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Cottonwood Lakes/New Army Pass conditions?

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Re: Cottonwood Lakes/New Army Pass conditions?

Postby ska21 » Tue May 08, 2012 12:36 am

I hear the road just opened one hour ago. Can anyone confirm? Can anyone confirm snow conditions?
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Re: Cottonwood Lakes/New Army Pass conditions?

Postby Deb » Tue May 08, 2012 5:56 pm

ska21 wrote:I hear the road just opened one hour ago. Can anyone confirm? Can anyone confirm snow conditions?

Wow! I'll be up there Wed morning for a shot at Cirque and Langley, if it's still f'ing closed I'm heading for Carillon. Will post back as soon as practical. :wink:
Latest word, the road is open to 2 downed trees just before the Horseshoe Meadow TH. I swear!!
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Re: Cottonwood Lakes/New Army Pass conditions?

Postby edge17 » Wed May 09, 2012 7:50 pm

Deb wrote:
ska21 wrote:I hear the road just opened one hour ago. Can anyone confirm? Can anyone confirm snow conditions?

Wow! I'll be up there Wed morning for a shot at Cirque and Langley, if it's still f'ing closed I'm heading for Carillon. Will post back as soon as practical. :wink:
Latest word, the road is open to 2 downed trees just before the Horseshoe Meadow TH. I swear!!


Let us know how it goes. I'm looking to go in that direction (cirque and langley) next week so any info would be greatly appreciated!
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Re: Cottonwood Lakes/New Army Pass conditions?

Postby Deb » Fri May 11, 2012 6:09 pm

Just returned from Horseshoe Meadow last nite. Downed trees have been removed, free and clear to trailheads!

Heather and I were going to tag Cirque on Wed, then Langley via New Army Pass on Thur. Forget it! We could see a nice sized cornice at the top of New Army, so we decided to hit Old Army, which made me happy cuz I really wanted to climb that snow slope. Camped at Lake 4, perfect freaking weather! No skeeters yet either.
Thur we climbed the slope, I was under then impression that it was only about 30 degrees. Uh, it's more like 45 with a bulge going near 50. Awesome conditions, too short though. The trail is 90% covered in snow from just over the lake. We summitted quickly enough then had the decision to make of how to get down. When I looked at the bulge from the top, I said "no way" and we proceeded to traverse where the trail is supposed to be on firm to very loose snow for 2 hours. Absolutely exhausting and quite tense, now I know why people die on this thing every year!
All in all, a perfect weekend of true alpine skills and gorgeous scenery without another soul in sight. We are apparently the first ones to go up Old Army this season. :)
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Re: Cottonwood Lakes/New Army Pass conditions?

Postby DukeJH » Fri May 11, 2012 6:57 pm

Thanks for the update. I'm heading that way and hope to tag Langley over Memorial Day. Was there much snow around the lakes?
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Re: Cottonwood Lakes/New Army Pass conditions?

Postby Deb » Fri May 11, 2012 11:48 pm

DukeJH wrote:Thanks for the update. I'm heading that way and hope to tag Langley over Memorial Day. Was there much snow around the lakes?

Not much snow at all; in fact, I think you'll be able to get all the way past Lake 5 at Old Army without ever touching snow. Then it's game on!
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Re: Cottonwood Lakes/New Army Pass conditions?

Postby Funyan005 » Sun May 13, 2012 8:30 pm

Any pictures from your trip Deb? Trying to talk a buddy into tagging Langley and I think some visualization might help. Thanks!
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Re: Cottonwood Lakes/New Army Pass conditions?

Postby edge17 » Sun May 13, 2012 8:38 pm

Funyan005 wrote:Any pictures from your trip Deb? Trying to talk a buddy into tagging Langley and I think some visualization might help. Thanks!


when do you plan to be out there? I'll probably be out there with a buddy on thurs/fri
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Re: Cottonwood Lakes/New Army Pass conditions?

Postby Deb » Mon May 14, 2012 9:22 pm

Visualize lotsa sand! HAHA!
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Re: Cottonwood Lakes/New Army Pass conditions?

Postby ska21 » Tue May 15, 2012 5:37 am

I just came back from Langley and summited on Saturday May 12. No snow until Old Army Pass. I spoke with a couple that were able to summit with a dog having gone up New Army Pass. They did not mention a cornice and said they were able to avoid snow all of the way. We opted for Old Army Pass on the way up heading directly up the snow chute in the middle. Thanks for the beta Deb. I saw your notes on the summit log. I would agree with the 45 degree angle on the snow patch. It seemed more reasonable and more fun than going to the left and hitting what looked like a traverse route. On the way down we hit the cirque just to the North of Old Army Pass. Does that have a name? Going down that sucked, and we ended up descending through a field with boulders the size of school busses. We lost a bit of time from that choice.

Overall, the route is clear, Horseshoe meadows is virtually empty, and the summer season is kicking in.
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Re: Cottonwood Lakes/New Army Pass conditions?

Postby Deb » Tue May 15, 2012 7:03 pm

ska21 wrote:I just came back from Langley and summited on Saturday May 12. No snow until Old Army Pass. I spoke with a couple that were able to summit with a dog having gone up New Army Pass. They did not mention a cornice and said they were able to avoid snow all of the way. We opted for Old Army Pass on the way up heading directly up the snow chute in the middle. Thanks for the beta Deb. I saw your notes on the summit log. I would agree with the 45 degree angle on the snow patch. It seemed more reasonable and more fun than going to the left and hitting what looked like a traverse route. On the way down we hit the cirque just to the North of Old Army Pass. Does that have a name? Going down that sucked, and we ended up descending through a field with boulders the size of school busses. We lost a bit of time from that choice.

Overall, the route is clear, Horseshoe meadows is virtually empty, and the summer season is kicking in.

I'm pretty sure that is Winter Pass that you descended. It looks pretty tasty as an ascent. Congrats on your summit. Did you notice our sketchy boot path coming DOWN the Old ARmy trail? HAHA!! BIg mistake!!
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Re: Cottonwood Lakes/New Army Pass conditions?

Postby Peter50 » Mon Jun 11, 2012 11:32 am

I am going up to Langely on June 13, 2012, I'll send an update. Plan to sumit via New Army Pass.
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