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Longs/Meeker/Martha condtions
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By Kevin Craig
May 8, 2010
KC on Fields (medium).  Photo (c) Doug Shepherd

There is a LOT of snow up in the Longs cirque right now - about 8-12" on top of an old 4ish" thick melt-freeze crust on high altitude S. facing slopes. Good news is that there's a pretty much straight-line trail on packed snow from treeline to Chasm Junction (base of MLW East Ridge). Bad news is it looks like routes like Dreamweaver, The Notch/Kieners, etc. are at least couple of weeks away and maybe more. No ice visible on DW or Flying Dutchman, two body-length sections of ice on Martha. Chasm Lake is still frozen with about 8" of snow on top. I wouldn't do anything north-facing for a while and Martha would have been dicey avy-wise if it was warmer or sunnier (cold/cloudy today after about 11AM with snow and major clouds starting around noon or 1). I'd be very surprised if there is any ice (rather than deep snow)on other S-facing slopes right now, but I could be wrong - post-up if you went for a walk today!

See photos below...

Long's/Meeker 5-8-10.
Long's/Meeker 5-8-10.


Dreamweaver, 5-8-10.
Dreamweaver, 5-8-10.


Martha, 5-8-10.
Martha, 5-8-10.


East Face, 5-8-10.
East Face, 5-8-10.


Lamb's Slide and Flying Dutchman, 5-8-10.
Lamb's Slide and Flying Dutchman, 5-8-10.


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By Kevin Landolt
From Fort Collins, Wyoming
May 9, 2010

Thanks for the beta Kevin. A friend and I skied up to Arrowhead and climbed the Hourglass Couloir (N. Facing) yesterday. We were groveling in style! Lots of physical snow wallowing and drytooling. The only ice we found was on the 3rd pitch chimney, which was a lot of fun. I was psyched to have my skis with me for the approach and descent.



Hourglass Couloir on Arrowhead.



Ryan swimming up to our first belay.



Looking down the easy snow from above the first pitch - which was definately the crux in it's current shape. It involves climbing over three significant chockstones.



2nd Pitch



Above the chimney.



Swimming up the final pitches.


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By Chris Plesko
From Westminster, CO
May 9, 2010
OMG, I winz!!!

Thanks for the beta boys. Ran up Dead Dog this morning, hope to get to the park early in the week.

EDIT: Dead Dog was good, not totally consolidated but stable early. Wet slides were starting by 10am. Be wary driving up the road in the AM, make sure you can get down in the afternoon. There is one *stuck* FJ up there.


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By Kevin Craig
May 9, 2010
KC on Fields (medium).  Photo (c) Doug Shepherd

Kevin L., thanks for the beta! That one is definitely on my list. I feared we would find the conditions you did, plus my friend from NM didn't bring his skis, so we picked the more accessible Martha. "Arduous" is how my fried described our route in current conditions.

Good on you guys for getting after the Hourglass!

Also thanks for the info on DD Chris!

One more pic, the second ice step on Martha, first one is similar, maybe a bit shorter...


Step 2 on Martha
Step 2 on Martha


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By Mitch Musci
May 10, 2010

Kevin, thanks for the post...however I can't imagine skiing up or down those steep, thick glades that rise out of glacier gorge up to shelf lake. I have done this approach a handful of times in both summer and winter and it seems like there are a ton of obstacles and some routefinding. How did you manage?


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By Jim Amidon
May 10, 2010
J TREE

We watched an avalanche cascade down The Notch for a good 30 seconds yesterday, just kept flowing down the route and over the lower flanks of Longs........

There were 2 guys going to try Kieners, but we don't think they even got up Lambs Slide.

AND MORE snow is on the way........2 feet of spring wetness coming our way......

Yes it is still like winter up there......

We dug a test pit for fun, and found some scary stuff...

Long's.
Long's.




Long's/Loft/Meeker.
Long's/Loft/Meeker.


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By Chris Sheridan
From Boulder, CO
May 10, 2010
Chris setting up the rappel in the Southeast Gully of Arrowhead.  If anyone cleans that stopper and pin, I'd be glad to have it back.

Great pictures of Hourglass. You should post those in the route database for future reference.


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By MarkC
May 10, 2010

I climbed Martha on Saturday and will vouch for there being a ton of unconsolidated snow right now. The ice that is there is ok but the route had a constant flow of spindrift and that added a bit of challenge to the conditions. I got off the route early before the sun really got into the gully and it was still cold. Sun and warmer temps might make the whole thing sketchy right now.


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By Bill Duncan
From Jamestown, CO
May 10, 2010
Leading the 3rd pitch of West Side Story.

MarkC wrote:
I climbed Martha on Saturday and will vouch for there being a ton of unconsolidated snow right now. The ice that is there is ok but the route had a constant flow of spindrift and that added a bit of challenge to the conditions. I got off the route early before the sun really got into the gully and it was still cold. Sun and warmer temps might make the whole thing sketchy right now.


Yepper, we climbed it on Sunday, and found a steep snow climb with 2 ices steps and a minor ice/snow constriction. We were easily able to solo up to the last ice step. The slope above the climb was indeed warming up and getting sketchy in terms of avy potential. Spindriftorama. Start early.
Frosty enjoying the spindrift whilst cruising Martha.
Frosty enjoying the spindrift whilst cruising Martha.


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By Kevin Landolt
From Fort Collins, Wyoming
May 10, 2010

Ha! Great pic!

Chris, I'll upload that photo of Hourglass Couloir to the route's beta page tonight.

Looks like a lot of folks had a great weekend in the Park! Another couple of feet expected to fall this week. Jeeze.


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By Buster Jesik
May 10, 2010
me climbing

climbed Martha today, it was in great shape with lots of ice on the crux steps. The snow was in good shape as well, minimal post-holeing. We got to the summit just before a white out blew in that made the descent a little heads up.


Jes on Martha.
Jes on Martha.



also - to the right of Martha is this thing...


New line?
New line?


get after it!


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By J C Wilks
From Loveland, CO
May 11, 2010

The first step (start of pitch 4?) on Martha.
The first step (start of pitch 4?) on Martha.

We went on Wed the 5th. We had gusts up to 60mph at dawn but once we were there, the winds settled down. If anyone finds that Tibloc, Tom would probably like to have it back, thanks.
Topping out. What a view!
Topping out. What a view!


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By Jim Amidon
May 11, 2010
J TREE

Thanks for the laugh........

Finding a Tibloc up there..........

WOW >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>..


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By J C Wilks
From Loveland, CO
May 11, 2010

Should jump out at ya ;)


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By Chris Plesko
From Westminster, CO
May 11, 2010
OMG, I winz!!!

Probably should go in ice conditions but FYI, lincoln falls is still fatty fat fat. Nothing harder than 3+/4- to be found but lots of good condition ice still.


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By Frosty Weller
From Colorado
May 11, 2010
Desert Tower

One of the many that we saw come off near The Notch Sunday May 9th.
One of the many that we saw come off near The Notch Sunday May 9th.


It's gonna be awhile before any lost gear surfaces I think... lots of snow... and more tonight with a potential 2 foot dump coming!

Be safe up there!


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By Ryan Malarky
From Denver, CO
May 11, 2010
Hulk

Buster,

I can't tell from your pic how long that "new" line is next to Martha. Any idea?


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By Dougald MacDonald
May 11, 2010

Chris Sheridan wrote:
Great pictures of Hourglass. You should post those in the route database for future reference.


Kevin, if you repost those photos, be sure to post the route-line shot so it will blow up a bit larger. If I'm not mistaken, it's showing the line of Sister Sweetly, a harder route to the right of Hourglass that's rarely (almost never) climbed. Maybe this is the year?

And, as someone else asked, did you really ski up and down the headwall below Lake Solitude? Steep! I've been up in that cirque twice in spring and thought the approach/descent of that headwall was the most dangerous part of the day. Wet snow over granite slabs. Yuck.


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By Ryan Malarky
From Denver, CO
May 11, 2010
Hulk

Kevin and I did skin up that headwall. We found mostly super-firm conditions on way up, with some powder in the trees. Kudos goes to Kevin for setting as fine a skin track as possible. Way steep skinning in some spots. On the way out, what we hoped was going to be powder turns had become grabby breakable crust, but still much faster than booting it.


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By Chris Wenker
From Santa Fe
May 12, 2010
Bandera

We had hoped to try a trip up there this coming weekend. So how much more fresh stuff did Tuesday's system add to the high country? How's it look like it's gonna bond to the existing snowpack?

Lumpy and Eldo rock are probably also wet now?
thx


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By Frosty Weller
From Colorado
May 12, 2010
Desert Tower

Glacier Basin Webcam at 11:33am
Glacier Basin Webcam at 11:33am

This was showing bare ground yesterday... you can pretty much assume that there is more accumulation at the higher elevations, and it looks to be continuing.


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By cheifitj
From Boulder, Colorado
May 12, 2010
Casual Route Pitch 3  <br />Photo by Mark Cushman

Chris Wenker wrote:
We had hoped to try a trip up there this coming weekend. So how much more fresh stuff did Tuesday's system add to the high country? How's it look like it's gonna bond to the existing snowpack? Lumpy and Eldo rock are probably also wet now? thx



We didn't get it to hard at my place. (ten minutes from eldo.) Unless the storm picks up again it will be climbable by weekend. I plan on climbing.

-Jon


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By Chris Sheridan
From Boulder, CO
May 12, 2010
Chris setting up the rappel in the Southeast Gully of Arrowhead.  If anyone cleans that stopper and pin, I'd be glad to have it back.

Dougald MacDonald wrote:
If I'm not mistaken, it's showing the line of Sister Sweetly


You read my mind, Dougald. I'm just hoping its still in when I get back in town on the 29th.


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By Dusty
From Fort Collins
May 12, 2010
just teasin' the sharks...

Is it Diamond season yet...?


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By Chris Plesko
From Westminster, CO
May 12, 2010
OMG, I winz!!!

Chris Sheridan wrote:
You read my mind, Dougald. I'm just hoping its still in when I get back in town on the 29th.


Is that the line to the far right of Kevin's picture?


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By Chris Sheridan
From Boulder, CO
May 12, 2010
Chris setting up the rappel in the Southeast Gully of Arrowhead.  If anyone cleans that stopper and pin, I'd be glad to have it back.

Chris Plesko wrote:
Is that the line to the far right of Kevin's picture?


I think so, but I've never climbed it. I looked for it years ago and even while looking at the face couldn't say I knew for sure where Sister Sweetly went. Like may routes, you might not know until you actually start up the thing. Here's my best guess drawn in on Kevin's photo.

Likely route of Sister Sweetly.
Likely route of Sister Sweetly.


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