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Avalanche Gulch Conditions
Avalanche Gulch conditions from the weekend of July 15 and 16
From Bunny Flat parking lot, expect to walk on ash, rock and dirt to nearly Lake Helen. The path is well-marked to just shy of 10,000 feet. The first patch of snow will be around this area, just below Lake Helen. On your way, stop at Horse Camp to fill your water bottles. This is the last easily accessible running water for the rest of the route.
Above Lake Helen, route conditions have become quite poor. Traveling on snow is the best option to the top of the Red Banks. Unfortunately, as of today, the small amount of snow bridging the snowfield and the top of the Red Banks has collapsed. There is now a 'bergschrund'-esche gap that could be harmful (if not fatal) if fallen into. Navigate this area with caution. To avoid this, climbers have begun ascending the rocky chutes to the climbers left of this area. Keep in mind, if you choose to do this, you will likely push rocks down onto other climbers. This could result in injury of yourself or others.
Alternatively, you can still ascend snow to the left of the Heart, following the Red Banks up to nearly 13,000 feet.
Above the Red Banks, the majority of the route will be dry rock and ash. The Summit Plateau still holds snow. The Summit Pinnacle is mostly dry.
- Skis: not worth bringing on this route.
- Trail Etiquette: While walking along the lower mountain trail, please try to stay on the designated route. The alpine flora in this area is very fragile.