Alpine Bouldering Conditions


Original Post
JP Whitehead · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Jun 2015 · Points: 0

Went up to Emerald the other day to find that the Kind and Whispers are both completely climbable (whispers is actually super safe right now as well). Friends have told me that Moraine Park and Endovalley are both totally also.

Wondering who else has gone up to scout, where you've gone, and what is in for that early season action already.

Specifically curious about Evans, Guanella, and Chaos.

D B · · Denver · Joined Apr 2011 · Points: 205

Guanella is closed til May 26, according to Clear Creek County's phone line. Chaos was buried until June last year.

Wild Basin is probably good to go.

A good trick is to go on 8a and search for latest ascents in the areas you're interested in.

aikibujin · · Castle Rock, CO · Joined Oct 2014 · Points: 200
D B wrote:Guanella is closed til May 26, according to Clear Creek County's phone line.
The bouldering area around Guanella that I'm familiar with is before the winter closure (if you're coming from Georgetown). The road is plowed all the way to Guanella Pass campground unless there was a big recent snow storm, then they only plow it to the power station. So only the last few switchbacks to Guanella Pass is not maintained in winter, but I don't know any bouldering on the actual pass.

I was up there just a couple of weeks ago for a fullmoon hike of Bierstadt, there was still quite a bit of snow in the trees. But it's been pretty warm recently, so who knows?
JP Whitehead · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Jun 2015 · Points: 0

My feeling was that this season has seen less precipitation and higher temps uncharacteristic of the previous five years I've spent out here. I know typically Chaos is totally snowed in till June or later (lower especially).

I wouldn't be surprised if Guanella is pretty much good to go now. Snow landings most likely, but I bet it's climbable. Either way, all it takes is one session of DBC climbers w/ shovels!

D B · · Denver · Joined Apr 2011 · Points: 205
JP Whitehead wrote:My feeling was that this season has seen less precipitation and higher temps uncharacteristic of the previous five years I've spent out here. I know typically Chaos is totally snowed in till June or later (lower especially).
Yeah I just think April is still pushing it, but who knows?

aikibujin wrote: The bouldering area around Guanella that I'm familiar with is before the winter closure (if you're coming from Georgetown). The road is plowed all the way to Guanella Pass campground unless there was a big recent snow storm, then they only plow it to the power station. So only the last few switchbacks to Guanella Pass is not maintained in winter, but I don't know any bouldering on the actual pass.
Good to know! cotrip.org is misleading.
C Ross · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Nov 2016 · Points: 55

Snowfall has been above average this year. Most of the state by mid February was at 100% of the annual snowfall. A large portion of the state early March was at around 120%. The warm temps in March and lack of new snow the snowpack dropped to around 100%. The warm temps have done the most work down low. There is almost no snow below 8000' and it is getting thin at 9000'.

Dharma Bum · · Glen Haven, Co · Joined Jul 2008 · Points: 430

5 inches of new snow at Bear Lake yesterday and you know it is not over for the season yet.

Parker Wrozek · · Denver, CO · Joined Mar 2012 · Points: 63
C Ross wrote:Snowfall has been above average this year. Most of the state by mid February was at 100% of the annual snowfall. A large portion of the state early March was at around 120%. The warm temps in March and lack of new snow the snowpack dropped to around 100%. The warm temps have done the most work down low. There is almost no snow below 8000' and it is getting thin at 9000'.
Just for clarity that is the snow pack not the snowfall. If you look at total inches we are well below average at most areas. The storms have come in warm and wet though and created a base with a lot of moisture in it. My belief is that this is a good water year but not a great year from snow quality and ride quality (which is what I really care about).

If you look at the ski resorts take Breck for example. They average 353" per year. Today they are sitting at 256". Some more snow is on the way and there is a long long long shot they will get close to he average before they close next month but realistically it doesn't look like it will happen.

Vail 199" to date, average 354". Just brutal.
Alton R. · · Boulder, Co · Joined Jan 2010 · Points: 80

Chaos Canyon as of Wednesday, 3/29/17. Pre-this weekends storm. Which is looking like it will bring less snow to RMNP area and more to Berthoud/Loveland Pass zones. 

This photo was taken on the ridge above the Dream Chutes. Lower Chaos is the cluster of boulders in the bottom left between the trees, and Upper-Upper Upper-Beyond Upper, etc., are all clearly visible. Going to be a while folks! 

Perhaps Skyscraper could go early. The top would need a good cleaning and some time to dry, but the landing is a bit safer currently and the snow is basically melted out to the base in one big angling ramp. Couple of boulders in the trees on northern hillside above lower seemed ok. Skied past a boulder I did not recognize but it still had chalk and tick marks on it! 

Other then that, basically everything is buried and Lake Haiyaha is still quite frozen. 

JP Whitehead · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Jun 2015 · Points: 0

Allegedly, Peter Beal confirmed that the Running Scared boulder is in. This was before the snow last week, and this weekend, but typically this is the first climbable boulder in Lower early season.

Hope you're doing well Alton! We should get out and climb sometime soon.

Guideline #1: Don't be a jerk.

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