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Cirque of the Towers Conditions
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Jun 25, 2014
Loving it up in the Creek!
Thank you for the beta, keep it coming! tooTALLtim
From Boulder, CO
Joined Apr 9, 2007
1,246 points
Jun 25, 2014
Here is the status from last weekend.


Cirque 6/21/14
Cirque 6/21/14
Cameron Sumpter
From Lander, WY
Joined Aug 1, 2010
44 points
Jun 26, 2014
Were snowshoes required to get in? JMohan
Joined May 31, 2012
0 points
Jun 26, 2014
Me redpointing Power Series. This route is amazing...
Dan / Anyone Else,

Think of heading into the cirque around July 4th..,

How bad will the crowds be?
How bad will the bugs be?
How much snow should we expect?

Thanks!
C. Archibald
Joined Apr 15, 2012
627 points
Jun 27, 2014
Hey! I have attempted to answer your questions to the best of my knowledge below; maybe somebody with more experience can expand if I get anything wrong:

1.) No. I would not expect crowds. Even on it's worst days (late July, August), the Cirque is somewhat chill. Big Sandy Lake might be a junk show, since it's the 4th, but BS Lake should pretty much be avoided at all times of the year, anyway.

2.) I have noticed that the hordes are congregating in the lower elevations (8-9,000' approx.) right now. They move up as the season progresses and conditions become warmer in the higher elevations. Basically: if the Cirque is melted out and warm like you want it to be, there will probably be bugs.

3.) I dunno. It's raining like a sucker right now in the Winds and it's about 70-80 degrees during the day, and the days are long. That should melt some stuff. There was approx. 4 feet on Jackass Pass last weekend (according to a friend). 1.5 weeks from now...I can't say anything with certainty. There will probably be less than four feet.

Bottom line: I totally think that climbing in the Cirque or in Deep Lake area will be doable on July 4th weekend. Or at least I pray it will.

Julie and I are planning to go up July 3-7 to do some climbs on Haystack and hang out in the Cirque. Let me know what you're up to.
Daniel F
Joined Feb 6, 2014
0 points
Jun 27, 2014
Cameron: Really appreciated the very nice photo. Thank you.

And thank you to anyone who can provide future updates!
Bill Lawry
From New Mexico
Joined Apr 16, 2006
1,602 points
Jun 27, 2014
O ya, no problem. That photo was taken by some friends but passed it along as myself and I'm sure many others are interested in getting the alpine season rolling.

I plan to go into either Deep lake or the Cirque for a fast mission the weekend of the 4th and am banking on being able to get on a pretty snow free route. The decents will be the question, but if managed correctly no problem.
Cameron Sumpter
From Lander, WY
Joined Aug 1, 2010
44 points
Jul 1, 2014
Loving it up in the Creek!
Unless it drops a lot of snow, I plan on heading up to the Cirque this weekend. See you up there! tooTALLtim
From Boulder, CO
Joined Apr 9, 2007
1,246 points
Jul 2, 2014
Any more condition report? That'll be greatly appreciated. Planning on being at the trailhead in 24 hours and would love to know whether we need to change our weekend plan or not. Shiho
Joined Dec 26, 2010
121 points
Jul 3, 2014
I have heard there are places to camp in the climber's meadow. Snow on Jackass Pass, etc. but people have been up there and say it seems doable. I'm heading out tomorrow. I have a feeling it will be nice (fewer bugs than lower elevations, I'm guessing).

A good backup would be Haystack. Deep Lake is pretty much snow and ice free, from what I hear.

I have good feelings.
Daniel F
Joined Feb 6, 2014
0 points
Jul 7, 2014
Kloof at night!
How's it looking! WadeM
Joined Apr 22, 2010
199 points
Jul 8, 2014
Loving it up in the Creek!
It was amazing!

The bugs were frustrating, but the weather was fantastic!

Looking down into the Cirque of the Towers from th...
Looking down into the Cirque of the Towers from the climber's pass
From the top of Pingora. You can see the descent f...
From the top of Pingora. You can see the descent from Wolf's Head in the background.
Pano from the top of Wolf's Head
Pano from the top of Wolf's Head
The ledges behind Wolf's Head
The ledges behind Wolf's Head
Steep snow descent from Wolf's Head
Steep snow descent from Wolf's Head
Looking back from Overhanging Tower
Looking back from Overhanging Tower
tooTALLtim
From Boulder, CO
Joined Apr 9, 2007
1,246 points
Jul 8, 2014
Awesome! Thank you! Would approach shoes and an ice axe be sufficient for getting to camp and on/off climbs, or are boots necessary?

Thanks!
Brandon Gratias
Joined Mar 13, 2011
0 points
Jul 8, 2014
Me in the Buddha Cave at crumblewood a while ago.
Wow that is a lot of snow! Was up there last year for 4th of July and the snow was not even comparable to that (snow in shady sections of the cirque but nothing in the valleys). Here is our backpacking trip from a year ago for comparison: andylibrande.com/news/2013/12/... Andy Librande
From Denver, CO
Joined Nov 7, 2005
1,914 points
Jul 8, 2014
Brandon Gratias wrote:
Awesome! Thank you! Would approach shoes and an ice axe be sufficient for getting to camp and on/off climbs, or are boots necessary? Thanks!


Depends on where you are planning on climbing. Sundance Pinnacle was snow-free. Warbonnet was mostly dry except few spots on descent but the north side was still snowed in (we wanted to do feather buttress but bailed). Black elk looked like the driest option among the classic routes. Tons of snow at the base of Wolf's head, Shark's nose, etc. If you are planning on climbing those formations, an ice ax would probably come in handy. Pingora looked fine without an ax. Saw avalanche and a couple of rock falls on Mt. Mitchell and descent on Warbonnet due to freeze and thaw cycle. I had just approach shoes and my feet got soaked but they dried out fast and wasn't a problem for me.
Shiho
Joined Dec 26, 2010
121 points
Jul 8, 2014
Upper Parunuweap Canyon
Tim, those pics are amazing! Hope we can get out there later this summer. fossana
From Sin City & Bishop
Joined Apr 30, 2006
12,061 points
Jul 8, 2014
I'm very grateful for the report, Tim. Thank you for current photos. And thank you equally to Shiho for the rundown on snow around various climb locations. Bill Lawry
From New Mexico
Joined Apr 16, 2006
1,602 points
Jul 8, 2014
Loving it up in the Creek!
@ Brandon: Getting to the Cirque of the Towers, you definitely did not need serious footwear. It's quite dry up to Arrowhead Lake, and not much thereafter.

Bits of postholing got me to the base of Pingora, but minimal.

I descended from b/t Wolf's and Overhanging around 4pm, and found soft snow. I had on approach shoes and gaiters, and had an axe. I'm glad the snow was soft, as it's steep (for someone like me). Get after it!

@ fossana and Bill: Thank you!
tooTALLtim
From Boulder, CO
Joined Apr 9, 2007
1,246 points
Jul 9, 2014
Thanks Shiho and Tim. I'm headed in today and will post some condition pics when I get out. Brandon Gratias
Joined Mar 13, 2011
0 points
Jul 9, 2014
Tour Ronde North Face
What were overnight temperatures like?

We're headed to Gannett next week. Hoping that it freezes overnight to keep the snow nice and firm.


tooTALLtim wrote:
@ Brandon: Getting to the Cirque of the Towers, you definitely did not need serious footwear. It's quite dry up to Arrowhead Lake, and not much thereafter. Bits of postholing got me to the base of Pingora, but minimal. I descended from b/t Wolf's and Overhanging around 4pm, and found soft snow. I had on approach shoes and gaiters, and had an axe. I'm glad the snow was soft, as it's steep (for someone like me). Get after it! @ fossana and Bill: Thank you!
Kai Larson
From Sandy, Utah
Joined Jan 6, 2006
260 points
Jul 9, 2014
FYI the grassy goat on Haystack is totally melted out as well. Was on Minor Dihedral this weekend. Cameron Sumpter
From Lander, WY
Joined Aug 1, 2010
44 points
Jul 10, 2014
@ Kai - Overnight temps were good (probably 40's) this past weekend. It has been rather warm up here, wouldnt be surprised if its slightly above freezing up on the Dinwoody glacier Cameron Sumpter
From Lander, WY
Joined Aug 1, 2010
44 points
Jul 15, 2014
Cams above the arm bar moves on Three Pigs in a Sl...
Any new updates? Will be headed in next week. Charlie S
From Ogden, UT
Joined Aug 23, 2007
1,059 points
Jul 22, 2014
Just below the chockstone on Alexander's chimney
Any updates? I'm heading up to Clear Lake/Haystack area on the 25th.

Thanks,

Seth
seth0687
From Fort Collins
Joined Nov 20, 2007
392 points
Jul 31, 2014
Just left Cirque of the Towers. No snow gear needed for normal descent from E Ridge, Wolf's Head. Bill Lawry
From New Mexico
Joined Apr 16, 2006
1,602 points


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