Savage Peak  
Condition Updates  
Route: Northeast Ridge
Posted On: 2022-07-28, By: mtngoatwithstyle
Info: Road up to Missouri Lakes is graded, a pleasure to drive it after having seen it pretty much in awful condition over the years. No need to drive past the parking lot on 727, since the Missouri Lakes trailhead is where you want to start from and really is more simple rather than the directions to cross the creek to rejoin the ML trail again. It was not too hard to figure out where to start leaving trail to find access to ridge. I found the route steep on some sections and loose gravel and rocks in most places but there were also grassy areas where it helped on the way up. The couloir is something and I am in awe that we have members that have ice climbed it. My hats off to you!. It is aesthetically incredible up and close.The views were just infinite and this area I just love, so getting it from another perspective was just the icing on the cake. A great mountain. No summit register. Mosquitoes climbed with me all the way to the ridge. They are incredible at getting all their relatives and acquaintances together and love to eat hikers legs, arms and anything that they can get to regardless of clothes and layers !. LOL 
Route: Northeast Ridge
Posted On: 2021-08-07, By: mtngoatwithstyle
Info: FS road is now open to the TH, 
Route: Northeast Ridge
Posted On: 2021-08-04, By: mtngoatwithstyle
Info: Homestake Rd is open ONLY to Gold Park Campground. Flooding and heavy rain have closed the remaining access roads via French Creek to Missouri- Fancy Lakes and it affects Savage Peak as well as Whitney Peak. Contact FS for updates. 
Route: Northeast Ridge
Posted On: 2021-07-28, By: ScottLovesRMNP
Info: After summitting Savage, I highly recommend tacking on the entire loop up via Missouri Lakes and over to Fancy Pass, then down via Fancy Lake back to the trailhead. Stunning scenery, especially now with the wildflowers simply dazzling and everything so green and lush. Great mid-summer hike! 
Route: Northeast Ridge
Posted On: 2021-06-28, By: JasonKline
Info: Summer conditions. The very small amount of snow remaining on the ridge is easily avoidable. 
Route: NE Ridge & Savage Couloir
Posted On: 2021-05-25, By: adrenalated
Info: If the Savage Couloir is on your list to ski this season, I'd recommend getting it no later than Memorial Day. It's thin and going fast. Both entrances will require billygoating (but minimal cornice), and the snow surface through the couloir is fairly haggard due to rock and cornice fall and previous tracks up and down. The couloir will remain climbable a bit longer than it will be skiable, but given the amount of recent rockfall on the snow surface, you should think carefully about your timing. We skied at 930am with an excellent freeze overnight, and that was about right for ski timing today. If starting at the 4x4 trailhead, the (gated) service road to the diversion dam at the Wilderness boundary is plowed and clear. Mostly continuous snow starts here; possible to put skins on almost immediately if you're down with a decent amount of dryland tomfoolery but most people will want to boot about 1mi before switching to skins. The NE ridge is 95% snow. Don't take the booter that looks like it shortcuts up to ~12,200'; it was set by a plunge stepping descending party and is not a good climb. The remainder of the ridge is easy booting, or probably able to be skinned with ski crampons. If you're on foot, you'll need floatation anywhere above the Wilderness boundary for some time to come. 
1
Route: Savage Couloir
Posted On: 2021-05-22, By: hett
Info: Homestake Road to Missouri Lakes trail head is open and clear. There is one large puddle spanning the road that was navigable by small SUVs. Snowshoes mandatory for approach, and would have been appreciated on the NE ridge downclimb after the couloir but we had left them in the basin thinking the ridge would be wind blown (several sections of hip deep postholing proved us wrong). Snow in the couloir proper was a mixture of conditions but overall good. Cloud cover helped keep things firm-ish enough for upward progress. The L exit appears to be in but was not climbed as we opted for the direct and spicier exit beside the cornice which was thin but in. Gorgeous gorgeous line. Type 2 fun was had in the trapdoor mashed potato snow below treeline. 
4
Route: Northeast Ridge
Posted On: 2020-09-09, By: cloudkicker
Info: Yikes... meant to post this way earlier this summer. Better late than never especially if someone heads out that way this fall. Savage needs a new summit register. I packed out a broken glass jar when I climbed it mid July. 
Route: Savage Couloir
Posted On: 2020-06-20, By: crowdsurf
Info: Took advantage of the excellent forecast on Thursday/Friday to get one last couloir climb in this season. Conditions were prime with the colder temperatures the night before giving good stable snow to climb on. Snow is still continuous to the summit from the couloir although the top out was very soft. Minimal postholing on the way down. Avalanche debris field can be circumnavigated by following the cairns from the trail up the hillside. 
7
Route: Savage Couloir
Posted On: 2020-06-13, By: supranihilest
Info: The road from the 2WD trailhead to the actual end of the road, which goes beyond the 4WD trailhead, has some large mud puddles on it. Past that the trail is part dry, part snowy, with snow cover increasing as one hikes until its basically all snow. The snow is in pretty meh shape overall. Plenty of postholing today. There's also an enormous and irritating avalanche debris field to cross. It's dry but the trail it covers is a disaster and requires plenty of scrambling over the logs. The upper approach wasn't too bad. The couloir itself is only in meh shape, I'd say. The snow quality is super variable, ranging from shin deep slush to soft corn to rock hard and icy. All of these can be found within several feet of each other. Be wary if it rains a lot this afternoon as that may soften things further. I descended the northeast ridge which had a snow down climb at the top, then was dry for a long way, then had another snow down climb/glissade to treeline. There were several small creek crossings back to the trail. 
12 3
Route: Northeast Ridge
Posted On: 2020-06-09, By: Nathan Hoobler
Info: - Started from the TH at 4:00 am. - Got a little slowed by the MASSIVE avalanche path in the valley below the lakes. There is a way through, but it looks as though there's been fresh avalanche activity this year, which makes the going more difficult. - Bottom of Savage Couloir at 6:45 am. - Perfect snow conditions in couloir. Climbing almost could not have been better. It rained the previous day, which likely consolidated the snow. - Summited around 8:30 am. - Descended the northeast ridge back to the valley to retrieve snowshoes. - Brought snowshoes but didn't use them. There's still a ton of snow but we never postholed enough to feel that snowshoes would be faster. - Mega-classic couloir route! We encountered some skiers on the the northeast ridge who were eyeing the couloir but they decided to ski a line on the north face instead. 
3
Route: Savage Couloir
Posted On: 2020-06-01, By: gmarc
Info: Plenty of snow still in the couloir, although things were a little soft. From our first view of the line, we couldn't tell if the direct exit was still in, so we took a left branch just below the summit. About 50 feet from the top, things got very steep and the snow was too soft for our liking, we were sinking to our waists. Got onto the rock face on the left to top out, which was extremely loose so it made things a bit sketchy. If there are cooler temps or a good freeze, it should help conditions. In hindsight, we should've tried to get a better view of the direct exit as that is likely the better option. Start early - getting to the base of the climb took longer than anticipated as it isn't so straightforward. Definitely recommend flotation as well, the snow starts pretty soon after the trailhead. 
2
Route: Northeast Ridge
Posted On: 2019-10-09, By: Trotter
Info: So for people doing this not when its all buried in snow, a couple tips. The first 0.5 mile or so from the 4WD trailhead, is either walking on a 4x4 road. OR me and several other hikers could not find the hiking trail that the route description mentions. But you are ok to follow the 4x4 trail, as it ends up at a small parking area with a pond that has a big wilderness sign. Behind that sign is the missouri lakes trail. 1.5 miles in from the 4WD trailhead, there is a very large avalanche area, about 200 yards long and 200 yards wide. There must be a thousand trees tossed in there, its actually very impressive. Theres an unofficial trail that breaks off at this point to the right, that bypasses MOST of the logs. It also gains then loses about 100 feet or so to do that. I tried going on the original trail on my way back, straight through the logs because someone has spent a LOT of time chainsawing all the logs to open the original trail back up. However, they only did about halfway through the distance before stopping, so then I had to climb over and under a lot of logs. And its still got about 3 feet of snow under the debris, so there was some postholing. Basically, take the bypass trail and gain the 100 feet extra. 
Route: Northeast Ridge
Posted On: 2019-06-21, By: Dobsons
Info: Road open to Missouri lakes trail head. Slushy creek/trail first 0.5 miles then nothing but snow (and a ton of it) the rest of the way. Had our eyes on the couloir but the 2 days of rain prior to our climb and the active rain at start of our day with no decent freeze made us bail for the Northeast ridge. Had a great snow climb regardless though. Moderate entire leg deep post holing on the way out. Great day though! 
8
Route: Savage Couloir (Not)
Posted On: 2018-05-06, By: martinleroux
Info: Surprise! Homestake Rd (FS703) is now gated and closed at US24 from Nov 22 to May 21 each year. Anyone planning to climb or ski the Savage Couloir will need to wait until then or make other plans. This seems to be a fairly recent policy; it isn't mentioned in any of the guidebooks. 
1
Route: Savage Couloir
Posted On: 2017-06-15, By: brerrabbit
Info: The Savage Couloir is still in as of 6/14/17. There are 2-3 spots where it is melted out a bit and some rocks are showing but nothing significant. The approach is in good shape and I did not use snowshoes going up or down although some snow on the NE ridge (standard route) was postholy on the descent (ascended via the couloir). The bushwack is not too bad but dont head south too early, you get into steeper, tedious stuff if you head that way too early. The 4WD TH is not marked at all and is not terribly obvious so watch your odometer on the drive in. 
6 4
Route: Savage Couloir
Posted On: 2015-06-14, By: falcon568
Info: Thanks to Wildernessjane for the earlier condition report, it played a key role in selecting this route. The stream crossing off the 4WD TH is a pain, not a lot of options with current insane amounts of water, I opted for just wearing an extra pair of boots with my pants rolled up and forging across. 0240 start, got lost twice before deciding to forget the trail and go with map and compass. I didn‘t have a hard freeze, so snowshoes were a must. Snow conditions on the couloir were ok with a near-freeze. The route‘s definitely in, but a little softer snow that I‘d like to see due to the warmer temps. This made the direct exit somewhat sketchy. There‘s a pseudo cornice before the couloir top out that puts the angle around 70 degrees if you go up and over. With soft snow, not the best conditions. Still passed the water test, but I definitely wouldn‘t want a later start. 
Route: Savage Couloir
Posted On: 2015-06-10, By: Wildernessjane
Info: Tons of snow below tree line still. We got a 2:45 am start but burned up some time bushwhacking through the trees in deep snow. We gave up on looking for the trail in the dark. We didn't have any trouble with the stream crossing via the route we took. The couloir was in great condition for climbing and kicking in steps, though there was a lot of avi debri so I'm not sure how much fun it would be to ski or board. The couloir was in the sun by 5:30 am so get an early start on this one. We descended via the mellow ridge just to the south of the one the standard route goes up because it was mostly dry and we were able to cut off some time. 
1
Route: Savage Couloir
Posted On: 2014-07-01, By: Col_Forbin
Info: Snow is discontinuous to the summit, but the route is still in at least for climbing. We had to bail due to rockfall/warming temps. Evidence of copious rockfall is present in the snow. Approach is dry, don't leave the trail too early. Creek crossings were no issue. 
Route: Savage Couloir
Posted On: 2014-06-21, By: mdmss
Info: Found a snow bridge across the creek, so no log balancing shenanigans required. Not sure how long it will last. Top of the direct finish a little melted out, maybe 5-10 feet of scree scrambling. Left hand finishes looked worse. We came down the boot skiing bowl, which was exciting with a thin layer of glycerine snow over hard neve. Some postholing on hike out, but mostly avoidable by carefully choosing the darker snow. 

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