Mt. Champion  
Condition Updates  
Route: Opposite direction
Posted On: 2020-10-30, By: Makbrad
Info: Did not take the standard route up Mt. Champion. Ascended UN 13,736 first and traversed the ridge to Champion. Opted for an alternative exit route out of the forest to avoid the avalanche path and crossed lower on the river which is partially frozen. Agree with the post made about Lackawanna conditions, very similar on the other side. The approach was compact in the morning, only slick in a couple spots but did not micro up there. I put microspikes on for the ridge. Plenty of slick unstable snow. Choose your own adventure on the traverse. There's plenty of snow on the ridge too, which may be deceiving from below. Descent was another story as mentioned in the other conditions report for Lackawanna...boot skiing and route finding through the forest on the way down and out. I did a different loop and came through the avalanche area several weeks back and I noticed several new trees down this time. Will add photos later this weekend. 
Route: South Slopes: Champion + PT 13,736
Posted On: 2020-09-06, By: LetsGoMets
Info: Climbed Champion from UN13736 after traversing from Deer Mountain. Traverse is extremely straight forward. South Slopes route as descent was made easier shooting for the Lackawanna cabins and cruising out on the trail/old road. 
Route: South Slopes: Champion + PT 13,736
Posted On: 2020-07-03, By: mjflynn74
Info: North Fork Lake Creek levels have fallen in the weeks since the last two reports. At the point Middlebrook's route crosses it, there are now several places where rocks span most of the creek (see pics). Water is just ankle-deep in the gaps. Had a terrible time finding the trail -- would stumble across it only to have it vanish again. Lots of avalanche debris. Plan on bushwhacking the first part of this hike, and if you happen to find a usable trail, bonus. No snow on route (slopes or ridge). Stay clear of cornice just below Champ's summit (pic). 
Route: Southeast Ridge + 13,736
Posted On: 2020-06-28, By: supranihilest
Info: There's no bridge or rock crossing over North Fork Lake Creek, so I took my shoes and pants off and forded the creek. It was ice cold as expected, and very swift. I then stayed on the north side of the creek in Lackawanna Gulch, eventually going up towards Champion. If only doing Champion stay west of the creek and head towards the road. The ridge from the road to the summit is very straightforward and consists of purely hiking, no scrambling. Dry the entire way. Dry over to 13,736 as well. 
Route: S slopes champion, N ridge 13736
Posted On: 2020-06-20, By: Trotter
Info: Went up standard route, over to 13736, then down north ridge and back around to lot from Bergstiegen's TR. The creek you have to cross is very high. Couldn't find any logs or rocks sticking out high enough, so had to go barefoot and wade through. About 2 feet deep and very cold. The faint trail up Mt Champion is frequently covered by deadfall and avalanche debris. But as long as you follow the drainage, you'll get there. No snow, except for about 30 feet of it right below summit, can't detour around it easily, but it was solid and low angle enough it wasn't an issue. Didn't need traction. Trail along north fork lake creek is very wet and sloppy. Lots of snowmelt. Give this route a couple weeks if you want drier conditions, and lower creek levels. 
Route: South Slopes: Champion + PT 13,736
Posted On: 2019-10-19, By: WildWanderer
Info: 3-5" of snow on the ground. Beginning of trail has mixed conditions, alternating between dirt and snow. Creek Crossings were icy. Consistent snow above treeline. No traction needed to summit. A cornice is starting to form on the summit. 
Route: South Slopes: Champion + PT 13,736
Posted On: 2018-06-30, By: Count40
Info: You can trust those small cairns (two to four stones), starting from that first meadow (with rusted mining equipment) after the crossing. Follows that route all the way to that turn-off uphill (both the full line and the dashed options) Copy from Lackawanna report: Something which may be of use. It is easy trail, but you would still like to spend more time on hiking. Dry-boot creek crossing (no photos, battery flat on the way back, sorry). North Fork creek crossing points of choice: -couple of conveniently placed rocks about 100 feet upstream from that car crossing -much further up, about three hundred yards, mostly meant for those going to Champion, similar crossing, six or seven rocks two or three feet apart. Just like that first one, water flows over most of these, perhaps half inch, not enough to get into your boots. As for location of this second point, it is about 100 feet downstream from that point where two inclined logs cross the creek (creek right about 4 inch diameter, creek left about 10 inch diameter) For both crossings, carefully placed poles are essential. 
Route: South Slopes: Champion + PT 13,736
Posted On: 2017-10-05, By: desertdog
Info: 4" to 5" of snow in Lackawanna Gulch. Hardly any snow above tree line and over to PT 13,736. No traction needed. An easy climb that you should do for the fantastic views, especially with the recent snow. 
Route: South Slopes: Champion + PT 13,736
Posted On: 2017-09-26, By: JasonKline
Info: Some snow on traverse between Champion and 13,736, but no need for traction (yet). Rest of route was snow-free. 
Route: South Slopes (Via North Lake Creek Trailhead)
Posted On: 2017-06-18, By: jasayrevt
Info: 13er summits are an inspiring, invigorating hobby. This classic route is another recommended, straightforward path. It has incredible views of many quality neighboring Sawatch Range Peaks (i.e. Twining, 13,500, French, Casco, Massive, etc). Conditions up high were spring bluebird. So, perfect for navigating these slopes and ridge line extremely well. Standard light pack plus trail runners approach was good. Bring extra shoes to best manage the stream crossings though. Climb safely out there mountaineers. Pictures have been included as beta 
7 2
Route: South Slopes: Champion + PT 13,736
Posted On: 2016-10-30, By: RyGuy
Info: Peak is pretty much free of snow except for holes between rocks in the shadows. Didn't need traction, but gaiters were helpful for a couple of the areas with 6" snow between rocks. 
Route: South Slopes: Champion + PT 13,736
Posted On: 2016-10-16, By: Grover
Info: Great day for a hike on a random 13'er. Yes, it was windy, but that was predicted. I drove up to ~12,000 ft. on the 4x4 road that leads up into the basin between Lackawanna and Mt. Champion. Easy hike. Great day. If you have the vehicle to get into this basin, it can be short and sweet. 
1 2
Route: South Slopes: Champion + PT 13,736
Posted On: 2015-09-01, By: EatinHardtack
Info: Climbed the south slopes of Mt Champion on Saturday the 29th. Also made the traverse to Pt 13,736. Route was fun and with a lot of old mining activity. I took the first Avalanche path for my ascent route, if you stay left you can hit a few scrambling sections. Actually summited Champion twice on this trip. Here are my splits on this group.... 540am TH 812am summit of Champion 901am summit of 13736 941am summit of Champion 1145am TH 
Route: North ridge from Deer/Pt13,736
Posted On: 2014-10-19, By: CarpeDM
Info: Hiked the Deer --> 13,736 --> Champion loop yesterday with an approach up the North Fork Lake Creek trail. The trail was in fine condition and easy to follow up into the basin. It petered out at about 11,500, but it was easy walking to find the lake at about 12,400. There was essentially no snow of consequence until above the lake. Deer is not your typical easy, rolling c2 Sawatch peak. From the lake, it‘s pretty steep going the first few hundred feet to get up to the NW ridge. Then, it‘s more interesting (i.e., steep and rocky) than most Sawatch peaks. The south ridge off the peak is narrow, steep, and rocky. After a few required bumps, as you approach the saddle with Pt 13,736, there is a steep, loose c3 section. The route up Pt 13,736 gets a bit easier, and then getting to Champion is cake. On this day, on Deer‘s NW ridge and on the S ridge, there were lots of patches of unreliable snow. If I had to do it again, I would not have worn my summer hiking boots. I brought and used gaiters from Deer on over, used microspikes for parts of the initial ascent up Deer's NW ridge, and got an ice axe out for comfort on the initial ascent. Indy Pass usually closes about the last week of October or first week of November. 

Return to the main Peak Conditions page

© 2021®, 14ers Inc.