"The Citadel"  
Condition Updates  
Route: Herman Gulch
Posted On: 2022-07-19, By: Sbenfield
Info: Full summer conditions, previous reports do a good job explaining how this hike works. This is more of a conditions for the wildflowers in Herman gulch, which were very impressive the entire way. If flowers are your thing, consider this peak! 
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Route: Herman Gulch
Posted On: 2022-07-06, By: ScottLovesRMNP
Info: My final tune-up before heading to attempt Mt. Kilimanjaro! The trail to Herman Lake is in great shape; flowers are providing spectacular displays already! I found the trail leading to the Bethel-Citadel saddle from Herman Lake to be much easier to follow than reports I'd read. You shouldn't have to fight willows if you follow the track, spot the trail leading up to the saddle, and just make some reasonable route choices that avoid the willows. From the Bethel-Citadel saddle, a faint trail heads up to the base of the east summit of The Citadel and is a good route. There is a little snow at the base of the wide gully that separates the two summits of The Citadel. Descend to the base of the gully, going below the snow entirely (which is no problem). Thanks to recent rains, the steep, loose gully is actually a bit muddier and holding in place better than when bone dry. You can get your footsteps into the mud a bit. I used a bit of handhold help from the solid rock on either side of the gully, but really didn't find this too difficult. This gully leads to the saddle between the west and east summits. The west summit is higher. While the climbing is relatively easy (Class 3, following the grassy ramp up), it is in high consequence terrain, and with wet grass and mud, I proceeded with extreme caution. Continue to step carefully across the summit ridge (which is narrow and exposed) to the true highest point, which is easy enough to sit on, but I would never consider standing on it, even with no wind! It is VERY small and with extreme exposure to the north. Although the bottom 20 feet of the east summit involves slightly harder climbing (say, Class 3+), it was far less exposed, and above the initial 20 feet, the rest of the short route to the summit is cruiser and there are multiple ways to head up there. The east summit has plenty of room and is not as exposed as the west one. If you are uncomfortable with the first 20 feet, perhaps have someone spot you. Otherwise, I think it's worth doing, especially if you've already done the more exposed west summit. The area is just gorgeous right now: beautiful clouds mixed with deep blue skies today, wonderful wildflowers, some lingering snowfields, and plenty of greenery. I was glad I went for this today, in spite of a less-than-perfect forecast. I enjoyed it much more than Pettingell, which I did last summer in haze and smoke in mid-July 2021. 
Route: Herman Gulch
Posted On: 2022-07-05, By: MaryinColorado
Info: Essentially summer conditions! Hikes to Herman Lake and cut across from there. Creek crossings were fine. Little patches of snow, no big deal. Ridge is holding some snow off to the side, nothing you need to worry about. And for the patch of snow still sitting below the southeast "false summit", it was easy enough to just skirt below it in order to access the gully. 
Route: Standard
Posted On: 2022-06-24, By: blueshade
Info: The Citadel and the traverse to Hagar. Brief snow that is easily walked (I only post-holed once) on the ridge just before the final summit pyramid(s). The rest of the trail is in mostly good condition (besides the normal soggy spots in spring). 
Route: NE Chute (aka Snoopy’s Backside) and NE bowl
Posted On: 2022-05-29, By: Wildernessjane
Info: Very chunky conditions in the NE chute today. You are basically climbing up avalanche debris from multiple point slides almost the entire way. We ended up traversing around the backside after carrying skis up the couloir and dropping into the NE bowl. Lots of avi debris here too but we were able to get in some really nice turns. 
Route: Snoopy\'s Backside
Posted On: 2022-05-14, By: toomanybananas
Info: Started in hiking shoes from Herman Gulch until 2.4 miles along the CDT, then put skis + skins on. Could probably have put skins on earlier but might have required taking skis off a few times to cross dirt patches. Snow in the couloir was firm ~9am, but warming fast and the sides of the couloir were already quite warm (could basically posthole next to a rock). Dropped ~9:45am, would not want to have dropped any later. 
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Route: North East Face
Posted On: 2022-05-03, By: B_2
Info: All routes are in. Ascended from Herman Gulch and climbed/skied NE Bowl. Others we spoke to came over from south face/snoopy's collar and skied NE Couloir. Herman Gulch is dry for first 0.75ish mile. Dry gulch is continuous snow to parking (per report from another skier) 
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Route: Hassel-Pettengel-Citadel
Posted On: 2021-08-22, By: daway8
Info: Despite the recent snow the route was 99.9% snow free. Just a few tiny patches seen here and there in shaded areas. One tiny patch of snow just below the bottom right of the 5.4 chimney up the Citadel and a miniscule amount in a couple tiny patches in the chimney itself which didn't interfere with climbing up it. Don't recall spotting any snow on the Citadel summits. 
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Route: From Hagar, descent towards bethel
Posted On: 2021-07-16, By: -wren-
Info: Summer conditions. Don't ascend straight up the west summit from the trail coming up from herman Gulch - you will find horrendously rotten rock in a high class 3/low 4th chimney. Instead, side hill over to the saddle between the two summits, then climb them at easy 3rd for the east and easy 4th for the west. 
Route: From Hagar dry gulch
Posted On: 2021-06-29, By: cougar
Info: Summer conditions from Hagar and Dry Gulch. South couloir below east ridge still holding firm snow most of the way, and rotten rock, axe recommended. Still a few snowfields on that approach from herman lake 
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Route: Snoopy\'s
Posted On: 2021-06-06, By: Mike Shepherd
Info: Largely same as previous report. We summited and were back at the base at 8am. Snow soft on the hike out by 9 to 10am 
Route: Northeast Couloir/ Herman Gulch
Posted On: 2021-06-02, By: crowdsurf
Info: Snow became continuous on the trail about 2.5 miles in. Very minimal postholing in the morning. Snowshoes or skis recommended in the afternoon as always. The apron to the couloir was somewhat soft but overall the snow was supportive. The snow in the couloir was softer than hoped for, even with a partly cloudy forecast and cooler temps over the weekend. Only the final 50 ft of climbing was on bulletproof snow as it was shaded. The descent and traverse to the Bethel connecting ridge contained more supportive snow that held an ice axe well. With warmer temps forecasted soon, I would think a few days of below freezing temps will be needed to lock it up again. Great day! 
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Route: North Collar
Posted On: 2021-05-24, By: dsr80304
Info: Climbed and skied this AM. Was about a mile dry hike before continuous snow - but that is on the other side of the creek. So we ended up booting like 2.5 miles or so before switching to skins. Was firm and fast hiking. Probably could have crossed the creek much earlier though (once snow covered) and skinned more. The whole basin was beautiful, with a tad bit of new snow. North Collar was pretty wrecked down the middle with prior wet avy debris. And while it froze last night, the prior days were pretty warm so the climb was pretty soft. We went up/down anyway and tried to harvest the edges which were much cleaner. But probably shoulda skied the East Bowl, much much cleaner South Collar looked pretty wind hammered 
Route: Snoopys Collar
Posted On: 2021-05-20, By: rosey33
Info: Left Denver at 3am arrived to trailhead at 4am hiking by 4:30. Parked at the gate of dry gulch and walked the road which is snow free for about 3/4 mile and then snow becomes continuous but it is avoidable for a little bit maybe 1/4 mile. After that it's snow the entire way and in the early morning it's supportive only post holing a handful of time. Did not use snowshoes or micro spikes. Put on crampons at the apron of climb around 6am. Snow is firm and very supportive making it like walking up steps. Summit at 7am. Sun never hit couloir. Hagar mountain receives early sunlight. Downclimbed facing inwards until at a more mellow angle to glissade and the glissade hurt like a bitch and was very fast. Was expecting a awful post hole nightmare going back through the trees but only sunk to my waist a handful of times and I never once cursed the snow, which I normally do on the way out. All in all great day. The motto was start early hike fast and climb hard. Round trip 7.3 miles for 4 hours and 46 minutes back to car 9:11 and in Denver at 10:15 I made great time driving there and back. 
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Route: South Face/Snoopy Collar
Posted On: 2021-04-25, By: Kevin Baker
Info: Still a lot of snow in the Loveland Pass area. We picked this south facing snow climb because of the later sunhit. Quite a bit of wind transported snow on the face, so an early start is key. We started at 5am and sunhit didn't happen until we were high on the face at around 8:30. We elected to descend via the SE shoulder. There was already small point release activity occurring off the cliffs into the couloir on the Herman Gulch side by 9am. Excellent skin track in Dry Gulch. 
Route: South Face, Snoopys Collar
Posted On: 2021-04-02, By: hogantheepic
Info: Continuous snow from Dry Gulch trailhead all the way to the top of the notch. Conditions are certainly improving, and the spring snowpack is well on its way towards stability. That said, after digging a pit in a quite representative spot of the south face, we found a super deep snowpack (avg 2.15 m, n=12). The pit had mostly strong layers in the upper 3 feet, nothing too worrying, other than the highly variable wind slabs we encountered as we skinned and then bootpacked directly up the face of the Citadel. Skied from the notch, and we were able to ski (nearly) all the way back to the car without transitioning. The last half mile or so between the parking lot and the gate next to i70 was all uphill, so I switched to my shoes and walked up next to i70 to retrieve the car to end a truly fantastic day out. Get out there soon while there is a good skin track and bootpack established up the south face! Highly recommend bringing ice axe, and crampons could be nice too. Ski crampons would've been lovely to have for the skinning in a few places, though we made it work without any of this gear. Me and Jacob used our avy shovels as axes, and Nick used his touring poles. Definitely make sure you time your ski descents properly, or else you'll be dealing with slush galore like we were! 
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Route: Dry Creek
Posted On: 2020-11-30, By: Mtn_Topper
Info: Route in great shape 
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Route: Dry Gulch
Posted On: 2020-09-20, By: Pnick
Info: Started at Dry Gulch. There was a trail more or less up to about treeline, and then from there it was pretty easy route finding up to the east ridge of the Citadel. I'd recommend traversing west a ways through the flatter basin before ascending up to the ridge. There is a pretty distinct trail leading from the basin up to the ridge, so look for that. The final scramble was loose, but manageable. I'd recommend a helmet. It's a beautiful hike though and we only passed three people all day. 
Route: North Ridge (Traverse w/5.4 Chimney)
Posted On: 2020-06-27, By: moltar
Info: Totally clear, continued through to Bethel (came in from Pettingell), only snow was on southern most part of the descent to saddle 
Route: Herman Gulch
Posted On: 2020-05-17, By: Elote
Info: We climbed the northeast couloir on the Citadel yesterday. We started at 5:20. No snow for about the first half mile. We started to post hole after an hour and switched to skinning. We reached the couloir at 9:30 and switched to crampons. The cloud cover kept it nice and cool. There was lots of debris from wet slides. At the bottom of the couloir the snow was slushy with an inch of firm on top, which made for slow going, but once me made it a quarter of the way up, the snow firmed up and was perfect. We reached the summit at 11:15. The snow at the top was perfect, soft but not sloppy. I noticed the snow on the south side (I believe it's called Snoopy Collar) was very firm and needed more time. We dropped in at 11:45. The turns were great. Then we rode as far as we could until we transitioned back to skins. Snow was very slushy and unsupportive on the way out. It was a great day and I want more. 
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