French Mountain  
Condition Updates  
Route: French/Frasco/Casco Combo
Posted On: 2022-07-10, By: CheapCigarMan
Info: Parked at 10,800' at the 4WD TH. 3 mile 4WD road walk from there to end of road by old mine site. Steep but easy climb to ridge then an easy walk to French's summit. A very nice summit. Great views of Elbert, La Plata and many Cents and Bi-Cents. Wildflowers are out. Had a nice chat with Glen. Got a pic of him on French's summit (3rd pic) when I made it back down to the saddle. 
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Route: French/Casco/lackawanna
Posted On: 2022-06-21, By: zootloopz
Info: Some snow where the gpx file I have runs but can be avoided to the right or left to gain the ridge. Otherwise summer conditions! W/ vertical_volume 
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Route: Lack-Casco-Frasco-French-Champ-13736
Posted On: 2022-06-12, By: coopereitel
Info: I did this whole bunch yesterday and it was actually quite fun. Saw one person for probably five minutes on Casco. A few notes: --I went Lackawanna-Casco-Frasco-French-Champion-13736 which was a bit over 7k vert and 12 miles. I didn't track my route but the image below is exactly the line I went drawn on caltopo. --I didn't have any beta on the ridge from Lackawanna to Casco but it was pretty straightforward C2. -Descending 13,736 was a bit of a chore because I blindly descended the gulley to the SW of the summit. I wouldn't really recommend just due to the annoyingly long distance of scree. --The river crossing is pretty serious right now. It is running quite high, cold, and fast. Just a heads up. Totally doable though. --A couple minor patches of snow. No biggie 
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Route: From North Maroon
Posted On: 2022-05-29, By: jeffdmar
Info: If you're looking for a late-season ski, French might be a good choice. Road is open to North Halfmoon Creek TH without difficulty. Stream crossing was knee deep right at the start. A second one about 0.6miles up was a bit shallower. Then it's pretty much clear hiking until just below treeline; a few sustained patches of unconsolidated snow were largely avoidable to either side. Some postholing but not really a problem and to be expected. Finally gained a fully supportive and sustained snow runway at treeline, 3.7 miles from the TH. Good easy skinning to saddle between Frasco and Casco. Long ridge with skis on the back up Frasco involved some scrambling. All rocks. It was snowy just past Frasco's summit down to the saddle between Frasco and French and we donned our skis for that short descent. At the saddle we dropped our packs and skis and easily booted up French (half snow half rock) to to the summit. Upon descending to the saddle on foot, we transitioned to skis and skied down excellent corn at 10am. Good sustained fun turns back down to about tree line. We linked some snow patches along a creek through some willows to lose as much elevation as we could with skis still in our feet. A quick bushwhack through easy low willows found us back on the trail, and a relatively easy slog back to the vehicle in trail shoes with skis and boots on our packs was all that was left. Started at 4am and was back at the car by noon. 
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Route: French/Frasco/Casco Combo
Posted On: 2021-12-04, By: gluckhikes
Info: Winter conditions. Snowshoes, gaiters, poles with baskets will be a major help for the entire road and descent from Casco. The climb up French has dry sections that can be strundg together, and the ridge is also pretty dry. Just be ready for knee deep powder with a thin crust on the descent from Casco. 
Route: French/Frasco/Casco Combo
Posted On: 2021-11-05, By: funsizetiff
Info: Was able to drive in to the N Halfmoon trailhead. There is some snow on the road but it is easily navigable. Turned left on 110.J and parked just after the first creek crossing. The road is not driveable past this point. 110.J is covered with snow ranging from ankle to mid-calf deep. In south Halfmoon basin, the snow was deeper and I trenched up to my thighs a few times (though I'm only 5'3, so it may differ for you tall people!). I ascended Casco and did the ridge traverse to Frasco BM and French. The ridge is holding quite a bit of unconsolidated snow and I would rate some sections as class 3 with the snow. Descended the east ridge of French. This was a mix of plunge stepping and snow covered talus-hopping. Some may prefer a more gradual descent. I brought gaiters, microspikes, and ice axe and would consider all 3 mandatory. Did not carry or use snowshoes. 
10 2
Route: French/Frasco/Casco Combo
Posted On: 2021-10-17, By: wintersage
Info: Halfmoon Creek TH is still closed a mile below the Elbert TH. Road to the TH is mostly dry with a few patches of snow and ice. The approach road to Casco is mostly snow and ice, microspikes helped the entire way. Above 12600ft, the snow gets quite deep but is still too unconsolidated and on steep terrain to warrant flotation. Ridge has some posthole-ing and trapdoor snow. Warm bluebird day with no wind. I descended the east slope of French to get back to the approach road. 
5
Route: FFC combo from Lackawanna Gulch
Posted On: 2021-09-08, By: cougar
Info: Accesed this group from north lake TH off 82 since halfmoon creek is still closed. Rough route. Stream crossings at bottom are low and easy rock hopping, for Lackawanna too. Unofficial trail faint on spots up into the basin, awful loose slopes up to Frasco ridge, with a loose path. Everything dry. Scenic basin but must be easier by standard route. Seems legal to camp at trailhead, short ways off highway. 
Route: French/Frasco/Casco Combo
Posted On: 2021-07-20, By: brauda02
Info: Route is all dry. A couple of snowfields on the French-Frasco side but all easily avoidable. I think difficult class 2 is right for this though I made a few easy class 3 moves, notably on the top of the Casco summit dome. Didn't see a register on any of the peaks. Hiked in to a great camp at 11,600 last night -- right next to the only downed tree on the road. Didn't see a soul above Halfmoon Creek (was able to find a dry crossing on a log below the road). If you are frustrated by the hordes on the 14ers, there is plenty of solitude to be found on the Centennials. Halfmoon road is still closed a mile below the Elbert TH. I'll be happy if they never reopen it. 
6 2
Route: French/Frasco/Casco Combo
Posted On: 2020-07-21, By: CaptCO
Info: Summer conditions. Creek crossing doable with 4x4, but I parked prior. High clearance 4x4 to the top, multiple streams to filter water. Frasco to Casco doesn't have the most solid rock, good day 
6 1
Route: French/Frasco/Casco Combo
Posted On: 2020-07-15, By: mjflynn74
Info: I'm a city driver with an AWD crossover and made it to the trailhead just fine, taking it slow after the Massive TH. The first creek crossing has two options. Left (pic 1) might be the better one, but I tried right (pic 2) and didn't quite make it across without getting my feet wet. Water is about a foot deep. That's what extra socks are for, I guess. Second creek crossing has multiple options for getting across with feet dry (pic 3). I did French and Frasco, and there was no snow on the route. Didn't look like there was any on the ridge to Casco, either (pic 4). Great hike -- French has absolutely amazing front-row views of Massive, Elbert, and La Plata. 
4 2
Route: French/Frasco/Casco Combo
Posted On: 2020-07-01, By: DrSluice
Info: Had to take boots off and wade the stream crossing right at the start - no big deal but kind of annoying. Second stream crossing I went 10 ft downstream from where the "road" crosses and was able to scramble between boulders to cross. I didn't use the ice ax I brought cause there isn't enough snow to glissade any more. You could go way out of your way to get on snow but it's soft enough in the day it wouldn't be safe to glissade in my opinion. Beautiful climb - I'd call it easy class III not class II there's some fun scrambly parts. 
Route: French/Frasco/Casco via Fiascol/N. Fork TH
Posted On: 2020-06-28, By: supranihilest
Info: See my Frasco Benchmark report for details on the route up to Frasco's summit. From the summit of Frasco there's very little snow - two short crossings, no traction/axe needed. The route is very straightforward. Some loose rock but nothing of consequence. 
Route: French/Frasco/Casco Combo
Posted On: 2020-06-18, By: Slawson405
Info: Road is mostly clear to treeline. After that there are patches of soft deep snow zig zagging over the road/creek forcing some willow trekking until the mine. The climb up french's main route is still deep and steep, so if you want to climb the snow go early when it's soft. Or you can alter to the right up the steeper face of French and avoid snow. Traverse to Frasco and Casco is still holding snow (pic 1 shows casco), which would have to be negotiated to continue on. We did not do so due to lack of appropriate gear, and condition and prevalence of snow on traverse (pic 2 shows traverse from French to Frasco on the left). 
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Route: French/Frasco/Casco Combo
Posted On: 2019-10-27, By: angry
Info: 2-3ft of unconsolidated snow from th to the summit. 
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Route: French/Frasco/Casco Combo
Posted On: 2019-10-14, By: majtytom
Info: There was some tricky ice on the 4WD road, but some melted afternoon. Snow coverage was present only on the ridge crest. From French Mtn to Frasco, it was dry or totally avoidable. From Frasco to Casco Peak there were some spots to go through climbing Casco from the saddle. But no traction or even poles needed. 
4
Route: French/Frasco/Casco Combo
Posted On: 2019-09-23, By: mtnkub
Info: Stream crossings are easy now (see below) and the avalanche debris (2 mi from TH at first stream crossing) is cleared off the road. 
Route: French/Frasco/Casco Combo
Posted On: 2019-08-26, By: dwoodward13
Info: You can now cross both stream crossings without getting wet. The first one, if you go downstream about 30 yards from the vehicle crossing, the stream braids into 3 channels. First two channels you can cross on nice stable logs. Then go upstream about 15 yards and you can find rocks to hop across. The 2nd crossing can be easily done with rocks. Route up French is straightforward. I messed up the routefinding pretty good nearing PT 13,470 on the way to Casco so be careful here. If you get off a lot of the rock is extremely loose. After this route up Casco is well worn. For descent, I think it's better to go all the way to the saddle east of Casco then drop down, but dropping down into the basin at any point will work too. 
Route: French/Frasco/Casco Combo
Posted On: 2019-08-18, By: durkan
Info: Started from Halfmoon Rd and completed the lollipop loop counterclockwise from French to Casco. With the beautiful weather, we spent a plethora of time on each summit. Some snow to work around but it's all avoidable, if so desired. Bring some water shoes for the early creek crossings! 
Route: From Frasco
Posted On: 2019-08-18, By: WildWanderer
Info: Avoidable patches of snow. 
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