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Longs Peak  
Report
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Route  Conditions Information  Posted By   Posted On    Photos  Comments Likes Dislikes    
2014-12-11  Keyhole Route  Weather hovered in the high twenties and low thirties today, with no substantial winds to speak of, even near the summit. The various sections of the Keyhole route were quite a bit more navigable than they were last winter, with very little snow and much bare rock to walk/scramble on. Forest section: packed-in trail, traction devices not necessary. Boulder field: not much snow between the boulders. Lots of hopping around on bare rock required. Ledges: small amount of snow in sections, most of it easily avoided. I used microspikes in a few spots, and my ice axe was helpful as a confidence booster in one short section of snow. A trekking pole without a snow basket would have served just as well, probably. Trough: I clambered up almost entirely on bare rock, though one could likely approach the right side of the trough as a pure snow climb at the moment. My microspikes and ice axe proved helpful in a handful of spots, especially on the descent. The Narrows: some steep sections of consolidated snow definitely warrant the use of an ice axe here, and crampons would have been nice in place of microspikes. The Homestretch: so little snow that this climb was almost entirely on bare rock. What little snow there is can be avoided without difficulty. In summary, bag your winter ascent soon! Weather is pleasant right now, and the route is in remarkably easy condition considering it‘s winter. For equipment, make sure you have some form of traction for the upper sections, and carry either an ice axe or a trekking pole that could help brace you against a slip during the traverse of a few short but steep sections of snow. Michael Underwood   2014-12-12  0  2    Edit Delete 
2014-12-06  Keyhole Route  Forest section: 100% pack powder. Well traveled trail. No traction device needed. Above the tree line to Keyhole section: Patches of snow here and there. No traction device needed. NOTE: The flat section, about ~.5 mile just before the campground can be very icy and slippery. Microspikes are very useful, but not necessary. The ledge: Almost snow covered (~90%). Deep powder, but not very packed nor icy. Steel crampons and ice axes are HIGHLY recommended. The trough: Deep powder, ~70%. Steel crampons and ice axes are highly recommended. The narrow: 10% snow covered, keep the crampons on. The home stretch: barely any snow, keep the crampons on. 14erNewbie   2014-12-08  0     Edit Delete 
2014-10-25  Keyhole Route  Climbed the Keyhole route up Longs this morning. As Carl said in last week‘s conditions report, there is pretty minimal snow on the trail from the trailhead to the boulderfield. Once past the Keyhole, we were hiking on snow for just about the rest of the route. The Ledges section was nearly all covered in powdery snow, and we put on microspikes right away for traction. Past that, the Trough held variable snow, ranging from totally loose to quite firm, and there was generally more snow on the right side. Overall, I found that the right side (more snow) was better for climbing, instead of having to deal with the loose snow-covered rocks. The Narrows held firm snow for most of the traverse, and again, I found that traction (microspikes) and an axe were important to have on this section. Above that, the Homestretch was fairly straight-forward as there was a pretty continuous stretch of snow that allowed for a consistent boot pack all the way to the top. Overall, this was an awesome climb and the most fun I‘ve had on Longs! Essential gear included gaiters, axe, and microspikes (didn‘t carry crampons, although as more snow accumulates and gets wind packed, these will become more valuable). Also, on a warm day like today (high of 50 degrees on the peak), watch out for rapidly softening snow in areas like the Narrows and Homestretch which receive more sunshine. DanielL   2014-10-25 7  2  Edit Delete 
2014-10-19  The Notch  The Notch in October is a pretty interesting route, and more challenging than anything I have done to date. Most of my photos from technical sections are either blurry from water and sweat or I didn‘t take any because the climbing was fantastic. The hike up to the base of Lamb‘s Slide has some unconsolidated snow, but overall wasn‘t very bad. We geared up at the base of Lamb‘s Slide, and found it to be in very good condition. There was some sinking in the snow, but overall it was very good quality to the Broadway exit. Broadway was much, much easier than I thought it would be. With snow all the way across, we were able to traverse above the "step around move" to the base of the Notch without roping up. The beginning of the Notch had the worse snow of the entire route. It was deep sugar, and made for a tough 100 vertical feet. Past this bad snow though, the fun began. The notch couloir itself is in pretty awesome shape right now. It is a mixture of 60 degree neve, WI 2+, alpine ice, and contained 3 rock/ice steps to surmount. We roped up for 2 short sections, and in hindsight should have roped the whole thing, but the climbing was so great we soloed most of it. Once at the dogleg right the ice mixture subsided, and it was back to snow and rock. This required 2 short roped pitches up to the base of the final 5.4 pitch. First, let me say that this is not 5.4 in these conditions. We had made great time all day by soloing most of the route, but in these conditions, the final pitch took us 2.5 hours. I would grade it M4 as some of the upper ice was crap, and we had to dry tool across a slab. From here, the slabs to the summit ridge were dry and it was class 3 all the way up. We made the summit at 4:15, and descended the North Face. Overall, it was a fun, very long day in the mountains. I would recommend this route to anyone looking for a challenging mixed route up Long‘s this fall. JohnnyDangerous   2014-10-20 4  1 2    
2014-10-18  Keyhole Route  Very minimal snow until keyhole. From keyhole to summit 80% of route is snow and rock/snow mix. Ice axe and mountaineering boots were useful but didn‘t need crampons since snow warmed up. I don‘t like to get up before sunrise. Carl   2014-10-18  0  7 2  Edit Delete 
2014-10-04  Loft - via East Longs Trailhead  Hiked the loft today. Lots of ice near the ledge at the top. Super sketchy without crampons. Piece of cake with crampons. Snow on ledge is hard and easily possible. Keplingers couluor in good shape. Crossing to homestretch crampons advised due to ice but passible without. Homestretch some snow/ice but not much. Narrows easily passible but again wish I had the comfort of crampons. Loft has a bit of snow to deal with, ledges some snow easily passible. Nothing to worry bout. Good luck before the new_t storm. Just remember crampons advised any route. Get up there tomorrow! rambis_21   2014-10-04  0     Edit Delete 
2014-09-25  Keyhole Route  No snow until 1/4 way up trough, and it is mainly on the right side. Some spots are slick but it was avoidable. At the exit of the trough if you work your way to the far left there is a small crack/gully that will allow a safer accent over the crest, and avoid the icy run-off. The norrows was clear and homestretch was wet but very easy to avoid the areas of concern. Conditions were beautiful! finnicky7   2014-09-26  0     Edit Delete 
2014-09-20  Keyhole Route  Everything is clear as of 9/20/14 up to the Keyhole and Ledges. Narrows are good to go as well. Very little snow/ice in the Trough, and easy to avoid. The Homestretch is clear as well. I brought an ice ax and microspikes, but did not need them today. rkohler   2014-09-20 5     Edit Delete 
2014-09-17  Keyhole Ridge  Climbed the first two pitches of Keyhole Ridge today. The first pitch was considerably more snowy than it appeared from below - this made for some sketch-tastic snow smears. We bailed at the top of the first tower upon seeing the approach slabs to the third pitch (after the ledge traverse) completely iced over - it may be possible to pick an ice free path but one was not immediately obvious to us. We bailed from the same anchor most use to rap to the traverse ledge (one 30m rap plus some spicy downclimbing gets you to the standard route). The bomb jug block that might be used for a down climb (directly below the rap tat) is loose and ready to go with a good solid tug. I wouldn‘t recommend yarding on this thing too hard. Perhaps the snow/ice will melt away soon but the slabs below the third pitch got direct sun for less than 30 min (we actually sat and waited hoping for a miracle). North face route/raps looked icy Dave B   2014-09-17 3  1 1    
2014-09-14  Loft - via East Longs Trailhead  attempted the Loft on Sunday. There was too much ice in the ledge traverse to the left to get out of the couloir safely, so we bailed... mountaingoat-G   2014-09-16  0     Edit Delete 
2014-09-13  Keyhole Route  Ledges have small patches of ice that are easily avoided. On the upper part of the Trough there is a good amount of snow. Narrows/Homestretch has some solid patches of ice. I used microspikes from about the middle of the Trough to the summit and they worked fine. The wind was out of control on Saturday which definitely made things interesting. Guevargas   2014-09-14  0  2    Edit Delete 
2014-09-13  Loft - via East Longs Trailhead  Attempted Meeker and Longs by the Loft couloir today. The ramp from the couloir to the Loft is completely impassable due to thick ice. It would be possible, albeit dicey, with crampons. The route was totally snow free up until the ramp exiting the couloir. stoopdude   2014-09-13  0     Edit Delete 
2014-09-03  Loft and Keyhole  The weather was gorgeous today. No clouds; but some patchy wind gusts of perhaps 40mph. The wind didn‘t bother me too much; but it caused multiple parties I talked with to turn around before summitting. My buddy and I hiked up via the Loft. There were a few patches of ice in the Loft Couloir which we avoided; but at the cost of having to do some class 4 moves with a bit more exposure than might be considered the minimum amount for this route. We reached the summit at 8:45 after 5 hours of hiking. We descended via the Keyhole and there wasn‘t ice in the Narrows that I can recall. Of course, it looks like there are storms moving in for the next several days so the beautiful conditions I had today are subject to change. jladderud   2014-09-03  0  7      
2014-09-01  Keyhole Route  Climbed the Loft and descended the Keyhole today, and the Loft proved to be the much easier route. The trough, narrows, and homestretch have 1-3" of snow and there is plentiful ice to be wary of. Descending this was very tedious; microspikes would have been very helpful. The Loft has some ice, but it is easily avoided unlike on the Keyhole. I would venture that both routes will require some sort of traction within a week or so. mlayman09   2014-09-01 1     Edit Delete 
2014-08-30  North Face (Cables)  Cables route has a significant amount of ice. The ice is not thick enough to warrant crampons or screws for protection, but not thin enough to melt during the day. Ice may compromise protection that you place. A group ahead of us bailed after about 25 feet because of the ice. Leader bailed about 75 feet up the first pitch because there was a rock obstacle that was iced over. The crack that he wanted to use for protection was "choked with ice". He thought he might have been able to aid over the obstacle, but ran out of gear because we were planning on summer conditions based on some previous reports. Moving out onto the slab was no go because water was running down it, increasing the likelihood of a fall (and again he was already quite a ways above his last piece of protection). If you decide to go, bring extra gear so that you can place more protection and/or aid over this section. It‘s not all bad news... A group of two soloed the Cables today. They managed to get around the aforementioned obstacle by traversing far to the right over a much more exposed area. However they looked pretty committed once they traversed around (i.e. they could not turn around). It seems like it will take at least a few consecutive days of warm temps with no precipitation to get the Cables back to drier conditions. pseudoghost   2014-08-30  0       
2014-08-29  Keyhole Route  The week of recent precipitation covered the last portion of the boulder field in snow and ice, making even that portion slippery and time consuming. It had melted off by late morning, but we opted to not attempt the route after the keyhole. It appeared the higher portions of the rest of the route were spotted with snow and frost. We were concerned that the homestretch would be wet and icy. Several hikers proceeded on, however I‘m unsure if they summited or not. Reports from climbers attempting the cables route indicated that route too was icy. It‘s Autumn in the mountains! NatureGuy   2014-08-30  0     Edit Delete 
2014-08-18  Keyhole Route  I hit the long‘s keyhole route and it was a great time, not overly crowded. HOWEVER* I was told to leave the trailhead between 12a-2a to beat the crowds thru the trough. Myself, along with about 6 other hikers, all who left the t.h. between 1a-2:15a, ended up at the keyhole before 4:30a. The sun did not give enough light to move thru the keyhole until after 5:30a, and it‘s rising later everyday. We sat as a frozen cold and highwind blown group of miserable anxious hikers for over an hour, some of us close to two hours. At the keyhole the wind was ripping and the rocks were freezing cold still. I would say, plan accordingly to your hiking pace and sunrise for the day, check mileage, and hit the Keyhole within half an hour of sunrise. That would leave plenty of time to get up and off before noon yet still give the opportunity to be an early riser and even let the rock warm up a bit. tree_beard   2014-08-25  0  1  Edit Delete 
2014-08-12  Keyhole Route  Beautiful Day on Longs. Made it to the parking lot at 3:30 AM and I‘m pretty sure I got the last spot, so get there early! Almost full moon made hiking in the dark pleasant. There was no ice anywhere along the route, and the weather was fantastic, making for a very low stress day. Lots of people and the trough though, and falling rocks made me nervous a couple of times, so a helmet in this portion is a good idea. On a sour note, the amount of trash that my friend and I found filled up both of our backpacks. Other than that, conditions were just about perfect! AndyBick   2014-08-12  0     Edit Delete 
2014-08-07  Keyhole Route  Just summited my first 14er! Read the conditions report from 8/2/14 and wanted to post an update for all who are looking at Longs. Left the Trailhead at 4:15am, thought this might be too late but hiked and climbed strong, made the Keyhole by 7:15 and the summit by 9:15. However from talking with others on the summit many left at 2am, so take care to think about how fast/slow you might go to determine your trailhead start time. Also, a storm rolled in by 9:30, with snow and rain quickly making our descent a bit slippery. Always be prepared with rain and jacket gear, as it got down to 45F in a hurry, really cold rain. Due to the wet rock a girl ahead of us slipped and hit her head, and clearly had a concussion. All of us rallied to help her down, a testament to the greatness of people. I also saw many people continuing up in spite of the slippery rock and deeper storm clouds coming in. Some others turned back...storm clouds roll in very fast on Longs. IMHO Longs is a challenging but doable 14er, go with respect and confidence but stay within yourself and you will be safe. There is very little ice left, but any precipitation will make the rock slick and very challenging if not dangerous. Ended up doing a 10 hour round trip, including dealing with a traffic jam on the way down and waiting to make sure Forest Rangers got to this girl‘s help. For those who are not used to technical trail/rock, prepare for a slow long day, and an amazing view and experience! Well worth it!!! chwoodward   2014-08-07 5     Edit Delete 
2014-08-02  Keyhole Route  Longs Peak has been one of those Peaks that i‘ve always wanted to summit. Growing up going to the National Park with my family, and seeing it towering over everything in site made the desire increase even more. August 2nd my brother and I got to the Longs Peak Trailhead at 2:30am, the parking lot was stacked full but we managed to find one open spot at the end of the lot. Hiking with headlamps made the trek through the tree line and initial tundra section fly by. By 5:40 (sunrise) we were at the Keyhole, made some coffee and ate a simple breakfast. Watching the Sun rise over Mt. Lady Washington was by far on the most memorable experiences i‘ve ever had in my years hiking. By 6:30am we were energized and ready to make the rest of the ascent to Longs summit. Trekking through the ledges was an easy task. Follow the bullseye‘s exactly as their marked and you‘ll have no problem (a few slick slabs of granite, so watch your step.) Next was the Trough, it was definitely a bit more steep than I had envisioned it being, but it honestly wasn‘t as hard as it looks. It takes time, and their were quite a few patches of snow and ice that had formed, but they were easily avoidable. The Narrows section was next, and this is where things for us got a bit sketchy. Water from the previous days melt, had frozen that night along the left side, and their were patches of snow throughout this section. We took it extra slow, found solid hand holds before making our next move, and eventually made it to the home stretch section at 8:00am. So this is the section that I must give much warning too. As of yesterday, August 2nd, the homestretch was dangerously covered in patches of black ice. No snow, but lots of ice throughout this part. I don‘t think we would have even attempted this part had not so many people already been doing so. It seemed like every other person was turning back, but at the same time, there seemed to be plenty of people going up. We followed a crack up the right side of the home stretch, as it provided plenty of hand holds. About half way up, a girl descending began to slide down the granite face. She made it about 15 feet, before she finally grabbed a rock. Everyone around us, including ourselves felt the weight of what we were really doing. By 8:30 we reached the Summit, and marveled at the incredible view of the Front Range, Longs Provides. Knowing that we had to descend what we just went up. By 9:00am we decided to head back down, as the sun had finally made it way over the summit and was heating up the homestretch. Inch by inch was crawled down the homestretch, carefully finding adequate foot holds. There was an Exodus of climbers heading down with us, and thus we relayed information to each other of where ice was, where to put our feet and so on. I will add that some, not all of the ice was beginning to melt by 9:15 or so... It took us a good 2 hours to make it back to the Keyhole, partly because of the amount of people heading down, but majorly because of the conditions that we were all working with. One climber behind us remarked "this is more dangerous than winter hiking right now, at least in the winter you have the appropriate gear and are prepared for those conditions, here we are all prepared for summer hiking and just have hiking boots on." The Trough down to the Trailhead was easy, but we felt fortunate to be safe, okay and to have summited it. I‘m only writing this because the most current report that we got before heading out, was that there was not signs of snow or ice along the hike. We prepared accordingly for those conditions, and experienced quite the opposite. Its a hike worth doing for sure, just make sure your prepared for a variety of conditions. hlawrence   2014-08-03 7  3    Edit Delete 

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