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|Conditions Information||Posted By||Posted On|
|2015-05-21||Route: East Slope
Info: Barr trail wet and muddy up till about 9K feet (just past Experimental forest turnoff), but is dry and in good shape up to near Barr Camp. Near Barr Camp there is patchy snow. Neil at Barr Camp said they got several inches earlier in the week, and said there was still a ton of snow above treeline.
|2015-05-13||Route: East Slope
Info: I left for Barr camp around 5am via the Barr Trailhead. The trail was a bit wet and slippery for around the first one to one and a half miles, where you will also find a fallen tree bridging the trail about 2 and a half feet off the ground. After that the trail is dry until the experimental forest sign. There‘s a lot of runoff thru there including a rather large puddle right in the middle of the trail. You‘re clear again until you hit 5-6 miles where the snow starts to get patchy on the trail, runoff makes the trail a stream for a stretch, and you run into a limited amount of ice close to the camp itself. Against my better judgement, I explored above Barr for 3 hours after a quick stop for breakfast. It was, to put it lightly, rather snowy. I had no snowshoes or proper trekking poles, so I was post-holing at least once every ten steps. I was following a gentleman named Tom‘s footsteps, and he wasn‘t posting very often, so it may be my relative inexperience. It did snow/lightly hail while I was up there, but not much by the time I left. I wound up a few hundred meters below tree line at my turnaround time of noon. Today was pretty warm in the springs, so I would expect more melt off today, but we also had a quick storm run through this evening that may have dumped some snow up there. Your guess is as good as mine there. P.S. This is my first TR. Let me know if there‘s anything I left out, or that you want to know and I‘ll see what I can tell you.
|2015-05-11||Route: Northwest Slopes
Info: Climbed Pikes Peak from the Crags on 5/11. My group had the mountain completely to ourselves - didn‘t see a soul all day. Parked just beyond the Mennonite camp. We used snowshoes TH to TH - I‘d call them mandatory in the powdery fluff covering the mountain. On the way down, the trail below treeline had melted significantly during the day. Barring more snow, will likely be dry to treeline soon. Above treeline was all powder, and tons of it. The summit was extremely windy, with blowing snow being a major annoyance. We stayed on top maybe 5 minutes to painfully snap a few pics before retreating. See pics...
|2015-04-13||Route: Northwest Slopes
Info: Route is about 50% dry. Microspikes helpful. Did not carry snowshoes. Only post holed a few times. Storm coming....
|2015-04-11||Route: "Y" Couloir
Info: We climbed the Y couloir left branch via an approach from the Crags TH with descent of Rumdoodle Ridge to Bottomless Pit. The snow on the apron and to the split is very firm, perhaps the most firm I have seen it in the 10 years I have been on the north face. Once past the split, the conditions in the left branch to the 4th class rock step were more late winter, which is typical. There is some wallowing in this section. The final 300 feet is back to very firm conditions, although not icy. Both the left (other than the rock step) and the direct finish are continuous snow. Conditions are better for climbers, not so great for skiing. Photos: https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.10153233043026796.1073741894.700931795&type=1&l=38b9b2eb4e
|2015-04-04||Route: Northwest Slopes
Info: Route has some icy areas. Snow shoes are not needed, but I can see something like yaktrax would have made the descent a little easier in the areas below treeline. Microspikes would be overkill. In the few areas where you might posthole, gaiters will be benificial.
|2015-03-27||Route: East Slope
Info: Trekked up and down the mountain via Barr Trail. From the trailhead in Manitou Springs to about 3 miles up, the trail is pretty much devoid of any snow or ice. From about 3 miles up and all the way to Barr Camp, the trail is snow covered, nicely boot-packed but icy as picture #1 shows. Traction devices recommended. Picture #2 shows snow amounts at Barr Camp, where we always stop in to let the awesome caretakers there know of our plans for the day. Picture #3 shows trail conditions just after leaving Barr Camp, where there is deeper snow but with a nice trench all the way to the A-Frame shelter at timberline. At this point, the trench stops and there is no visible trail. Snowshoes definitely recommended past this point. Picture #4 shows conditions while looking up the East Face, with no visible trail. Picture #5 shows 14ers member ylingli making her way up the East Face, just below the summit. Picture #6 shows the shuttered Summit House and the huge snowdrifts in front of it. Picture #7 shows conditions while descending the East Face. On a side note, picture #8 shows a huge boulder that has become dislodged within the last 2 weeks and has come to rest partway on the trail at just over 2 miles from the trailhead. If carrying a large pack, you may have to turn sideways to squeeze between the boulder and the trees.
|2015-03-15||Route: East Slope
Info: The first three miles of trail are mostly clear with occasional patches of ice. The next three miles (to Barr Camp) are icy packed snow. The following three miles (to timberline) are somewhat packed snow with minimal ice. Beyond timberline there is no point looking for the path; I followed a group that climbed directly up the face (photo 1). By late afternoon, in Sunday‘s warmth, the icy sections and the snow had softened considerably, making for easy travel. I used snowshoes from timberline to summit, and again from timberline to Barr Camp, both for floatation and for traction. Not all members of the group that I followed required floatation, but it looked like all were using traction of some sort. An ice axe was useful above timberline for some excellent glissades down the east face on the descent.
|2015-03-15||Route: Northwest Slopes
Info: The trail is well-packed from the trailhead to timberline...snowshoes not needed as long as it‘s not too warm up there.
|2015-02-07||Route: Northwest Slopes
Info: Route it still good to the top! Trail has good hardpack (didn‘t use any microspikes or anything) up until treeline. Above there I lost the "trail" due to snow and had to freestyle it to the saddle. The trail can be seen again at the saddle and is straightforward from there. The cairns on the Class 2 section are clearly visible. On the way down microspikes would have been useful as the snow had softened and was slippery. On part to note is the section of the climb adjacent to Point 13,363. There was a hard packed snowfield in this area that warranted use of an ice axe. Other than that great climb! The road to Crags is a bit sketch like previous posts have been mentioning. Go SLOW and stay in the tracks and you‘ll be fine with 4WD.
|2015-02-06||Route: Northwest Slopes
Info: A quick update in case anyone is headed this way this weekend (Crags Route)...The storm that passed through a couple days ago didn‘t really drop much in the area--maybe 1/2" or 1" up higher. So, there is still a great, packed, track all the way up through treeline (microspikes recommended; follow the footprints not the XC ski tracks). Above treeline and on to the summit, it‘s a toss up whether to keep your microspikes on or just walk in boots with good traction as there is plenty of open tundra, rock, and packed or thin snow. The road to the trailhead is like a slot car track--if you get out of the slot, you‘ll probably get stuck, even with 4x4. So, from the Mennonite Camp on up, definitely AWD or 4WD and don‘t pull over if you meet someone head on--back up instead. (There were two guys digging out their 4x4 trucks and, a bit lower down, another 4x4 truck well stuck in deep snow just off of the road. Stay on the packed tracks!)
|2015-01-31||Route: East Slope
Info: Went up and down the mountain yesterday (31 Jan) via Barr Trail. From the trailhead to 3 miles up, the trail is pretty much devoid of any snow and only a few, short icy spots remain. Picture #1 shows trail conditions from 3 miles up and pretty much all the way to treeline. There is good boot-pack, but lots of underlying ice and traction devices highly recommended. Picture #2 shows trail conditions JUST below treeline, where the snow is a little deeper and postholing can become an issue once the temperatures warm up. As of this report, the snow was consolidated and frozen enough to eliminate postholing. Picture #3 shows that the trail above treeline is holding snow, but is also windblown enough to be followable. In fact, the trail is followable in its entirety from the trailhead to the summit. Picture #4 shows 1 of 3 prominent snowfields covering the trail around the 12,700 - 13,000 foot level, that need to be traversed. The picture shows 14ers member ylingli negotiating one of the snowfields. Do not take these snowfields lightly, as they are super consolidated and frozen over solid. An ice axe and aggressive traction devices highly recommended. Although it looks as though some boot-pack is being left in the snow, that is not the case. That is simply some disruption of the powdery layer (that had fallen the night before) covering the frozen solid snow. A slip down to the rocks below (which appear closer than they are) would be painful and certainly result in injury. Picture #5 shows one of the other powder-covered icy snowfields. Picture #6 shows 14ers member ylingli just below the summit. Picture #7 shows views during the descent with a section of the trail in the distance. Picture #8 shows conditions on the East Face during the descent. Also, 14ers member jrs1965 - you wanted a picture of the Y Couloir from the summit and I took 2 for you. I will PM them to you.
|2015-01-29||Route: Northwest Slopes
Info: You can get a Blues Mobile to the Mennonite Camp, but probably good to have AWD or 4WD after that to the Crags Trailhead. You could do it in front wheel drive with snow tires, but if you get off the tracks and into the ditch you‘ll be stuck without 4WD. The trail up through treeline is nicely packed--microspikes are the ticket. Above treeline the track I was following dribbled out and I found myself off trail, on a ridge somewhere, in the dark, in the clouds with low visibility, etc. (I started hiking at 2:30a.m. for some sunrise photography.) So, I bailed and will come back another day. Regrettably, Pikes was probably clear of the clouds judging from the summit cam later in the day--would have been great at sunrise. Keep an eye on the snowfall from this current unsettled weather/storm to see if it will negate this report.
|2015-01-26||Route: East Slope
Info: Hiked from Barr Camp to summit, breaking trail after the Bottomless Pit turn off. 3-4inches of unmarked snow on top of a trail base. Wore microspikes the whole way. Not too bad if you stay where others have walked -- a few inches either way means postholing. Trail snowy until A-Frame (two other hikers wore snow shoes with good success). Above A-frame the snow is windblow, drifted, and frozen over solid. Traction a must - poles a great help. The trail is pretty visible except for the portion approaching the long traverse, where we hunted around the slippery drifts. The Golden Stairs were slightly challenging due to ice and drifting. 4 different hikers summitted -- two in snowshoes/spikes and two spikes only. Some slips and falls due to lack of traction at times - but slow and sure won the day. Blue bird day -- just about freezing -- almos no wind the whole day. Hitchhiked down
|2015-01-05||Route: Northwest Slopes
Info: Skied from 2wd trailhead near Mennonite Camp to about 10700 feet. About 12-16 inches of base all along the route. Still some exposed rocks along the Devils Playground trail, but definitely a fun trip on XC skis. FYI there is a low hanging tree a couple hundred feet south of the four-way junction along the side trail that swings south and cuts off the cul-de-sac in the campground.
|2014-12-26||Route: Northwest Slopes
Info: Summited Pikes via crags on Xmas day. There is a great established trench all the way to treeline. Once past treeline the winds were transporting snow covering any tracks. But,its fairly easy to figure out once your there with the right beta,and maps. There was two guys who tried the day before and went too far left up the Angling zig zags before treeline, and got caught up in some nasty deep snow. I found there tracks where they split off to the left. Don‘t follow those. Continue following the tracks to the right. Once on the ridges,its pretty wind scoured with some drifts around. I used microspikes from start to finish,and no problems. 4" of new snow fell overnight,but the trench should be established enough to still easily follow. Galeforce winds up high alllll day long. Didn‘t see a soul all day long. It was an Epic ;)
|2014-12-20||Route: Northwest Slopes
Info: Was on snow pretty much the whole time after stepping out of the car at Crags TH. Used snowshoes all the way to the stated "final pitch" and then switched to microspikes. Same on the way down. Saw someone without snowshoes and he postholed a lot. Snow was very loose and non-supportive starting around 11,000‘ for the rest of the hike. Prior to then, trail was pretty well boot-packed. Starting up the steep sections after the "small clearing near 10,900‘" would have been miserable without traction.
|2014-12-20||Route: East Slope
Info: Went up and down the mountain yesterday (20 DEC) via Barr Trail. Picture #1 shows very packed down snow/icy trail conditions just after leaving the trailhead at 06:15, that continue up (for the most part) for the first 3 miles. Picture #2 has nothing to do with trail conditions but I thought it was a cool sunrise picture from yesterday. Picture #3 shows trail conditions pretty much from 3 miles up and all the way to Barr Camp. Picture #4 shows trail conditions just below treeline (well boot-packed with little to no postholing). Picture #5 shows a nicely consolidated snowfield covering the trail above treeline...this was exception, because the other 99% of the trail (above treeline) was powder soft snow as picture #6 shows and required some "work" to get through. Kudos to 14ers member climbing_rob & his wife for putting in some good boot-pack to the summit after this most recent snowstorm. Picture #7 shows trail conditions just below the summit. Picture #8 shows some late afternoon views during the descent.
|2014-12-07||Route: Northwest Slopes
Info: Path was clear to the summit on Northwest slopes. There were a few small spots that had some icy packed snow where we could have thrown on the micro-spikes but these areas were so short that it never seemed worth it. We were set with just boots and trekking poles. Had a warm day as well as soon as the sun came out.
|2014-12-03||Route: East Slope
Info: Went up Pikes via the Barr Trail on Wednesday, 12/3. It‘s in great shape, with some ice near Barr Camp and then mostly clear until about 13,000. I put Microspikes on at that point, and summited easily. I was the only customer at the summit building when I arrived. :-)