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Alexander's Chimney/RMNP Alpine Conditions

PostPosted: Wed Mar 24, 2010 4:21 pm
by tallsailor
Hi! I live down in Gunnison and do most of my climbing in the Silverton area, but I would like to get up and do some alpine mixed routes in RMNP this spring. I was wondering if anybody has been up Alexander's Chimney recently, or if someone can give me some informed BS on what condition the route might be in for the next few weeks.

Any other input on "nice" moderate long routes in the park would be great, too. I lead WI anything pretty comfy, but I spend too much time on fat ice so my mixed lead head isn't as well developed. The 5.5/M4 ishness of Alexander's sounds like it would be a bundle of fun for where I'm at.

Thanks a million,

PostPosted: Sun Mar 28, 2010 11:39 pm
by tallsailor

PostPosted: Mon Apr 05, 2010 9:20 am
by tallsailor
Keeping an eye out at Mountain Project...

Had another question about the approach. What are snow conditions like in the park right now? Specifically from the Longs Peak Trailhead to Chasm View lake (~9500 to ~12000). How low in elevation might the snow be continuous enough to ski on? Like I said earlier, I'm not familiar with the mountains on the front range. I would love to be able to ski from the trailhead to the base of Lamb's Slide or maybe even the route, but if there's a lot of hiking to be done, I will probably try to find some snowshoes instead.

Depending on avy conditions and weather, we may come up this weekend and and give it a whorl. At the very least, I haven't been to RMNP in many years and it will be good to go scope things out.

PostPosted: Mon Apr 05, 2010 2:47 pm
by Pivvay
There are detailed pictures of much of longs right now in the CO ice climbing thread on Mountain Project. Kevin and I were at black lake last week and you can ski all the way into there and probably into the longs/meeker cirque as well. The only melted out spot I saw was right near the parking lot and it was short. The lakes are getting soupy in the afternoon but still fine.

PostPosted: Tue Apr 06, 2010 5:29 am
by tallsailor
Sweet! Thanks. If we don't get too much snow the middle of this week we'll probably head up and check things out.

PostPosted: Tue Apr 06, 2010 7:28 am
by KevinCraig
Uh, I've rarely, if ever, seen snow conditions that would allow a reasonable ski to/from Chasm Lake. Below treeline, it's normally packed icy or post-holed by tourons (and climbers). Above treeline the wind scour makes it difficult or impossible to piece together a continuous snow line that would be reasonable to ski. Good news is that it's doubtful you'd need snowshoes either.

Going in to Black Lake however is a completely different story.

PostPosted: Tue Apr 06, 2010 10:53 pm
by tallsailor
Hmm... so you'd recommend hauling along the snowshoes and giving it a go without them if things seem pretty tracked up? Ugh. I hate snowshoes. I hate postholing when I underestimate the quality of the trail even more, though. Really, I'd rather ski on icy tracked-out trails then snowshoe anywhere.

PostPosted: Wed Apr 07, 2010 2:55 am
by Koy
As Kevin mentioned, that trail sees a lot of traffic, so I'd leave the snowshoes behind. If it has snowed a lot leading up to your climb, you're not going to want to go up and get on that route anyway.