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Local snow/alpine route suggestions
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By Jason Watts
From Boulder,CO
May 7, 2013

This is my first spring in CO and I am looking for some moderate snow or alpine climbs that are in and don't require a massive hike to get into right now. 6-7 miles round trip would be great and I am not opposed to a cold bivvy. My friend and I were looking at something like the Y on Pikes, but I am not sure about the whole gate situation. I live in Boulder, so I feel like the IPs are fairly inaccessible right now so skywalker is out, but does anyone have any evidence otherwise? I know I will have to "pay my dues" in a way to learn about the area, but I was wondering if anyone had some suggestions on which direction I should be looking right now.


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By Jim Amidon
May 7, 2013
J TREE

Dragonstail RMNP


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By Kevin Craig
May 7, 2013
KC on Fields (medium).  Photo (c) Doug Shepherd

Check out the Colorado Snow Climbs book by Dave Cooper. Neptune's and other climbing shops should have it. Take note, however, that due to the continued snow this Spring, conditions are probably at least a few weeks "behind" normal. Have fun!


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By J1.
From Boulder, Colorado
May 7, 2013
Towliee

Indian Peaks, Brainard Lake road will probably be dry enough to bike soon..Ive already done 2 approaches skining the road since its so damn snow covered still..only adds 2 miles or so onto the approach..not that bad..
Mt Toll, Paiute, Pawneee, Apache, Audubon, Navajo Peak , all waiting for ya back there..

Lots more stuff in the Park other than the Dragon Tail which everyone and there grandmother skis every spring... Notchtop Couloir, Taylor, Powell Thatchtop snowfield, I even herd that the Through on LP is FAT right now..

East Portal up near Rollinsville holds some good corn skiing as well..
Frosty Bowl, Radio Beacon, great stuff on James Peak as well..

Up I-70 , Fall River Road, Ascess to Parry Peak, Eva, Bancroft, and the SE slope of James..All relatively easy short approaches..
also Herman Gulch and Dry Gulch up 70 exit 218 and 216, will give you ascess to the Citadel,Pettingell peak, and Hagar Mt..All Good intermediate snow clmbs..

Hope that helps...Have fun


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By Kevin Craig
May 7, 2013
KC on Fields (medium).  Photo (c) Doug Shepherd

Also if you can find a copy of Roach's Indian Peaks guide, that's worth having for snow and alpine. I'd heard he was working on an update but don't know if it ever got published.


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By Scott McMahon
From Boulder, CO
May 7, 2013
Bocan

Kevin Craig wrote:
Also if you can find a copy of Roach's Indian Peaks guide, that's worth having for snow and alpine. I'd heard he was working on an update but don't know if it ever got published.


+1 Great book for some more off the beaten path stuff.

I'd be willing to get out and do some with you.


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By willeslinger
From Golden, Colorado
May 7, 2013
I was pretty bummed when they didn't greenlight my "Bourne Identity" style reboot of The Eiger Sanction. This was from the rough draft's first act.

Dragons Tail Couloir is a load of fun.


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By Jason Watts
From Boulder,CO
May 10, 2013

Thanks guys. We are looking at going next Saturday. It sounds like it might be good to look at the park. I might have to take a ride by Brainard to see how the road is before making a decision. The last time I went up there (~2 weeks ago) it started snowing pretty dang hard on us right in Ward. Anyways, getting with some locals up here (I've been in Estes for the wifeys bday) I realise where there are some really cool places that I did know about before. I might have to take a swing by tomorrow when we are leaving to check out the trailheads. Thanks again!


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By Simon Thompson
From New Paltz, NY
May 10, 2013

Kiener's Route on Longs Peak! Nice 1000ft easy snow/ice gully, an exposed walking traverse, and then about 1000' of low 5th class rock and scrambling to the summit of a 14er! A little longer hike(11ish miles RT) than what you're looking for but with a bit of cardio and endurance training it's pretty attainable. Bivy near the base is possible if you really want to but it is usually done car-to-car in a long day.


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By Scott McMahon
From Boulder, CO
May 10, 2013
Bocan

Jason Watts wrote:
Thanks guys. We are looking at going next Saturday. It sounds like it might be good to look at the park. I might have to take a ride by Brainard to see how the road is before making a decision. The last time I went up there (~2 weeks ago) it started snowing pretty dang hard on us right in Ward. Anyways, getting with some locals up here (I've been in Estes for the wifeys bday) I realise where there are some really cool places that I did know about before. I might have to take a swing by tomorrow when we are leaving to check out the trailheads. Thanks again!


Post up about the road. When it's clear enough, bike it to save the 2 mile extra hike.


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By Scott McMahon
From Boulder, CO
May 13, 2013
Bocan

Anybody got beta on the road? It's gonna be hot all week but bikeable?


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By Dave Bn
From Fort Collins, CO
May 13, 2013
Dreamweaver

Scott McMahon wrote:
Anybody got beta on the road? It's gonna be hot all week but bikeable?


There was a recent thread on 14ers claiming it to be under >2 ft of snow still. Could melt quickly considering today's and forecasted temps

Current SPlatte Drainage snow pack is 108% of normal and a whopping 965% (!!!) of this time last year.


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By J1.
From Boulder, Colorado
May 27, 2013
Towliee

Brainard Lake road is bike-able now.. Talked to forest service and was told the gate would not be opening till mid June..

Get in there while you can, snow conditions are PRIME back there right now..


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By J1.
From Boulder, Colorado
May 27, 2013
Towliee

Brainard Lake Road conditions.
Brainard Lake Road conditions.


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