Peak(s):  Casco Pk  -  13,908 feet
Date Posted:  10/25/2009
Modified:  06/12/2010
Date Climbed:   10/24/2009
Author:  Wyoming Bob

 Casco Peak - NE Slopes Route - winter conditions  

Believe ye not in the Independence Pass snotel site (0") as an indicator of winter's grip on the northern Sawatch for there is some serious snow in the valley of South Halfmoon Creek. Conditions in the valley were that of a nice winter day, with temps just below freezing, however the southeast ridge ridge of Casco offered blowing snow and ice on an off and on basis to keep the climbing honest.

The road to Halfmoon trailhead had but an inch of snow on Sat a.m. and just a patch here and there by Sat evening. Cannot vouch for the Sun a.m. snow as to how much is there now. Trip to Casco summit and back took 9 hours.

Trip report at

Thumbnails for uploaded photos (click to open slideshow):

 Comments or Questions

Sunday follow-up
02/05/2011 00:22
My group spent Saturday night in a much cheaper Leadville motel. We climbed Sunday.

When we pulled in at 9PM, it was snowing hard. Leaving at 7AM Sunday morning, the town had several inches of new snow and the road to the Lackawana Gulch TH on HWY 82 was treacherous. We also had left snowshoes behind and regretted it. Lackawana Gulch TH to the Lackawana/Casco saddle had 4"-30" trailbreaking. Overnight new snow average appeared to be 8". We summited via the South Ridge from the saddle w/ Lackawana. We also were too spent to pursue our original plans to reach Frasco and French and returned the same way we went up. The dog was cold from down in the trees to the ridge, then warmed up when his belly was out of the snow. We were cold on the summit ridge due to wind and Spindrift. The roundtrip on this side (virtually the opposite route of Wyoming Bob) was 7 1/4 hours. (5 up, 2 1/4 down.)

PS. we also had some confused discussions about which peak was which.

Wyoming Bob

Now I don‘t feel so bad . . .
11/30/2010 17:28
I spotted your post when I got back to Cheyenne and wondered how your group had made out. You likely drove past us as we scraped the windshield and looked beyond Massive wondering if the Channel 9 forecast of 9" was accurate for Lackawanna . . . whether we'd made the call as to whether we really wanted to fight a second ridge.

Agreed, it was snowing right nicely at 9 pm as you all pulled into town . . . we had just put the cap back on a bottle of Baileys, having toasted a good climb and made the decision to head for Cheyenne the next morning.

Congrats on the summit, looks like both of our groups had good days in the snow, the wind and the clouds. and . . . I think winter is here . . . for keeps if these two trips can speak for that section of the Sawatch.

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