|2016-06-27||Route: North slope
Posted On: 2016-06-28, By: blazintoes
Info: Completed a wild solo IPW loop from Brainard Lake. Long lake trail to Pawnee Pass, left to Shoshoni, back to the pass, Pawnee Pk, up Mt. Toll, 4 raps down Toll's north face, up Paiute then finally Audubon and down to the Mitchell Lake trail head ending with long, hot walk of shame on the road because the gate to Long/Mitchell Lake trailhead(s) was closed so will add 2 miles RT. The trail along Long Lake is clear with interspersed avoidable patches of snow. Up to Pawnee pass I veered right of the snow field to get to Shoshoni and avoided all snow. Pawnee pass and down the CDT is clear of snow. All ridges are also clear if you stay high. All north and east faces hold snow. Toll's north couloir is primo snow for spiky things like pons. I brought microspikes, which were useless so chose to rappel. Found an old pin about 2/3 the way down Toll. The remaining two ridges were clear. The trail down Audubon is all clear. ~14 mile day/~7,100 vert/11 hours Indian Peaks is spectacular!
|2016-06-11||Route: North slope
Posted On: 2016-06-12, By: hcky40
Info: Mitchell Lakes Trailhead currently closed and due to open on June 17. Parking available 2.5 miles down at the lower Brainard Lake Parking Lot - requires walking in/out the extra mileage along the paved road. Still a significant amount of snow on lower trail in the trees, made route finding challenging at times (particularly on the return). Trail is almost completely clear and dry above tree line with a few patches of snow along the trail and lower switchbacks. Anticipate this will melt out quickly over the next couple of weeks.
|2015-06-28||Route: Crooked Couloir
Posted On: 2015-06-28, By: adrenalated
Info: Crooked Couloir is in and climbing/skiing well. The choke will melt out very soon though, requiring a little rock hopping on skis but posing no issue for climbers. Probably will still have snow for another few weeks. Trail to Blue Lake is wet the entire way, with some snow to cross.
|2015-06-20||Route: North slope
Posted On: 2015-06-20, By: sakurai
Info: Brainard Lake Road open up to the lake, no trailhead parking yet. Trail passes plenty of snow patches and is very wet below treeline. Almost summer-like above treeline, with a few minor snowfields to pass (brought microspikes but did not need them).
|2014-06-25||Route: S slopes
Posted On: 2014-06-25, By: Monster5
Info: Pawnee Traverse dry. E slopes dry. Couloirs pretty much out. SE face of Pawnee still has continuous snow. Audubon/Paiute image Mohling/Lone Eagle: image
|2014-05-02||Route: North slope
Posted On: 2014-05-17, By: addrock528
Info: The Brainard Lake Road was still very snow drifty. I took my Mtn Bike up hoping I could ride most of the way to the TH, but only about 30% was rideable. By the time I got to Brainard Lake there was still a ton of snow... like standing on 8ft drifts. Some XC skiers had started at the Mitchell Lake TH, but they must have turned around before treelike b/c I saw no new tracks up there. I had to snowshoe/bushwack to find some recognizable trail. Some parts were steep and I used an ice axe and crampons. Once above treeline I could pick my way on windswept rocky sections the rest of the way without crampons. I stopped just above the big snowfield because it was excessively windy and I didn‘t feel like pushing for the summit. RT mileage b/c of the road was 12+mi.
|2013-03-30||Route: North slope
Posted On: 2013-03-31, By: ETA
Info: The road from the gate to the lake is packed and getting pretty bare save for a few areas where drifts are substantial. Once you reach the turn for Mitchell trailhead the snow gets deeper. You‘ll need skis or snow shoes to get through the trees. I followed a set of tracks from the trail head that didn‘t follow the trail proper, but rejoin the trail just below the first set of switchbacks heading up to the ridge. This route worked out fine and wasn‘t much longer if at all. Snow thins out about 11,500‘, there is one field in the bowl but easily avoided. Not much post holing up high, the wind has scoured the slopes.
|2013-01-06||Route: North slope
Posted On: 2013-01-08, By: fourseasoncyclist
Info: Brainard Lake road to Mitchell lake trail-head has enough snow to cross country ski to, but it will be gone soon as the road was already showing bare spots. The Brainard lake snowshoe trail is well packed. Route finding on the Audubon trail becomes difficult as you reach the first switchbacks in tree line. The snow was very soft even in the early morning. You WILL post hole even with snowshoes! Be ready to dig yourself out a few times and take gaiters. Once out of tree line the route gets better as the snow is blown off the mountain. Bring your micros! I tried to descend without mine on and regret the decision. The wind was strong as normal with Audubon. You are welcome to PM me with any questions. fourseasoncyclist
|2012-06-05||Route: Audubon TH, Paiute traverse
Posted On: 2012-06-06, By: shaunster_co
Info: Just a quick update on spring snow conditions. We did Audubon to Paiute and there really isn‘t any continuous snow until you shift more towards Toll or Pawnee Peak. One could down climb to hit a few of the lower fields - continuous to Blue Lake. A few pics attached. There is still some to be had wit a little route finding. The Audubon Trail was mostly clear of snow the whole way. We came back out the Lake Mitchell Trail from Blue Lake and there was snow almost the entire way from Blue Lake to Lake Mitchell.
|2012-04-20||Route: Standard Route
Posted On: 2012-04-20, By: k-berger
Info: Failed attempt at Audubon today. Turned around on the ridge around 12,000 feet due to very strong winds (much stronger than forecast) and low/no visibility. I was able to ride my bike to within a quarter mile of Brainard lake. There was about 6 inches of fresh snow on top of hard pack snow in the trees from the Mitchell lake trailhead. I broke trail to the ridge so there is a decent path now, none existed this morning. Snowshoes were needed today but they may not be necessary now. I don‘t have any updates on the ridge to the summit as I didn‘t see the mountain all day. Below are pictures of the view from Brainard and the turn off to the Mitchell lake road. My camera froze up so I don‘t have any other photos. Hope this helps someone!
|2011-10-16||Route: Standard Route from Beaver Creek Trailhead
Posted On: 2011-10-16, By: scramble
Info: I was surprised how little snow was on this route! You could probably even do it with sneakers but maybe your feet would get a little wet. There was maybe one location where someone had postholed, but the hard work is already done for you :-) and the holes were hard/solid. On the descent, some of the snow had softened up and was a little slushy/mashed potatoes. Gaters, traction, poles all stayed in my pack. There were some icy sections but they were on mostly flat ground. From the end of the class 1 trail to the cairned scramble to the summit was very windy! Those in our group more familiar with wind speeds said ~50 mph? The gusts sometimes knocked us off balance. But there were lots of shelters built from rocks at the summit and they blocked the wind perfectly. It was kind of cold in the wind and I put on snowpants and sweater/fleece/windbreaker over my long underwear. The views from the summit were some of the best I have seen in Colorado.