|2015-08-16||Route: Keyhole Route
Posted On: 2015-08-17, By: MGatMileHigh
Info: It was an up and down day at the peak and trail, weather wise; until the storms rolled in at around 2 PM. But, trail condition wise, felt it was as perfectly dry as it can get. And it was not crowded for a weekend day. Till Keyhole:- Easy as you like hike till Boulder field (started from TH at 4:30 AM on 8/16) and expected scramble over large boulders to Keyhole. It seems the key hole area was very wind early in the early morning making some hikers (who started much early from TH, like around 2 AM) to turn back. Same with few others (which put doubts in our mind). However, after 8 AM, the wind died down. In fact, Keyhole was unusually ‘wind free‘ so to speak and had a great time there and gave all the confidence for the difficult segments ahead. Keyhole to Trough:- Absolutely great condition. No ice or snow on the trail. Just a few wet rocks, which were easily avoidable. And wind free. Some parties stopped at Trough, mostly because of exhaustion. Narrows:- Nothing major to report apart from great conditions; and shouting out to be careful!! Homestretch and Summit and back:- Homestretch was not crowded as some pictures suggested in recent past. Up and downhill traffic was easy to manage. Weather was excellent for couple of hours at the summit (we summit‘ed at 11), with great stunning sunny views all around till after noon. Then as expected, high clouds rolled in, reducing the visibility during descend until trough. Also, later at boulder field and beyond, there was rain and could hear distant thunderstorms. So, even though we got the perfect time window for the difficult part and summit, starting earlier got its benefit for sure!!!
|2015-08-15||Route: Keyhole Route
Posted On: 2015-08-20, By: E_A_Marcus_949
Info: Did this route last weekend. Started at the trailhead at 2:45AM and made it to the keyhole at about 6:30 with a few breaks. Summited at 8:30, spent about an hour up there, and made it back to the trailhead exactly 12 hours later at 2:45pm. It definitely got chillier and windier the more we crossed the boulder field and up to the keyhole. Some people were waiting for it to die down, however, we decided to keep going. A lot of scrambling and climbing (most of the time 3 points of contact to the mountain), but doable. A few places I needed help from my climbing partners as I was too short to reach good hand holds or foot holds. No ice or snow though. Even though there were some gusts of wind on the route past the keyhole, the summit was calm and warm. Starting early meant fewer people to bypass the 1.5mi past the Keyhole. Definitely worthwhile. Good conditions last weekend, which will hopefully hold for anyone going in the next few weeks.
|2015-08-09||Route: Loft - via East Longs Trailhead
Posted On: 2015-08-10, By: ekreider
Info: It was a gorgeous day to hike the mountain. This was the first time we took this route, we were a party of four. There is still some snow in the Loft Couloir as well as above the waterfall, but it is indeed entirely avoidable at this point on the left side. Just stay left before you think you need to however as there is a finger of snow that extends down the couloir that I missed and had to cross; doable but a little scary. Once over the saddle it was pretty easy to navigate the trail, and although the cairns are small if you use your common sense, it was easy for us to find the way and confirm our intuition when we found the next cairn, even when we couldn‘t see it cairn to cairn. A couple spots on the west side required some downclimbing but not long distances, and our relatively climbing-inexperienced group felt confident doing it. We took the keyhole route down, which made for a nice 80% loop. We only met 3 other hikers on the loft route, which was nice since there were probably about 200 or more on the keyhole route. It took us 7.5 hours to summit the loft route, our pace was leisurely however and we departed at 4:10 AM.
|2015-08-05||Route: Keyhole Route
Posted On: 2015-08-05, By: rabonz
Info: Great conditions the entire route. The little remaining snow/ice in the trough is easily avoidable. Wind gusts were occasionally unnerving but manageable. There is a little running water in the homestretch on the left near the upper exit that seemed frozen/sketchy at 5:30.
|2015-08-04||Route: Keyhole Route
Posted On: 2015-08-04, By: Talmadge
Info: Attempted Longs on 8/4. Left trailhead at 2:30. Trail in great condition. Got to Keyhole at 5:30. Wicked winds got progressively worse from treeline on. Turned around at the boulder field and decided to try another day. Not worth getting blown off.
Posted On: 2015-08-02, By: Mike Shepherd
Info: Lambs Slide is still all snow, no ice as of yet. The rest of the route is fine. Some snow on the cable‘s descent.
|2015-08-02||Route: Keyhole Route
Posted On: 2015-08-02, By: rkohler
Info: Great conditions all th way up to the trough, then only a few wet spots and small ice patches. No ice ax needed, but keep the helmets as the route was very heavily traveled and the potential for rock fall is high. Narrows and homestretch are both dry and free of snow amd ice.
|2015-08-01||Route: Loft - via East Longs Trailhead
Posted On: 2015-08-01, By: Phill the Thrill
Info: Still some snow in the loft couloir, but it is easily avoidable on climber‘s left. We carried axes/spikes and never pulled them out of our backpacks. Also, snow is not a factor anywhere on the Loft route or from Meeker/Longs saddle to the Meeker summit. Enjoy the summer conditions while they last. We descended via Keyhole and yes there is still some snow present in the Trough, but this also is easily avoidable. No snow/ice anywhere else (homestretch, narrows, etc.).
|2015-07-31||Route: Cables/North Face
Posted On: 2015-07-30, By: cordisimo
Info: I did the Cables route up and down the last two days. Zig-Zag around a tiny snowfield to the bottom of the route, then it is (predictably) wet. Yesterday there was some sneaky verglas to watch out for but I didn‘t find any ice this morning (climbing around 8:45AM both days). After that there was one short snowfield to cross on the cairned route to the summit; its rock hard but there are great steps in there and I‘m sure you could find a rock around there for some extra traction if you wanted it -- an axe would be overkill for such a small amount of snow. Or you could choose your own adventure around it.
|2015-07-29||Route: Keyhole Route
Posted On: 2015-07-31, By: jlohmann
Info: Near the bottom of The Trough, there is melting hard-packed snow/ice blocking the marked trail. As you encounter the first patch there is an arm on the left and an arm on the right. Do not be fooled by continuing between them. They eventually merge. The ice is hard as rock and very slick. When you first encounter the snow/ice, move to the left (north) and you will find a very acceptable scaling path. Do not move to the right. The snow eventually abuts a sheer vertical face and there is no acceptable path. See attached photo. Note person easily hiking on the left, the split in the snow in the middle, and the sheer face on the right. Also be observant of "black ice," melted snow that has frozen over night and is like black ice, hard to see. It is very slick, too.
|2015-07-28||Route: Keyhole Route
Posted On: 2015-07-29, By: kpowers89
Info: Homestretch is fully dry except for one easily avoidable patch of ice. We went through the middle of the snow patch at the top of the trough by climbing between the exposed rocks. Crampons and ice axe are not mandatory as you can go rock to rock or avoid it all together by going climbers left on steeper rock. However, they still would make that section easier and quicker.
|2015-07-27||Route: Keyhole Route
Posted On: 2015-07-28, By: mark342
Info: Still some snow near the top of the trough. No special gear needed. In my picture you can see climbers going up around it. Wasn‘t any harder than what you‘d find on the home stretch, in my opinion. Kind of a nice break from scrambling over rocks.
|2015-07-26||Route: Keyhole Route
Posted On: 2015-07-27, By: breezytrees
Info: No technical gear needed. Should have worn tennies/approach shoes but other conditions reports scared me into bringing boots, crampons, and axe. Totally unnecessary. Snow (ice) in Trough requires these items, but can be completely avoided by scrambling around on climbers left. Enjoy! Someone at the junction to the Loft route on Meeker retreated due to icy conditions on the rocks, apparently? FYI
|2015-07-26||Route: Keyhole Route
Posted On: 2015-07-27, By: rijaca
Info: No snow on route except for small amount near top of the trough. Snow can be bypassed to climbers left. No crampons/axe needed.
|2015-07-25||Route: Keyhole Route
Posted On: 2015-07-26, By: SHEEPAREHERDING
Info: Climbed longs for the first time via the keyhole route..it was amazing and well worth the climb. Was discouraged before climbing because I heard a lot of people saying you were going to need crampons and an ice ax to get past the trough..decided I would see for myself and was able to summit without the gear advised. While I would still advise using those tools, going to the left of the ice and snow is very doable..if you are determined and ready for some challenges go get some! Stay safe!
|2015-07-25||Route: Lambs slide (keyhole descent)
Posted On: 2015-07-25, By: alpha
Info: Climbed Lamb‘s Slide to Loft then summited via Clark‘s Arrow. Descended Keyhole route. Snow in Lamb‘s Slide was great. Traversing across top of the flying Dutchman was uneventful. Clark‘s Arrow is well cairned, though whatever route is marked didn‘t go past the arrow. It still worked just fine though. Homestretch has a couple small patches of snow/ice easily avoidable. Vast majority of people on Keyhole route had no technical gear. All but one party stuck to the rocks for ascent and descent while I was descending. There was a lot of issues with descenders raining rocks down. Bring your helmet.
|2015-07-24||Route: Loft - via East Longs Trailhead
Posted On: 2015-07-25, By: ridergirl
Info: We ascended the Loft yesterday 7/24 and descended the Keyhole. There is still snow in the loft couloir. We chose to avoid it all together and stayed climbers left. Missed the exit ramp on the left so did some route finding above and over the snow, then back left once above the water...there is a very manageable ledge to cross here, just wet. The sun is on the loft, looks soft. Wouldn‘t want to descend this right now. There is still snow in the trough with ice skirting the edges. We put on spikes and just went down the middle rather then descend on the right as we saw others rather ungracefully doing.
|2015-07-23||Route: Keyhole ascent; Loft Descent
Posted On: 2015-07-23, By: bmcqueen
Info: To augment the other CR from today, here are a few pics showing the key spots. Loft descent was much trickier than I was expecting. Exit ramps at the top are clear and dry, but way more steep snow to deal with than I was expecting.
|2015-07-23||Route: Keyhole Route
Posted On: 2015-07-23, By: pbakwin
Info: OK, so I‘m kind of a Longs Peak junkie. Notched my 58th ascent today... Up Kieners and down the Keyhole (since the North Face looked quite wet still). The thing is that there were a lot of people attempting the Keyhole and a lot of them not summiting. Why? There‘s about 100‘ of icy snow still in the Trough and most people are turning around there because either they don‘t have an ice ax or they don‘t know how to use the ice ax they brought. Hint: It has other functions than that of a walking stick! Anyway, with just a little courage you could climb around on the rocks to the left. People are getting to the summit without an ax! Once past this rather limited patch of snow things are quite clear to the summit. Go get it! Oh, and Kieners is in fantastic shape. No ice in Lambs quite yet.
|2015-07-19||Route: Keyhole Route
Posted On: 2015-07-20, By: ctubridy
Info: Summited via Keyhole Route on Sunday, July 19. Camped at Goblin‘s Forest the night prior, leaving for the trail at 5AM sharp. Beautiful sunrise above tree line. Very windy hike up to the Boulderfields but then it got calm through the Keyhole. The Ledges and Trough were clear and calm on the ascent, with the Trough still having quite a bit of ice and snow on the main route. Some folks were taking a harder approach on the left side of the Trough to stay on rock and many turned back since they didn‘t have equipment to tackle the ice. The Narrows and Homestretch were free of any ice or snow, but were quite sandy - making slipping a serious concern. Summited at 9:30AM. Only stayed up top for 15 minutes or so and weather started to come in. When I got back to the Trough, visibility was seriously poor and the mist was making the rock slippery and the snow soft. It was a really treacherous descent back to the Ledges. Had to self-arrest more than once. A few climbers were causing quite a bit of loose rock to fall near by as well. Not the most fun. Back through the Keyhole, the weather cleared and the rest of the descent was super pleasant.