iceisnice wrote:Anyone know what the snow conditions are like in the Sangres right now? Curious if they have gotten the snow like most of CO or if they are having a "cappy" season like us down here in the San Juans. Looking at doing some ski descents of some of the 14ners this month (conditions dependent) and am looking for FIRST HAND knowledge (don't wanna get fooled by the "I know someone who knows someone" line again, ha!)
I was down there with 2 friends attempting Little Bear last Friday. We turned around about 13,000ft. roughly 15 minutes before the Hourglass. The snow was fickle and it made me nervous. Not conducive to safe climbing in my mind. Snow conditions at treeline and below were hardpacked and firm. Above treeline, it turned into deep consolidated powder with small patches of crusty bulletproof. I think it needs a little more time to consolidate. Climbing up the West Gully to access the ridge for LB, we postholed thigh-deep powder on 40 degree couloir. Oddly, it felt stable. I'm still scratching my head on that one.
Blanca, from what little we saw of it (massive clouds all day)
looked typical...that is very patchy and wind blown. Lots of exposed talus (northwest aspect).
Saturday, a couple other friends attempted Ellingwood Point and turned around at 13,300 for pretty much the same reasons. The southern aspects are holding a decent amount of snow.
I'm going back down next week (Wednesday) and trying LB again. Hopefully, things will 'feel'
better. If you haven't gotten out by then, I'll give ya some fresh reports.West Ridge- Little BearLake Como Drainage