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14ers winter ascent questions.

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Re: 14ers winter ascent questions.

Postby Teresa Gergen » Wed Nov 18, 2009 5:04 pm

MarthaP wrote:Evans - drive Squaw Pass Road up to Summit lake. It's 14 miles on the road to the summit from there. Bring skis. Probably the most fun route and least avy-hazard in the winter.


Just to clarify -- the road is closed at Echo Lake in winter, which is probably what you meant to say given the 14 miles.
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Postby shanahan96 » Wed Nov 18, 2009 9:45 pm

can't believe i'd ever say this....hell must have froze over, but we found bross to be an enjoyable winter climb. there's an "S" couloir, albeit a small one, on the west face which seems to hold solid, wind packed snow a majority of the time. it made for a great climb in late january 2008. second hand reporting found conditions in mid-january 2009 came through with similar findings.

if you have the strength to do the decalibron, good for you! i've had to do democrat, bross and lincoln as separate winter climbs. lincoln and bross could have been combined either day but the weather, then the lack of desire to summit bross again thwarted those ambitions. outside of just after storms, the kite lake road will be plowed to the paris mill ~11,000', roughly 2.6-2.7 miles from kite lake itself.

as for evans, we used the west ridge in mid-march 2008. if i was repeating it, i'd stick with this route. the guanella pass road is plowed to 1.5 miles(~10,800') from the pass to the ??(something campground??). anyways....follow the road to the first major drainage(half-mile), get on the east side of the creek and you'll cut off half the mileage to the base of spalding's west slopes. i'd guess about 8-9 miles and 3500' vertical on this route.

for sneffels, once you start up the slope to lavender col, i'd consider one in possible avalanche terrain from there to one's highpoint and back. there are challenges along the approach, but travel should be doable in "normal" winter conditions. if those exist this year or not remains to be seen. above lavender col, a rope and belayer could become quite useful. the ridge on the left of the upper couloir has proved to be the safer route multiple times later in calendar winter. a friend's climb on january 4th a few years back(2005??) followed the standard route and conditions were "curious and awkward". i've always wondered what that meant in terms of potential avalanche danger. these routea, starting from the winter road closure ~9100', are 15 miles and 5000' vertical, a hefty day in any season.

if you're looking for an easier winter 14er route on the flagstaff side of colorado, i would recommend sunshine. its steep, east ridge route can be done with no avalanche danger if one finesses their way to treeline properly. if you end up further left, there is minimal amount of time spent in avalanche terrain, and that amount of time will increase the closer one gets to the couloir just below the 12,540' plateau.

jamie
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