Apache Peak  
Condition Updates  
Route: Queen\\\'s Way Couloir
Posted On: 2022-06-20, By: jfm3
Info: The current snow conditions are the same as the post from 6/19. I wore mountaineering boots (La Sportiva Nepals) for the whole day. The snow has a soft upper layer but it was still supportive after 12 PM today. In general, any thin snow near talus is unsupportive. The larger snowfields & couloirs are still in good condition. Several creek crossings have snow bridges. The upper snowfield on Apache, above the couloir, was rather wet and granular. The sun aspect on this part of the mountain is more exposed than the main couloir. The approach trail from the parking lot to the west side of Lake Isabelle is a mix of snowdrifts, mud and running water. 
Route: Queens Way
Posted On: 2022-06-19, By: Wimyers
Info: Really soft snow all day today, despite a light freeze last night. Mostly good, continuous snow from Isabelle glacier to summit. We got a late start but the weather was cloudy all morning long so the snow conditions were stable; if the route had been in sun we would have turned back at the couloir entrance. Started at 5:30am and the approach took us a bit longer than we anticipated, 2 hours from trailhead to glacier. 7 hours total car to car. We glissaded from near the summit to the glacier and made it down in about 15 minutes. Seemed like perfect ski conditions. 
Route: Queens Way
Posted On: 2022-05-01, By: blazintoes
Info: IPW is the most underrated range in Colorado or I was stymied by the celebrity sightings today. Stupefied by grandeur my awesome crew of 3 blitzed up Queens Way and suggested Supra needs a tip jar for kicking the best steps up and plunge stepping down making for the easiest couloir climb before the next storm rolls in. The eerie calm before the storm was deafening silence. From the top you see Kasparov to the right and lower you'll see Mohling. Amazing views from the top! The gate opens June 11th and it's 5k to Long Lake TH from the winter lot. The snow was perfectly consolidated all the way up. Snowshoes never used and crampons came in handy before climbing to the upper tarn. Seems like everyone no matter their mode of travel had a good day! 
15 6
Route: Mohling
Posted On: 2021-08-28, By: blazintoes
Info: Not wanting to deal with the Brainard permit we chose to approach Lone Eagle's Solo Flight via Monarch Lake/Grandby knowing the added distance however on good trails. Beautiful weather and awesome partners made this a worthy outing. Lone Eagle is well cairned and the remaining traverse looks formidable. There's no water until you get back down. We brought a 30m rope and gladly rapped off Limbo. The webbing is still in descent shape and we left a biner. Scrambling ensued and the climb up Iroquois was super scary no matter if you chose the far left ledges or up the spine of the gully as rocks were merely held in place by wet sandy mud and/or moss. This section aged me 5 years. The summit proper was an easy boulder problem. After George pk we chose to descend a gully to its left and despite the looseness turned out to be a great escape to the Wheeler basin where we refueled. Another 2000' descent and we found a common use faint trail that meandered southwest. We ate all the fresh raspberries and even a wild mushroom. With the deadfall in Wheeler the mere one mile bushwhack to Wheeler trail was horrendous. Eventually we found the final 7 miles back to Monarch mindless. Maybe the wild mushroom helped. A 23 mile day was a bit brutal but completely worth it! Super fun ridge traverse! 
Route: Isabelle Glacier
Posted On: 2021-02-02, By: jakethesnake_630
Info: Just a general update on the Indian Peaks wilderness area.. with some pictures if helpful. I backcountry skied around Lake Isabelle & Pawnee Pass this weekend. CMC Ski trail from the Brainard Winter lot is in great conditions, skiable both ways. The Brainard road is about half melted out but skiable if connecting from CMC to the Summer THs. From the summer THs (Long Lake in this case), the trench is only about half in .. there's a ton of powder snow up there & the snowshoes are not quite packing it down enough.. but obviously was not an issue with the skis. After the Pawnee Pass trail junction there's no trail whatsoever up to Pawnee Pass - just 4-5 feet of powder you get to wallow through to find some turns. If you're heading to Apache/lake Isabelle area, it's pretty well wind blown at and above the lake, making travel much more easy in this general area. There are about 50 snowfields and couloirs that are in now. I spent Sunday hiking/booting up & skiing some of the snowfields circling lake Isabelle. I was too gassed to try to get up into the Apache or Navajo Snowfields, but these are also very much in. Of course this could all be useless after this week's high temps.. but we'll see. https://www.frontrangetreks.com/treks/backcountry-skiing-the-indian-peaks 
10 4
Route: Brainard Lake
Posted On: 2020-08-19, By: nilaoire
Info: Snow only in a short section as you cross the South St Vrain creek at about 11800 ft, otherwise the climb if Apache is your only goal, is snow free. 
Route: Apache Couloir
Posted On: 2020-07-06, By: tjf242424
Info: The basin above Lake Isabelle still has some snow and is quite wet in places. The Apache Couloir is dry in its upper reaches and it is necessary to talus hop for about 100 ft to connect to the final snowfield. We descended by Queens Way on talus for a few hundred feet until reaching the top of the obvious gully that slants down to the northeast and glissaded from there all the way back to the small tarn at ~11,500 ft, where we picked up the trail back to Long Lake. We started at 3:30am and probably would have benefited by starting even earlier. We were on the summit at 7:30am and things were already soft. 
Route: East Ledges/Face
Posted On: 2019-09-15, By: LetsGoMets
Info: Two snowfields or so on the ascent up the East Ledges/East Face to cross. No traction needed. Summer on 98% of it and the ridge over to Navajo. 
Route: \"Queens way\" couloir
Posted On: 2019-03-31, By: Giant hills
Info: From road closure to trailhead consistent packed snow. Didn't use flotation. Flotation needed after that. Slight boot pack from T.H to lake isabelle. After that totally untouched snow. Dropped flotation at base of last headwall.Snow was stable all the way on the approch no issues. Couloir was in prime condition for skiing and climbing. nice spring snow with about 3-5inches of powder on top. Upper portion was a little harder but was still amazing. Buddy skiied it and said it was perfect. Some rescent wet slide activity in the area. Queens slid a little maybe a day or 2 ago it looked like. Other than that everything is stable. Hot and windless. Spring has arrived on Apache. 
9 2
Route: Apache Couloir
Posted On: 2017-12-17, By: Buddyboy27
Info: Road to Brainard Winter lot had some ice on it but was melting fast. Road (Closed) between Brainard Winter lot and Long Lake Trailhead was 50/50 hardpacked snow and clean pavement (you can easily ride a bike from Brainard Winter lot to Long Lake Trhd). Good snow coverage from Long Lake Trailhead to Lake Isabelle. Skinned all the way to base of Apache Couloir but this does require navigation and skinning over small brush. Apache Couloir was hard packed (not ice) making it great for climbing (not the best skiing, I tried). Dry near top of couloir to summit. 
Route: Queen\\\'s Way
Posted On: 2017-06-27, By: cardgenius
Info: Snow got a hard freeze so the climbing was great. Lots of snow still and it's continuous from Lake Isabelle to the summit ridge. From there you can scramble the ridge to the summit or take a small snow strip to about 15-20ft below the summit. Lots of skiers up there. Would have probably been skiable from the summit a week or two ago. 
Route: Apache Couloir
Posted On: 2017-06-16, By: RWinters
Info: Climbed Apache Couloir today. It's continuous snow from the Long Lake trailhead. The road just opened today to the Brainard Lake day use area but no further. The snow was great early, but as expected softens up noticeably by mid-morning. I packed snowshoes but didn't use them. 
Route: Queens Way
Posted On: 2016-07-18, By: YonderMountain
Info: Apache from Shoshoni - 7/17/16. Queens way not continuous with approximately 75 feet of no snow after dogleg. 
Route: Brainard Lake Couloirs
Posted On: 2016-06-05, By: Dave B
Info: It's a travesty that I can't add a conditions report for a 12ner when I biked all the way back there on recon. Who runs this place anyways?!?! I skied Pawnee Peak today, planed to hit the furthest east Keyhole route but snow was 7-11 slurpee conditions by the time I got back down to the top. Trail from Long Lake TH still is entirely snow, and a lot of it - lots of sections of posthole-penitentes made for some fun skinning. Brainard Lake road is plowed to the Long Lake turnoff but 3 drifts past that cover the road (I parked my bike right at the first snow drift). It looked like the road to Mitchell Lake trail head was still snow covered and those heading for Toll etc. left their bikes there. Anyways, got a good look at all the ski lines in the area. Apache Couloir: Looks amazeballs Queensway Couloir: looks to go from the summit with just a little billy-goating; already a small runnel forming Shoshoni NE face: discontinuous Pawshoni SE face: Solid snow, just a short run Pawnee couloir: some good wet slide activity but a clear line could be pieced together Keyhole couloirs: only the eastern most was clean without wet slide activity Mt. Audubon crooked couloir: looked good, choke looked well filled in, watched a skier cruise right through it Pauite cuvaceous couloir: good but doesn't go from the summit (if it ever really does) Mt. Toll: as always, well filled in, but tracked up to shite. Looks like lower east wall at A-bay (a slight exaggeration). Sorry, no pictures. 
Route: Via Mohling
Posted On: 2014-09-07, By: Monster5
Info: No snow. Some light rain around noon that passed by. Thunder and more precip around 4pm or so. Apache ESE slopes: Loose scree and talus social trail. Dry - some mud/water on Isabelle trail. Yay. Shortcuts from the basin to the Isabelle Glacier trail are available. Navajo snowfield in for ~400-500 ft. Looked like very light snow accum. on Navajo N face. Ascended via Lone Eagle and Mohling Traverse: rap station is in very poor condition and needs to be replaced and cleaned up if you plan to rap (25 m). DC was fairly straight forward on horizontal exposed E ledge (5.0) to obvious weakness that can be DCed (4th). Cool mix of Owen Spalding belly crawl and Broadway step across. Party of 3 just under 13 hrs from Long Lake TH over Pawnee Pass 
Route: Queens Way
Posted On: 2014-08-03, By: CarpeDM
Info: Went up Apache's Queens Way couloir, and did the circuit over to Niwot Ridge. Snow was firm (slightly too firm) in Queens Way. Used Airplane Gully to descend - it sucked! It's just loose crap. The Navajo Snowfield and Apache couloir looked okay. Ask boggyb, kylie, and fepic1 for more on the Navajo Snowfield. If you want more info, I've got plenty of pics and made mental notes about surrounding areas. 
Route: Apache Couloir, Queen's Way
Posted On: 2014-06-30, By: AlexeyD
Info: Apache Couloir has continuous snow all the way to the ridge. Around 9 AM, the snow was already soft enough to kick good steps. The upper couloir got very soft at times. The snowfield that previously connected Queen‘s Way to the summit is no longer continuous, but the rocky section is very short. Queen‘s Way itself is in great shape and will likely be in well into the summer. The Isabelle Glacier trail is still largely buried under snow from Lake Isabelle onwards, but shouldn‘t be too difficult to follow with all the boot tracks. 
Route: Queens Way, Apache Couloir
Posted On: 2014-06-23, By: Goat9
Info: Brainard Lake Road is now open to the Day Use Area just before Brainard Lake. It is about a mile (maybe a little less) from their to Long Lake or Mitchell Lake THs. Snow covers the trail just after the Long Lake Trailhead. Queens Way is in and still connects to Apache Summit. Apache Couloir is in and connects to Apache‘s ridge. Navajo Snowfield looks spectacular. Got to see many peaks in the area and there is a lot of snow up there! More info on the blog at Front Range Ski Mountaineering: www.frontrangeskimo.com 
Route: Queen's Way
Posted On: 2014-06-08, By: FireOnTheMountain
Info: Winter closure still in effect (my guess next weekend or weekend after that). Bring a bike and save yourself 3 miles of road. No snowshoes needed. Line softened up fast. Dicker‘s Peck to Navajo Summit negligible snow. We road the ridge over to Niwot and descended from there but Airplane Gully looks snowy and easy. 
Route: Couloirs
Posted On: 2013-06-19, By: Dave B
Info: Did the Brainard Lake triathlon today (bike/climb/ski) with our eyes set on Queens Way on Apache. The road is 100% snow free but the gate is closed. The trail is a fabulous melange of snow drifts, running water and shin deep mud. Going was extremely slow. Snow on the north side of Lake Isabelle is unavoidable, steep in places and was bullet-proof at 6am this morning. We used axes to chop steps in a couple spots as it was more realistic than trying to put our ski boots on. Above the lake, snow is intermittent with talus. Both Apache Couloir and Queensway Couloir are holding good snow. Queensway is almost continuous from the summit but also has a large runnel. SW couloirs on Pawnee are melted out in parts. Airplane gully was melted out about 1/3 of the way down. Navajo snow field, as always, looks quite good. I had to turn back to make it back for a meeting in Fort Collins, but my ski partner, Alan (clemsonmtneer) continued on and climbed and skied the Queensway couloir proper. A recent text said the snow was pretty good. 

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