Winter conditions have taken over in the high country of RMNP, and will likely persist well into June of 2020. Any venture beyond the trailhead will require routefinding skills, proper winter equipment, and knowledge of winter travel. Travelers should expect to encounter cold temperatures, snow and ice, avalanche hazards, and high winds. Extra warm clothes, waterproof layers, extra food and water, a headlamp, personal first aid kit, and a cell phone are all strongly recommended. Also consider traction devices such as Microspikes or crampons and an ice axe for any travel in the alpine. If you are traveling alone, please tell a friend or family member your plans and take extra care with decision making. Even a minor accident while traveling alone on the mountain can quickly turn into a serious situation. As always, please be prepared to turn around when conditions exceed your abilities.
For weather forecasts visit weather.gov and search “Longs Peak”
For avalanche information visit the CAIC at avalanche.state.co.us
Keyhole Route Conditions
The Keyhole is no longer a summer scramble, and should be treated as a winter mountaineering route. Expect winter conditions with extremely cold temperatures, drifting snow, and widespread ice formation. Avalanche hazards will persist along the Keyhole Route for the remainder of the winter and spring. Thin layers of snow on the surface can hide thicker layers of ice underneath, creating an enormous potential for slips and falls. Crampons and an ice axe are highly recommended, but are no substitute for proper training and experience in negotiating winter alpine conditions.
Remember your safety is in your own hands.
The trail between Chasm Junction and Chasm Meadow can be found in a wide variety of conditions throughout the winter, ranging from windblown talus to bullet ice to deep snow. Icy conditions may require the use of crampons and an ice axe to cross safely, while deep snow may present a considerable avalanche hazard. Please exercise caution on this challenging terrain feature.