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Snow conditions in Sangres

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Snow conditions in Sangres

Postby iceisnice » Wed Mar 02, 2011 8:39 pm

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!)
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Re: Snow conditions in Sangres

Postby Kiefer » Wed Mar 02, 2011 9:16 pm

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 Bear
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Lake Como Drainage
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Re: Snow conditions in Sangres

Postby iceisnice » Wed Mar 02, 2011 11:32 pm

Yeah, let me know. I wouldn't be heading down for a week...maybe two. Thanks for the info.
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Re: Snow conditions in Sangres

Postby Westcliffe Willie » Sat Mar 05, 2011 8:56 pm

We have had a dismal winter so far on the east side between Gardner and Cotopaxi. The southern mountains have had a few more storms than our area. I've watched the weather reports on the western side of Colorado with jealousy over the past several months. It appears that you have been getting hammered almost continually from storms blowing in from California.

I believe we have had about 5 storms since the end of October and the most intense only dropped about 6 inches. Most storms have only dropped a couple of inches. Presently, there are a lot of bare patches in the mountains visible from the valley floor just outside of Westcliffe. Although I haven't hiked up to higher elevations recently, I would be surprised if there's over a couple of feet of snow in the trees and shaded areas . This is definitely a drought year so far.

For the most part, between those storms, we had had many, many mid to upper 50's sunny days to melt what was already up there. I think you'd be highly disappointed if you planned to visit this area to do some skiiing. However, the weather report is saying a good possibility of a "dumper" coming this Monday and Tuesday.
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Re: Snow conditions in Sangres

Postby iceisnice » Sun Mar 06, 2011 2:32 pm

I was afraid as much. We got hosed most of this winter with snow, but are getting a lot lately. Might not be the right yr to hit those peaks. I was mostly considering Little Bear, Blanca and Kit Carson. Sounds like there is good chance the OB Couloir has a lot of ice in it.....
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Re: Snow conditions in Sangres

Postby CastillejaMiniata » Wed Mar 09, 2011 6:03 am

I might be heading up Humboldt this weekend. I'll let you know, if it happens.
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Re: Snow conditions in Sangres

Postby iceisnice » Sun Mar 20, 2011 3:25 pm

Keifer, did you ever head back up to LB? I was thinking of trying that or the OB Couloir on KC next week...
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Re: Snow conditions in Sangres

Postby Westcliffe Willie » Sun Mar 20, 2011 8:49 pm

Here's a zoomed picture taken from just north of Silver Cliff on Oak Creek Grade Rd (March 20th) of Humboldt (left) and Colony Baldy (right), with Crestone peaking out in the middle... I don't think the area you're looking into has much more snow than this. And the sad thing is.......... these are the northeast facing slopes where snow normally hangs on til the end of June.

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Re: Snow conditions in Sangres

Postby seano » Mon Mar 21, 2011 12:02 am

Wow, that's grim... or great news if you want to get an early start on 14er season and don't have the snow gear.
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