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|Conditions Information||Posted By||Posted On|
|2014-08-02||Route: Navajo Snowfield/North Face
Info: The snowfield is finally starting to transition to neve, though no ice to speak of yet. I placed a picket just to test it out, and it was like hammering in a giant nail - took a while, and felt absolutely bomber. Surface softened up in the sun just enough to make unroped ascent pretty secure, but crampons and axe are definitely a must, and a second tool didn‘t feel out of place (although experience snow climbers can probably manage without). The North Face is deeply shaded, and had a number of patches of black ice on the ledges, one of which I managed to slip on. There‘s also a fair bit of loose rock and detached blocks. Be careful - especially if soloing! The "crux" crack has a fixed thread around a chockstone just below the exit move. The webbing looks pretty old and manky; this is more of a routefinding aid at this point. Once above the crux, you get to a sort of notch; from there, head right and you‘ll see a few cairns and something of a use trail leading to a 3rd class route to the summit. For the Airplane Gully descent, we couldn‘t find the "third class trail on the north side" of the summit pyramid referred to in the Summitpost description, but did find a blocky, 50 or so-foot 3rd/4th class chimney leading to a use trail. This way is very straightforward (basically just head down from the summit straight toward the Navajo-Niwot saddle), and reasonable enough. Be sure not to descend the very first gully that you see coming to the saddle; the correct gully is just behind the little knob after the saddle‘s low point, and has visible wreckage in it. One note about starting the North Face: easiest way to get to the base of the route is to stay on the snowfield until you‘re on the left (east) side of Dicker‘s Peck. Some descriptions suggest going around the south side, but this requires considerably more effort. Lastly, we witnessed a helicopter rescue on our hike out, between Lake Isabelle and the unnamed, snowbound lake at about 11,400‘. Hope whoever was involved is OK!
|2014-06-21||Route: Navajo Snowfield
Info: Navajo Snowfield is in full snow climbing condition. Brainard Lake Road gate is open, but then closed at the day use area by Brainard Lake itself. There are snow drifts in the Long Lake parking lot. The trail is snow covered immediately after the start of the trail at Long Lake and covered most of the way in.
|2012-07-01||Route: 13er combo
Info: Approach: Dry or muddy trail. At the snowfield below the upper headwall, the dry trail switchbacks up to the right. With traction/axe, one could just go straight through the snowfield. Snow: Several hundred feet available to the Navajo/Apache saddle (big group climbed it yesterday), in the Apache couloir (discontinuous above cliffbands - dry talus above), and in Queen‘s Way (dry talus up top). Airplane looked pretty dry with one or two minor patches. Not sure what the standard dry route is up Apache, but we went just right of Apache couloir and found scree, brief 4th class, and then talus hopping. One could also go beneath the Navajo snowfield and contour right (class 2+?). The Apache-Navajo-Niwot ridges are dry. One group took a 5.easy variation up Navajo from the Apache saddle (?). The crux chimneys are also dry and in good shape. Dicker‘s is dry, as are the talus slogs to forbidden fruit.
|2012-06-16||Route: North face
Info: Went up to climb the North Face of Navajo Peak this morning. No summit, the snowfield felt half way to mashed potatoes already at 8:30, seemed early, but we decided to bail anyways. Rock to the summit above the snowfield looked pretty clear. Bailing proved to be a good decision as, by 11 am, all the peaks were enshrouded in dark clouds. Apache couloir is in except a small constriction near the top. Queensway also looks pretty good. Airplane gully still has quite a bit of snow in it as well. Surprisingly the western most of the SW couloirs on Shoshoni looks like it‘s still a pretty good climb and is filled in excepting a little thin at the technical rock constriction. A scuba suit would be recommended for portions of the trail above Lake Isabelle.