It's that time again! Let's help each other out and post those trail conditions here. Anybody doing any snowshoeing?
2016 Trail Conditions
Posted 28 January 2016 - 08:08 PM
Don't know about high up, but yesterday we walked up the east side of the canyon across the road from the Lion Gulch parking area (US36, about milepost 8 or so). It reminded me of late June in the high country -- a few snowdrifts but mostly dry. It's largely south and west facing, so that's why, but for late January it was a bit surprising. HPH
Posted 07 April 2016 - 09:52 AM
Went up to Black Lake 2 days ago. Used microspikes (no snowshoes). Mills Lake is not safe to walk across in the middle anymore - go around the edge.
Posted 09 April 2016 - 09:14 PM
Deer Mountain - yesterday - packed snow begins covering the trail around 1/4th mile before you get on the top part of the mountain where it levels off (and you still have 1 more mile to go on a packed down snow trail). Microspikes were perfect for a 8:30am start.
Posted 11 April 2016 - 10:49 PM
Estes Cone today - fresh 2-4 inches of snow over the top of a packed down snow trail which is easy to follow for 2.5 miles to Storm Pass. The last steep half mile after that is a free-for-all with footsteps in the snow headed all over the place and no trail really. You just have to make your own way northeast to the summit. We experienced some post-holing that last half mile but not so much to wish we had brought snowshoes. Microspikes were perfect for starting the hike around 8am and ending around 11:30am.
Posted 12 April 2016 - 08:05 AM
Still lots of snow in the Roaring Fork Valley, but the valley floor is pretty much snow-free (people are out golfing!), and south-facing slopes are melting quickly. Still need time - maybe 5 weeks - before lower elevation trails start to clear up, but we can see light at the end of the (winter) tunnel from Glenwood Springs to Aspen.
Posted 13 April 2016 - 07:16 AM
Looks like that Omega Block weather system is going to sit over the Four Corners region for a few days, producing lots of rain and mountain snow across the southern and central Rockies. "Just when you think you're out (of winter,) it pulls you back in!"
Posted 17 April 2016 - 09:10 PM
Snowshoed today from Bear Lake to Emerald Lake around 11am. There was a good trench in the fresh snow to follow all the way to nymph/dream/emerald lakes. When I stepped out of the trench, I typically sank down 2 feet. Most people were ski-skinning up while some had snowshoes. I didn't see anyone make it much past nymph lake without flotation.
Posted 19 April 2016 - 07:40 PM
Gem Lake today - only a few small patches on snow on the trail itself - to the sides of the trail there is 3-4 inches a lot of the way. No need for microspikes or snowshoes.
Going past Gem Lake toward Balanced Rock - about 4-6 inches of soft fresh snow on the trail + only a few footsteps to follow in it. I turned back after ~1/2 mile.
Posted 22 April 2016 - 11:01 AM
Went up Flattop Mountain yesterday from Bear Lake. Easy to follow trail over the snow up to about treeline, and then it's a free for all with tracks heading off in all directions and no obvious primary route. Just head up and stay away from the edges... expect to sink 6 to 12 inches in the snow every step above treeline to the summit even with snowshoes on. Snowshoes or skis a necessity.
Posted 22 April 2016 - 07:07 PM
That must have been a rugged ascent.
I look up there all winter and marvel at the thought of getting up there on the right skis and then doing a long run down to somewhere at the Odessa Lake Trail. The rocks would want lots of snow, of course, but that whole side of Flattop just begs for tracks. Too bad I didn't try this 25 years ago when I just might have been up to it. HPH
Posted 22 April 2016 - 09:22 PM
This is what it looked like above treeline... endless snow as far as you could see
I hiked a bit past Flattop toward Notchtop and took a picture back toward Flattop. I watched two people ski down Ptarmigan Glacier (the giant snowfield you see below). They are tiny dots on the ridge in this picture:
Posted 20 June 2016 - 01:54 PM
Timberline Falls - snow free till just before Loch Vale. Then snowbank, dry, snowbank, mud, snowbank, wet, snowbank, muddy till you get to the last vertical hill before the falls.
Total snow. slick, tough to gain toehold. many people were sliding back towards the rocks.
difficult up but worse coming back down.
waterfall is running very full and many were continuing up to Lake of Glass.
Beautiful day but a tricky climb.
Posted 05 July 2016 - 03:22 AM
Edited by NodyRay, 05 July 2016 - 03:26 AM.
Posted 05 July 2016 - 03:50 PM
A group of friends and I did Hallett Peak on June 28th and other than the snowfield that is usually there most of the year by hitching post, the trail was snow free. Good times. We also climbed Timberline Falls which also was snow free except for a stretch of 20-30 feet around the Loch. The falls are very wet and slippery. We made it to the top and then it started to rain so we did not get to Sky Pond but we made last year so it was an easy decision to turn around. Twin sisters and Deer Mt. were both snow free. A very nice week in Estes with mostly sun and low 80s for the first part of the week and then upper 60's with some afternoon rain the last part of the week.
We plan on doing Mt. Ida for the first time next year.
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