Half Peak  
Condition Updates  
Route: Cataract Gulch
Posted On: 2021-02-08, By: blazintoes
Info: This climb ruined my antique iPhone. The charging port got wet and fried. Was able to recover pics using an online data recovery tool just so I could post here. Priorities. Road is plowed to and there is a lot of snow up Cataract Gulch. Did some class 4 snowshoeing up and broke trail the entire way. It took forever to get above treeline. Was up to my waist in snow from 10,000-11,500'. Tough. Sporadic wind gusts all day and was totally wiped out at the summit. Hard to take pictures when buried in snow. Cleared all the snow off me, my pack, my gear, snapped a few photos and the hike out now trenched wasn't as much work as it's been in the past. There is a lot of snow in the San Juans. Handies looks like it'll be tough to get this year. 
7 2
Route: Da shit route
Posted On: 2020-11-04, By: CaptCO
Info: Same conditions Supran posted. Boot packed (probably off route) to half peak. Never used traction or gaiters road gets icy after cataract TH 16mi and 5,200' gain, don't ask how..(13k+ gain/loss) 
10 2
Route: Cataract Gulch
Posted On: 2020-10-11, By: durkan
Info: Dry. Couldn't find a register. From Cataract Gulch, went SOBO on CT then NNW up a slight gully to gain the south ridge. Before going up this there is a small seasosnal creek option to fill up water. There are options to willow dodge going up. Option 2 is follow the CT to the next saddle, then begin walking up the gradual ridge North from there. Similar to the old report, follow the trail in front of you. 15 miles round-trip. 
Route: East face
Posted On: 2020-06-22, By: Alrightmax
Info: DO NOT TRUST USFS/Roach trail to cataract lake. We made a GPX off that, and it was very wrong. Follow the obvious trail in front of you! A few of the stream crossings will necessitate ford, so be prepared to get your feet wet. (Though this is more or less peak flow, YMMV.) An ice axe is still useful for the East face - my partner and I came up too high on the ridge, had to cross a snowfield, and I slid ~200'. Lucky to only have broken skin! The South Ridge is summer conditions. 
Route: Cuba Gulch
Posted On: 2019-09-16, By: Randy1983
Info: Road to Cuba Gulch TH passes through maybe 3 solid Av debris fields, thankfully the road is passable. Route from Cuba Gulch to the link up with the CDT is at most 25% trail. The majority of the first 200 or so feet is more or less destroyed by Av debris. Somewhat ok trail from near 11,000' to the small camp site near 11,500. No trail from there to the CDT other than a few cairns and the occasional path through the willows. Straight forward hiking on the CDT and ramp to the upper ridge. Roach rates that ridge at Class 2. Not to me. This has some areas of what I would rate class 3 and other areas that are class 2 with high to very high exposure on loose, crumbly rock. Thanks to info from madadraw1, we decided to descend the route to Cataract Gulch. Made for one epic "Tour De Half". Thanks again to madadraw1 for sharing the trail with us that day.  
Route: South Ridge
Posted On: 2019-09-15, By: madadraw1
Info: South Ridge via Cataract Gulch TH. Don't agree with Roach's report of 12.6 mi RT. Based on my GPS and a friend's GPS from a different day, this is more likely about 15 mi RT. The creek crossing early in the hike has new logs (two logs to make the crossing easy/stable). Shortly after that are plenty of long switch backs on a great trail. There are 3 more creek crossings before leaving tree line, all easy in Sept. Mind potential for social trails at the crossings, but easy to figure it out quickly. Very nice waterfall just below tree line. Once you make the hiker's right hand turn onto the CD Trail, you won't yet see the drainage/slope you ascend to reach the ridge. Keep hiking on the great trail and it is very obvious when you come upon it. The ridge is mostly as reported, class 2, but with good exposure / narrow sections of ridge. One ~20 foot section where you cross the notch towards the East that I did some easy class 3. There is no snow on this route currently. Despite the milage, I thought it was a gentle cruiser day. Met two hikers at the ridge who came up Cuba Gulch. Apparently that route is riddled with fallen trees/avy debris. They descended with me via Cataract Gulch. Longer milage on Cataract side but much quicker hiking. 
Route: Cataract Gulch
Posted On: 2019-08-21, By: dwoodward13
Info: There is no longer any remnants of avy debris blocking the trail. After reaching the large waterfall, make sure to cross to the left side of the creek right reaching the top. There are paths on the right side that turn into a bushwacking mess. The left side has a perfect trail. Note that at some point the trail has be realigned, so it didn't match any of my maps, but it is well marked and defined. Camped overnight at Cataract Lake which was home to 6 bull moose in the morning! Followed the CT/CDT to the turnoff for Half's south ridge. Easy grassy slope leading to the Class 2 section. Class 2 section is very exposed in places, but a well worn use path is in, so route finding is not an issue. One of my all time favorite summits! 
Route: Cataract Gulch
Posted On: 2019-07-07, By: angry
Info: Absolutely not required to perform class 4 move to get over waterfall as stated in previous report. Follow the well defined trail. Before reaching the base of the fall turn right into the willows (pic 1). I placed a couple branches here but if you look through the willows you will see a log bridge (pic 2 & 3). Cross over water and navigate the downed trees back to the trail. Reach the very top of the fall where you will see some logs that don't go completely across the water (pic 4). Keep going and you'll see an overhanging tree (pic 5). From this point, head up into the trees on climbers right and follow a faint use trail (pic 6). There will be bushwhacking (very short section, pic 7 & and you will exit at a big rock cairn (pic 9). Follow the rock path until it reconnects with the cataract gulch trail. Route is class 1 all the way until you are on the very short class 2 ridge section. Don't make it harder than it should be. 
9 3
Route: Via cataract gulch
Posted On: 2019-07-05, By: WildWanderer
Info: Trail dry until after waterfall. Small avalanche altered route: Class 4 move required to get over waterfall (which was raging). Today's summit was only possible due to snow bridges over the creek crossings. The creeks are raging and the snow bridge before the basin has a few days left before it collapses. Microspikes very helpful from basin to 12,800. Lots of snow past the lake. Last 1000' were mostly dry. The crux was snow free in all the areas that mattered. Saw 3 bull elk eating in the Gulch. 
Route: South Slopes from Cataract Gulch
Posted On: 2018-06-12, By: HikerGuy
Info: Full summer conditions. What looked like a beaver pond covering the trail, near the turn off for Quarter Peak, has been drained. East Face descent off Half is not bad at all, a cairn marks the start at the top. 
Route: South ridge
Posted On: 2018-04-14, By: bmcqueen
Info: Did Half from Cararact TH today. Trail is mostly snow from shortly after the bridge crossing. Most of it was really nice and supportive this morning, but I had to put my snowshoes on for a bit on the way down after the sun warmed it all day. The section just below the summit was a bit spicier with snow on it - fun though. 
Route: South Ridge from Cataract Gulch TH
Posted On: 2017-08-30, By: swadmin
Info: Summer condition, pretty much dry all the way to the summit. Nice camping spot at the small alpine lake about 4 miles in at the CDT/Cataract Creek trail junction if you prefer backpacking approach. 
Route: Cataract Gulch
Posted On: 2017-06-26, By: Shattuck311
Info: Soggy/Snowy in the upper meadows. No snow gear necessary & Stream crossing were easy. 
Route: South Slopes from Cataract Gulch
Posted On: 2016-09-09, By: desertdog
Info: Beautiful day weather wise, and I only saw one other person. I think this trip is much longer than the 12.7 miles described by Roach, so leave yourself plenty of time. The class 1 trail to the ridge is easy to follow. There was one section right past a small talus field that the trail has been flooded over due to the results of a beaver dam. Just go to the right of the willows and you will find a few cairns and small trail that will get you through this section. From the upper lake, the south slope is one mile. You will hike past a waterfall and then three large cairns. Turn right here. The slope is a long off trail slog to the ridge. The class 2+ ridge is short and relatively easy, but has plenty of exposure. This is a great area to explore, and well worth the long day of hiking. 
Route: South Slope
Posted On: 2015-07-04, By: illusion7il
Info: Standard route from Cataract Gulch is All clear of snow but the basin is really soggy and there are 4 stream crossing about calf deep. Descended the Cuba Gulch route (Not recommended unless you are into willow bashing.) and it is very soggy as well with a few patches of snow that can be avoided. 
Route: South slopes from Cataract TH
Posted On: 2013-05-07, By: Rainier_Wolfcastle
Info: Climbed Half Peak and Pt 13,164 as a day trip from Cataract Gulch TH on Saturday 5/4/13. There is zero snow on the road to the TH. The trail was 50% snow covered to 10.5K. We put on snowshoes for a couple of sections past this. Note there are at least 5 creek crossing, you will want poles for log crossings and will need to step in some shallow creek spots. Past treeline, you cross through 3 willow/boggy sections on your way to Cataract Lake, this is the worst part of the hike! Snowshoes are mandatory, choose your poison...crossing questionable ice/sidehilling in snowshoes/postholing in willows. Past the lake on the CO Trail section (if you take the long route, which I did), you still will want snowshoes, its just a mix of bare ground, scree, willows, 2 foot soft snow. The direct route from Cataract Lake looked like it might go in crampons...if you got a really early start and the snow firmed up. Above 12,800, all snow is avoidable to the summit. I never wore my microspikes or took the axe off my pack. Pic #1: Clearing around 10,500...next section of trees held deeper snow. Pic #2: Entire upper section of Half Peak from the East, summit is far right, Roach's class 3 more direct east route I believe would follow the continuous snow seen to the summit...snow too soft for me to attempt. Pic #3: Cataract Lake at 12,200, looking SE. Pic #4: Looking at the summit plateau from the East edge of the first plateau, with the catwalk section (airy, dry, class 2+). I was eyeing going down that snow, but it was too slushy to give it a go (with cliffs below). 

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