French Mountain  
Condition Updates  
 
Route: French/Frasco/Casco Combo
Posted On: 2020-07-21, By: CaptCO
Info: Summer conditions. Creek crossing doable with 4x4, but I parked prior. High clearance 4x4 to the top, multiple streams to filter water. Frasco to Casco doesn't have the most solid rock, good day 
6 1
 
Route: French/Frasco/Casco Combo
Posted On: 2020-07-15, By: mjflynn74
Info: I'm a city driver with an AWD crossover and made it to the trailhead just fine, taking it slow after the Massive TH. The first creek crossing has two options. Left (pic 1) might be the better one, but I tried right (pic 2) and didn't quite make it across without getting my feet wet. Water is about a foot deep. That's what extra socks are for, I guess. Second creek crossing has multiple options for getting across with feet dry (pic 3). I did French and Frasco, and there was no snow on the route. Didn't look like there was any on the ridge to Casco, either (pic 4). Great hike -- French has absolutely amazing front-row views of Massive, Elbert, and La Plata. 
4 2
 
Route: French/Frasco/Casco Combo
Posted On: 2020-07-01, By: DrSluice
Info: Had to take boots off and wade the stream crossing right at the start - no big deal but kind of annoying. Second stream crossing I went 10 ft downstream from where the "road" crosses and was able to scramble between boulders to cross. I didn't use the ice ax I brought cause there isn't enough snow to glissade any more. You could go way out of your way to get on snow but it's soft enough in the day it wouldn't be safe to glissade in my opinion. Beautiful climb - I'd call it easy class III not class II there's some fun scrambly parts. 
 
Route: French/Frasco/Casco via Fiascol/N. Fork TH
Posted On: 2020-06-28, By: supranihilest
Info: See my Frasco Benchmark report for details on the route up to Frasco's summit. From the summit of Frasco there's very little snow - two short crossings, no traction/axe needed. The route is very straightforward. Some loose rock but nothing of consequence. 
 
Route: French/Frasco/Casco Combo
Posted On: 2020-06-18, By: Slawson405
Info: Road is mostly clear to treeline. After that there are patches of soft deep snow zig zagging over the road/creek forcing some willow trekking until the mine. The climb up french's main route is still deep and steep, so if you want to climb the snow go early when it's soft. Or you can alter to the right up the steeper face of French and avoid snow. Traverse to Frasco and Casco is still holding snow (pic 1 shows casco), which would have to be negotiated to continue on. We did not do so due to lack of appropriate gear, and condition and prevalence of snow on traverse (pic 2 shows traverse from French to Frasco on the left). 
2
 
Route: French/Frasco/Casco Combo
Posted On: 2019-10-27, By: angry
Info: 2-3ft of unconsolidated snow from th to the summit. 
3
 
Route: French/Frasco/Casco Combo
Posted On: 2019-10-14, By: majtytom
Info: There was some tricky ice on the 4WD road, but some melted afternoon. Snow coverage was present only on the ridge crest. From French Mtn to Frasco, it was dry or totally avoidable. From Frasco to Casco Peak there were some spots to go through climbing Casco from the saddle. But no traction or even poles needed. 
4
 
Route: French/Frasco/Casco Combo
Posted On: 2019-09-23, By: mtnkub
Info: Stream crossings are easy now (see below) and the avalanche debris (2 mi from TH at first stream crossing) is cleared off the road. 
 
Route: French/Frasco/Casco Combo
Posted On: 2019-08-26, By: dwoodward13
Info: You can now cross both stream crossings without getting wet. The first one, if you go downstream about 30 yards from the vehicle crossing, the stream braids into 3 channels. First two channels you can cross on nice stable logs. Then go upstream about 15 yards and you can find rocks to hop across. The 2nd crossing can be easily done with rocks. Route up French is straightforward. I messed up the routefinding pretty good nearing PT 13,470 on the way to Casco so be careful here. If you get off a lot of the rock is extremely loose. After this route up Casco is well worn. For descent, I think it's better to go all the way to the saddle east of Casco then drop down, but dropping down into the basin at any point will work too. 
 
Route: French/Frasco/Casco Combo
Posted On: 2019-08-18, By: durkan
Info: Started from Halfmoon Rd and completed the lollipop loop counterclockwise from French to Casco. With the beautiful weather, we spent a plethora of time on each summit. Some snow to work around but it's all avoidable, if so desired. Bring some water shoes for the early creek crossings! 
 
Route: From Frasco
Posted On: 2019-08-18, By: WildWanderer
Info: Avoidable patches of snow. 
3
 
Route: French/Frasco/Casco Combo
Posted On: 2019-08-05, By: SurfNTurf
Info: Didn't summit, but made it to 12,500' before a dog injury forced a turnaround. Can provide pretty accurate conditions. Parked and camped at the first creek crossing, which is about knee deep and frigid. I'm sorry if anyone heard my cussing tirade on the other side while my feet (and I) screamed in pain from the cold. The second crossing (pictured below) is shallower and shorter, though the water is running faster. I wore my Tevas for both crossings, and the mile of road in between, before stashing them and putting on trail runners. There's a significant avalanche debris field 2 miles from the trailhead (1 mile after the second creek crossing) that was tedious to work through. I think this is where my dog cut her paw. Lots of downed trees, slippery snow, and splintered sticks. Road and upper basin are snow free. Routes up the peaks looked like the minimal snow was avoidable as well, but we bailed around the Iron Mike Mine at 12,500' when I noticed my dog limping. 
4
 
Route: French/Frasco/Casco Combo
Posted On: 2019-06-30, By: HikerBox
Info: Halfmoon creek is RAGING. It was crotch deep on me (5'8") and moving fast at the jeep road crossing but at least it was short. Probably 6 or 7 steps to get through the deepest/fastest part but I could feel the water pushing me. South Halfmoon creek was also raging hard, surprising for such a little drainage area. I ended up following a social trail then bushwacking uphill 100 yards or so to where a tree crossed it and using that. A couple down trees and three avalanche debris piles between 11k and 11.5k - snow starts to become continuous near 11.8k and was posthole hell so I turned around. I was worried about being too exhausted to re-cross Halfmoon creek safely. Better give this one a few weeks folks. 
 
Route: French/Frasco/Casco Combo
Posted On: 2018-07-03, By: HikerGuy
Info: Summer conditions, no snow to cross. The slog up French is not very fun, but the ridge run over to Casco is a blast. It can be kept to Class 2+, but you'll have more fun staying closer to the top of the ridge with the occasional Class 3 move. Decent trail coming off Casco. Very dry up there, but small streams still plentiful. 
4
 
Route: French/Frasco/Casco/Lackawanna/13660B Combo
Posted On: 2017-09-16, By: JasonKline
Info: Got under an inch of snow on September 16, but the snow promptly melted except for north-facing slopes. Slippy at points between Casco and Frasco, which was already the toughest part of the hike. There were some decent winds and relatively cold temperatures with the snow, so winter is on its way. 
 
Route: French/Frasco/Casco Combo
Posted On: 2017-08-28, By: LetsGoMets
Info: First water crossing at trailhead is low and easy to get across on foot (and probably decent clearance 4WD). I wouldn't advise taking anything stock up to the Second water crossing (.9ish miles up). That said, you can walk it without getting wet. Rest of the road is in mostly brilliant shape to the mine. Tiny bit of snow between Frasco and French on the ridge but easily avoidable. Enjoy the view of 50+ people on Elbert while your by yourself. 
3
 
Route: French/Frasco/Casco Combo
Posted On: 2017-07-02, By: fakejox
Info: With the exception of a few sun-cupped sections between French and Frasco BM, as well as on the descent from Casco, the route is snow-free. Creek is running high and was difficult to cross without getting wet. Otherwise, fabulous day and happy to have a mountain to ourselves on 4th of July weekend. 
1
 
Route: French/Frasco/Casco Combo
Posted On: 2016-07-05, By: tjf242424
Info: A few insignificant snow patches on the climb up Frasco. Otherwise, the whole route is snow free and there is no need for traction. I forded Halfmoon Creek (knee deep but flowing fast) and was able to rock hop across South Halfmoon Creek without getting my feet wet. The road to the trailhead is in good shape. No problems in a 2011 Outback. 
 
Route: French/Frasco/Casco Combo
Posted On: 2016-05-15, By: RyGuy
Info: Heavy, deep snow on the trail from the Halfmoon Creek crossing all the way into the basin. The snow was quite supportive with snowshoes until late morning, then the trap-doors started coming out to play. 
2
 
Route: French & FrascoBM
Posted On: 2015-07-19, By: Jay521
Info: Route is in good shape. All snow can be avoided going to French. A little snow going to Frasco that poses no real problem. 

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