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crampons for 13,000 ft passes in Weminuche (Colorado) in August ?
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Ben Wald
(benwald) - F
crampons for 13,000 ft passes in Weminuche (Colorado) in August ? on 08/02/2006 12:29:55 MDT Print View

I'll be backpacking over several north-facing passes between 13,000 ft and 13,200 ft, commencing Aug 8th. (The passes include Pigeon-Turret, Jagged and Leviathan-Peak Six).

Info on current snow conditions would be appreciated. Would you recommend crampons+axe, or just an axe?

Vick Hines
(vickrhines) - F

Locale: Central Texas
Re: crampons for 13,000 ft passes in Weminuche (Colorado) in August ? on 08/02/2006 13:02:54 MDT Print View

Not informed on current snow conditions. I hear the snow is thin but don't know what those particular passes are like this year. In past have done OK in July and August with axe or kicking steps. Axe recommended. Never felt need for crampons, but that depends on your boots.

Tim Cheek
(hikerfan4sure) - MLife
snow in the Weminuche on 08/02/2006 13:19:48 MDT Print View

Last year at that time I was at those elevations and didn't need an axe or crampons. I could walk around what was in the way.

I was cautious, however, because I was solo, so I carried them just in case, tho they were aluminum Kahtoolas. Wish I'd been carrying the helix potty trowel!

When I was asking last year the same question you are asking now, I was advised to ignore the snowpack figures and instead find out how hot it had been.

(msbuz) - F
snow in the Weminuche on 08/02/2006 16:15:28 MDT Print View

Just finished a similar trip a week ago. Purgatory to Chicago Basin over Jupiter Mt to Twin Thumbs Pass down to Noname Creek to Jagged Pass and Jagged Peak back towards Twin Thumbs and over Ruby-Noname Pass then up Turret Peak down to Pigeon-Turret saddle into North Pigeon Creek drainage up Pigeon Peak down North Pigeon and Ruby Creek drainages back to the Animas and finally back to Purgatory. What little snow there was on the north sides was bypassed or easily plunge-stepped. It has been warm even in the Colorado high country. Although I didn't go over the Leviathan-Peak Six pass, I did climb everything in the Vestal Basin the week before the Needles trip and found the snow conditions similar to the Grenadiers. That would seem to bracket everything in the area. The biggest issue while I was there was the ferocity of the thunderstorms. More hail and lightning than in years past, but if a high pressure system moves in you could have long sunny days. You won't know that until you get there.

Ben Wald
(benwald) - F
Thankyou for your replies! on 08/02/2006 20:47:45 MDT Print View

Thanks everyone. Very helpful. That sounds like an great trip msbuz!

After reading msbuz's report on current conditions, the crampons are staying at home and I'll worry about thunderstorms instead.

If thunderstorms are worse than usual that could be a problem, because I want to do at least four peaks with lower 5th class climbing, and I find it difficult to run away from thunderstorms when on 5th class terrain.

msbuz, did you get fine weather in the mornings?

(msbuz) - F
Weminuche weather on 08/03/2006 13:00:16 MDT Print View

The week I was there was typical monsoon weather. Rain/lightning starting as early as 1pm to as late as middle of the night. The week before in the Grenadiers had only one rain storm, but the week before that was rainy off and on all day. You just won't know until you get there. The weather reports for Durango just don't reflect the high country only 15 miles away.

Benjamin Smith
(bugbomb) - F - M

Locale: South Texas
Re: Weminuche weather on 08/03/2006 13:24:53 MDT Print View

It's so funny - any time I read a trip report from the Weminuche, it's something like "of course, it rained the whole time." I must have a charmed life - I've spent probably 5-6 weeks cumulatively in that area, and I've been rained on twice :D.


Johnny Gish
(jtgish) - F

Locale: Coppell, Texas
designated campsite- skyline trail on 08/05/2006 20:50:46 MDT Print View

anyone know if there is designated campsites on the skyline trail near rio grande pyramid or the window? if not, any suggestions where is a good spot.