Forum
Buying gear? Please use these links to help 14ers.com:

More info...

Other ways to help...

lower avy risk 14er in the sawatch?

Colorado 14er peak questions and conditions should be posted here. 14er Trip Reports
User avatar
Posts: 37
Joined: Wed Jan 04, 2012 9:14 am

lower avy risk 14er in the sawatch?

Postby happymtnclimber » Thu Jan 31, 2013 7:11 am

was planning a trip for this weekend but everything is looking a bit sketchy. suggestions?

Re: lower avy risk 14er in the sawatch?

Postby Nelson » Thu Jan 31, 2013 7:39 am

This is a link to the CAIC avy report for yesterday:

https://avalanche.state.co.us/pub_bc_avo.php?zone_id=3

I think it is time to go skiing, not climbing.

User avatar
Posts: 5109
Joined: Wed May 04, 2005 11:46 am
Location: Craig

Re: lower avy risk 14er in the sawatch?

Postby Scott P » Thu Jan 31, 2013 8:08 am

There are plenty of routes that are safe from avalanches in the Sawatch. One is the East Ridge of Elbert, assuming that you stay on route.
I'm slow and fat. Unfortunately, those are my good qualities.

User avatar
Posts: 717
Joined: Thu Jun 16, 2011 5:58 pm
Location: Louisville, CO

Re: lower avy risk 14er in the sawatch?

Postby GregMiller » Thu Jan 31, 2013 8:30 am

In a general sense, check caltopo.com, turn on the slope shading option, and pick a route that stays off of, and out from underneath, anything shaded.
Note - I am not an avalanche expert, this is just what I would do to avoid avalanche terrain.
Still Here
been scared and battered. My hopes the wind done scattered. Snow has friz me, Sun has baked me,
Looks like between 'em they done Tried to make me
Stop laughin', stop lovin', stop livin'-- But I don't care! I'm still here!
Langston Hughes

Re: lower avy risk 14er in the sawatch?

Postby Nelson » Thu Jan 31, 2013 8:55 am

The other guys give good advice and I cannot argue against it.

I do believe, however, that there are certain things you can do in the course of a long career in the mountains that will substantially mitigate avalanche risk. One is, after a big dump like we have just had, give things some time to settle down. You will learn a lot the first few days after a storm as people start to work their way into the backcountry and you will have a much better idea of where the risk actually is.

If we are talking about skiing I am the worst one for getting out there and "getting the goods" right away. I should also mention I have had my run in's with avalanches.

When we're talking about climbing, I prefer to let things settle down.

Posts: 174
Joined: Sat May 01, 2010 11:10 am
Location: Evergreen, Colorado

Re: lower avy risk 14er in the sawatch?

Postby JE242 » Thu Jan 31, 2013 9:35 am

As a map junkie, I can't believe I have never used caltopo.com?!? i dig it! thanks!

User avatar
Posts: 717
Joined: Thu Jun 16, 2011 5:58 pm
Location: Louisville, CO

Re: lower avy risk 14er in the sawatch?

Postby GregMiller » Thu Jan 31, 2013 9:49 am

I'm only passing on the awesomeness that I found here.
viewtopic.php?f=26&t=38504&hilit=Caltopo#p465943
Still Here
been scared and battered. My hopes the wind done scattered. Snow has friz me, Sun has baked me,
Looks like between 'em they done Tried to make me
Stop laughin', stop lovin', stop livin'-- But I don't care! I'm still here!
Langston Hughes

User avatar
Posts: 37
Joined: Wed Aug 27, 2008 9:07 pm
Location: Broomfield, CO

Re: lower avy risk 14er in the sawatch?

Postby swadmin » Thu Jan 31, 2013 10:27 am

Thanks for sharing. Very cool site.

GregMiller wrote:I'm only passing on the awesomeness that I found here.
viewtopic.php?f=26&t=38504&hilit=Caltopo#p465943

User avatar
Posts: 37
Joined: Wed Jan 04, 2012 9:14 am

Re: lower avy risk 14er in the sawatch?

Postby happymtnclimber » Thu Jan 31, 2013 10:32 am

Thank you for all of the responses.
Last edited by happymtnclimber on Thu Jan 31, 2013 12:19 pm, edited 2 times in total.

User avatar
Posts: 76
Joined: Thu May 17, 2012 10:25 am
Location: Denver, CO

Re: lower avy risk 14er in the sawatch?

Postby cory1223oh » Thu Jan 31, 2013 10:49 am

happymtnclimber wrote:Thank you for all of the responses. To clarify for anyone else in the position of wanting to climb, a recent trip report clarified that the east ridge of Elbert is not safe right now, so that option is out unlike posted above. I think it is best to let the snow pack settle.


Would you mind posting the link to this trip report, please. I can't seem to find it.

User avatar
Posts: 1838
Joined: Sun May 20, 2007 9:30 pm
Location: Golden

Re: lower avy risk 14er in the sawatch?

Postby Carl » Thu Jan 31, 2013 10:50 am

happymtnclimber wrote:To clarify for anyone else in the position of wanting to climb, a recent trip report clarified that the east ridge of Elbert is not safe right now, so that option is out unlike posted above. I think it is best to let the snow pack settle.


I know this statement is well intentioned but you cannot determine that the east ridge of Elbert is unsafe right now by reading online what the current conditions were at some point when someone on the internet commented about them. Based on looking at the topo and reading reports of recent avy and weather trends someone with the right skills might determine the route is safe right now and be correct in doing so. If that's not you there is certainly nothing wrong with playing it safe, but don't try to speak definitively on something you don't understand. Too strong?
Last edited by Carl on Thu Jan 31, 2013 10:51 am, edited 1 time in total.

User avatar
Posts: 582
Joined: Mon Jul 18, 2011 4:38 pm
Location: Boulder

Re: lower avy risk 14er in the sawatch?

Postby I Man » Thu Jan 31, 2013 10:50 am

happymtnclimber wrote:Thank you for all of the responses. To clarify for anyone else in the position of wanting to climb, a recent trip report clarified that the east ridge of Elbert is not safe right now, so that option is out unlike posted above. I think it is best to let the snow pack settle.


What recent trip report are you referring too? I have not yet done Elbert in winter, but I have never heard anyone say it wasn't safe. I know many who have gone on that route when the entire state is flashing red....

I think most of the Sawatch 14ers have an avy safe route, but it is easy to get off route and without a good baseline knowledge you could get into trouble.

La Plata is a good winter peak with easy trail access and minimal avy danger on the standard winter route.
Huron is also safe via its North ridge.
You can touch the void, just don't fall into it.

"I fly a starship across the universe divide....and when I reach the other side...I'll find a place to rest my spirit if I can. Perhaps I may become a Mountain Man again.

Next

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 9 guests