left) side dry and the right (west) shaded side holding a lot of snow and ice. Ascending the crest of the ridge I had to clean snow and ice out of the holds for my right hand and foot. Pic 2 taken about 9:45 is topping out a tower along the ridge with snow and ice visible at left (west). This was some of the scariest conditions I have ever encountered, it would have been impossible to downclimb. Pics 3 and 4, taken at 11:00 and 11:15 respectively, show snow and ice on the route between Kit Carson and Challenger.

Photos (click for slideshow):
Image #1Image #2Image #3Image #4

 Comments or Questions

04/02/2015 19:45
you were doing there anyway? You already climbed N.Ridge!


Crestones looked icy on Sunday
08/13/2013 21:25
Do you see yourself?
Photo from Rito Alto Sunday


Do you think...
08/14/2013 23:13
...the ice is gone by now? Or will be gone by this weekend? If it's icy what do you do to avoid slipping?

Brian Thomas

08/15/2013 00:28
I went up this route with Natalie (nkan02) early last September, totally dry. I never really looked down, just kept reaching for great holds that were always right there, and it felt like it was over too soon (despite us getting lapped by BoggyB!).

The forecast low for last Saturday night was 38F, I should have noticed the creeks just before aiming for the ridge being iced over as a warning sign. I was up there with my brother who is a skilled technical climber but who doesn't particularly enjoy exposed class 4 routes without rope.

By the time we were halfway up the ridge, it was too steep and icy to turn back. I wedged my entire left arm inside of a few cracks close to the ridge in some places just to balance my body weight and free up my other 3 limbs to find good holds.

If it's dry, you should find it easy and enjoyable if you don't mind exposure, it felt very comparable to Crestone Needle with the abundance of holds.

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