Rocky Mountain National Park Conditions: Longs Peak

We’ve had a lot of guides out in the field recently – on rock, ice and snow.  The following is a compilation of conditions reports from the past few days.

THE DIAMOND, LONGS PEAK
THE NORTH FACE, LONGS PEAK
THE NORTH FACE, LONGS PEAK
 LONGS PEAK SUMMIT

Alpine:  The Longs Peak area is very low in snow for this time of year, though the North Face of Longs is in “excellent alpine climbing conditions, half boot pen, step kicking on firm snow with very little avy hazard”.  All the eye blots on the route are currently exposed, and the traverse to the summit is “in”.  Martha is reportedly “out”, while Dreamwiever is “lean”.  The Loft has an ice pitch of 150 ft at the top.  Flying Dutchman is “thin” at the bottom, but in “good shape” in the middle and near the top.  The Notch appears to be in prime shape.  Lambs slide is fat, and the snow is variable from “soft and slushy to quite firm” – could be a great ski right now.

LAMBS SLIDE
UPPER KIENER’S
THE NOTCH

Ice:  Jewel Lake is still holding plenty of climbable ice, but it’s getting sun-baked on the right side and some has fallen down already.  The approach was manageable in and out (even in isothermal afternoon mash) without slowshoes as long as you stayed on the trail.

MARTHA
Ski:  Awesome skiing in the Chaos Drainage above the Lake as well as the Redding Chutes.  The summer trail to Lake Haiyaha has a section of slippery skinning conditions in the trees with the potential for serious consequences below.  At and below tree line is reported “a facet crust combos near the upper snow pack on a variety of aspects mainly N-E-S, as well as a dust layer now buried since last week.  The mid pack is really hard, sitting on rounding basil facets.  Snow pack tests revealed lower resistant planer shears and propagation not likely in the upper section, however I am not trusting the basil facets that are now less than a meter down in some places above tree line in steep terrain.”  Despite the unseasonbly warm weather, no wet-slide related activity has been reported.
DREAM WEAVER & THE LOFT
Rock:  The temperatures have been great for rock climbing recently, and if things continue, we may end up with an extra long alpine season this year.  Loose rock has been reported at areas all over the front range – it’s just that time of year.  Be extra cautious with where you step, where you pull, and where you run your rope.
Stay safe out there, and as always, feel free to call us with any questions.
THE DIAMOND