Peak:  Challenger Point (14er)
 Route:  North Slope
 Range:  Sangre de Cristo
 Posted By:  Cool Hand Luke
 Date of Info:  10/16/2011
 Date Posted:  10/16/2011

Decent amount of snow above Willow Pass to the lake, although it is all boot-packed. From the waterfall above Willow Lake the snow can get mid-calve. On Challenger it was post-holing almost the entire way up. An axe helps in spots, but in others provides almost no purchase.

Made it up to about 13,850 before having to turn around due to snow and ice.

Comments or Questions
10/18/2011 20:24
Did you follow the standard trail up? Did you have crampons? What exactly made you decide to turn around?

Cool Hand Luke
10/20/2011 23:47
Didn't take the standard route, I was on the ridge just east of it and about 200 yards from meeting up with the standard route on the ridge. I had crampons, but never put them on because the snow was so fine I knew they wouldn't help. Mountaineering boots were really helpful with the conditions.

I turned around because the east part of the ridge had a good amount of wind-blown ice on it and I came up to a decent down climb. The route ahead had a good amount of scrambling with wind-blown ice and I didn't know if I could make it back up the icy down climb if I had to turn back. Really just played it safe and decided not to take the chance that the section to meet up with the standard route would pan out.

I do think it would be easier on the standard route and would bring crampons just in case. Had a fun day and really pushed myself, but the experience just didn't involve a summit.

Shoot me a PM if you have any more questions, happy to provide more specific info or pictures.

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