Paiute Peak  
Condition Updates  
Route: Clockwise loop - Paiute to Audubon
Posted On: 2022-08-05, By: Makbrad
Info: Summer conditions. Summit register is soaking wet and could use more paper. One pencil and a pen still intact. We hugged the right of the gully on the way up. Loose sand scree in the center. 
Route: Traverse from audubon
Posted On: 2022-03-28, By: ellenmseb
Info: The traverse from audubon to paiute is surprisingly heads-up currently. I used my ice axe to basically self-belay across each of 3 snow-ridges, but then decided i didn't want to leave that snow to soften further, so turned around 200' below paiute. I wouldn't even consider it without ice axe 
Route: East Ridge from Mount Audubon
Posted On: 2021-04-04, By: supranihilest
Info: There's a silly amount of snow on the traverse from Audubon to Paiute - it seems that all the snow that isn't on the former is all on the latter. The traverse is kind of intimidating looking with the snow but is pretty easy. There's some minor scrambling, some minor exposure, and plenty of rock hopping and snow to contend with. The final pitch to Paiute's summit is the steepest but not too bad. From Paiute's summit we took the ridge down towards the saddle with Mount Toll, then glissaded the steep slope into the basin. This is probably the most dangerous part of this climb, as the slope is steep enough to slide. You MUST get down off it before it gets too wet! From there we followed ski tracks out and down the myriad cliffs and waterfalls to the flats, then took the long hike back to the trailhead. The snow was wet slop by the end of the day. Traction and an ice axe were not necessary except for the glissade down the Paiute/Toll saddle. Flotation would have been useless on the ridge itself, only useful for the ascent of Audubon and descent and deproach from Paiute. Thanks to the skier ahead of us who left us a nice booter across the traverse. 
Route: Traverse from Audubon
Posted On: 2020-06-29, By: nickle
Info: Summer conditions, see conditions report for Audubon for more details + pictures. 
Route: Traverse from Audobon
Posted On: 2020-06-07, By: jtfoss1
Info: Took the southeast ridge up Audobon - for portions not covered in the previous Audobon report from today: Some sections were good to have an ice ax. The ridge was clear in all sections worth noting. Lots of people at the summit but nobody else on the SE ridge. The route to Paiute was clear. We decided to descend the Toll-Paiute saddle. We should have descended the snow strip but went further to avoid snow. It was a long ways back to Mitchell Lake through the trees but fortunately the snow was mostly supportive. If you don't bring a bike, makes for a long day. 
Route: Via Audubon
Posted On: 2019-07-13, By: LetsGoMets
Info: Two short flat snow fields along a narrow-ish portion of ridge. Easy to cross, but places to pay attention. Otherwise the ridge is full on summer. 
Route: East Ridge
Posted On: 2019-07-08, By: bkcheck
Info: Made the traverse from Audubon to Paiute. It is almost entirely melted out except for a couple minor snow patches that did not warrant putting on traction or bringing out the ice axe. Descended a couple hundred feet down the south ridge towards Mount Toll and decided to descend the SE-facing snowfield ending at the bench around 12000. The snowfield is continuous, but I opted to downclimb a few hundred feet to avoid some rocks sticking out about halfway down before glissading the rest of the way. The snowfield on the saddle between Paiute and Toll appears to be in good shape for a climb right now as well. 
Route: East ridge from Audubon
Posted On: 2018-10-29, By: Giant hills
Info: Road in was dry seen people riding bikes in afternoon. Audubon is the same as last report no tracyion used and patchh snow until last 500ft. From Audubon the snow on the ridgr isn't to deep if on ridge proper. If off of it it is shin deep at most patchy on south side more consistent on north. From the base of paiute the snow is a lot deeper ice axe and traction I would definitely advise. Snow that was on the ridge was actually pretty consolidated for the most part so your traction and axe will bite well. Audubon was insanely windy in the morning making the trek to paiutes ridge a suffer fest. Other than that straight forward ridge just stay on the proper or the southern side. North side is cliffs 
Route: Traverse from Audubon
Posted On: 2018-07-23, By: AlexeyD
Info: Did the Audubon-Paiute loop from Mitchell Lake trailhead, descending via Blue Lakes basin. No snow en route. In my humble opinion, there is nothing on this route, including the Audubon-Paiute traverse, that exceeds Class 2...for comparison, I would say that the standard route on Blanca, which is rated 2+, has quite a bit more scrambling and exposure than anything here. That said, it's a fun loop hike with beautiful scenery and rare solitude for this area - we saw no other people between the summit of Audubon and lower Blue Lake. 
4 3
Route: From Blue Lake
Posted On: 2018-07-14, By: 13erRetriever
Info: Trail is snow free all the way to the top. The loose rocks and dirt in the couloir can be avoided by staying on the rocks to the right on the way up and to the left on the way back down. Doing so only required a few true class 3 moves. Golden retriever made it to the top no problem! 
Route: SE slopes from mitchell lake
Posted On: 2017-07-23, By: Trotter
Info: Trail is clear and free of snow to mitchell lake. However, above this point, snow fields cover much of trail. Blue lake area is partially covered in snow and/or mud. We were able to pick our way across the snowfields, and gain snow free ridges until we got to the SE face of Paiute. We went north of blue Lake, then climbed SE slopes to Paiute, which was 90% clear of snow, then traversed to Audubon. No snow on Paiute, ridgeline to Audubon, or Audubon itself. No snow gear or axes needed, IF you pick your line carefully. 
Route: South Slopes from Blue Lakes
Posted On: 2016-09-29, By: jasayrevt
Info: Clear and very nice enjoyable trip w/ reaching summit. Invigorating, Inspiring Hobby. Great, beautiful 13er mountain. This quality, classic route is a unique undertaking and lightly traveled. Incredible views of Front Range Peaks and Brainard Lake. Prime, excellent, and bluebird summer conditions up high for navigating slopes and ridge line extremely well. Trail runners and light pack were good. Climb safely / swiftly in the hills folks. Pictures included as beta 
Route: SE face and Curvaceous couloir
Posted On: 2016-06-20, By: SnowAlien
Info: Ascended Curvaceous and skied down SE face. Approach is Type 3 fun currently. Trail is mostly snow covered, but enough dirt to require taking skis on and off n-times. Booting up the trail vs trying to skin appeared most efficient. Audobon's Crooked looked a little thin, but probably still doable with enough motivation. Several parties skied Mt Toll and said it was still pretty good. Apache/Navajo's coverage looked good. Road to Brainard lake opened on Saturday. 
Route: South Slopes from Blue Lake
Posted On: 2015-06-28, By: piper14er
Info: An update on Paiute from gotpow's report on the 22nd. Generally looks the same although it has been melting fast. 9.8 miles, 2800 feet from Brainard Lake (Mitchell Road/TH not opened yet this year) The snow is melting quickly with the warm temperatures. The trail had water running along it or snow for at least half of the 3 miles from the Mitchell Trailhead to Blue Lake. Easy off trail from the lake to the rib on the south slopes I used to gain the summit. Class 2+ to maybe easy Class 3. Mostly on rock with a small snow field to cross higher up. A lot of gnats on the snow and in the grass/scrub oak. Pictures are as follows: A look at the peaks from the east side of Brainard Lake. Right to left, Audubon, Paiute, Mt. Toll, Pawnee, Shoshoni... The big creek crossing. A look from below the rib. A different angle look. The north face of Mt. Toll in case you want to try that. No doubt someone has done that but it doesn't look too inviting. A shot looking at the snowfields on the south side of Mt. Toll from Blue Lake. 
Route: Southeast face
Posted On: 2015-06-23, By: gotpow
Info: Still lots of snow above the Mitchell lake trailhead. Snowshoes not necessary but be prepared to get wet, our boots were soaked by the end of the day. We were able to summit Paiute without climbing any snow along the southeast face, just a few minor snowfield crossings below the upper lake. I was able to get in a couple hundred foot glissade on descent. Trail is a bit hard to keep track of below Mitchell lake, and the road is only open to brainard lake currently, so expect a little extra mileage. 
Route: Curvaceous couloir
Posted On: 2014-06-11, By: Dave B
Info: Climbed and skied Curvaceous couloir on Paiute yesterday. Rode our bikes from the gate and encountered one snow drift before the turn off for Mitchell Lake TH. Stashed our bikes at the Mitchell Creek picnic area and hiked the rest of the road (wasn‘t ridable anyways). Word around the campground is that the gate is slated to open on Saturday June 20th this year, not the 13th as has been mentioned previously. Good freeze night before made skin in easy albeit not without route finding SNAFUs. Curvaceous was filled in in it‘s entirety and linked up with snow field above Bue lake. Some sharks here and there but altogether an enjoyable ski. Crooked on Audubon is still in but melting fast. Toll still looks very nice and skiable. Getting out was pretty shitty. There is still a lot of snow in the trees which was very soft at noon which combined with a very difficult to follow trail makes the last mile between Mitchell Lake and the TH demoralizing. Gonna wait a couple of weeks before headed back for Toll. I can send pictures via email or PM if interested, I‘m apparently resizingly-challenged. 
Route: East Ridge
Posted On: 2013-08-05, By: jeremy27
Info: I highly recommend the East Ridge over the standard route which ascends a loose gully (Class 2+) up from Blue Lake. Next time I might return via the East Ridge. The only thing you will miss (other than loose scree) is a gorgeous view of Blue Lake and some killer views of Mt. Toll. Register is a soggy mess - bring a replacement if you are so inclined. PM for a gpx of the full loop from Audubon if you are interested. Good Luck. 

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