|2016-09-08||Route: South Slopes from Cataract Gulch
Posted On: 2016-09-09, By: desertdog
Info: Beautiful day weather wise, and I only saw one other person. I think this trip is much longer than the 12.7 miles described by Roach, so leave yourself plenty of time. The class 1 trail to the ridge is easy to follow. There was one section right past a small talus field that the trail has been flooded over due to the results of a beaver dam. Just go to the right of the willows and you will find a few cairns and small trail that will get you through this section. From the upper lake, the south slope is one mile. You will hike past a waterfall and then three large cairns. Turn right here. The slope is a long off trail slog to the ridge. The class 2+ ridge is short and relatively easy, but has plenty of exposure. This is a great area to explore, and well worth the long day of hiking.
|2015-07-04||Route: South Slope
Posted On: 2015-07-04, By: illusion7il
Info: Standard route from Cataract Gulch is All clear of snow but the basin is really soggy and there are 4 stream crossing about calf deep. Descended the Cuba Gulch route (Not recommended unless you are into willow bashing.) and it is very soggy as well with a few patches of snow that can be avoided.
|2013-05-04||Route: South slopes from Cataract TH
Posted On: 2013-05-07, By: Rainier_Wolfcastle
Info: Climbed Half Peak and Pt 13,164 as a day trip from Cataract Gulch TH on Saturday 5/4/13. There is zero snow on the road to the TH. The trail was 50% snow covered to 10.5K. We put on snowshoes for a couple of sections past this. Note there are at least 5 creek crossing, you will want poles for log crossings and will need to step in some shallow creek spots. Past treeline, you cross through 3 willow/boggy sections on your way to Cataract Lake, this is the worst part of the hike! Snowshoes are mandatory, choose your poison...crossing questionable ice/sidehilling in snowshoes/postholing in willows. Past the lake on the CO Trail section (if you take the long route, which I did), you still will want snowshoes, its just a mix of bare ground, scree, willows, 2 foot soft snow. The direct route from Cataract Lake looked like it might go in crampons...if you got a really early start and the snow firmed up. Above 12,800, all snow is avoidable to the summit. I never wore my microspikes or took the axe off my pack. Pic #1: Clearing around 10,500...next section of trees held deeper snow. Pic #2: Entire upper section of Half Peak from the East, summit is far right, Roach‘s class 3 more direct east route I believe would follow the continuous snow seen to the summit...snow too soft for me to attempt. Pic #3: Cataract Lake at 12,200, looking SE. Pic #4: Looking at the summit plateau from the East edge of the first plateau, with the catwalk section (airy, dry, class 2+). I was eyeing going down that snow, but it was too slushy to give it a go (with cliffs below).