Navajo Peak A  
Condition Updates  
Route: Airplane Gully
Posted On: 2022-07-03, By: benmangelsdorf
Info: Brainard Lake area is very, very wet right now. Portions of the trail are underwater, but creative steps will generally get you to the other side mostly dry. There are a few snow fields to cross on the way up to Airplane Gully, but most of them aren't a big deal. There is one above Isabella Lake that is a little sketchy, and some people might want spikes or an ax for that. I brought spikes but did not use them all day. If I were to go again, I would bring an ax just so I could have it for glissading! Airplane Gully and above has no snow, but the gully is VERY chossy right now. I climbed it about 2 years ago and it was sketchy but didn't feel as bad as yesterday. Yesterday I dislodged a massive rock about the size of me and it took me for a ride about 10 feet down the gully, and somehow I was fine. Stick to the cliff on climber's left in the gully and you will be better off than me, I think. The chimney is dry and very fun and felt far less scary than the gully IMO. Similar to the chimney on N Maroon. I logged 17.2 miles and 3600 feet from the winter parking lot (I couldn't get a reservation). I think bringing a bike/hitching a ride to and from the winter lot could be a good strategy. Also, there is a trail that cuts through the forest near the road, but I do not advise taking it. Not only is it longer (I think), but it is incredibly hard to follow and extremely wet and muddy, with some of the mud having the consistency of quicksand. My personal opinion is that suffering through the road is worth it. 
Route: Airplane Gully
Posted On: 2020-07-02, By: berko89
Info: Mostly summer conditions. I was fine in approach shoes with no traction/ice axe. Past Lake Isabella there is snow covering the trail in some spots which made navigation a bit trickier. Snow was not an issue at all in the airplane gully or while scrambling on the summit pyramid. My opinion: no traction needed but consider bringing an ice axe: would have saved me some of the time spent avoiding snow on the approach & there are some glissade opportunities on the descent. 
Route: via Apache Peak
Posted On: 2019-09-15, By: LetsGoMets
Info: Completely dry on the ridge over to Navajo from Apache. West Chimney is dry and in great shape. Airplane Gully mostly dry (some avoidable ice in the shade). 
Route: Up Airplane Gully/Down Niwot Ridge
Posted On: 2019-08-28, By: kingshimmers
Info: Route up is completely dry, save for a few steps over a stable snowfield right where the Isabelle Glacier trail breaks off to the northwest. Didn't pass directly by the Navajo snowfield, but pictures show conditions at a distance. 
Route: Navajo Snowfield
Posted On: 2019-07-15, By: LSUExplorer03
Info: Still a lot of snow in the Navajo basin, starting around Lake Isabelle. After the unnamed tarn around 11,500' there is a steep headwall which we were able to climb without crampons, but an ice axe was nice to have (it is 100% snow-filled). Then there is some talus above this headwall before you arrive at the final steep slope at the head of the basin directly below Navajo Peak. Due to all the lingering snow this season, the Navajo snowfield extends way down to just under 12,200'. There is plenty of dry ground at the Navajo/Apache saddle at the base of Dicker's Peck, but there is still a lot of snow between Dicker's Peck and the start of the ramp leading up to the West Chimney. The West Chimney is clear of snow. Also, the North Face of Navajo looked to be completely clear of snow. Above the West Chimney to the summit was completely clear of snow as well. On the descent, there is still a small snowfield down the Southeast side of Navajo that can be easily avoided. Airplane gully still has 2 good-sized snowfields in it, but we were able to avoid both by sticking to the sides of the gully. With crampons and an axe, we had amazing conditions! 
Route: Airplane Gully
Posted On: 2017-12-11, By: Buddyboy27
Info: Parked at the Brainard Lake Winter Lot (road closed) and was able to ride the bicycle ~3 miles to Long Lake Trailhead. Skinned from Long Lake Trailhead all the way until the first headwall with only one short section with rock exposure. Navigation is required to pick the best/skin-able route once you get to the South Saint Vrain pool. Headwall and Navajo glacier are skiable without worry of sharks in the bulk of the route. Pay attention near the top and bottoms of headwalls though. Witnessed wet loose avalanches on the southeast facing slopes. Navajo Glacier sees maybe a couple hours of sun all day right now. 
Route: Airplane Gully
Posted On: 2017-10-02, By: kayleenann8
Info: Trail is dry and muddy to the lake at Isabelle Glacier. Intermittent snow starting there. Once at the scree field that leads to the Airplane Gully, we were in snow up to our ankles, sometimes the knees. The gully had enough snow to kick steps in and the ridge to the summit had snow (still were able to do the class 4 chimney though). Decent glissade down! 
Route: Niwot Ridge / Airplane Gully
Posted On: 2017-07-11, By: cloudkicker
Info: We ascended Niwot Ridge and descended Airplane Gully. Leading up to treeline there were a few thinning snow patches that were very easy to avoid. Above treeline and on the ridge, the route was entirely dry. We stayed ridge proper to spice things up a little bit. The route was dry all the way to the Navajo summit! Midway down airplane gully the route had a little bit of iced over snow remaining. We took great care and bypassed it on its west side. Note: airplane gully is INCREDIBLY loose, probably the loosest route I've ever encountered. I slipped and fell a few feet coming down the gully. Luckily, the only injury I sustained was a little bit of bleeding on my left forearm. Still some snow between the base of Airplane Gully and Lake Isabelle. Made for a few short (fun) glissades... but if your route ascends this way be prepared for a snow slog leading to a loose and dangerous scree slog. 
Route: Traverse from Apache
Posted On: 2017-06-16, By: RWinters
Info: See Apache report. Traversed from Apache to climb Navajo. The chimney has a couple of sections of ice. We needed crampons and axes to make the short, icey section. We descended Airplane Gully, which is melting out fast. There is only snow for about half of it. 
Route: Navajo Glacier - North Face
Posted On: 2016-06-24, By: pbakwin
Info: Excellent conditions for this climb right now. The trail is very wet. Mostly snow from Lake Isabelle on up. Navajo Glacier is in great shape - easy cramponing. Snow ends right at the top of the glacier, then it's more or less dry rock on up to the summit. This is really one of the better routes on a 13er in the IPW, I think. Only my 3rd or 4th climb of Navajo, but it's really a good peak with a beautiful & airy summit! 
Route: Navajo Snowfield/North Face
Posted On: 2014-08-04, By: AlexeyD
Info: The snowfield is finally starting to transition to neve, though no ice to speak of yet. I placed a picket just to test it out, and it was like hammering in a giant nail - took a while, and felt absolutely bomber. Surface softened up in the sun just enough to make unroped ascent pretty secure, but crampons and axe are definitely a must, and a second tool didn‘t feel out of place (although experience snow climbers can probably manage without). The North Face is deeply shaded, and had a number of patches of black ice on the ledges, one of which I managed to slip on. There‘s also a fair bit of loose rock and detached blocks. Be careful - especially if soloing! The "crux" crack has a fixed thread around a chockstone just below the exit move. The webbing looks pretty old and manky; this is more of a routefinding aid at this point. Once above the crux, you get to a sort of notch; from there, head right and you‘ll see a few cairns and something of a use trail leading to a 3rd class route to the summit. For the Airplane Gully descent, we couldn‘t find the "third class trail on the north side" of the summit pyramid referred to in the Summitpost description, but did find a blocky, 50 or so-foot 3rd/4th class chimney leading to a use trail. This way is very straightforward (basically just head down from the summit straight toward the Navajo-Niwot saddle), and reasonable enough. Be sure not to descend the very first gully that you see coming to the saddle; the correct gully is just behind the little knob after the saddle‘s low point, and has visible wreckage in it. One note about starting the North Face: easiest way to get to the base of the route is to stay on the snowfield until you‘re on the left (east) side of Dicker‘s Peck. Some descriptions suggest going around the south side, but this requires considerably more effort. Lastly, we witnessed a helicopter rescue on our hike out, between Lake Isabelle and the unnamed, snowbound lake at about 11,400‘. Hope whoever was involved is OK! 
Route: Navajo Snowfield
Posted On: 2014-06-23, By: Goat9
Info: Navajo Snowfield is in full snow climbing condition. Brainard Lake Road gate is open, but then closed at the day use area by Brainard Lake itself. There are snow drifts in the Long Lake parking lot. The trail is snow covered immediately after the start of the trail at Long Lake and covered most of the way in. 
Route: 13er combo
Posted On: 2012-07-02, By: Monster5
Info: Approach: Dry or muddy trail. At the snowfield below the upper headwall, the dry trail switchbacks up to the right. With traction/axe, one could just go straight through the snowfield. Snow: Several hundred feet available to the Navajo/Apache saddle (big group climbed it yesterday), in the Apache couloir (discontinuous above cliffbands - dry talus above), and in Queen's Way (dry talus up top). Airplane looked pretty dry with one or two minor patches. Not sure what the standard dry route is up Apache, but we went just right of Apache couloir and found scree, brief 4th class, and then talus hopping. One could also go beneath the Navajo snowfield and contour right (class 2+?). The Apache-Navajo-Niwot ridges are dry. One group took a 5.easy variation up Navajo from the Apache saddle (?). The crux chimneys are also dry and in good shape. Dicker's is dry, as are the talus slogs to forbidden fruit. 

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