|Peak:||Kit Carson Peak (14er)|
|Route:||From Challenger Point|
|Range:||Sangre de Cristo|
|Date of Info:||09/18/2011|
Route was clear up to about 13000', merely muddy on the descent to Willow Lake. Above 13K, there was about 4-6" of snow on the ground all the way to the summit of KC. There were a few tricky spots getting up to the notch on Challenger, but once up on the ridge crest the going was easy. The KC/Challenger saddle was manageable.
The Avenue is getting covered in slanting snow, especially with all the snow sloughing off from higher on the mountain and collecting there. The gully beyond is steep, but manageable with care, and it gets a bit easier higher up.
Verglas was present early in the morning, but melted off somewhat later on. The snow is melting rapidly, but there's a lot of it...not sure if enough will melt off for this one to be "easy" again before winter. Highly, highly recommend an ice axe. Crampons are unnecessary, but microspikes or yaktrax wouldn't hurt. Don't recommend this one for a first-time snow climb!
Photos (click for slideshow):