Mt. Powell A  
Condition Updates  
Route: Via Piney River Ranch
Posted On: 2021-10-23, By: kempenjn
Info: Trail to Kneeknocker mostly snow free, but wet / muddy. East side of Kneeknocker has waist deep snow. Ankle deep to shin deep snow on south face of Powell. Maybe an inch overnight but supposed to be 6 inches on Tuesday. Get it while it's good. 
Route: from kneeknocker pass
Posted On: 2021-09-06, By: Laxer04
Info: This is definitely one of the harder class 2 13ers. We came in from Piney Lake and camped in the basin below Kneeknocker pass. The gulley is full of loose rocks and scree. Bring a helmet. The "side sloping" across the steep grassy slopes was both arduous and dangerous. The summit provides fantastic views of Bubble Lakes and the Gore Range. 
Route: via Piney Lake
Posted On: 2021-08-29, By: ScottLovesRMNP
Info: Very crowded on the route today - I was very happy to have a helmet. The route is full of steep gullies filled with loose rocks that will sail down the slopes in an instant. I saw a rating of Class 2+ on this peak, but I was very happy to have my helmet. The steep climbing is also long and sustained, both above and below KneeKnocker Pass. Definitely one of the harder & more dangerous summits I've done in recent memory - even Thunder Pyramid last week where I was basically alone didn't have me as nervous as this, maybe because on Powell, I was in the shooting range below several climbers on loose rock and steep grass/talus at different points today. Recommend a helmet, even for this standard route. 
Route: South Side via Kneeknocker
Posted On: 2020-09-21, By: Barnold41
Info: Kneeknocker was snow free on both sides. Easily avoidable snow if you continue east from the bottom of Kneeknocker down Black or to Bubble. Snow free up the south side of Powell, easily avoidable snow patches closer to the summit. Saw one guy coming down before me and met two more at the summit. Beautiful day. 
Route: Piney Lake
Posted On: 2020-09-20, By: bdloftin77
Info: Summer conditions. Some snow on the east side of Kneeknocker Pass, but definitely avoidable. 
Route: From Kneekocker pass
Posted On: 2020-09-14, By: climbingcue
Info: Summer conditions, one or two patches of snow to cross. Not bad at all. Peak C on the other hand had some snow that was super slick and not safe for us. We turned around on Peak C after only 100 vertical feet. The main goal was Powell and we were treated to perfect weather on the summit for the hour we stayed. 
3 3
Route: From Piney Lake
Posted On: 2020-08-30, By: WildWanderer
Info: Snow in gullies is avoidable. Stick to your right on the last gully before the summit to avoid what's left of the ice. No ice axe or crampons necessary. Microspikes helpful on scree. 
4 3
Route: Piney Lake
Posted On: 2020-08-01, By: Sbenfield
Info: We used axe and microspikes to descend and re ascend Kneeknocker pass but didn't appear to be mandatory. We intentionally sought out the snow since we brought the gear but some other parties elected use a class 3 rib to descend and re gain the pass instead. Picture of kneeknocker included 
Route: South Face
Posted On: 2020-07-29, By: bhill42
Info: This may be only class-2+ without snow filling gullies on other side of Kneeknocker Pass, but with current snow conditions- covering the entirety of steep slopes from the pass, with late July late-morning (9:30am) snow too weak to hold weight reliably- descent/re-ascent is via a class 3 rib of rock which would be fun if falling didn't mean an uncontrolled slide down a few hundred feet of wet snow. Even just the ~40 ft descent/re-ascent on wet snow from pass to rock rib was harrowing without ice axe (just poles and microspikes), in my case (perhaps because of my unintended glissade, which could have gone horribly wrong if only +/- 5 feet over). Turned around 300 vertical feet from top around 11:15, when feeling a few drops of rain, after making much slower progress than anticipated, partly due to snow-filled gullies, partly due to slow going on extremely muddy and wet willows section following rain in days prior. Nice scree surfing opportunities on way down from Powell and Kneeknocker Pass, if you like that sort of thing. Route finding can be difficult on way back, nearing reconnection with Upper Piney Lake trail- had to bushwack a bit back to trail. Strongly recommend ice ax + traction unless positive there is no snow on other side of Kneeknocker Pass. With better/no snow, descent from Kneeknocker Pass would otherwise be okay-ish. Bring lots of extra socks if going in days after a rainfall- trail gets surprisingly wet. Shout out to party of 4 who shared good gouge and kept an eye out while I obsessively kickstepped my way back up the last 40 feet to pass- y'all are good dudes! 
Route: Kneeknocker Pass
Posted On: 2020-07-31, By: AnastasiaC
Info: East side of Kneeknocker Pass is still holding a lot of snow. We were able to avoid all of the steep snow by staying on the rocks. I didn't think it was anything more difficult than class 2 (it's a bit loose though). At the rock formation we stayed on the left side. Than there was some talus hopping before we reached unavoidable snowfield. I felt comfortable not using my microspikes when I crossed it. The snow in that spot is not very steep. 
Route: Kneeknocker Pass
Posted On: 2019-08-10, By: bmcqueen
Info: Did Powell today from Piney Lake via Kneeknocker Pass. The opposite side of the Pass is still quite snowy. Traction and axe still strongly recommended. After dropping a bit below the pass, we climbed snow up the bottom third of the upper peak. Once off the snow, it is straight forward to the summit. 
Route: Kneeknocker
Posted On: 2019-07-21, By: randalmartin
Info: Massive Cornice at Kneeknocker saddle. Only passable approach we saw would be to downclimb a 34-45 degree snow covered slope coming off Peak C to the right of Kneeknocker. Order of the photos is screwed up. 1 Looking down towards Black Creek drainage on the other side of Kneeknocker. To get this photo I had to walk to the safer right side of the cornice. 2 Right side of Cornice on Kneeknocker looking towards a 35-45 degree slope coming off Peak C. 3 Left side of Cornice on Kneeknocker with Powell and Heartknocker hill in view. 4 Looking back towards Piney Lake from about 2/3 of the way up Kneeknocker 5 Just start ascent towards Kneeknocker 6 At treeline looking towards Kneeknocker which is the low point in the ridge seen. 
Route: From kneekmocker pass route unknown
Posted On: 2019-07-14, By: graberz
Info: The trail in: mostly dry. There is a section hard to follow due to avalanche activity, there is snow from slightly above treeline/upper basin which is mostly continuous snow until about a 1/3 from knee knocker pass. There is one section you could get on rock if you wanted. The east side of the pass is completely snowed in. We made our own way up to Powell as there was a lot of snow. We dropped down the west side from the pass and made our way across quite a few gullys. This required some grass ledge and rock scrambling as well as traversing several snow fields. We did this until we found a final gully that was dry that took us up west of the summit. Definitely recommend ice axe crampon and gaiters to climb the peak and up the pass. 
Route: Piney/KneeKnocker
Posted On: 2018-07-15, By: pgenelin
Info: Followed piney lake trail until the fork where we turned left. This trail was easy to lose after a couple hundred feet of climbing. We ended up too far left in the marshland and were unsure if kneeknocker was directly above us, or in the next basin over. We mistakenly climbed up through a gully, only to reach the top and realize this is not where we wanted to be (yay an extra mile and 1k vert). After climbing back down to the marshland we saw another group, also unsure where to go. With them we ventured right through the marsh and met up with a trail. This trail took us through some brief steeps to an open basin where Kneeknocker pass was clearly ahead of us. Kneeknocker pass is steep and a little loose, but we hugged the left side toward the larger rocks for some traction. At the top of Kneeknocker we could see our brief down-climb and ascent back up to the summit of Powell. The down-climb still had two snowfields in the gullies and we mistakenly didn't bring spikes or ice axes. One member of our group decided to stay behind at this point. Two of us continued on and descended the snowfield, staying at the edge to hopefully get some traction on the dirt. After a slide to the bottom, we crossed another snow patch where we could see our final climb. It looks much shorter and easier from this point. After climbing the initially grassy face, the vegetation gives way to skree and loose dirt. It was difficult to find any solid handholds or clear path to gain the summit. The skree and dirt were steep and unforgiving. If there were more people climbing this peak, or we were in a larger group, I would've wanted a helmet. Falling rocks or accidentally kicking down rocks is very easy in this section. Shortly before the summit, the skree gives way to large boulders which were a huge relief. The views from the summit were spectacular! Descending through the skree and dirt proved just as difficult as the ascent. Much of the down-climb was spent sliding. Finally we reached the short ascent before gaining the top of kneeknocker once again. This time we stuck to some rocky cliffs skirting the left side of one of the gullies. While they were more exposed and closer to a class 3/4 climb, I would personally take solid rock over trying to ascend the dirt/snow field any day. The way down kneeknocker was tiring and slippery as expected. It was a relief to reach the basin knowing easier descending lied ahead. 
Route: Piney River
Posted On: 2018-07-08, By: Rcizzle
Info: Obviously clear to Knee Knocker Pass from Piney River Ranch. At Knee Knocker East, steep soft/slick snow is still intact for 100 yards and cannot be avoided. I highly recommend at minimum an ice axe, IMO, even though I've seen people methodically cross without such. Micro Spikes wouldn't be a bad idea either even thought the section is short lived. One more short snow crossing upon reaching the main southern gulley granted that section isn't very steep. The remainder of the route is completed without snow until return. 
Route: Piney Lake
Posted On: 2017-07-03, By: RWinters
Info: Dry down low. Some remaining snow in the basin below Kneeknocker Pass. Plenty of snow on the other side of Kneeknocker. An axe would be useful during cooler temps or earlier in the day 
Route: Standard from Piney Lake
Posted On: 2016-08-09, By: vonmackle
Info: The snowfields on the east side of Kneeknocker Pass are now completely avoidable. 
Route: Piney Lake via Kneeknocker Pass
Posted On: 2016-07-24, By: Arndorfer
Info: Snow field on the east side of Kneeknocker Pass was readily traversed with crampons and poles - no postholing. After traversing that cornice, I was able to hike to the summit without any other snow crossings. 
Route: View from the Area
Posted On: 2016-07-17, By: WillRobnett
Info: Climbed Spider and The Fly 7/14 Scouting Kneeknocker Pass 7/15 
Route: South Slopes
Posted On: 2015-07-26, By: Rcizzle
Info: Some notes on Powell. Big issue #1, there is a large remaining snow field on the eastern slope of Kneeknocker Pass. The easiest route to access the southern slopes is to traverse the steep snow field. I would say an ice axe and microspikes (I would be lenient towards crampons, but I‘m a wuss) are necessary to safely traverse the slope to the grassy knoll. Honestly, I turned around and opted to go fly fish, but those who climbed did not appear to have problems with the firmness of the snow. If properly equipped, this part will be a breeze. From there on the snow is avoidable. That being said, if you are a total bad@$$ you can down climb a loose gap to the north of the initial slope (class 3) then traverse the side of the snow and rock. Keep in mind you must be bad@$$ of which I‘m not. This option is not recommended. Other than that, this section that this route will challenge the prepared and scare the Not. Expect a bushwhack to amphitheater below kneeknocker and a faint, often disappearing trail. If you are new to the route there will be plenty of confusing sections below the initial climb through the trees. There is an unsigned trail junction, no cairns or anything turn left and hike through a faint trail following the tracks of other climbers. You know you are close when the trail passes a rock wall/Rib and rejoins the Piney River. If you come to a large creek crossing with a log jam bridge, you have gone to far. When ascending through the trees keep left of the creek and if lose the trial, just hiking up. You might find it again. Bring Mosquito repellant! Finally, be prepared for standard mall traffic along the Piney trail especially at the lake and maintain good parking egress as the crowds will pour into the area throughout the day. Cheers. RC 

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