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2014 Colorado Snow Climbing Thread
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By Eric Klammer
From Boulder, CO
May 29, 2014
Heading up the best pitches of the route. Perfect rock at a nice relaxed angle!

North Face Couloirs on Pacific Peak need some more time in the oven. The snow is unconsolidated for the most part and large cornices loom overhead on the West ridge. Rock fall is a definite concern as well with many small stones coming down the couloir way too frequently. No sign of ice yet and I'm guessing it will be at least a couple weeks to a month before any shows.


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By eric kramak
From Denver, Colorado
May 31, 2014
Standin' on top of the world.  NEWS, WA Pass.

Climbed Mt. Evans via something far, far to lookers right of The Snave. Fairly straight forward: snow up to 40 degrees and three short cruxes of AI2, M2-3ish. Looks like a few other routes in that area are coming in. They should be evident in the picture - any ideas what they're called? Conditions were pretty good on the way up with only occasional patches of unconsolidated snow.

Easy snow/mixed line
Easy snow/mixed line


Tagged the summit and traversed across Sawtooth to Bierstadt, then reversed the traverse and returned to Summit Lake via Spalding. Its worth noting that the snow on the south side of Sawtooth is horrible. Spent a fair amount of time wallowing balls deep when I couldn't stick to the rock.

Here be choss, post-holing and pain.
Here be choss, post-holing and pain.


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By MtnLife
May 31, 2014
profile pic

Anyone know if Skywalker couloir is in good shape right now?


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By JonW
May 31, 2014

I saw a post over on 14ers that indicated Skywalker's in fine condition.


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By Rocky_Mtn_High
From Arvada, CO
Jun 1, 2014
Lamb's Slide

MtnLife wrote:
Anyone know if Skywalker couloir is in good shape right now?

A buddy climbed it yesterday and said it was in good shape.
Skywalker 30May2014. <br /> <br />(Photo by Roger)
Skywalker 30May2014.

(Photo by Roger)


J1: thanks for the tip on the Tuning Fork. It's still in great shape, featuring over 3000' of uninterrupted buttery blissful turns on the way down!


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By Ryan Marsters
Jun 1, 2014

Lambslide, Broadway, and Notch all good snow with a booter. No ice yet. Another week of warming might just clear out the Broadway crux move.


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By MtnLife
Jun 1, 2014
profile pic

Thanks for the updates on Skywalker, still good as of today


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By J1.
From Boulder, Colorado
Jun 2, 2014
Towliee

Skywalker.
Skywalker.


Skywalker does have a nice runnel forming right now FYI.. Apron is pretty much melted out as well.. I would not call it in that great of shape to ski, unless your there just to climb snow..


Neva on the other hand... Good shape! No runnel! Longer ski descent!





Mt. Neva, 6/1/14.
Mt. Neva, 6/1/14.


Slushy steps up the " Juliet Couloir", Mt. Neva.
Slushy steps up the " Juliet Couloir", Mt. Neva.


Skiing off the summit is always RAD!
Skiing off the summit is always RAD!


NE face of Neva.
NE face of Neva.


Upper basin below the NE face. many short steep coolies to choose from.
Upper basin below the NE face. many short steep coolies to choose from.


Plan for the day was to ski Skywalker but once we got a close up view of the couloir we didn't feel like it was in that great of shape for a ski descent.. With a soft freeze the night before we booked it over to Neva and barely got it done.. Skiing off the summit of Neva at high noon.. Hopefully it starts freezing up there!!


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By GLD
Jun 2, 2014

Ryan Marsters wrote:
Lambslide, Broadway, and Notch all good snow with a booter. No ice yet. Another week of warming might just clear out the Broadway crux move.

You're welcome for that booter! I had to hack at the broadway crux move to knock a lot of snow out the way.

Did it Saturday and it was getting VERY Soft when we topped out before 11AM. Get your starts early!

GLD


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By Ryan Marsters
Jun 2, 2014

From the depth of some of those steps, pretty sure I owe you a beer or future trench.
Crux of the entire thing at the moment is traversing across a wet friction rock ledge to get to the bottom of the Staircase chimney. Maybe 30 ft above the Notch topout. Perhaps I was off route and boots didn't help, but that was sketchy and I backed off half way through.


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By eric kramak
From Denver, Colorado
Jun 3, 2014
Standin' on top of the world.  NEWS, WA Pass.

Climbed the Snave this morning before work. Some postholing through crusty snow on the approach and in the gully. Nice AI on the direct start and around the mixed steps more than made up for the approach.

The more direct line through the lower cliff band.
The more direct line through the lower cliff band.


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By Scott McMahon
From Boulder, CO
Jun 3, 2014
Bocan

The 14ers facebook page has been seeing some good traffic for mountain lines as well.


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By Rocky_Mtn_High
From Arvada, CO
Jun 4, 2014
Lamb's Slide

Love this shot of JohnS heading down Tuning Fork (with Grizzly Peak in the background)

Tuning Fork, 31May2014. <br /> <br />Photo by Mark Egge.
Tuning Fork, 31May2014.

Photo by Mark Egge.


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By whittlesticks
From Nederland
Jun 4, 2014
hanging at the bridger jacks campground

mt evans summit couloir cragging
mt evans summit couloir cragging


mt evans summit couloir
mt evans summit couloir


summit cragging at mt evans
summit cragging at mt evans

Taylor Brown and I found some nice mixed couloir's just below the summit of Mt. Evans today. get on em before they melt away.


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By eric kramak
From Denver, Colorado
Jun 4, 2014
Standin' on top of the world.  NEWS, WA Pass.

whittlesticks wrote:
Taylor Brown and I found some nice mixed couloir's just below the summit of Mt. Evans today. get on em before the melt away.



I was eyeballing those lines yesterday. Any comments on the level of difficulty?


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By whittlesticks
From Nederland
Jun 4, 2014
hanging at the bridger jacks campground

Im a bad judge at grades but the three couloirs we climbed all felt like wi 3 m3-4 ish. Good rock pro but run outs.


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By eric kramak
From Denver, Colorado
Jun 4, 2014
Standin' on top of the world.  NEWS, WA Pass.

whittlesticks wrote:
Im a bad judge at grades but the three couloirs we climbed all felt like wi 3 m3-4 ish. Good rock pro but run outs.


Nice. Thanks.


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By Mark E Dixon
From Sprezzatura, Someday
Jun 4, 2014
At the BRC

Did the North Couloir on Mt Democrat today. A little soft, but minimal postholing on the climb or the approach. We descended the leftmost continuous line on the face with a combination of plunge steps and glissades. Had planned to come down via the Lincoln amphitheater, but wasn't meant to be. Surprisingly large amount of ice remains on Lincoln Falls.

North Face of Mt Democrat 6/4/14
North Face of Mt Democrat 6/4/14


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By Scott McMahon
From Boulder, CO
Jun 5, 2014
Bocan

Anyone know the road status on Brainard lake? The wesbite doesn't work for the road status. Closed or clear? I'm guessing clear, but still only biking?


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By Mark E Dixon
From Sprezzatura, Someday
Jun 5, 2014
At the BRC

Here's a question for you couloir experts-
I'm looking to get out next week, but have to work till late so probably can't get to sleep till 1 or so, which means maybe a 5 AM start from Boulder. (I can't do those all nighters anymore!)
Any suggestions for snow routes that will forgive a later start? I was thinking maybe the Flying Dutchman might be sheltered from early sun? Would still need to come down the Loft I guess, but at least that would be downhill.
Other routes we are looking at seem to all face east- Shooting Star, maybe Dead Dog.


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By Taylor-B.
From CO & AK
Jun 5, 2014
Mt. Churchill, University Range

Mark E Dixon wrote:
Any suggestions for snow routes that will forgive a later start?

I would suggest Mt. Evans, there are tons of great couloirs up there and you can drive and park above 13,000ft.

The MP page for Mt. Evans is getting stacked and a bit confusing! Here is a good beta photo with routes drawn in. I added a few new routes to the page last night and many others in the past and I appreciate any feed back on grades or if I f-up names of routes or FA info.
The Summit Lake Cirque. <br /> <br />Pink-Lazy is Lazy Does <br />Dark Blue-The Snave <br />Forest Green- The Snave Direct <br />Purple-Telepherique <br />Green-Crystal Couloir <br />Red-North Face Crag <br />Blue-The Bib <br />Black-Diamond Couloir <br />Yellow-White Trash <br />Dark Red-The Far Right Dihedral
The Summit Lake Cirque.

Pink-Lazy is Lazy Does
Dark Blue-The Snave
Forest Green- The Snave Direct
Purple-Telepherique
Green-Crystal Couloir
Red-North Face Crag
Blue-The Bib
Black-Diamond Couloir
Yellow-White Trash
Dark Red-The Far Right Dihedral


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By eric kramak
From Denver, Colorado
Jun 5, 2014
Standin' on top of the world.  NEWS, WA Pass.

Taylor-B. wrote:
I would suggest Mt. Evans, there are tons of great couloirs up there and you can drive and park above 13,000ft. The MP page for Mt. Evans is getting stacked and a bit confusing! Here is a good beta photo with routes drawn in.



Thanks for that pic!


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By Nobleman
From Rocheport, MO
Jun 5, 2014

Hey can anyone speak to conditions on longs peak? Hoping to do Kieners soon, and would welcome any beta on the snowpack, whether any flotation is necessary, impressions on Avi danger, and the condition of lambs slide and maybe even the rock pitches. Thanks!


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By Mark Ra
From Mid-Atlantic/CO
Jun 5, 2014
Poking around at Coopers

Nobleman wrote:
Hey can anyone speak to conditions on longs peak? Hoping to do Kieners soon, and would welcome any beta on the snowpack, whether any flotation is necessary, impressions on Avi danger, and the condition of lambs slide and maybe even the rock pitches. Thanks!


Well a 19 year-old soloed it in workout clothes and tennis shoes last week so...


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By Rocky_Mtn_High
From Arvada, CO
Jun 5, 2014
Lamb's Slide

Mark E Dixon wrote:
Here's a question for you couloir experts- I'm looking to get out next week, but have to work till late so probably can't get to sleep till 1 or so, which means maybe a 5 AM start from Boulder. (I can't do those all nighters anymore!) Any suggestions for snow routes that will forgive a later start? I was thinking maybe the Flying Dutchman might be sheltered from early sun? Would still need to come down the Loft I guess, but at least that would be downhill. Other routes we are looking at seem to all face east- Shooting Star, maybe Dead Dog.


With the long approaches required for Shooting Star and Dead Dog, those east-facing aspects (which get early sun) will likely be way too soft by the time you get there. To avoid the risk of wet slides, you need an alpine start and should plan to be on the couloirs by 7am, at least. A clear night to allow long-wave radiation cooling is also helpful (and clouds are in the forecast for this weekend).

I think Taylor-B's suggestion is excellent, as those couloirs on Mt. Evans are north-facing and offer a quick approach from the lake (which can be reached by car).


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