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2014 Colorado Snow Climbing Thread
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By Scott McMahon
From Boulder, CO
May 18, 2014
Bocan

Mark E Dixon wrote:
Anybody get out in RMNP today )or recently)? Still hoping to climb Dragonstail with the boys and wondering if it will be too soft and hot tomorrow.


A friend attempted it on Saturday and it slid. Per his description about halfway up it ripped below, and they were getting slammed with rollerballs and pinwheels. He said the slide probably ran about 1000 feet, 50 ft wide and 6 feet deep, so it sounds like it went pretty far down into the basin.

I'm guessing after this last weather system it might take part of the week to settle.


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By Mark E Dixon
From Sprezzatura, Someday
May 18, 2014
At the BRC

Scott McMahon wrote:
A friend attempted it on Saturday and it slid. Per his description about halfway up it ripped below, and they were getting slammed with rollerballs and pinwheels. He said the slide probably ran about 1000 feet, 50 ft wide and 6 feet deep, so it sounds like it went pretty far down into the basin. I'm guessing after this last weather system it might take part of the week to settle.


Thanks Scott, missed your post since we were well on our way down about 10 after climbing Dragon's Tail.

There's a lot of avalanche debris on the route, maybe all from yesterday. It seemed reasonably stable early this morning, even on a sunny day like today.

The kids even kicked most of the steps!


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By Mark Egge
May 18, 2014
photo

Ted Eliason wrote:
How was the cornice looking over Superstar?


The cornice is 5' or 6' tall. It can be bypassed by exiting Superstar to the right and finishing over rock ~70 feet north of the true exit.

Here's a picture I snapped for you this morning while headed up Shooting Start:
Looking up at Superstar Couloir from the top of the apron, below.
Looking up at Superstar Couloir from the top of the apron, below.


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By Mark Egge
May 18, 2014
photo

Climbed Shooting Star this morning. Started climbing on the apron below the couloir proper at around 8:00 am--two hours, perhaps, later than I should have (to avoid much of Shooting Star's eponymous shooting sluff). Spent most of the time wallowing in the 23" of fresh snow deposited last weekend. The snow (even in the areas not yet sunhit) was loose, and unconsolidated. I could often plunge my free hand into the snow almost up to my elbow. By next weekend, no doubt, it'll be in prime condition again. Today was certainly not the spring snowpack that I expected.

Looking down Shooting Star Couloir.
Looking down Shooting Star Couloir.


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By Rocky_Mtn_High
From Arvada, CO
May 18, 2014
Lamb's Slide

We had a similar experience on Quandary today, getting off the beaten path a bit and climbing a SW-facing couloir. We got on early and worked through a foot or so of relatively fresh snow that is consolidating now. Seemed as if half the route was climbing on slough debris from the past week (must have gotten pretty warm there recently). Once it firms up, there's some really fun ski terrain back there (see photo); in the meantime, the skiers were having fun on the North couloir and on Cristo.

SW Couloir on Quandary.  We named it Horton's Hind Leg in memory of Horton the Quandary Dog
SW Couloir on Quandary. We named it Horton's Hind Leg in memory of Horton the Quandary Dog


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By Tim Zander
May 18, 2014

Hi Rocky Mtn High. We dropped in the line to the N of where you topped out and you took our photo.

Snow on the N aspect was great skiing. No stability issues and very fun chalky powder.

Has anyone been up to Ypsilon or other peaks in the mummies in RMNP recently?

Here's a photo of the top of the line we skied and some of the nice snow we got :)


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By Ryan Marsters
May 18, 2014

Plenty of the usual slight settling (mostly in the flats down low) and wet sloughs all over the Ophir and Ouray areas this weekend. Not much fresh snow left over from last weekend's storm.

We climbed an inset W-facing line on Yellow Mtn on a nice and icy wet slide track for several hundred feet. Opted not to traverse around Pilot Knob due to a suspect slope and heat. Also did a W facing line up Hayden Mtn South near Imogene but bailed to a flank due to tension cracks and some settling. Still, conditions look pretty good for the skiers if you can avoid the slough paths. Might get to pics of the area tomorrow.


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By YPNat
May 19, 2014
Lincoln Falls

In the Sawatch, snow was much more stable this past weekend vs. previous one - it's amazing what a few days of melt-freeze cycle do to the stability of the snowpack! On Saturday we skied a fun line on the back side of Yale - it probably goes around high 40ties near the top. North facing line, so we still encountered powder, but it was getting heavy. On Sunday, I skied the S/E facing Sawatch line and it was all corn!

the line
the line


slope
slope


tracks
tracks


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By Mike Pharris
From Longmont, CO
May 19, 2014
Climbing above Black Lake

Was in the Black Lake cirque in RMNP on Sunday. By around noon the south facing slopes between McHenry's and Arrowhead were sliding bigtime. Watched slides run off McHenry and Arrowhead as well as on the slope beneath the connecting ridge. All other aspects appeared stable.


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By Taylor-B.
From CO & AK
May 24, 2014
Mt. Churchill, University Range

Kelso Ridge and the Emperor Face made for a good skimo route the other day. You can drive all the way up to the Grizzly Gulch junction before hitting snow on the roads.

Emperor Face and the upper part of Kelso Ridge.
Emperor Face and the upper part of Kelso Ridge.


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By Eddie Farrell
From Boulder, co
May 25, 2014
jugging up spaceshot

Hey all, I'm thinking about heading up to the longs/meeker cirque tomorrow. Any information on conditions up at Martha, Dreamweaver, or Flying Dutchman? Anything helps, thanks


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By Scott McMahon
From Boulder, CO
May 25, 2014
Bocan

Was planning to go up RMNP but I think with the massive weather front it will be garbage. Also was told that their isn't enough snow to skin well, but too much not to post hole on the way to dragon tail. It's been raining up high as well. Sounds like crap all week too


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By eric kramak
From Denver, Colorado
May 25, 2014
Standin' on top of the world.  NEWS, WA Pass.

Climbed Dragon's Tail early this morning. Approach was solid. Snow in the couloir was a little wet and sloppy but solid enough to not disintegrate under body weight.


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By Scott McMahon
From Boulder, CO
May 25, 2014
Bocan

eric kramak wrote:
Climbed Dragon's Tail early this morning. Approach was solid. Snow in the couloir was a little wet and sloppy but solid enough to not disintegrate under body weight.


Good to hear!


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By Eddie Farrell
From Boulder, co
May 25, 2014
jugging up spaceshot

eric kramak wrote:
Climbed Dragon's Tail early this morning. Approach was solid. Snow in the couloir was a little wet and sloppy but solid enough to not disintegrate under body weight.

Awesome Thanks!


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By Scott McMahon
From Boulder, CO
May 27, 2014
Bocan

RMNP Hallets cirque conditions. Not enough snow to skin in anymore as the trail is too variable. Rain and nighttime temps has caused the snow to be bullet hard first thing, but once the sun hits it becomes very sloppy almost in minutes it seemed. Lots of rockfall from the Hallets side of the cirque. Some individuals were skiing across emerald lake, but I wouldn't recommend it as it's starting to melt out. LOTS of avy activity with at least 4 big slides. Still a big cornice hanging on the right hand branch of DT, and rock bands are formed on both DT and Dead Elk. Runnel coming down the center of the chute. Also a layer of large hail permeates the snowpack just under the surface, with that nasty dust layer you can see in the pictures.


Hallet's Cirque
Hallet's Cirque


Dream Chutes
Dream Chutes


Dragon's Tail
Dragon's Tail


Dragon's Tail 2
Dragon's Tail 2


DT 3
DT 3


DT 4
DT 4


DT 5
DT 5


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By J1.
From Boulder, Colorado
May 27, 2014
Towliee

Kelso Northeast face on Sunday.. 5in of nice dense powder..

Skiing Kelso  5/25/14
Skiing Kelso 5/25/14



Torreys on Memorial Day was Awesome!!


Tuning forks.. our line in red. Skied great from top to bottom!
Tuning forks.. our line in red. Skied great from top to bottom!




Fresh Pow ! Brad skiing the upper tuning fork.
Fresh Pow ! Brad skiing the upper tuning fork.


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By Tim Zander
May 27, 2014

Mexican Hat near A Basin was great yesterday morning.


Cumbre Couloir on Ypsilon in RMNP went on Saturday, but snow was a bit iffy. Nasty snow on Sunday


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By Ryan Kempf
From Boulder, CO
May 27, 2014
Ryan on the Sharks Fin wishing he was on Mt. Whiteny.

Ass Scott mentions above there is a layer of hail or "roller balls" on top of the pre-existing snow pack and under the new snow that fell over the weekend. There is about 3" of new snow on top of this unstable layer(which is approx 3"). All of this is on top of the March dust layer which contains poor bonding qualities. These are dangerous wet-slab conditions. Be safe out there.


snow pack-Long's Peak Cirque
snow pack-Long's Peak Cirque


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By Scott McMahon
From Boulder, CO
May 28, 2014
Bocan

Anybody taken a look at lambs slide lately? I know it's more of an approach climb for some, but I've always wanted to ski it. Conditions of bullet snow and black ice have always kept me away.

Any thoughts on conditions, difficulty and if it's worth it?

Also anyone know if the road to the 4th of July trailhead is open yet? Trailridge is open to my knowledge. I'm guessing brainard is not as the road closure status tab doesn't seem to work on USDA site.


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By SavageMarmot
From Nederland, CO
May 28, 2014

4th of July road is open.


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By Cor
May 28, 2014
black nasty

Hey Scott,

Flying home from Taiwan yesterday I got a look at Longs from the air.
I did not get a photo as I was in the isle, not a window seat
but will say everything looked like white snow!
The whole way down Lambs, whole way down North Face. Did see some wet slides
off of the Loft area. Even the East slopes of Meeker, which are usually dryad snow!

Hope that helps a little… :D


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By Ryan Kempf
From Boulder, CO
May 28, 2014
Ryan on the Sharks Fin wishing he was on Mt. Whiteny.

Scott:

The photo I posted was the snow pack on the Flying Dutchman. I did not venture over to Lambs Slide but I would highly suspect the snow is in similar shape. On Monday the snow pack was soft in the couloir, basically a knee deep step kicking adventure. I was thinking the whole time I wish I had brought my board. The Long's Peak weather cam has been consistently recording 60* temps during the day. Hit the trail early and get of early, and enjoy paradise!


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By Scott McMahon
From Boulder, CO
May 28, 2014
Bocan

Thanks guys...I was hoping to hear something along the lines of that!!


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By Don Morris
From Denver, CO
May 29, 2014
Up on Vail Pass.

On Memorial Day climbed up Hope Couloir on Mount Hope (13,930). Snow was plentiful and stable.

Hope Couloir with a nice vertical notch to go through
Hope Couloir with a nice vertical notch to go through


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