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|Conditions Information||Posted By||Posted On|
|2015-08-05||Route: Keyhole Route
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
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.
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
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
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.).
|Phill the Thrill||2015-08-01||0|
|2015-07-31||Route: Cables/North Face
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
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
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
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
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
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
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)
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
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
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
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
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.
|2015-07-18||Route: Keyhole Route
Info: Bring an ice axe for all routes, you‘ll go faster. Loft: Mostly snow-free, but there‘s ~100-200‘ feet up high, right below and at you exit the Loft, to gain those ledges to the climber‘s L. Lambs Slide: Snow is getting more solid/icy, but still casual enough to climb in trailrunners shod with Kahtoola Hiking Crampons. Broadway: Entering Broadway from Lambs Slide, there‘s a ton of loose debris you‘ll need to navigate. Very easy to kick down stuff into Lambs Slide, so be careful. Other than that, Broadway is cruiser Kieners: Pretty Dry, except for that one part, which is just, "mostly dry" Home Stretch: Some snow, avoidable. Almost bought it at the very top, as there‘s invisible ice to trip up someone like me. Trough: Again, icy snow at the top 200‘ or so, lots of parties stopped there - there‘s no way to currently avoid it, so (again) bring an axe Rest of Keyhole: Snow Free Cables: Lots of lingering snow near or on the route. Lots of wet streaks coming down. Looks generally wet. But you love it.
|2015-07-17||Route: Cables Route
Info: There was still snow getting to the start of the technical climbing, but most of it can be avoided by going climber‘s left and scramble up to Chasm View. For the technical pitch, at 6 am there was water running down the cracks, as well as thin layer of verglas in the shaded areas. Above the technical pitch, the path to the summit crossed at least one snow field that was unavoidable. We used ice axe and microspikes to cross, which were sufficient. We didn‘t see anyone else at the summit, which is probably a good indicator of what the Keyhole route is like.
|2015-07-12||Route: Keyhole Route
Info: Summitted last Sunday. It was a sunny day but very windy. No snow until Trough but as others are writing, Trough is still full of snow. I saw some parties turning around at this point because of snow. We climbed with crampon and ice axe. There were some who were climbing without them, trying to trace the wall without snow. They‘ve made it but were very much struggling. Upper part of Trough is completely full of snow so you can‘t avoid it anway. Narrows are snow-free, but Homestretch is a bit challenging, since left-half of the route is still under snow and ice. The ice was very hard. My crampon was 6 points. I struggled a bit to keep friction when decending. I should have brought 12 points. If you choose climbing the face without snow (right half) you could do it but need to be very careful. Some parties were using rope here. We started the TH at 3:40am and returned 5:50pm. It is a long and tough course but worth challenging it. Be prepared, and have fun!