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|Conditions Information||Posted By||Posted On|
|2016-02-11||Route: Northwest Slopes
Info: You can drive about 1/2 mile after Mennonite camp and park in nicely groomed parking lot. Trail to Pikes summit is great up to about 3 miles into trail. I lost the trail on the steep area at around 12000-12500 ft. I was post holing for about 2 hours with no luck reaching tree line. Snow shoes are a must in my opinion is you might get off of trail. My trip was a horrible day due to I had a ride waiting on summit for me and I had to turn around and head back down to the Crags trail head. I ended up walking back to Divide to get cell service so that I could call my ride. Overall, the trip would have been successful if I had snowshoes in my pack.
|2016-01-27||Route: Northwest Slopes
Info: We arrived to the trailhead around 6:15AM and were one of two groups going up. Based on the previous trip report (that the other group was also going off of) said that microspikes were all that one needs to summit - so no one had snow shoes. The trail was well packed and easy to follow at first. At 1.3 miles, there is a packed trail that goes left - GO RIGHT. Soon after, the trail became a bit deep for just spikes. A tress was marked with orange tags (picture 1). By about 1.7 miles, it was very difficult to tell where the trail went and we were in about 8" of fresh snow. There was another spilt (picture 2) - neither of which looked to have been on for some time and we went left as it seemed to be the best choice of the two. By now, we were struggling up 18+ inches of snow and it was quite difficult at some points. At mile two, the trail simply stopped. We knew we were on the right path as at that moment, we came to a tree with three orange tags reading "WWSS " - this was the third of three trees with these tags. We ended up traversing up large rocks in waist-deep powder to a nice clearing (2.2 miles) where we decided to make our own trail going south. The snow was all powder, but going slightly downhill the 16" was not too bad. Somewhere around 2.65 miles, we found the trail again and could see the direction that we needed to go. With a visible trail, we thought the worst was over and started heading back up the mountain. The next half mile was one of the most difficult hikes I have ever done. Even though the trail was visible, we were sinking down past our waists and struggled every step (picture 3). From 11,240‘ to the next clearing at 11,500 - we sunk every step and had accumulated serious snow and ice in places we did not want them. There is a beautiful rock with little snow that we stopped at to admire the sun begin to come over the mountain, and we could clearly see Longs Peak in the distance. It had taken us 2:50 to reach this point, and we were far behind our schedule - and the cold wet feet told us that we should not continue up. From this rock, it did look like spike would be more than sufficient and the remaining hike would likely be rather easy to the summit. Make sure you have snow shoes!
|2016-01-23||Route: Northwest Slopes
Info: Parking at trail head has room for about 5 cars, get there early. I started at 5:00a.m. and was 3rd car to park. Trail was evident, snow packed and only needed micro-spikes (a must). Summit house was open because road was plowed to the top. Road was is excellent condition.
|2016-01-17||Route: Northwest Slopes
Info: Micro spikes were sufficient, no snow shoes needed. I was happy I had goggles due to strong wind gusts (you might want to bring a facemask). Started at Crags at 9am and returned at 5pm. Have fun!
|2016-01-16||Route: East Slope
Info: Trekked up and down the mountain via Barr Trail. The NOAA summit-specific forecast called for a mostly sunny but cold and "blustery" day with a high temp of 8 degrees and wind chill values of between -20 and -30 degrees. The forecast did not disappoint. The trail, from the trailhead to about 3 miles up is seriously icy...traction devices highly recommended for the entire trail, but especially these first three miles. From 3 miles up, and all the way to Barr Camp, the trail is mostly hard packed snow with some ice. From Barr Camp, and all the way to timberline, the snow on the trail is deeper but nicely boot packed and no snowshoes were required. From timberline to the summit, the wind was the main issue. Blustery was an understatement. The sustained wind was bad enough, but the gusts were ferocious. I was actually being peppered by small pebbles, chunks of snow and ice. Because of these high winds, large sections of the east face are completely wind blown and scoured and the snow that does remain is nicely consolidated and postholing was not an issue. There are even a few lengthy sections of the trail completely devoid of snow. The extended forecast calls for these high winds to continue, so hold on to your hat and be prepared to get knocked around a bit.
|2016-01-16||Route: Northwest Slopes
Info: I did the Crags route today. It was well packed through the trees. Above the trees it was either wind/sun hardened enough to walk on or too windblown to have any snow there. I never had to break out my snowshoes. All you need to climb the Crags right now are microspikes (plus all the normal winter climbing gear, obviously). Easy going underfoot. The wind on the other hand was nutso today! Almost got knocked over so many times! But of course that will change from moment to moment. For you skiers, there‘s not enough snow on the headwall just above tree line to ski it. Too many rocks. After I headed up this morn, apparently some skiers came up to treeline to peek at the snow and turned back, but they packed the trail even better. The bowl on the East side of the headwall looked nice. I‘m not a skier, but it looked like good coverage over there. It took me from 9 to 4:30 to make it up and down. The slowest section was the boulder hopping towards the summit - the snow in between the rocks is difficult to know if it‘s a good place to step or not, thus it takes a lot of extra care. I parked about 1.5 miles down from the TH because I just didn‘t want to mess with people getting stuck, but it looked like my subaru would have made it to the TH just fine. There are about 6 packed spaces at the TH.
|2016-01-02||Route: Northwest Slopes
Info: Started from Crags Campground at 730 am and -6 F. Road in is snow covered, careful how far you take a 2WD as I don‘t recommend trying to go to last parking lot. Trail from start to Devils Playground was hard snow pack, above that was combo hard snow and rocky ground and had to watch for deeper snow that you could sink into in just a few places. We wore micro spikes the entire way and never had an issue. 4 hours to summit and 3 back down. Special thanks to all those that have packed the trail in nicely...lol.
|2016-01-01||Route: East Slope
Info: Good bootpack from Manitou to the summit thanks to the AdAmAn Club. Microspikes are handy, especially low on the trail where the snow is now polished ice.
|2015-12-23||Route: Northwest Slopes
Info: Good boot pack up to timberline. Between timberline and saddle, trail vanishes - mixed powder and wind blown hard layers. We wore snowshoes to the first rocky outcropping. From there to summit, no flotation or traction required. Pretty wind blown with a few patches of snow that were not a big deal.
|2015-12-16||Route: Northwest Slopes
Info: Went up the Crags trail today making it pretty close to treeline. I broke trail the entire way from about 1 mile before Crags Campground (4WD trucks/jeeps may make it to within 1/4 to 1/2 mile). Snow is DEEP the higher you get, was pushing through knee deep (waist in some spots) snow towards the top of the trees. Made for some fun powder turns on the board, but be ready for a slog on the ascent. If you are following my tracks, they do go off trail a bit towards the end as I was just looking for a good spot to ski from. Try and stay near the trail and the snow won‘t be quite as deep.
|2015-12-12||Route: East Slope
Info: Trekked up and down the mountain yesterday (12 Dec) via Barr Trail. It was definitely a little "spicy," with 8 inches of new snow and some cold temps forecast. The 8 inches of snow that was forecast never really materialized, and the mountain received more like 3 inches. The first 3 miles of the trail had been devoid of snow (although icy) during the ascent, but after yesterday‘s snow, the trail is now snow covered from trailhead to summit. Again, the new snowfall was not "significant," and as of right now, IMO, snowshoes will not be needed. Traction devices, however, are highly recommended. Because of the colder temps and strong winds on the mountain, the deeper, residual snow (from previous storms) found above Barr Camp and all the way to the summit, is nicely consolidated which made for "easier" travel, even with the 3 inches of new snow during the descent. Postholing was minimal.
|2015-12-06||Route: Northwest Slopes
Info: Parked a mile from Crags Campground. Hiked the road which was packed by skiers & snowshoers to the campground taking the trail from there not the Crags Trail from the parking lot. Lots of snow to contend with making it slow going but it was packed down previously before the last snow so never needed the snowshoes. At treeline stayed further left then usual trying to stay in more grass & rocks then trending further right higher up to reach the saddle we crossed many short snowfields postholing. Still not continuous enough to need snowshoes. Left snowshoes once we hit the old road. Postholed here & there on the old road to Devils Playground, still snowshoes wouldn‘t have been needed. The trail from here was covered in ankle to calf deep snow which we were mostly able to avoid by staying on the sides of the trail. Near Little Pikes Peak had a hard snowfield to cross. After reaching the road again there was even less snow to contend with on the trail up to 13,400 where we turned around. Didn‘t look like snow would‘ve been an issue to the summit.
|2015-11-22||Route: East Slope
Info: Hiked up and down Pikes on the Barr Trail on Sunday because I like to torture myself. First 3 miles, little to no snow, some ice. Mile 4 to Barr Camp, packed snow, easy going. Barr Camp to treeline, good amount of snow for November, trench/packed snow in place for about 3 miles, softened up on the way back. Treeline to summit, very little snow, some ice, some drifts. Did not bring the snowshoes. Probably wore the microspikes for 20 miles. Thanks for the previous report kman. This was a lot easier in August!
|2015-11-14||Route: East Slope
Info: Hiked up and down the mountain yesterday, via Barr Trail. First 3 miles are devoid of snow. From 3 miles up, and past Barr Camp and all the way to timberline, the snow is nicely boot-packed but slick and icy...traction devices recommended. Above treeline, and all the way to the summit, the trail consists of sections of little to no snow, followed by sections of deep snowdrifts and snowfields covering the trail. Postholing was an issue in those areas, but it was not worth it, IMO, to bring snowshoes for those sections. Dress appropriately for the winter conditions found on the mountain, lest you end up like the poor fella seen at 13,600 feet in picture #7. (EDIT: A storm is forecast for Monday thru Tuesday, so conditions are subject to change).
|2015-11-13||Route: East Slope
Info: Ascended from Manitou Springs on the Barr Trail up to about 12,800 altitude and back today. Nothing more than Microspikes needed until after Barr Camp, and even then it‘s mostly mashed potato snow up to 11,000 or so. But then it gets pretty postholey up to above timberline. Above timberline, it‘s a mix of great conditions (bare dirt/rock, intermingled with ice) and deep drifts in areas. Some of the drifts got hip-deep, and my fun-meter started reading a little low, knowing I‘d have to do it all again on the way down, so I called it good. Some areas have a good crust, where snowshoes would help a lot, while others are just deep sugar-snow. Go try it -- the weekend‘s looking to offer some spectacular weather!
|2015-11-08||Route: Northwest Slopes
Info: Camped at treeline Saturday night and summited Sunday morning. Microspikes a REALLY good idea. Especially below treeline where the walked-on shaded snow has become ice. Also helpful on the upper mountain early in the day while everything was frozen. Gaiters were a good idea too above treeline due to drifts. A beautiful night and morning on the Peak with absolutely no wind; Sunday was cloudless. Snow too spotty to ski.
|2015-10-31||Route: Northwest Slopes
Info: The road to the trailhead was mostly dry, some parts were covered in a thin layer of snow. Not enough to need 4WD yet. From the start, the trail was covered in snow, only a thin layer to begin with, getting much deeper above treeline. I had spikes and snow shoes with me but didn‘t use either. Snow shoes would have been helpful above treeline but luckily someone else had made a nice trail to follow. Route finding was still quite easy (even if someone hadn‘t made a trail to follow). The weather was beautiful on the day of the hike so no complaints there. Total time to summit was 6 hours....started around 6:45am. I‘m sure the snow was starting to soften up due to the sun but we took the train back down so I‘m unsure of conditions hiking back down. Overall it was a great hike!
|2015-10-30||Route: East Slope
Info: Trekked up and down the mountain yesterday, via Barr Trail. From the trailhead to about 5 miles up, the trail is devoid of any snow. The snowline starts from about the 5 mile mark and continues to the summit. From the start of the snow, to timberline, the snow is very manageable with some very minor postholing just below the A-Frame emergency shelter. There is, however, lots of underlying ice and traction devices are recommended. From timberline to the summit, there was pretty much full on winter conditions...strong wind, ice, much deeper snow, snowdrifts, lengthy sections of postholing, and some route-finding. There were a handful of hikers going up today and more tomorrow, so this will help with the boot-pack on the trail. The weather is forecast to be nice for the next 3 days, so that will help as well.
|2015-10-11||Route: East Slope
Info: Trail from Barr Trailhead is dry and clear. Little bit of mud, easily avoidable just before Barr Camp, but this is pretty norm with the small stream flowing there. Above Barr Camp trail dry. At about 12,500ft elevation there is minor snow off trail in shadows of boulders not causing any issue with trail.
|2015-10-03||Route: Northwest Slopes
Info: Driving up to Crags last night was an adventure. The fog started just west of CO Springs and lasted until just after Divide; at a stressful 25 mph on Hwy 24, it was the worst fog I‘ve ever seen outside of southern CA. Regardless, I stayed at Crags TH, and slept in the car between the brief rain showers and c-c-cold temps. I had intended to start a little earlier, but figured the higher elevations could have gotten a good dusting of snow. I was half right; it did snow, but other than remnants in the shadows, it was gone by the time I got above treeline. A bit windy and chilly in the a.m., but i was toasty on the way down. A gorgeous hike all around. Get up there before a big storm rolls in! Descending the loose dirt just above treeline is bad enough without snow or ice.