Serious Question For All You Colorado Climbing Experts!

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survival

Big Wall climber
A Token of My Extreme
Topic Author's Original Post - Mar 13, 2008 - 09:44am PT
Hey guys and gals,

I have been told that July is a good time for RMNP and the Diamond.

A friend of mine who used to be a climber e-mailed me and suggested that Colorado had so much snow in the high country that the Diamond wouldn't be in condition until August.

What do those of you who really know have to say about this?
Thanks for the input you hangdogs!!!!
Bruce
Tarbuster

climber
right here, right now
Mar 13, 2008 - 11:35am PT
Randy Leavitt once called The Diamond: "a seeping gash".
He must've caught it a little early...
(in truth I think he said it never dried out one particular year)

Hard to say for sure from where I'm sitting (on my asss).

I'm no expert on The Diamond; only been up it once, but I was in the high country yesterday and yes there is good snow accumulation, but I'd wait and see what kind of spring precipitation we get.

As the summer develops, I'm sure you could monitor the situation through Mountain Project.
(plenty of "experts" over there).
Jaybro

Social climber
The West
Mar 13, 2008 - 11:39am PT
I've been snowed off the diamond in June, July, and August. I have climbed it as early as first week of June and as late as first week of september. It's the mountains, hard to make generalizations, but July tends to be a likely time window.
goatboy smellz

climber
colorado
Mar 13, 2008 - 11:43am PT
A couple of linkys to check before your visit.

NOAA's site at 12,000' on Longs.
http://forecast.weather.gov/MapClick.php?site=BOU&llon=-106.62&rlon=-105.25&tlat=41.22&blat=39.86&smap=1&mp=1&map.x=184&map.y=179

Updated conditions through out the park.
http://www.totalclimbing.com/page.php?pname=rmnp&archive=1
survival

Big Wall climber
A Token of My Extreme
Topic Author's Reply - Mar 13, 2008 - 12:03pm PT
Thanks a lot you guys. I thought I was gonna have to bump myself, no bites for awhile...

Tar, I knew I could count on you for something wise and wise ass!!

Jaybro, That's about what I expected, but thought if it was unusual "deep like" up there that it might be hard to even get started.

Goat, those are cool looking links, I'll keep an eye on them.
Bruce
ydpl8s

Trad climber
Denver, Colorado
Mar 13, 2008 - 12:17pm PT

photo taken 5 days ago of the "cables" route, Diamond peeking out on the left.
survival

Big Wall climber
A Token of My Extreme
Topic Author's Reply - Mar 13, 2008 - 12:18pm PT
Thanks stich-
Further input is welcome you all!! This ol' hound needs all the beta he can get!! We are looking at a trip on the Diamond, but also some of the long moderates in there.
Bruce

Edit: Wow, that's a bitchin' photo..
Those little tiny specky things appear to be humanoid in shape..scarey! Maybe homie's not supposed to be inna first grade...
Tarbuster

climber
right here, right now
Mar 13, 2008 - 12:23pm PT
That is a really cool photo.
Tarbuster

climber
right here, right now
Mar 13, 2008 - 12:30pm PT
Judging by what I can see in that photograph, that doesn't look like excessive accumulation for The Cables route and the summit area above The Diamond.

We've had quite a lot of wind this year; very strong and persistent, so certain aspects are stripped clean, while lee slopes are loaded, a scenario which isn't necessarily unusual.
eeyonkee

Trad climber
Golden, CO
Mar 13, 2008 - 12:31pm PT
I'd say that August is probably a little better than July. Colorado typically sees a monsoonal weather pattern with a lot of moisture from the south in July. It typically ends sometime in early August.
Raydog

Trad climber
Boulder Colorado
Mar 13, 2008 - 12:34pm PT
maybe I'm wrong but
it kinda seems Longs is the epicenter for changeability
regarding weather/climbing conditions,
in the Range.
Euroford

Trad climber
chicago
Mar 13, 2008 - 12:40pm PT
awesome photo!

i'm no expert, but i've been spending about 2 weeks a year for the last 5 in RMNP.

we were up there in mid july two years ago and had a week of rain/nastyness followed by 5 days of -perfect- weather with temps in the 70's during the day and 50's at night with no storms. on day 6 we got -slammed- with a nasty storm that lasted for hours, machine gunned the mountain with lightning and hailed/rained for hours. after that, it slipped into the normal afternoon thunderstorm pattern and moderate summer temps. we were on the wall, but i guess they had near 100's down in the estes valley.

that was the single best weather window i've experienced out there. i've gone later in the season and had it more stable, but much cooler. overall, later june through early august seams to be the best, but expect daily but brief storms.

overall through, i've not planned my RMNP trips around the weather, if i had time to get out, i've gone in march through october, and i've had both good and bad weather at any time. maybe their is some science to that, and i'd have to reckon it has allot to do with the snowpack, but i wouldn't necessarily stress it too much. plan for the worst, hope for the best, just go out and get some.

depending on what you plan to do on the diamond, you can go pretty light, and bail pretty quick. or cowboy up and arm yourself to deal with it. YMMV

if your up in RMNP and the weather is total suck, you can always hop in the car and drive down to eldo and still get some climbing done.
Tarbuster

climber
right here, right now
Mar 13, 2008 - 12:42pm PT
Per optimal conditions, ditto what eeyonke said.
August is typically a drier month.

That's a good generality for overall expectation.
The secondary issue, this idea of snow load on the summit melting into the cracks on The Diamond, you will have to wait and see...
ydpl8s

Trad climber
Denver, Colorado
Mar 13, 2008 - 12:46pm PT
Anything up high in RMNP is always an "alpine experience" along with all of the inherent dangers involved. I'm sure that any of these guys on here can tell you stories of sudden snowstorms, lightning, hail etc. in the summer (especially hail and lightning that time of year). But, that's the beauty of it, keeps ya closer to your maker, not a sport climb experience.
Tarbuster

climber
right here, right now
Mar 13, 2008 - 12:52pm PT
Ain't that the truth ydpl8s.

Best way to stay out of trouble on The Diamond is to plan on topping out not much later than, preferably before 12 noon.
survival

Big Wall climber
A Token of My Extreme
Topic Author's Reply - Mar 13, 2008 - 12:59pm PT
Yeah, I can dig the closer to my maker aspect...never was a sport guy. I just may not have the option to bump it into August anyway. Too many stars and planets aligning for July. I like the suggestion of bailing to Eldo if necessary, but we will be armed and psyched as the group of us are all "mature"
(ie.. old!) and experienced, I just haven't done anything up there.

What's the best guidebook???

Bruce

Edit: I may be too "mature" to get up it by noon Tarman....
Euroford

Trad climber
chicago
Mar 13, 2008 - 01:03pm PT
i prefer the gillet guides, but also have the rossiter guides. i'd buy both really. they both split for the high peaks and the estes valley, so its 4 books in total. make sure you hit up lumpy ridge for a warmup. my favorite crag!

when you have limited time, you may or may not get the weather you want. all ya can do is go giv-er, but its so damn cool being out that, that even if you bail its still a good day. be keanly aware of your retreat.

survival

Big Wall climber
A Token of My Extreme
Topic Author's Reply - Mar 13, 2008 - 01:08pm PT
Euroford,
Yikes, I don't know if'n I wanna buy four books. Can I narrow it down? Guess I'll buy four if I have to.
I will definitely plan on hitting Lumpy Ridge. I've heard others mention it. Moderate route names?
Tarbuster

climber
right here, right now
Mar 13, 2008 - 01:09pm PT
All joking aside, I really mean it about the 12 noon thing.

By one o'clock in the high peaks in Colorado, it's not uncommon, in fact almost the rule, to be toasted by hail and lightning, (especially on The Diamond as Ray alluded), when just an hour earlier everything was peachy.

Definitely less serious at Lumpy Ridge.
klk

Trad climber
cali
Mar 13, 2008 - 01:14pm PT
that photo is really cool.

based on my past experience, your best bet for a weather window is to be there when i'm not there. either a week before i arrive or the week after i leave should be perfect.

three summer trips, three brutal monsoons. and i mean 830 AM and already lightening up high stuff. next time im just going to the frickin alps.
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