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Kit Carson Peak  
Report
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Route  Conditions Information  Posted By   Posted On    Photos  Comments Likes Dislikes    
2012-11-27  (any)  Another partial-report-by-request. Since the snow on the ~10th there has been no additional weather. Rare tiny packets of snow remain on the ground around 8400‘; I doubt there are any trailhead access issues on the west side. A reasonable amount of snow is still visible up higher, but much has melted. North-facing slopes and gullies probably hold a fair amount; Challenger N slopes and Kit Carson avenue would likely be among those. Snow on south-facing ridges and slopes should be avoidable. I would guess. No clue about the eastern approaches, though the wet valley side gets plenty of sun too. Photo 1: 13546, 13580, 13151, Challenger, Kit Carson. 13580‘s lack of any visible snow is pretty striking. jdorje   2012-11-27 1       
2012-11-11  (any)  A partial conditions report, by request. There was 1-2" of snow at 8400‘. There was certainly snow higher up but probably less than elsewhere. Image 1 shows Pt13546; image 2 shows Pt12740. Image 3: Pt13546, Pt13580, 13151, Challenger, Kit Carson. jdorje   2012-11-11 3       
2012-10-14  East Ridge  Photo taken during a 10/14 hike of Humboldt‘s East Ridge. If the snow on Humboldt was any indication, the north aspects will hold the snow for some time, but the southern and southeastern aspects were already melting quickly. The deepest drifts we experienced on Humboldt were regularly spaced above 13,500, powdery, and averaged 3"-6" deep, maxing out at 12" in a few places. Neil   2012-10-15 1     Edit Delete 
2012-09-30  From Challenger Point  The snow is slowly accumulating. The first photo was taken the morning of 9/30 at 8:45am. Some melted throughout the day, but more clouds/snow visited the peak during the day. On the slopes of Challenger Point, the melted snow is creating an icy base with new snow accumulating on top. The second photo was taken 13,000+ feet on Challenger Point and shows the snow between and covering the rocks. EM_in_CO   2012-10-01 2     Edit Delete 
2012-09-22  From Challenger Point  Some lingering snow on northern aspects of Challenger and Kit Carson (see the picture). No need for gaiters, though. Otherwise, summer conditions prevail. esagas   2012-09-23 1     Edit Delete 
2012-09-17  Willow Creek Approach  Snow on 12th (picture 1). 97% melted by 14th (picture 2). As of the 17th, almost no snow at all is visible from the valley (just a bit on the north face of Challenger). There does not appear to be any new snow on the 17th. jdorje   2012-09-12 2  1    Edit Delete 
2012-06-24  North Ridge  The lower section of the hike is extremely dry and the trail gets dusty. Once you cross over to the east side it is more green. Once you are at the top of the pass the Columbines are plentiful and in full bloom. The hike to the North Ridge is snow free, but there is one marshy area to watch out for. It is really straight-forward; just aim for the cliff bands. The grassy ledges were easy to navigate, the ridge is mostly in sight at this point so choose your path. The North Ridge was surprisingly snow-free, we brought axes but did not use them except to cross the Challenger couloir on the descent. The ridge was a blast, but it definitely demands your full attention. Holds were solid, but there are a few sections they are hard to find. Avenue is snow-free except a few patches that are completely avoidable. The descent from Challenger still sucks. Pic 1: Kit Carson and the North Ridge Pic 2: General idea of rock and angle, sorry I am blocking the view Pic 3: Avenue Pic 4: Standard route up Challenger Cool Hand Luke   2012-06-25 4  2    Edit Delete 
2012-06-20  From Challenger Point  The avenue is passable, but one area is a little tricky right now. The first photo shows the snow you can see from Challenger. Number 2 show a little choke point on the other side of the avenue which should be carefully crossed. ChrisM   2012-06-22 2     Edit Delete 
2012-06-19  From Challenger Point  From the summit of Challenger, the view of Kit Carson avenue (ascending portion) is partially covered in snow. With closer inspection, the snow can be avoided by carefully navigating closer toward the cliff edge. The descending portion of the avenue has several snow patches, all avoidable except for one kick-step on the last patch before entering the gully. No traction devices or ice axe were used. EmmaM   2012-06-20  0     Edit Delete 
2012-06-16  From Challenger Point  You could see the smoke settling in Alamosa county as we drove closer to the town of Crestone. I wasnt happy that we were breathing that in but it made for a really cool/weird sunrise photo. See photo 1. On Saturday the day we climbed smoke was not much of a factor. It was a long but fun day on Challenger and Kit Carson. The biggest problem were the Mosquitos from 8900 to tree line. As long as you kept moving they were not to bad. The trail was pretty dusty until around 11000 as well. We started just after midnight and before the lake it was so warm even in the middle of the night I was down to a tank top. I was told that I should camp at Willow Lake and I really should have listened. That lake was beautiful with one flowing waterfall and one frozen one. I have pictures if anyone is interested send me a PM. There was a decent amount of scree and lose rock as we ascended challenger. There was a couloir that you could of climbed up with crampons that paralleled the trail from about 12,750 to 13,900ft. We traversed the very top of it early in the morning and the snow was very firm. The standard trail was totally dry until the avenue on Kit Carson. See picture 2. There was some snow but it is easy to walk around it. We brought microspikes but never used them. Picture 3 taken of the Crestones just before we descended the second part of the avenue. My favorite part of the trip was free climbing up a low class 5 section that my other buddy also named Ryan (Dchild10) mentioned jokingly "hey we should climb up that" and I said ok and we ended up doing it and had a blast. See picture 4. If anyone knows if that route has a name let me know. We got a little off route but as we topped out we could see other easier sections that eventually crossed the standard route just before the summit. The decent was long but straight forward. I love the rock in the sangres. kushrocks   2012-06-17 4  1    Edit Delete 
2012-06-15  From Challenger Point  Though visibly much smaller than last week, snow on the first portion of the Avenue can still be seen from the valley. Also, expect mosquitos. jdorje   2012-06-15  0     Edit Delete 
2012-06-09  The Prow  The route is in great shape! No snow on the direct finish, and we were able to dance around the Avenue snow to get to the NW Face finish. Descent down the South Col slabs is entirely snow-free. Doug Hemken   2012-06-18  0       
2012-06-08  From Challenger Point  The first part of the Kit Carson Avenue before the first "Notch" required ice axe and crampons. The ice was hard to penetrate in some sections and was covered with 2-6 inches of very soft grainy snow on top. I estimate this will not be the case in 2-3 weeks. rkhaun   2012-06-09 3     Edit Delete 
2012-06-08  From Challenger Point  Snow on the north-facing aspect of the avenue is still visible from the valley. Persistent! jdorje   2012-06-08  0  1    Edit Delete 
2012-06-02  From Challenger Point  Considerable snow on north face challenger point. kit carson avenue still requires ice ax and crampons. gprandall   2012-06-03  0     Edit Delete 
2011-10-03  From Challenger Point  I camped Saturday night below Willow Lake and on Sunday did Challenger Point and Kit Carson. It was bone dry. There was no snow, no mud - just beautiful climbing. I had been checking the weather reports all last week which we indicating rain (making me think snow at elevation) but it must have never came. Fall colors were peak. Enjoy... BirdMan   2011-10-03  0     Edit Delete 
2011-10-01  North Ridge  North Ridge is generally clear of snow as of Saturday, October 2, 2011. Wentzl   2011-10-03 1     Edit Delete 
2011-09-28  From Challenger Point  The route is almost totally clear of snow. There is some snow on the beginning part of the avenue that is very avoidable. Once you cross to the south side of the avenue and beyond, there is no snow. There are not many cairns so really pay attention to where you are going once in the gully. The gully climb is not very difficult. Weather was really warm and calm winds on the summit. Colors are almost at their peak on willow creek trail. Really nice climb for this time of the year. mrschaible   2011-09-29  0     Edit Delete 
2011-09-25  From Challenger Point  The route from Challenger is mostly clear with avoidable snow pathces. The North side of the blvd. has snow in it but is aslo avoidable. The South side of the blvd. and the peak are clear of snow. I like it on top   2011-09-25 1  1    Edit Delete 
2011-09-18  From Challenger Point  Route was clear up to about 13000‘, merely muddy on the descent to Willow Lake. Above 13K, there was about 4-6" of snow on the ground all the way to the summit of KC. There were a few tricky spots getting up to the notch on Challenger, but once up on the ridge crest the going was easy. The KC/Challenger saddle was manageable. The Avenue is getting covered in slanting snow, especially with all the snow sloughing off from higher on the mountain and collecting there. The gully beyond is steep, but manageable with care, and it gets a bit easier higher up. Verglas was present early in the morning, but melted off somewhat later on. The snow is melting rapidly, but there‘s a lot of it...not sure if enough will melt off for this one to be "easy" again before winter. Highly, highly recommend an ice axe. Crampons are unnecessary, but microspikes or yaktrax wouldn‘t hurt. Don‘t recommend this one for a first-time snow climb! ChrisinAZ   2011-09-19 4       

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