Grizzly Peak A  
Condition Updates  
 
Route: East Ridge
Posted On: 2020-10-16, By: durkan
Info: Road was dry and clear; able to park near 4WD trailhead gate. No snow until after all gendarmes, but even then it was either avoidable or very thin. Some fun scrambling is available if you look for it. Wind starting to pick up, so a good test for layers. 
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Route: East Ridge
Posted On: 2020-09-20, By: semitrueskerm
Info: To my surprise, there is still lingering pockets of snow from the early September storm up high. All were minimal and avoidable, except if you decided to do the Grizzly sub summit on the other side of the notch. It was a bit dicey with snow and exposure. The trail up the scree field was dry and in good shape. The scree field was loose. The ridgeline was clear of snow. Get it while you can. -jim 
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Route: East Ridge
Posted On: 2020-07-03, By: dcsheldon
Info: All remaining snow can be avoided. The only snow I contacted was for a small stretch on the 3rd gendarme and for about a 20 foot stretch on the descent from Garfield. You can get by without traction. On the 3rd gendarme I squeezed between the snow and the gendarme before climbing up into class 3 which was not bad. 
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Route: Combo: Garfield from Grizzly
Posted On: 2020-06-22, By: Trotter
Info: Similar to last report, snow almost entirely avoidable. We did it in trail runners, with some small detours to avoid snow. Brought axes, and used them for a few small glissades on way down. Note, Garfield needs a new register, container, and pen. The one up there was smashed and damaged. Beware the broken glass on summit. 
 
Route: Combo: Garfield from Grizzly
Posted On: 2020-06-20, By: Danger_D
Info: Mostly snowfree. A few small patches near the end of the road. From there you can find sporadic trail sections or cairns, but I ended losing any designated trail often. Still a snowfield on climbers left at the gendarmes. Most of the snow is easy to avoid except for the 3rd gendarme. I brought microspikes and an axe, but I decided to do the short section of class 3 climbing above the snow instead. Very good rock. From the summit of Grizzly there is is no snow getting over to Garfield, and only a small section around 12,500 on the way down. Pic 1 - Snow Section at Gendarmes from below Pic 2 - Snow field at gendarme 3. Left is the snow option, I climbed right up through a notch Pic 3 - Garfield as seen from the summit of Grizzly 
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Route: East Ridge
Posted On: 2020-06-17, By: dcruz654
Info: You can stay mostly off snow for the entirety of the route with some scrambling along the ridge. Would recommend at minimum one of two-axe or micro spikes to make getting up easier. With both you can avoid having to do some 3rd scrambling on the final gendarme that looks like a fin. Road after the locked gate is a little wet, otherwise no snow till 12,800 or so as you head head up to the saddle. Clearance recommended to the 394/391 road split. 4wd recommended after that to the gate. I did not get a very good view of ridge to Garfield, but I would assume some traction necessary. The ridge looks like it is a little snowy in parts. The descent off Garfield is dry. https://youtu.be/1NbyPyVGFZk Summit video shows a bit of Garfield/ridge Last picture is of a 3rd class section I went up the final gendarme to bypass the snow on the left. 
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Route: Grizzly Couloir
Posted On: 2020-06-17, By: Jonathan Deffenbaugh
Info: Grizzly Lake trail snow-free till above timberline as you approach Grizzly Lake. Excellent snow climbing conditions from Grizzly Lake to the top of Grizzly Couloir. Despite a new dusting of snow no traction needed for the final Class 2+ scramble to the summit, stayed on the west side of the summit ridge. Descended to the saddle between Garfield and Grizzly, ended up going down the west slopes, had some good scree surfing, followed by a couple of glissades before hitting the brush, stayed to the right of the creek going down until I reconnected with the 4WD road leading back to the trailhead. A perfect tour de Grizzly. Enjoyed getting to experience a rugged side of the Sawatch range for a change 👌 
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Route: Grizzly Couloir
Posted On: 2020-06-13, By: Grover
Info: You can hike from TH to the stream crossing in the upper basin using hiking boots/trail runners. There are some annoying mounds of snow in the trees between 11,500' > 11,700'. I crossed Grizzly Creek and continued on the normal summer trail, then switched to crampons at the base of the apron that leads you up and around to the south side of Grizzly Lake. I felt better hiking on the hard snow early, instead of skinning, only to then stow the splitboard again at the base of the couloir. 5 skiers skinned up on large snow segments to get up to the lake. It's your choice. There is (was) a great booter all the way up, as up to 8 ppl went up this route today. The best time slot to come down on FRIDAY was between 10:30 a.m. - 11:30 a.m. 
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Route: East Ridge
Posted On: 2019-09-15, By: cdgibbons
Info: Summer conditions. Avoid climbing too high too early on the ascent to the ridge as there are looser and harder gullies to the east of the intended route. Turning uphill at the cairn in the photo (12,600', 39.042612; 106.589755), nearly at the head of valley, leads to the easiest ascent. I found the summit view here particularly good- the panorama of the full Elk range is striking. Bluebird day, and exceptional air quality; Sneffels was clearly visible at a distance of 97 miles. Shared the mountain with 6 other humans and 23 mountain goats. 
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Route: East Ridge
Posted On: 2019-08-24, By: dwoodward13
Info: Route in good shape. Summer conditions and routefinding was straightforward. Windy! 
 
Route: Combo: Garfield from Grizzly
Posted On: 2019-08-04, By: fdekalb4
Info: Can get to about .75 miles from the gate, road blocked due to avalanche debris... Basically snow free. Fun scree skiing down the face of Garfield... Up and down about 3.5 hrs... 
 
Route: Grizzly Couloir
Posted On: 2019-08-04, By: jjust
Info: The Grizzly Couloir was still climbable as of 08/03/2019. Seems like it might last a bit longer. https://www.jamesjusthiking.com/2019-trip-reports/grizzly-peak-garfield-peak 
 
Route: Grizzly Couloir
Posted On: 2019-07-21, By: CheapCigarMan
Info: The couloir is in perfect snow condition. Several snow fields to cross on the approach. All were solid when I crossed them. I left the TH at 5am. There's a place on the approach where the creek has pretty much washed out the trail. After dropping down the partly washed out embankment stay to the left to remain on the trail. I lost the trail for a bit in that area. Once at the lake it looks like you could gain the ridge from a snow section on the far left (east). I chose to stick with the one on the far right (west) as Roach described. It is hard to see the entire route of the Couloir at the southern end of Grizzly Lake. To see the full route of the couloir you need to walk around to the western part of the lake. The lake was so full I stayed high as I walked around the lake. There were several snow fields to traverse as I gained the entrance to the couloir. I descended via the West Slopes. It was pleasant scree (if there is such a thing) as I rock surfed down the first section off the saddle. Then as it got steeper I stayed with the creek. Sections of it reminded me of Snowmass in the area where you navigated the wet rock cliff. As I got to the woods I lost the trail and just bushwhacked it to the 4WD road. From Roach's description it looks like I should have stayed just a hair further right (north) of the creek when following the creek. *Note: Be mindful descending off the saddle. I seen the trails below (perhaps the East Ridge route to McNasser Gulch) and began to plot my course to glissade down off that side of the slope. Thankfully I double checked my GPS and realized that I was about to descend off the East side of the saddle, and not the West. 
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Route: Grizzly Couloir
Posted On: 2019-07-15, By: supranihilest
Info: Grizzly couloir is still in solid shape for climbing. I am not a skier so I can't comment on how well it would ski. The approach is in good shape. There's a lot of avalanche debris but it is all avoidable except for one final, massive snowfield, and I mean truly massive. I did the entire approach in trail runners, no flotation or traction needed until the base of the couloir. The trail is totally obscured by this large snowfield but it doesn't matter, just walk on the snow in the direction of the mountain. The couloir itself is soft and slushy for the bottom 50 or so feet, but probably only due to early sun. Once past this point it became more solid and provided excellent step kicking snow, though I simply followed an old (and very convenient) set of steps up. Snow to the top was excellent and was not steep enough to warrant dagger position at any point. The ridge to the summit proper was dry. 
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Route: Grizzly couloir
Posted On: 2019-07-09, By: Tim A
Info: Couloir still in from lake to summit ridge. As there was a solid overnight freeze, I did not carry or wish I carried snowshoes today, and the only postholing was in the apron above the lake on the way down at about 1030am. Avy debris fields all the way up were solid both up and down and the couloir was bulletproof for the bottom third but gradually softened as the sun heated it up. Four skiers came up the north face direct (not grizz couloir) and said conditions were similar. They skied and I glissaded the grizzly couloir at about 10am and the snow was a bit softer by then. Completely dry from ridge to summit. 
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Route: East Ridge
Posted On: 2019-07-08, By: zinj
Info: Grizzly Reservoir TH passable to 4WD. I bailed with my 2WD due to flooding. McNasser Guch TH (4WD upper) impassible to all vehicles - avalanche debris. McNasser Gulch TH (2WD lower) is doable in 2WD, but you need clearance. I scraped a stock sedan multiple times, but a 2WD 4 Runner, for instanace, would handle it. Grizz Couloir is *IN*, coverage remains good, snow is spring snocone type. No night freezes in a while so it's just not going to firm up for you. Saw two guys drop in. Sad I couldn't join them -- couldn't access that side of the mountain. East Ridge - I climbed in hiking shoes and an axe - was fine until upper slopes where I would have prefered to climb snow and get off the sand, but I really would have wanted crampons on snow (and a partner), so I mostly did edge snow and dry sand. The dry sand SUUUUUCKS. Glissades down were a moderate timesaver but the snow is so sloppy and the pitch isn't that steep so I didn't get a lot of momentum and my glissades were short. Only "shell" style clothing I brought were pants for the descent. Useful to have. Light gloves were sufficient. but you'll want something for your hands given the large quantity of snow. If you're planning on doing the sandy mess, wear higher top boots. The Roaches call this a "rough route" and they're right. Class 2+ is about accurate, but doesn't convey the level of suck on the slidey sand I think I made a mistake in ascending a bit too close to the summit - the "saddle" I was trying to hit is not at all apparent from down below and isn't a prominent saddle, BUT any vert you can take on the ridge is vert you don't have to earn on the slope and if you're so inclined, map this ahead of time and hit the ridge lower / farther east and you may avoid some of the least enjoyable part of the climb. Boggy postholing for miles on the way down the valley where it's too shallow sloped to glissade (e.g. 95% of the approach). During morning ascent I probably only dropped under the crust 20 times. On return, it was like 200. But the weather was nice and being wet came with no consequence this day. 
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Route: Grizzly Couloir
Posted On: 2019-06-16, By: supranihilest
Info: Grizzly couloir from afar ("Igloo Peak", near Independence Pass) looks stuffed to the gills right now. 
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Route: Grizzly Couloir
Posted On: 2019-06-03, By: Grover
Info: A view of Grizzly Peak from the summit of Lackawanna. 
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Route: Combo: Garfield from Grizzly
Posted On: 2018-07-02, By: E_A_Marcus_949
Info: Grizzly east ridge clear from gate to summit; Grizzly to Garfield is clear of snow and in summer conditions, as well. Steep and loose ascent of East ridge of Grizzly and descent off Garfield. 
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Route: Grizzly Couloir
Posted On: 2018-06-25, By: AlexeyD
Info: Snow from about 200' above the lake to the top, but starting to melt out substantially in the lower third. Lake is bypassed on lookers left side. Good climbing but would not recommend for skiing due to sun cups and rocks. A snow/graupel storm rolled in around 10:30 so we retreated from about 13.3K. 
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