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RMNP Conditions Update

Regional discussion and conditions reports for the U.S. Rocky Mountains. Please post partners requests and trip plans in the Colorado Climbing Partners section.
 

Re: RMNP Conditions Update CHASM LAKE

Postby stevetheartist » Fri Jun 24, 2011 6:34 am

Can anyone tell me the condition of Chasm Lake itself? I am hiking up to get photos for a painting commission I need to do soon, and the future owner of the painting wants at least some open water. Is the lake still totally frozen over right now, or is there some open water? Please forgive me if this information is available elsewhere on the site, but I am new here and don't really know my way around the site too well. Thanks for any help you can offer.
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Re: RMNP Conditions Update

Postby CSUMarmot » Fri Jun 24, 2011 5:20 pm

On June 22nd 2010 I climbed Mount lady Washington which overlooked Chasm Lake. The lake appeared to be completely iced over, which is usual for lakes at 11500'+ into July. With the extra snow and milder summer we've had this year I wouldnt expect any open water except maybe at the outlet stream.
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Re: RMNP Conditions Update

Postby apachedino » Fri Jun 24, 2011 11:11 pm

Tangeman wrote:Chasm Lake...do you need snowshoes still? I'm going there Monday...

You most definitely do not need snowshoes for Chasm lake. We did Keiner's on the 19th and only experienced soft snow postholing snow on the Broadway traverse, everything else was much better, there is a very good boot pack to Chasm.
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Re: RMNP Conditions Update

Postby rush » Mon Jun 27, 2011 7:25 pm

Anyone get a look at the couloirs in the cirque? Wanting to hit up Dream Weaver next week. What kind of shape is it in?
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Re: RMNP Conditions Update

Postby colint » Tue Jun 28, 2011 3:37 pm

Do not bring snowshoes to Chasm Lake unless you really like carrying snowshoes. Climbed Flying Dutchman on the 26th, and there is a lot of snow and a little ice, all really solid. Dreamweaver looked similar.
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Re: RMNP Conditions Update

Postby Dan Shorb » Tue Jul 05, 2011 6:12 am

Chasm Lake:

Image

Lambs Slide is hardly freezing overnight, expect variable depth booting. Perhaps crampons with alpine start.
Image

Dreamweaver and Right Corner are melting fast
Image

Kieners has some snow up top.

Broadway does have some snow patches that you'd have to cross.
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Re: RMNP Conditions Update

Postby birdhead » Sun Jul 10, 2011 6:21 am

I will be in the park next weekend (7/16-7/17) and I understand it has been a big snow year. I am hoping somebody can provide information on the approach conditions and on what gear will likely be necessary for the following peaks:

1. McHenry's Peak via Stone Man Pass
2. Little Matterhorn via Bear Lake to Odessa Lake to Southwest Face
3. Hallett Peak via standard trail

Trying to determine if I should bring ice axe, crampons, snow shoes...

Any recent information on these areas would be helpful. Thanks!
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Re: RMNP Conditions Update

Postby Dan Shorb » Mon Jul 11, 2011 4:23 pm

birdhead wrote:I will be in the park next weekend (7/16-7/17) and I understand it has been a big snow year. I am hoping somebody can provide information on the approach conditions and on what gear will likely be necessary for the following peaks:

1. McHenry's Peak via Stone Man Pass
2. Little Matterhorn via Bear Lake to Odessa Lake to Southwest Face
3. Hallett Peak via standard trail

Trying to determine if I should bring ice axe, crampons, snow shoes...

Any recent information on these areas would be helpful. Thanks!


no snoe shoes!

But is your question based on wieght, or a pleasant descent in afternoon?

Seems that its hard to avoid some snow up high, but it was all soft. I don't know those areas (cept the Bear lake to odessa, which is postholing after 5am)

Like this:
Image

But we did not use our crampons at all, and only used ice axes to head up snow > 45 degrees And then, didn't really need them due to the soft conditions... So I might suggest no crampons and only maybe an ice axe. I usually bring an axe (or whippet) just in case. You wanting to save on weight?
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Re: RMNP Conditions Update

Postby brenta » Mon Jul 11, 2011 4:31 pm

We climbed Notchtop yesterday, which, as you know, is close to 2 and 3. We had light axes and crampons in case we had to descend a snow-filled gully, but then opted for the rappels, which bypass the upper half of the gully, and never needed to enhance our traction. The snow on the approach was plentiful, but firm. No postholing, also thanks to the cold morning. Little Matterhorn looked snow-free, though there were probably small patches in shaded corners.
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Re: RMNP Conditions Update

Postby birdhead » Mon Jul 11, 2011 8:35 pm

Thanks for the info! Not so much concerned with weight during the climbs but want to avoid hauling unnecessary gear out with me from California, if possible. Was asking about ice axe and crampons because it's hard for me to tell from a distance if some of the steeper sections on these routes (e.g. - Stone Man Pass) might hold hard snow or ice? My mention of snow shoes was purely comfort related. First priority is to have the right gear for safety, then comfort, then weight.
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Re: RMNP Conditions Update

Postby Tangeman » Mon Jul 11, 2011 10:01 pm

birdhead wrote:I will be in the park next weekend (7/16-7/17) and I understand it has been a big snow year. I am hoping somebody can provide information on the approach conditions and on what gear will likely be necessary for the following peaks:

1. McHenry's Peak via Stone Man Pass
2. Little Matterhorn via Bear Lake to Odessa Lake to Southwest Face
3. Hallett Peak via standard trail

Trying to determine if I should bring ice axe, crampons, snow shoes...

Any recent information on these areas would be helpful. Thanks!


On Hallett you could get by in just boots, although when I was there last week of June, microspikes would've been helpful. There was a lot of snow below treeline (trail was fully covered), and then two big patches on Flattop, but by then that would change for sure.
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Re: RMNP Conditions Update

Postby brenta » Tue Jul 12, 2011 12:59 am

birdhead wrote:Thanks for the info! Not so much concerned with weight during the climbs but want to avoid hauling unnecessary gear out with me from California, if possible. Was asking about ice axe and crampons because it's hard for me to tell from a distance if some of the steeper sections on these routes (e.g. - Stone Man Pass) might hold hard snow or ice? My mention of snow shoes was purely comfort related. First priority is to have the right gear for safety, then comfort, then weight.

Thanks for clarifying. I haven't yet taken a close look at Stone Man Pass this summer. I've recently seen that the snow at the foot the Spearhead described as the "mental crux of the route." So, for Stone Man Pass, I'd bring some pointy objects, even though traveling with gear is a hassle. For Hallett and Little Matterhorn, though, I wouldn't bother. But if you have the pointy objects with you, you could come down from Hallett via Andrews Glacier.
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