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|Conditions Information||Posted By||Posted On|
|2014-06-19||Route: Northeast Ridge
Info: The drive from Hwy 114 on the dirt road is long. 27 miles of moderately rough 2wd dirt road. The two stream crossings are not worrisome if you have made it that far - 6-10 inches of water with low likelihood of not making it across. The trail itself is in good shape. Some patches of running water/mud in the first 4 miles but easily avoidable. Had 4 snow crossings, 2 in the basin and 2 on the northeast ridge. Didn‘t wear spikes, gaiters or anything special. Don‘t believe the sign at the trail head which says 5 1/2 miles to San Luis Peak. It was 6.9 miles each way on my GPS.
|2014-06-14||Route: Northeast Ridge
Info: Route was simple and straight forward to navigate. The lower portion of the trail is muddy in a few spots but nothing that you cant easily avoid. There are two places you need to cross the stream but we were able to find places near by to cross (old logs or narrow spots to jump). Once into the basin there are a few snowfields to cross. They were nice and firm in the morning but by 9 am they were starting to soften up. On the upper ridge, the snow fields was pretty easy to navigate and again were firm in the morning. We did not bring any microspikes or snowshoes and we didnt need them. Snow is melting fast!
|2014-05-27||Route: Northeast Ridge
Info: Trail is very wet in some places, around 11,800 it is obstructed by intermittent large snowdrifts which makes route finding difficult. Above 12,000 it is still covered by several feet of snow. Due to very warm temperatures by 9am, we decided to turn back at 12,300 instead of postholing through waist-high sloppy mashed potatoes.
|2014-05-10||Route: South Ridge from West Willow Creek
Info: Thanks phatteus for your report on 4May2014. This is an update to that. There‘s also a TH update. The road was closed at the turn-off at Equity Mine due to snow. We skinned/walked from the parking area to the trailhead, approximately 2 miles. It was a slow few miles with inconsistent patches of snow. At the trailhead it was fine for skinning. I carried skis though 4 small, dry patches between the actual TH and the summit and ditched them at 13800ft. Snow was mostly hard packed all day. Below ~12500 it was soft for turns but never soft enough to necessitate flotation.
|2014-05-02||Route: West Slopes
Info: The road is open pretty much to Equity Mine or certainly will be clear in another few days. One other Tacoma and I parked about 100 yards shy of the Equity Mine. The road up to the turn off for the alternate pass was mostly skiable thanks lots to the recent snow storm but will not remain so for long. The Yawner Gullies are in and were a beautiful powder filled bliss ride from top to bottom. As always, a long trip with lots of uphill battles but plenty of snow. Being a boarder without a split board, I boot packed up the Yawners to the summit while two skiers that were there stayed high and were able to skin all the way up the south ridge. I did not use snow shoes and post holed waist high maybe a dozen times or more, no real problem with staying on top of the snow. I did use crampons on the climb up the gullies and would not have felt safe without them. Attached are photos of some menacing cornices along the way (avoidable) and a shot of the Yawner gullies as well as an early morning shot leading up to point 12540‘. The final shot is the route all three of us rode down the mountain. There were definitely signs of large wet slides from before this last storm both on San Luis and the surrounding peaks.
|2013-11-02||Route: South Ridge from West Willow Creek
Info: Started from the parking area near the Equity Mine due to deep snow on the road to the 4WD TH. Used snowshoes to gain the 12,300‘ saddle east of Point 12,540 (snowshoes were definitely necessary from this point on). Made it to the second saddle at 12,360‘ and decided not to descend into the basin due to avy danger. Tried to ridge walk around the basin, but after being pummeled by high winds for 30 minutes decided to call it a day.
|2013-10-21||Route: South Ridge from West Willow Creek
Info: No traction was needed up to the first saddle and up the summit ridge, but snowshoes very helpful along the Colorado Trail section. We ditched our snowshoes at the base of the summit ridge.
|2013-06-24||Route: Northeast Ridge
Info: It was very windy on the saddle, but no snow. Summer conditions on San Luis.
|2013-06-15||Route: Northeast Ridge
Info: Trail is in good shape and dry the entire route, except for one small snow patch about 20‘ long. The weather was great today and we only saw 3 other people all day. It took us 6 hours and 15 to complete the 13 miles round trip, not including the 45 minutes we spent on the summit relaxing and enjoying the views in the nice weather we had. Be aware the rocks and logs at the creek crossings have a thin and hard to see coating of ice on them first thing early in the morning.
|2013-06-09||Route: South Ridge from West Willow Creek
Info: About a dozen Snow Crossings. Mostly dry. Bring Gaiters and walking stick
|2013-03-20||Route: South Ridge from West Willow Creek
Info: Although I didn‘t summit, I hiked up from the Equity Mine today and I wanted to add a little info to the most recent trip report: The county road to the equity mine has dried out quite a bit and is totally passable by 2WD cars. Use caution, though, because I hit a big, loose rock that was camouflaged in a shadow and blew a tire. San Juan Snowcat has been out in the last week and the cat road up to the CDT is solid. I definitely preferred the road over the streambed which is drifted in with unconsolidated snow. My other concern was that, although the streambed walls are short, there are precarious cornices that could pile up pretty deep in the terrain trap created by the streambed. Albeit much less recently, the snowcat has also packed out the stream crossing shown in photo 2 of the normal route description. Definitely the preferred route if you‘re snowshoeing. For the most part, snow seemed nicely consolidated and I didn‘t observe any indication of instability. That doesn‘t mean there aren‘t deeply buried persistent slabs, but I felt that the probability of release was low. Lastly, the peak still appeared skiable from the summit, especially the line furthest West.
|2013-03-02||Route: Yawner Gullies
Info: Skied San Luis via the South Yawner Gully (lookers right in the picture you can see my tracks). All 3 of the gullies are in great shape. San Juan Snowcats has been operating in the area and has a track to San Luis Pass.
|2012-10-27||Route: South Ridge from West Willow Creek
Info: In spots the snow was easily 2 ft in the North Facing cirques you have to cross; although the ridge to the summit was mostly snow free. Unless you like postholing through unconsolidated snow, I would suggest the Colorado Trail approach to the South Ridge or the Stewart Creek TH (which both looked mostly snow free, and have a better aspect). The picture shown, is looking back across towards the 2nd saddle.
|2012-09-30||Route: Northeast Ridge
Info: Intermittant snow on the trail above the upper meadow. Drifts led to short streches of postholing. Took gators and micro-spikes, but didn‘t use them. Saw no other hikers, which kind of suprised me for a sunday.
|2012-09-20||Route: Northeast Ridge
Info: GREAT fall colors. We found a good camping spot on the left 100 yards before the TH. CFI has cleaned up the trail. Saw Moose on the way up. Snow free.
|2012-07-22||Route: Northeast Ridge
Info: I hiked San Luis from Stewart Creek on 07/22. Great trail. Some trail work is going on there. One of the workers put down orange "pine needle markers" on one section of the trail. Not sure if this is the re-routing and eventual new trail. Also, there is a toaster on the summit, with an outlet as well. Unfortunately, no electricity, lightning notwithstanding.
|2012-07-20||Route: Northeast Ridge
Info: Road to trail head is excellent. Sign about 10 Miles from trailhead indicates that high clearance vehicles are required. Not true, you could probably get a low-rider to the trailhead. But we followed the signs advice and camped near the sign. Peak in the distance is Baldy, not San Luis. Camping available at TH, but no toliet. Trail to top is in good condition and easy to follow. You don‘t see San Luis peak till you get on the ridge line. 11-12 mile RT. Less than 1/3 of vertical in first 2/3 of horizontal.
|2012-06-17||Route: Northeast Ridge
Info: Trail is mostly dry. 2 minor snow fields to cross between 12K and 13K. Very easy crossing. No additional traction needed.
|2012-06-13||Route: South Ridge from West Willow Creek
Info: The main access road is still closed. I followed the directions from the previous post and got to the TH without any difficulty. Thanks! There are still a few snow patches that got very soft as the day went by (I went down to my thigh in one!). Otherwise, a fine day with barely any wind. I just saw one person on the trail.
|2012-06-02||Route: South Ridge from West Willow Creek
Info: TRAILHEAD ACCESS The easiest way to reach the West Willow Creek TH is currently blocked because of a movie production. To get there, take the SOUTH access to Bachelor Loop Road (follow orange detour signs) and stay on FR 504. You‘ll pass a left turn for the West Willow Creek 4WD road, but stay straight. Continue until a junction where you must go right or left; there are signs stating the right branch is closed. Go left and continue until you can see the Equity Mine. Shortly before the mine there is a signed turnoff for FR 503, the West Willow Creek 4WD Loop. Take it, cross the creek several times, and reach the TH after about 1.3-1.6 miles. It‘s not signed, but there are two posts denoting trail 882. If the road takes a sharp left and you start climbing steeply, you‘ve gone too far. 4WD probably isn‘t needed to get to the TH, but high-clearance is a must. MOUNTAIN CONDITIONS We didn‘t need traction, ice axes or snowshoes. The Class 1 summer trail is easy to follow from the TH all the way to the summit. Gaiters were helpful for about a half-dozen short, mellow snow crossings, but I made the trek in trail runners just fine. The snow can be circumvented if you really want to, though it‘s a bit more of a hassle than simply trudging through with gaiters. The ascent took three hours. If you‘re looking for isolation on an already isolated mountain, try this non-standard route...we didn‘t see another party until the summit all day, but at least eight people came up from the Stewart Creek side. (photos by tmathews -- and thanks again for letting me borrow your spare camera! I ordered a new one last night so my days of mooching photos are over) Photo 1 - The West Willow Creek TH Photo 2 - The ups-and-downs of the trail to reach San Luis proper Photo 3 - Upper South Ridge Photo 4 - Natalie hiking out as a brooding San Luis throws graupel, wind and thunder at us