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|Conditions Information||Posted By||Posted On|
|2015-06-21||Route: Keyhole Route
Info: Did not summit today, but hiked up to the Boulder Field. I was surprised by the lack of snow, given some of the reports I had read. Granted the trail was a bit of a stream coming out of Granite Pass, but there was practically no snow on the trail before the Boulder Field. Though I didn‘t go beyond, there was obviously some snow on the steeper section leading up to the Keyhole. And, of course, beyond the Keyhole is another story. There was also very little snow in Jim‘s Grove. Three short snowfields at the end, none of which required any gear to negotiate. I imagine they will be melted out quickly.
|2015-06-20||Route: North Face
Info: still a lot of snow holding on the north face and keyhole routes, but there hasn‘t been an overnight freeze so the snow is really soft and variable firmness and depth. Didn‘t summit Longs but here‘s some info and pics on the area. The trail is mostly dry/snow free to the boulderfield with the occassional small drift. Expect these to be gone in the next week. In the boulderfield, it‘s very wet with water flowing down the trail. There is also a sheet of snow undercut by cold water pools (a cold posthole) in spots. Sloppy wet snow in boulderfield. There is a snow ramp up to the Keyhole and up the North Face. Coverage is there but snow is soft and highly variable. Loft is full of snow. Mt Lady Washington is basically dry. Storm Peak has snow caking the east face, not too deep but soft and highly variable. Snow can be mostly avoided by going up the north ridge. Snow is melting very fast and expect this to be mostly melted out by next weekend, but still very wet with running water. I also got a good look at Glacier Gorge from Storm Peak and the whole upper gorge is still coated in snow.
|2015-06-17||Route: Loft - via East Longs Trailhead
Info: Went up Flying Dutchman‘s Couloir and descended Lambs Slide. Started up couloir 7:55 am, snow was softer in the sun, firm in the shade. Crux was continous ice/snow to climber‘s right, melted out at top on left. Roughly WI 3+ Met another party that turned back from Kiener‘s due to unstable snow on Broadway.
|2015-06-10||Route: Up N Face down Keyhole
Info: Went up the N Face and down the Keyhole this morning. There‘s the usual drifts on the trail to treeline, but the snow is well packed. Above that patchy snow up to the Boulderfield which is all snow and kind of huge slush pond in spots. Freeze line was quite high (13k+) last night. Drizzle or light snow most of this morning. NF is 100% snow and quite good, though exceptionally soft today so that I felt there was a non-zero possibility of wet slab. Once the next warm spell hits it probably won‘t be 100% snow anymore. The good line is on the slabs climber‘s left of the old cables, which are melted out. Keyhole is also nearly 100% snow above the Keyhole itself. Homestretch was good & firm, Narrows had super soft, sketchy snow (I am going to get flushed off the ledge???), Trough had good, soft, glissadable snow & more snow than I‘ve ever seen in there (good ski!), Ledges again super soft, saturated snow. Charlie N. has some photos of the NF from Monday morning which give a good sense of it, though clearly the snow was much more firm. http://charlienuttelman.blogspot.com/p/blog-page_8.html
|2015-06-04||Route: North Face
Info: Inspired by Dan‘s beautiful photos yesterday, had to go sneak in a clean descent of the NF before the slabs melt out. Hard freeze from 11,500‘ to 13k. Bit softer on the face (ranged from toe to calf depth), but still not wet. Face skied beautifully, with slightly better freeze on climbers left. Slabs go clean and overall ski is pretty moderate, just dont fall or go too far right. Skis on for 3k from summit. Some skiing and walking got us to goblin forest, then walking to car. Dropped in a bit after 8:30. I wouldnt want to be much later than that without a way harder freeze on the face itself.
|2015-06-02||Route: Keyhole Route
Info: I was just up on top of Mount Lady Washington this morning for some sunrise photography. Of special interest in my blog entry are the photos of the snow cover, especially a good close-up of the snow cover on the Cable Route area of Longs. It‘s getting warm, so things will most likely change quickly over the next few days. Here is the link: http://www.danieljoderphotography.com/colorado-summits-mount-lady-washington-13281-full-moon-and-heavy-snow/ Up the Longs Trail and MLW East Ridge, I used bare boots, microspikes, and snowshoes at varying times along the route. Glad I carried the latter, for sure. Saw tracks leading to the Keyhole through the Boulderfield (which is just a field of white).
|2015-05-30||Route: Keplinger`s Couloir
Info: Skied Keplinger‘s and The Flying Dutchman this Sat (3/30) & Sunday (3/31). Good freeze on Friday night. Not so great on Sunday. Keplinger‘s - Coverage was great on The Homestretch and the couloir itself. TDF - The crux of mixed rock/ice section is snow covered and skiable. Was able to skin/ski from 10k (little lower on the wild basin side). Pictures of both lines on this blog posting - http://www.skithegarage.blogspot.com/2015/06/longs-peak-keplinger-couloir-and-flying.html Enjoy - Brad
|2015-05-20||Route: Keyhole Route
Info: Didn‘t climb to the summit today, just some photos and info to the trail junction: fresh snow early this morning, but melting out fast about 1/2 mile below timberline. snowshoes are very helpful, although the traction it gave was our biggest help. Some evidence of instability with the warm temperatures today on the approach to Chasm Lake from the trail junction (rolling snow balls, sluffing, unsupportive snow, crumbling ice and rock, etc.). Trail was fairly easy to follow the whole way, although another few inches could cover our tracks fairly easily.
|2015-05-12||Route: Keyhole Route
Info: Two skiers triggered a slide on the north face - glad they made it out OK. link CAIC Report
|2015-05-11||Route: N Face
Info: Secondhand info here, but Longs N Face looking somewhat "in."
|2015-05-02||Route: Keplinger`s Couloir
Info: The snow coverage on Longs Peak from the summit to Wild Basin is amazing for skiing. The ski conditions of the Homestretch and ramp leading to Keplinger‘s Couloir are very good IMO. The couloir itself consists of about 70% avalanche debris, but if you time it well and get lucky with the weather the skiing is still quite good... at least much better than I was thinking it would be on the ascent. I didn‘t take any photos, but below is a link to a video I put together. The lighting was inconsistent and washed out a bunch of snow detail, but still paints the picture of coverage. Also included some photos my partner took. https://youtu.be/W4IFb2gYnik
|2015-04-25||Route: Loft - via East Longs Trailhead
Info: This information might not be too useful after today‘s storm, but I figured I would post it anyway. I only went to Chasm junction but got some beta photos that could be useful. Basically there was a lot of snow. A party of two was headed up Martha‘s, I saw a group of three climbing the loft, and two climbers headed up Lambs slide.
|2015-04-13||Route: Keyhole Route
Info: Conditions are rapidly changing, of course. But this morning the winter trail was good, direct and well packed to treeline. Above there, patchy snow which was firm in the morning. Did not use spikes up or down. Crampons and ax from the Keyhole on up. Nice firm grippy snow - any fluff got blown to Kansas yesterday. There are some "mixed" sections along the Ledges and Narrows. Homestretch has nice steps kicked in.
|2015-03-24||Route: Loft - via East Longs Trailhead
Info: This report is only to the BoulderField checkpoint (13000 feet or so) as the melting snow was too much of a risk. It was barely 11:00 before you could notice the snow slushing up quickly. We used our brains and did not continue in fear of slides, despite having rope and chained + 1/2" spiked crampons the risk was too great especially with the amount of energy it took just to get to the checkpoint. I might have gone further if we had made better time before the melt started but it was really dicey and barely any visible packed trail passed this checkpoint. As for the start of the trail it was cold in the morning about 15-30 degrees @ 7am. First official day of spring supposedly but not here at 9k feet. Trail head thru to the treeline was somewhat packed snow with a good amount of driftsnow on top maybe 4-8 inches most spots. We were so glad to bring some good crampons with straps also comfortable hike boots with gaiters. The path is completely covered and blown over with driftsnow passed the treeline. 2" to 3‘ of snow on top or between the rocks, stepped in between two rocks which had about a 4 foot gap in between them only to sink to my waist with one leg and almost rolled my knee. Insane drifts and quickly changing temperatures combined with steep vertical ascents.
|2015-03-22||Route: Keplinger`s Couloir
Info: We climbed Keplingers Couloir on the south face of Longs via an overnight from the Sandbeach Lake trailhead (8320‘). We booted up the Sandbeach Lake trail and left it just before reaching Sandbeach Lake at 10280‘. We put on snowshoes there and enjoyed a relatively easy bushwack to our campsite just east of the small pond at 11220‘. There was minimal postholing. The next morning we enjoyed excellent snow in Keplingers, although you have to weave around a bit at the top to stay on continuous snow. It was perfect styrofoam snow with no signs of instability. The exit left under the Palisades prior to reaching the Notch was in excellent shape, as well as the finish on the Homestretch. The snow currently is in late spring shape on the south face of Longs! https://plus.google.com/u/0/photos/114208121135095282472/albums/6129666725548260529
|2015-03-15||Route: Notch Couloir
Info: What a mission... Skinned all the way to Chasm Junction. Broadway was typical Broadway. Lower part of the Notch is good for skiing but after the dogleg it is pretty nasty. The rock before the top of the couloir is still exposed so if you want to ski this route you should wait for more snow. That pitch was incredibly difficult climbing... Also, the choke and dogleg was very difficult. If you go anytime soon you will be swimming in 60 degree snow. After all this we ended up climbing quite a few other routes all over the mountain and finally went to the summit at 5am, then dug a hole under a rock and went to bed.
|2015-03-14||Route: Loft - via East Longs Trailhead
Info: Climbed the loft today. Snow conditions seemed safe -- the slope up to the loft was thin powder on top of consolidated snow, keplinger‘s was powder on rock, we didn‘t notice any issues with buried slabs. The homestretch had about a foot of firm snow on it, making it an easy snow climb. We didn‘t see any footsteps coming from the keyhole or the north face, not sure what shape those routes are in.
|2015-02-05||Route: Keyhole Route
Info: Summitted on 1/29/2015 Hiking at the trailhead by 4am, trail was packed and windblown all the way to the keyhole. Microspikes were helpful the whole way. Snowshoes were not necessary the entire trip. Beyond the keyhole, crampons made light work of the ledges and trough... there was quite a bit of icy snow patches in these areas. Most of the targets were visible. Narrows and home stretch had patches of snow that could be mostly avoided allowing one to get by without microspikes or crampons. No wind, high 20s or low 30s temp, cloud layer around 11k, but above that we were mainly in sunshine. On the way back the trough and ledges had warmed up a bit and softened... we were glad to have brought ice axes/tools. Took 9 hours to summit and 5 1/2 hours to descend. We enjoyed the beautiful views of the summit for 1/2 an hour and enjoyed some Oskar Blues in Lyons, afterwards. Tough day but I think she‘s ready for Rainier now! Good luck everyone! God Bless! John #6
|2015-01-13||Route: Keyhole Route
Info: We summited Longs via the Keyhole Route around 3:30pm on Tuesday. It was spitting snow and crampons are definitely useful to get up the final slabs to the summit. Rime ice and light snow cover the rocks above 13k making for a slick ascent. One word of caution....There is a wind loaded slope on the Ledges section of the route right below the start to the NW couloir. We descended approximately 100 feet on rocks to avoid this slope and gain the trough. We camped at a boulder outcropping lower in the trough and exited via Glacier Gorge the next day. The exit to the Gorge is straightforward, and we encountered a snowshoe trail pretty quickly in the valley.
|2015-01-10||Route: Chasm Lake
Info: Per Tom Pierce‘s description, no floatation needed. Packed snow/ice so spikes might be handy. Final slope over to Chasm bench was a little suspect, so we turned back. Quick pit revealed 10" wind slab on 2-3" sugar, on top of another 10" consolidated layer then soil. Didn‘t isolate column for compression, but if you head out, be aware and tread lightly!!!