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Colonial, Pyramid, etc.


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We're looking at climbing in the Colonial peak area in the last week of August, and wondering about what conditions to expect up there.


How much glacier travel is required to get to the west ridge of colonial? How about paul bunyan's and pyramid? Any speculation as to the glacier conditions end of august? Bad idea?




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The glacier travel is minimal. The glacier is really mellow and almost flat everywhere. Steep snow on Colonial and a couple "steepish" slopes between the glacier and summit on Pyramid and the Stump.


On Pyramid, no ropes needed for the walk up route. Ice ax(for sure) and crampons(if icy) this time of year. Stash some tennis shoes at the end of the approach ridge(before you drop down the gully) for the hike out. You'll thank me later.


The crux of that whole trip is the approach!!!

Water might be scarse between the lake and the glacier.


Oh, BTW. The best approach this time of year is to go all the way to lake and take a trail (one on left of lake and one on right), to get to the top of the ridge. Follow the steep trail on the top of the ridge(no water, I'd save two liters for the ridge, 3 if camping on it) all the way to just before the ridge end (you can bypass some of the humps on trails on the right).

On the last little hump at the ridge end, there is a gully that traverses down and left(rock on the right, trees on the left). This will take you to slopes leading up to the glacier. There is usually running water where the glacier starts.


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For colonial 0 glacier travel. It is easier with snow since it hides some nasty scree, but hey its an AWESOME SUMMIT!


End of August your first water may be ponds on the ridge, but I doubt it otherwise your only bet will be the lake at the head of Colonial Creek Glacier. Best campsite is above at the outlet stream from the lake. The one overlooking the glacier/lake is VERY WINDY in comparison. Otherwise camp at the col going to Snowfield.


Pyramid glacier conditions not worth talking about if you like but, it makes it easier. Honestly the Colonial "glacier" is not even a glacier anymore. You have to look really really hard to find a crevasse you could actually even fall into. The whole thing is in compression so the "crevasses" are thin lines or at worst 1 foot wide buggers. At most you will find a bergshrund going to Paul Bunyans. Of course I was up there a month ago.


I was up there a month ago and was surprised at how much the glacier has shrunk compared to 5 years ago. I wouldn't be surprised if the glacier is not even moving anymore except maybe up high between colonial and point 7505 if I recall correctly.



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