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Pikes Peak  
Report
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Route  Conditions Information  Posted By   Posted On    Photos  Comments Likes Dislikes    
2012-11-12  Northwest Slopes  Pikes Peak got about 2 to 3 inches of snow, but the trail is easy to follow and is getting packed down well. Lower trail in the forest has the most snow, and the trail is not slippery yet. The trail coming out of the treeline is about 50/50 snowpack and dirt, but as you get into the Devil‘s Playground, there are some 12 to 18 inch drifts along the old dirt road, but it was easy to get through as we walked along the outside edge over rocks. Once on the Pikes Peak Highway, it was smooth sailing as the road was mostly clear, and we finished with a short climb of the cog railway to the summit house, but be careful, the railway is still running once a day and we saw the ‘Big Red Machine‘ parked at the top. We summited at 11:45 am and the train left about 12:20 pm, the house is open as long as the train is running. One more thing, when you pull up to the TH, you are at the Winter TH, just follow the Crags Trail through a couple switchbacks and you will eventually walk high above and past the summer TH and merge with a trail, look for a little brown sign here with an arrow pointing to TH, a tree with a white piece of paper will point you to the right shortly after this. boudreaux   2012-11-13 4     Edit Delete 
2012-11-11  East Slope  Climbed up and down Pikes Peak via Barr Trail with my brother yesterday 11 Nov 2012. From the trailhead to Barr Camp, there are only sporadic patches of snow about an inch deep. From Barr Camp to timberline, the trail is snow-covered but only 2-3 inches deep and very nicely boot-packed. From timberline to the summit, the trail has anywhere from a half foot to a foot of snow. The snow wasn‘t very consolidated, so minor post-holing was an issue...gaiters recommended. Carried micro spikes, but didn‘t use them. The problem was the wind, and the snow spindrift!! Immediately after beginning our descent, we found that our boot track had been completely filled in as if we had never ascended the mountain. Not a big deal, because the trail was still easily followable, but it was like doing that section (between the summit and treeline) of Barr Trail twice because we had to endure the minor post-holing all over again! Pick a less windy day with less wind-chill and warmer temps if you want a more pleasant climb! Picture #1 shows my jubilant summit photo with the -17 degrees factoring in the wind chill values. Picture #2 highlights the extreme conditions above treeline. Picture #3 shows trail conditions, and my brother (top center of picture on trail) fighting his way through the snow spindrift. Picture #4 shows trail conditions while descending the East Face. kman   2012-11-12 4  3 1  Edit Delete 
2012-11-03  Northwest Slopes  Mostly dry. Patches of snow in the trees and talus field. Wore gaiters and brought spikes - didn‘t really need the gaiters and never put on the spikes. A beautiful day on the mountain! ahworth   2012-11-05  0     Edit Delete 
2012-11-02  Northwest Slopes  Trail is mostly brown, with a few patches of white all the way into Devil‘s Playground (my turnaround today). Packed micro-spikes, didn‘t need. Beyond the Highway crossing, looks like similar conditions heading towards the boulder pile summit approach. I‘d venture that there‘s some snow pack on the boulders, usually easily navigatable. Vangrove   2012-11-02  0     Edit Delete 
2012-10-21  Northwest Slopes  I started off from around Devils Playground (where you cross Pikes Highway on the crosswalk at about 12,950 ft) & the conditions seemed good for most part. There were some paths that were damp & had a little snow on them, but most of it you could go around. As you begin to get up into the scrambling section, there may be some unavoidable patches of ice & snow. I would bring micros just in case...I kind of wish I did, but the traction on my boots seemed to work well enough as well as trying to find alternative rocks to scramble along. ashlee03   2012-10-21  0     Edit Delete 
2012-10-14  Northwest Slopes  Road to the trail head was very easy for our car. In the morning (7am) there was about an inch of snow at the trail head, and as we increased our elevation, there was more snow. In some spots (usually snow drifts) there was a foot of snow, and one or two spots with snow up to our knees. Water resistant boots were fine, but I would have preferred to have gaiters too. It was quite windy from the top of the ridge to the summit, and very cold. On the way back down, the sun had melted the majority of the snow on the trail. bradmacgregor   2012-10-14  0     Edit Delete 
2012-10-08  Northwest Slopes  Patches of snow pack & icy spots on final pitch, but not enough to bother with spikes in my opinion. Otherwise the trail was in great shape. SkiTownUSA   2012-10-09  0     Edit Delete 
2012-10-03  Northwest Slopes  Very dry trail all the way to the saddle after slope at 12,750‘ (Photo #1 just after saddle). Spotty, avoidable snow (crusty/icy) from here until the final, rocky pitch somewhere around 13,500‘ at which point it becomes mostly unavoidable. Microspikes and trekking poles aren‘t necessarily required, but they certainly are helpful. I put my spikes on around 13,700‘ or so I‘d guess (Photo #2). Definitely helpful on the descent to prevent slipping. Very windy on top (I believe gusts got up to 50mph around 10:30am today... just as I summited). Not sure how long this conditions report will be valid for with the cold front and possibly snow coming in tonight. aliciaf   2012-10-03 3     Edit Delete 
2012-09-28  East Slope  No snow below a-frame. Above tree line trace snow to as much as 2 in. Not bad. However, patches without good sun exposure are now mush which will freeze overnight. Expect a mix of compacted snow (very little depth) and ice in the morning of sept 29 absent any additional precip. zinj   2012-09-28  0     Edit Delete 
2012-07-11  Northwest Slopes  Trail in good shape. Beautiful mountain. Road to the trail head is showing more potholes. Many of the pot holes are a challenge for a small two wheel drive car. ospreytc   2012-07-13  0     Edit Delete 
2012-06-09  Northwest Slopes  Some tiny snow patches still present, which probably will be gone in a few days. No need for traction devices. Summer conditions on the mountain. esagas   2012-06-09  0     Edit Delete 
2012-05-27  Northwest Slopes  Windy, cold, but very beautiful! brfirestone   2012-05-28 2     Edit Delete 
2012-05-25  Via Crags  Hiked Friday 5/25th. Trail mostly clear all the way. Only small snow patches here and there. No need to even use microspikes. Wanderlust   2012-05-26  0       
2012-05-12  "Y" Couloir  We climbed Pikes via the Y today. Yesterday, we climbed Barr Trail and stayed at Barr Camp. There was very little snow on the trail to that point. What was there was easily avoidable. From Barr Camp to the Bottomless Pit turnoff, again, there was little snow. As mentioned in the report last week, there are several annoying, but not too difficult sections of deeper snow to be navigated to get into the Pit. We didn‘t go all the way into the end of Bottomless Pit, but climbed the rocks just to the east of the Y and the south of Bottomless Pit to a saddle level with the junction of the Y and the Railroad Couloirs. From there, we traversed into the Y itself for a very enjoyable climb. The rock step in the right branch is the only serious technical challenge and it‘s easy to avoid with some moderate mixed terrain on the left. We took the train down from the summit, which was a very, very pleasant way down. :-) Pic 1 is the Y last week and shows our route today. Pic 2 is a little before the junction. Pic 3 is just before the rock step. Pic 4 is after the rock step a little below the summit. Nathan Hoobler   2012-05-12 4  1    Edit Delete 
2012-05-05  "Y" Couloir  Spent yesterday (5-5-2012) with my brother, climbing a little more than half-way up the East Face of Pikes Peak via Barr Trail, traversing around to the North Face via the Bottomless Pit Trail, ascending the Y Couloir, and then in the afternoon descending the entire East Face via Barr Trail. From the parking lot to the turn-off for the Bottomless Pit, the trail is completely snow and ice free. Along the 2.4 miles of the Bottomless Pit Trail, there are some sporadic short sections of deep snow, but there is good boot-pack/trench through the snow and snowshoes were not needed - see picture #1. The very bottom of the Y Couloir is much more melted out than I have experienced in previous years, but the upper-bottom and middle sections are snow filled & nicely consolidated - see picture #2. The top section is a mixture of deep snow along with some areas of thinner snow where ice axe placement wasn‘t too good because of the rocks below the snow - see picture #3. The last 10 feet out of the Couloir are on exposed rocks. Descending Barr Trail from the summit, there is only snow on the trail for about 3/4 of the first mile down & the snow is nicely boot-packed - see picture #4. The other 12.25 miles to the parking lot are pretty much snow free. Not sure how much longer the snow conditions in the Couloir will remain "ideal," with the warm temps the Pikes Peak region has been having. kman   2012-05-06 4  2    Edit Delete 
2012-05-04  "Y" Couloir  The Y-couloir is a little thin in places but looks good still. Here is a photo of the entire north face of Pikes Peak. It‘s a huge file so give it some time to load. http://www.friesema.net/junk/pikes_peak_5-4-2012.jpg CO Native   2012-05-04  0     Edit Delete 
2012-04-22  Northwest Slopes  the road was clear all the way to the trailhead. a mixture of hiking conditions were encountered during the day, largely due to the weather. overall, the snow encountered was either very hard or very slushy, and while poles were incredibly helpful, neither microspikes nor snowshoes were needed at all. lafutura   2012-04-23  0     Edit Delete 
2012-04-21  East Slope  Hiked up and down the Peak today (4-21-2012) with my brother, via Barr trail. From the Parking lot to Barr Camp, the trail is completely devoid of snow. From Barr Camp, to timberline, there are sporadic sections of ice where traction devices might be helpful - see picture #1. These areas had softened up nicely by the afternoon descent however. From timberline to the summit, the first mile (of the 3 miles from timberline to the summit) of the trail is pretty much wind-blown and devoid of snow with the last two miles snow-filled but nicely boot-packed and easy to follow. The trail does take a direct approach to the metal sign indicating the 16 Golden Stairs, as opposed to continuing south for one more switchback - see picture #2. Also, above the 16 Golden Stairs, the trail completely deviates from the standard route and takes a direct approach to the summit over an area of boulders, and has you summiting by the observation deck. My brother and I decided to "put a trail in" on the standard route to the summit which takes you further to the north and correctly right by the tribute plaque to Fred Barr and also brings you out on the summit by the metal trail mileage sign. Picture #3 shows my brother breaking trail behind me on the standard route just below the summit. Picture #4 (taken during the descent) shows the proverbial "fork in the road," where you can either continue on the standard trail to the summit which we are on, or head straight up over the boulders to the summit. kman   2012-04-21 4  4    Edit Delete 
2012-03-27  Northwest Slopes  Lots of packed snow and some ice until clear of tree line. I didn‘t need spikes anywhere, but may have helped if I felt like putting them on and taking them off every 100 meters. Lots of side trails and going from dirt to snow makes the path somewhat difficult to follow below tree line. The trail also disappears under hard-packed, wind-scoured snow on the saddle at Devil‘s Playground. Finding the top wasn‘t hard from there, but I think my method was unconventional. On the way back everything the could melt was either mud or slush. Benji the Hunted   2012-03-28  0     Edit Delete 
2012-03-17  Northwest Slopes  Hiked from Crags CG and had a great day. Road in was frozen slush/road out slushy but not too bad if one stays in the ruts. Trail is packed snow up to about 11,200‘ or so, and then gets dicey. Didn‘t bring traction (eg yak trax) but they would have kept me upright a couple of times - some solid ice spots in the lower trail where I landed on my keister in the dark. Many snowmobile tracks and various routes up the draw on the left side, one snowshoe trail up the right side. I took the right side a few weeks ago, not difficult to follow and mixed packed/rock - increasing rock on the way up. On the left, I wandered a bit and broke some new trail with snowshoes to get above treeline; I had started before 0500 so was still dark and likely missed a more obvious turn in the trees. Beautiful crescent moon rising over ridge as I came out of trees. Windy at ridge (30-40ish), steady and chilly (10-20s), all the way up. Glad for the goggles! No donuts at top, but Gracie was still a happy dog. Wind seemed to lessen on way down, though relieved to get back in the trees. Trail on left (up) still was patchy rock and snow, and found myself again working to stay on previous tracks. Wore the snowshoes to avoid the post-holing, not necessary if one finds a good trail out but helpful for this wanderer. Decent times, 5:05 up and 3:08 down, for someone who took the winter off. Aristotle   2012-03-18 2  2    Edit Delete 

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