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Pikes Peak  
Report
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Route  Conditions Information  Posted By   Posted On    Photos  Comments Likes Dislikes    
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 
2012-03-16  Incline and Barr trail  I got a late start up the mountain due to working late the night before. Hiked with a buddy of mine who went a lot slower then I anticipated. Hit the incline at 8:45. The incline and most of the Barr trail to Barr camp is clear. Occassionally small patches of ice/hard packed snow. From Barr camp to the A-frame the enitire trail is hard pack snow with a thin layer of ice. I only had hiking boots on and struggled a few times. Microspikes would eliminate any slipping at all but aren‘t neccessary. The trail was clearly visible from previous hikers and I had no problem following it. If you step off the trail the snow is about knee deep and you will sink. Can‘t say how the trail is above treeline because I didn‘t go past it. I made it to the A-frame by 3 and ran most of the way down so I wouldn‘t be on the moutain after dark and my buddy turned around at Barr camp. swdishfishhoarder   2012-03-18  0       
2012-03-10  East Slope  I‘ll preface this conditions report by saying that it did snow overnight on the Peak, and there was a good dusting mainly above the 11,000 foot level. Based on the most recent view from the Summit House webcam, I don‘t think that conditions have "dramatically" changed from what I experienced yesterday hiking/climbing up and down the mountain via Barr Trail with my brother. From the parking lot to three miles up, the trail is bone dry. Immediately past that, however, there is a lengthy section of thick ice on the trail - see picture #1 and there continues to be sporadic sections of ice/hard packed snow all the way to Barr Camp. Traction devices definitely helpful. From Barr Camp to timberline, there continues to be a lot of snow on the trail & in the trees, but the trail itself is nicely boot-packed and no snowshoes were needed - see picture #2. Traction devices were helpful, particularly during the descent. Neal (caretaker of Barr Camp) told me that climbers are losing the standard trail (Barr Trail) at timberline, and basically meandering all over the East Face. I can tell you that Barr Trail is "in" and not difficult to follow. Climbers intuitively exit treeline and head over to the A-Frame emergency shelter and look for the trail up from there, ultimately ending up having to do route-finding up the East Face via boulder hopping and other methods. There can be, of course, a route up the prominent snow filled gully for those familiar with the mountain. Most climbers are looking for/wanting to stay on Barr Trail and can do so by simply heading to the right (North) from the metal sign indicating the Timberline Shelter/Pike National Forest. From there, one or two very short, boot packed switchbacks brings you to another metal sign indicating elevation (11,500 ft) and distance to the summit (3 miles). Just past this sign (about 5 yards), the trail turns sharply to the right (North) and is also indicated by bright orange arrows and the word "TRAIL" painted on a boulder to point the way! The trail to the summit is mostly wind blown and the sections that are snow covered have nice boot pack through them - see picture #3. Although these sections are boot packed, the snow is very hard, consolidated, and wind-crusted and (IMO), requires a more aggressive traction device like microspikes as opposed to just yaktrax. Ran into d_baker (Darin) and tmathews (Terry) on the summit which was pretty cool! They had climbed up via the Crags Trail. We (my brother and I), were pleasantly surprised to find the Summit House open yesterday. They have only been open 12 times (due to weather) since December 17th 2011. Be aware that if it IS open, you won‘t be able to get anything hot like coffee or the "high altitude donuts" because the cafeteria section is being renovated and isn‘t expected to re-open until the beginning of April at the earliest. See picture #4. kman   2012-03-11 4     Edit Delete 
2012-02-25  Northwest Slopes  Climbed the Northwest route, road up is packed snow to Crags TH. No snowshoes needed on entire route, though I packed them and used them on the lower trail to avoid the occasional posthole. Wind was subdued until treeline, when it picked up a bit - but by the saddle at 12,500, NOAA‘s prediction of 55mph was right on. We continued up through Devils Playground, to about 12,800, when it looked like my dogs jowls were beginning to ice up. She has a couple of areas toward the back of her mouth where the inner tissue faces out, and looked vulnerable. Though "Gracie" has summitted in winter before (did Evans last January from well below Guanella Pass) and true to her breeding loves the snow and mountains, this was the stiffest cold wind she‘s encountered and I became concerned that she might get frostbite on parts of her mouth that were exposed, so we turned around. With another couple of hours on the summit ridge, I didn‘t want to chance an injury. I welcome any stories of others with dogs in high winds and how they fared. Photo 1: At about 11,200‘, view northwest. (2) Still in the trees at about 11,000‘ (earlier photo). (3) View south to summit from 12,800‘. (4) Gracie on way back down, at about 11,500‘. Aristotle   2012-02-26 4     Edit Delete 
2012-02-25  East Slope  Climbed up and down via Barr Trail (and part way up the gully during the ascent). From about a 1/2 mile above the parking lot, to three miles up, traction devices very helpful. The freeze/thaw cycle has created some very icy sections along this part. From three miles up & all the way to Barr Camp, traction devices definitely recommended. From Barr Camp to treeline, more snow (boot packed) than ice, and the snow was balling up under my microspikes so I removed them. I carried but did not use my snowshoes. Above treeline to the summit is windblown with some parts of the trail having little to no snow and other lengthy parts completely snow filled. Traction devices highly recommended in these snow filled parts due to the very consolidated, wind-crusted snow. The weather forecast called for 55-65 mph gusts, and it did not disappoint! Also, met 14er member Roger (Incline Fanatic) near the Cirque, during his descent from the summit & he may post a more detailed trip report. Picture #1 shows trail conditions (during sunrise!) about two miles above the parking lot. Picture #2 shows very hard snow sloping down across the trail just below the summit. A fall here would be nasty. Picture #3 shows a summit photo of me captured from the Summit House webcam by my brother (who was too sick to join me), from the luxury of his living room! Picture #4 shows some of the deeper snow on the trail just below treeline during the descent. kman   2012-02-26 4  3    Edit Delete 
2012-02-19  East Slope  Summitted Barr Trail on Sunday Feb 19. Trial was hard packed before Barr Camp and to treeline (A-Frame). Windblown in gulley to summit with some drifting near 16 Golden Stairs. Alan Arnette   2012-02-20  0     Edit Delete 

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