Every spring I do an extended igloo trip somewhere and this season it is close to home and sometimes what I call home. It will be in Rocky Mountain National Park and on the Continental Divide.
The plan is to go up the steep east ridge of Otis Peak and then travel south along the Divide while building igloos on Otis Peak, Taylor Peak and Powell Peak with Taylor Peak being the highest at 13,153 ft. elevation.
Below is some of the trip planning with picture dates and descriptions.
3780 GrandView Monday, September 03, 2007, 10:06:24 AM
Picture taken from Tombstone Ridge which is along the Ute Trail and close to well known Trail Ridge Road. Taylor Peak is a bit over 7 miles distant with Otis Peak a little less than 1.5 miles closer. Powell Peak lies a bit over a mile to the E.SE. of Taylor Peak and close to 8 miles distant from Tombstone Ridge. Taylor Peak is directly south of the view point on Tombstone Ridge.
The left/east end of Otis Peak shows the route up and out of the canyon and then most of Otis Peak is visible but it blends in very well with Hallett Peak as it reaches the top. The top is not far and isn’t much gain after the last of what you can see clearly of Otis.
The pictures titled DownOtis and OtisTop are taken from the last part of Otis that you can clearly see on the right/top.
1073 Closer Saturday, September 03, 2005, 8:44:40 AM
Picture taken from the Emerald Lake overlook at about 11,000 ft. elevation on Flattop Mountain. The route up Otis starts at the top right corner of the large rock field at the foot of the left end of Otis. This will be the crux of the climb as far as terrain is concerned.
Between Powell Peak and McHenrys Peak is McHenrys Notch which will block our trip from extending past Powell Peak.
3057 DriveIn Sunday, June 10, 2007, 5:22:18 AM
From along the road to the Bear Lake vicinity a view of the route up Otis shows better how steep of a grade it is. Taylor Peak doesn’t look quite that prominent in the picture but it lies back a bit further than sharks tooth, which is casting a shadow to lower right of Taylor’s summit.
3309 CathedralSpires Saturday, July 21, 2007, 9:31:12 AM
Looking up the canyon from the main Glacial Knob shows a bit of Andrews Glacier which will be a possible descent route. Sharks Tooth is above the Cathedral Spires to the left but not very distinguishable. It has a shadow showing on it’s right side.
The next picture is taken from the second glacial knob to the left starting with the knob in the lower right of the picture.
7560 TaylorGlacier Saturday, July 12, 2008, 10:35:04 AM
Taylor Glacier is too steep to be considered a descent route. Powell Peak is hidden behind Thatchtop Mountain.
4868 FromNorth Sunday, November 25, 2007, 1:37:36 PM
Is taken from about 11,300 ft. elevation at a point SW of Hallett Peak’s summit. The summit of Otis Peak is shown. The route from the summit to Andrews Pass requires going down a rock field and hopefully the snow fills in well enough that it isn’t too impassable with pulks. This picture was taken pretty early in the season.
The route from Andrews Pass to the summit of Taylor Peak is up the broad side of Taylor. Later pictures show much more snow.
7903 FromAbove Monday, August 04, 2008, 9:05:06 AM
This picture was taken from Longs Peak near the top of The Trough at about 13,700 ft. elevation. Taylor Peak is about 3.5 miles distant.
1807 FromTaylor Saturday, July 25, 2009, 10:17:14 AM
The route up Powell Peak is shown here from the summit of Taylor Peak.
4860 LinedUp Sunday, November 25, 2007, 1:37:02 PM
From lower on Hallett Peak and closer to Otis and Andrews Pass, shows the rocks we’ll need to go down through from the summit of Otis to Andrews Pass. Andrews Pass is actually over the rise and a bit lower than what’s visable. Sharks Tooth shows pretty clearly in the picture.
4859 Taylor1 Sunday, November 25, 2007, 1:36:58 PM
Again from Hallett showing a closer view of the route up Taylor.
1796 DownTaylor Saturday, July 25, 2009, 9:54:34 AM
From near the summit of Taylor Peak looking down the ascent route from Andrews Pass. The route from Otis to Andrews Pass drops off the top of Otis’s east/right end and goes along the back side until reaching the level of the snow to the left of the Otis Peak label.
4027 FromThatchtop Saturday, September 15, 2007, 9:06:08 AM
From Thatchtop Mountain looking at the east face of Taylor Peak and the route to Powell Peak to the left of Taylor.
4028 ThatchPowell Saturday, September 15, 2007, 9:06:12 AM
Looking a little further to the left from Thatchtop, McHenrys Notch is between Powell and McHenrys.
6353 SharksTooth Saturday, April 19, 2008, 7:22:24 AM
The view we will have as we climb up the back of Otis Peak. Sharks Tooth shows quite well in this picture.
6354 Notch Saturday, April 19, 2008, 7:22:58 AM
Looking and little further to the left and strait south from Otis shows McHenrys Notch quiet well.
6381 Tooth Saturday, April 19, 2008, 4:10:00 PM
From the summit of Otis Peak looking S.SE.
8081 Sunny Saturday, August 23, 2008, 9:18:16 AM
Another picture from the main Glacial Knob but a cloud is casting a shadow separating Taylor Peak from the Cathedral Spires which are out in front of Taylor quiet a bit.
1318 LochVale Sunday, February 12, 2006, 10:58:42 AM
From the lake called Loch Vale showing just a bit of Taylor peeking out and the Cathedral Spires showing quiet well.
6312 Alternate Friday, April 18, 2008, 2:49:35 PM
This camp at 11,000 ft. is a possible camp for us also but not likely. It is above the Otis crux.
6447 OtisCamp Monday, April 21, 2008, 5:26:34 AM
We will have a camp here on Otis Peak. This is only 10 feet or less below the summit of Otis.
2016 Summer Saturday, August 22, 2009, 10:47:12 AM
The possible 11,000 ft. camp is in the rocks on the left side of the picture. I have colored in a little bit of red where the igloo sat.
6292 AlternateView Thursday, April 17, 2008, 4:03:50 PM
The view from the 11,000 ft. igloo site looking back at where the last picture was taken.
6343 MorningView Saturday, April 19, 2008, 4:08:38 AM
It’s just terrible waking up in the morning with views like this.
6362 DownOtis Saturday, April 19, 2008, 9:32:00 AM
Looking down from near the summit of Otis, showing the route we will come up.
6372 OtisTop Saturday, April 19, 2008, 9:38:26 AM
The summit of Otis as we come up. The igloo will be on the very top of the snow.
6378 TopView Saturday, April 19, 2008, 4:09:36 PM
Looking down the ascent route from the summit camp/igloo site on Otis Peak.
4881 DownChaos Sunday, November 25, 2007, 1:52:12 PM
Looking down Chaos Canyon with Otis Peak on the right. The Otis Peak ascent route goes up the sunny top from the very end/left of the peak.
4861 OtisRock Sunday, November 25, 2007, 1:37:06 PM
Another picture from Hallett Peak’s SW shoulder showing the rock that we will descend/cross when heading to Taylor from Otis. We head right or west from the summit.
4026 EastFace Saturday, September 15, 2007, 9:06:06 AM
The east face of Taylor, from Thatchtop Mountain, shows a cliff on the left side of Taylor. We head off the left/south side of Taylor when heading to Powell Peak but the cliff can be avoided.
4890 UpTaylor Sunday, November 25, 2007, 2:13:10 PM
Early season snow conditions show how the snow drifts into pockets amongst the rocks on our ascent route up Taylor.
3041 TaylorRoute Sunday, June 03, 2007, 9:45:22 AM
Late season snow on Taylor shows the snow route to the summit much better in this picture taken from the summit of Otis.
6385 Texture Saturday, April 19, 2008, 5:29:32 PM
Late afternoon light shows the texture of the snow well and you can tell it is windy at times. This picture was taken from the summit of Otis just a little later in the season than when we will be there but basically, those are the snow conditions we’ll have.
6390 GoreRange Saturday, April 19, 2008, 5:32:12 PM
Andrews Pass is visible in this picture along with more of the ascent route up Taylor. The Gore Range can be seen in the distance at about 50 miles distant.
6379 OtisSummit Saturday, April 19, 2008, 4:09:46 PM
Powell Peak is shown in this picture taken from the summit of Otis and of Sharks Tooth is just being touched by sun on it’s very top. Powell is the peak towards the right of the picture.
1798 TaylorView Saturday, July 25, 2009, 10:07:40 AM
Powell Peak looks smooth enough for easy going with it’s broad SW facing slope.
1799 Trough Saturday, July 25, 2009, 10:08:34 AM
Zoomed in a bit more from the summit of Taylor, Powell is on the far right with McHenrys peeking up from behind Powell.
1819 Tundra Saturday, July 25, 2009, 10:23:54 AM
Looking south from the summit of Taylor shows the tundra we’ll cross while heading to Powell.
The view from Thatchtop Mountain shows the N.E. face of Powell and how long the summit is. There should be someplace along the summit to build an igloo.
0999 SkyPond Saturday, July 23, 2005, 10:50:40 AM
Taylor is up and out of the picture to the right and Powell to the left with Sky Pond in the picture. The huge moraine blocking the view of the lower part of Taylor Glacier is actually a rock glacier. The moraine has an ice core making it a rock glacier.
7534 Across Saturday, July 12, 2008, 9:36:16 AM
From above Loch Vale, the summit of Powell is just visible behind Powell’s north ridge on the left of the picture.
6334 Powell Friday, April 18, 2008, 4:42:50 PM
Powell looks foreboding from the 11,000 ft. campsite area that I camped at on my last trip. Powell is to the right of center in the picture.
7805 Overcast Monday, July 28, 2008, 9:39:52 AM
Powell Peak is in the center of this picture with Sharks Tooth below and to the right of Powell. The picture is from Otis Peak.
7572 Peakaboo Saturday, July 12, 2008, 10:38:56 AM
Andrews Glacier, on the right, is a possible descent route.
4891 Hazard Sunday, November 25, 2007, 2:19:42 PM
The sign at Andrews Pass is warning of a few crevasses at the very top of the glacier, which are very shallow. They will also be full of snow and covered when we are there.
3297 Tarn Saturday, July 21, 2007, 7:21:30 AM
This picture is taken from the west face of Half Mountain with Otis Peak on the right and Andrews Glacier in center. The bottom of the glacier disappears behind a ledge that holds in Andrews Tarn. The crux of this descent is below the tarn on either side of the trees directly below the bottom of the glacier.
7225 AndrewsGlacier Saturday, June 14, 2008, 1:16:28 PM
The same view with more snow shows the rock outcropping with trees that we would descend on either side of the outcropping.
7295 Down Saturday, June 21, 2008, 12:09:50 PM
The rock outcropping looks like a house in this picture with it being outlined in snow.
1322 Snow Sunday, February 12, 2006, 12:37:18 PM
Mid season snows are deep on and around the rock outcropping now framed between the tall trees in this picture.
3818 CloseUp Saturday, January 30, 2010, 11:17:32 AM
A close up of the rock outcropping. The snow is steep but the snow will be soft enough for deep plunge stepping.
4896 AndrewsTarn Sunday, November 25, 2007, 2:51:34 PM
A close up of Andrews Glacier with Andrews Tarn in the foreground shows how mellow the glacier is.
6261 CruxUp Thursday, April 17, 2008, 9:22:00 AM
This is looking up the crux of climbing Otis Peak, from our first campsite location. We travel up the right side of the snow near and in the trees.
6262 Slope Thursday, April 17, 2008, 9:27:36 AM
This picture is taken from the right side of the snow slope and shows the grade. The terrain we will be on rolls a bit over drifts and is not as steep as what is in the picture.
Use for posting climbing pictures and igloo's.
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