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Long's Peak (western aspect)
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Pagoda Couloir 
Trough, The 

The Trough 

   
Type:  Alpine, 2200', Grade II
Original: Mod. Snow [details]
FA: a long time aago
Season: June-Sept.
Page Views: 3,779
Submitted By: David Harrison on Sep 18, 2006

You & This Route  |  Other Opinions (6)
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The Trough is the continuous snow ribbon running f...

Description 

While everyone else on Long's stumbles over the boulderfield and picks his or her way through the Keyhole, the Trough provides a "paved" access to the Narrows on the northwest summit area of the peak. Visible throughout Estes and from any point on the hike after Black Lake, the Trough shines through as the longest snow field of the three or four that form on the NW face. Continuously steep, but without any technical difficulties, the climb eventually becomes monotonous as each crampon step is the same, but with the waterfalls of Glacier Gorge below you and hordes of scramblers with too-big packs clogging the rocks above, you are alone in paradise.

True, this route has some drawbacks. The drive from Denver takes longer to start at Bear lake, you have to pay to enter the park, and it's always possible that rocks will be dislodged from the Keyhole route above. If the snow is dangerous, gone, deep or slushy, it's not as much fun as when the snow has set up into perfect corn. Fortunately, you have a good chance of being alone on one of the busiest peaks in Colorado.

It helps to wear light hiking boots for the approach, change to mountaineering boots with crampons for the ascent, then drop your pack at the top of the snow for the continuation of the climb through the Narrows and the Homestretch of the Keyhole route (follow the dots). The smartest bring skis for the trip back down.

Location 

Park at the Glacier Gorge Junction trailhead (a mile below Bear Lake), and follow signs to cliff-ringed Black Lake at 5 miles. Cross the lake at the outlet boulders and follow up the East side. Scramble over talus and ledges up to the snow. The route is the longest finger of snow and reaches up into the NW face of the mountain. Descent is by skis, glissade, or crampons. It is also possible to reverse the Keyhole route through the boulderfield and follow signs back down to your car near Bear Lake.

Protection 

No protection necessary. Crampons and ice axe are recommended, and avalanche gear is always a good idea. Watch out for rocks from above and funny looks from the people on the Keyhole route when you arrive at the top of the snow.


Photos of The Trough Slideshow Add Photo
Rock Climbing Photo: A zoomed photo of the Trough taken from the summit...
A zoomed photo of the Trough taken from the summit...
Rock Climbing Photo: A view of Longs, the Keyboard of the Winds and Pag...
A view of Longs, the Keyboard of the Winds and Pag...
Rock Climbing Photo: Kurt Johnson looking at the Trough from the summit...
Kurt Johnson looking at the Trough from the summit...
Rock Climbing Photo: Ben Williams heading back down the Trough, 6-2-200...
Ben Williams heading back down the Trough, 6-2-200...
Rock Climbing Photo: The bottom half of the Trough as seen from about h...
The bottom half of the Trough as seen from about h...
Rock Climbing Photo: Climbing up the trough, Winter 2008.  Photo taken ...
Climbing up the trough, Winter 2008. Photo taken ...
Rock Climbing Photo: Looking at the Trough from the Keyhole, 3-11-2007....
Looking at the Trough from the Keyhole, 3-11-2007....
Rock Climbing Photo: Looking at the Trough from the Keyhole, 3-11-2007.
Looking at the Trough from the Keyhole, 3-11-2007.
Rock Climbing Photo: Ben Williams in the Trough, 6-2-2007.
Ben Williams in the Trough, 6-2-2007.
Rock Climbing Photo: Ben Williams on his way to the base of the Trough,...
Ben Williams on his way to the base of the Trough,...
Rock Climbing Photo: Ben Williams on his way down the Trough, 6-2-2007....
Ben Williams on his way down the Trough, 6-2-2007....
Rock Climbing Photo: Ben Williams cruisin' up the Trough, 6-2-2007.
Ben Williams cruisin' up the Trough, 6-2-2007.
Rock Climbing Photo: A photo of the trough in late March, 2008 after th...
BETA PHOTO: A photo of the trough in late March, 2008 after th...
Rock Climbing Photo: The top half of the Trough as seen from about half...
The top half of the Trough as seen from about half...
Rock Climbing Photo: Traversing into the Trough from the Homestretch.
Traversing into the Trough from the Homestretch.

Comments on The Trough Add Comment
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By Greg Sievers
From: Bozeman, MT
Jan 8, 2012

CONDITION REPORT 
Newz flash 1/8/2012:
RMNP and access to the Black Lake cirque - Due to a Nov. 12 micro-burst, there are thousands of mature, downed trees between Mill's Lake & Black Lake. Many are ripped up attached to their entire root ball. If you plan to climb ice up there (like Stoneman or Yellow Tears or summer routes on Arrowhead, Chiefshead, Spearhead), expect a 4 hour approach.
By lucabrasi
From: Denver, CO
Jun 29, 2007

I'm interested in climbing this on Sunday. What are the conditions? I plan to haul the snowboard up as high as possible...does it go?

Thanks!

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