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  • #781797
    136 Posts

    Ima be in Arizona for work during the first week of may. Flagstaff area. Does anyone out there want to spill the bean on their top secret late season touring spots. Looks like Mt. Humpreys is my best option and snotel there is still some snow left. Does anyone have any current info on the snow situation?

    792 Posts

    Hey Switchback –

    There is still plenty of snow up high, above 10.5k on shaded exposures. It’s a long approach and a long day (bring bike to quicken), but the zone to hit is called inner basin — talk to @zude and @ricorides and @splitchimp — solid riding partners, they might be able to show you around. Bean spilling doesn’t matter much there because of the approaches–most folks can’t stomach those beans. See maps and trip reports on Kachina Peaks Avalanche Center. Very special mountain, should be plenty of stellar terrain open in early May.



    Rico in AZ
    559 Posts

    Taylor has pretty much got it.
    I’ll have to admit, I haven’t seen what the backcountry looks like recently. Life has just been too busy, and, I haven’t been up on the mountain since the ski area closed on 4/12. I know @splitchimp has been out recently, using his bike to cover the approach miles quicker.

    There will likely be rideable areas in first week of May. The approaches will be dry, muddy, then snow. Up high too, above 10.5k’. There’s likely little to no snow below that even right now. Look at KPAC’s site for maps to get a sense of what I’m talking about here. Look at Google Earth too. I would think I’d be looking at the north side of Fremont peak to a path called Telemark– a nice long fairly steep run. Or the short mini golf hits on the north side of Core Ridge. The Cirque might have ok snow since it’s up above 11k’, but its aspect isn’t as favorable for northerly shaded slopes. Same goes for an area called Inner Basin.
    Approaches get tricky here. If you were to decide to go to the Cirque or Inner Basin, your best bet would be to park at the ski area and dry hike uphill, generally east, to the obvious ridge, those areas would be right below. If you were to decide to go to Telemark on Fremont peak, your best bet would be to drive up to Lockett Meadow (if the road is open, and that’s a big if) to the trailhead, then dry hike up the Inner Basin trail until you hit snow to get on skins. You’d be hiking generally west and Telemark would be the big obvious path on your left. Same goes for the north shots on Core Ridge, except you’d turn off the summer trail on an unnamed old road that goes generally west below the north face of the ridge. The USGS topo maps really help here.
    One last possibility for good north facing area would be Abineau Canyon, the north face of Humphrey’s peak. This would depend on the road around the north side of the mountains being open (and again that’s a big if). You’d drive to the Abineau trailhead off of the 418 road. Then dry/mud hike until you can get on skins. This area is also iffy this season, a quite large and damaging avalanche ripped through the area and has supposedly left an enormous debris field in the run out.
    Try to get a hold of splitchimp or zude, they might be interested. I could be available but can’t say for sure.

    367 Posts

    Going up and over from the resort on Monday with splitchimp. Pm me if your interested.

    136 Posts

    WOW thanks for the help guys. Great intel. I’m not heading down that way until next week and will probably be limited to a day before or after my 5-10 day project. Zude, Ill shoot you a PM when I know when ill be able to tour. Maybe something will work out but if not you guys have given me plenty of info to find some snow to slide on.

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