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This is mainly directed towards Athena and anyone else that lives or regularly travels in the high country........

How are the trails looking? Still packed with snow? Open later than normal? Spring creek, red cone, red elephant, etc... look like it might be a few more days, weeks, months?.

Any trails we can open up with a few vehicles and some ambitious wheelers with winches?

I don't make it up as much as I would like in the "off-season" just curious as to when some trails will start to break open. Sounds like later than usual.....:mecry:
 

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Catalyst
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I know I could just subscribe to watch what goes on here, but I want to make sure there's another vote (and another beer, or wine, or lemonaide) in for this thread. :cheers:
 

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We went up to the St. Mary's/Alice area after the open house on Saturday and the road up to Chinns Lake and Loch Lomond were still snowed in pretty well. It looked like they'd gotten around a foot of snow in the area, but that could melt off fairly quickly if it warms up soon. Looking up toward Spring Creek, it looked like it had a similar amount of snow.
 

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Catalyst
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We went up to the St. Mary's/Alice area after the open house on Saturday and the road up to Chinns Lake and Loch Lomond were still snowed in pretty well. It looked like they'd gotten around a foot of snow in the area, but that could melt off fairly quickly if it warms up soon. Looking up toward Spring Creek, it looked like it had a similar amount of snow.
Wow, sweet! That means at least a couple trails are open (a foot of snow is not 'snowed in' for the FJC). :bigthumb:
 

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Wow, sweet! That means at least a couple trails are open (a foot of snow is not 'snowed in' for the FJC). :bigthumb:
Hmm, ok. We began down the trail toward Chinns Lake and it didn't feel safe so we backed out. More power to you. :)
 

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Catalyst
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Hmm, ok. We began down the trail toward Chinns Lake and it didn't feel safe so we backed out. More power to you. :)
:lol:

Well, if it's a very ****** road, even an inch of snow (or sometimes just a light covering of water from rain) can make some spots impassable. Sometimes though, we just do whatever it takes (within reason, and the limits of the equipment at-hand, of course) to get through.....like when I opened the trail to Bill Moore Lake last year with Mr. & Mrs. FJinCO....LINK.

Not saying that everyone should always 'go for it' in those kinds of situations though :lol: It was a lot of [email protected] work (and a very long day....9 hours on a trail that should only take about 2-3 hours drive-time up and back if you stop along the way a few times for photos, etc). We just made a decision to get through though, and for us, it worked out that way that time.
 

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:lol:

Well, if it's a very ****** road, even an inch of snow (or sometimes just a light covering of water from rain) can make some spots impassable. Sometimes though, we just do whatever it takes (within reason, and the limits of the equipment at-hand, of course) to get through.....like when I opened the trail to Bill Moore Lake last year with Mr. & Mrs. FJinCO....LINK.

Not saying that everyone should always 'go for it' in those kinds of situations though :lol: It was a lot of [email protected] work (and a very long day....9 hours on a trail that should only take about 2-3 hours drive-time up and back if you stop along the way a few times for photos, etc). We just made a decision to get through though, and for us, it worked out that way that time.
I just read through your trip report - very nice! :)

After reading that, I think maybe I was giving the wrong impression with my snow report. What we ran into were basically winter conditions, not just foot-deep drifts here and there. The foot of snow I mentioned was solid everywhere and there were probably large drifts up further out of the trees. In Alice and by St. Mary's, the roads were snow packed and the pond at the bottom of the glacier was invisible under a layer of snow.

I'd say the heavy snow level was down to about 9,000 ft. Below that, it was *much* lighter and not a problem unless you find a shady area with drifting.
 

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Catalyst
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...wrong impression...
Ya know....something else I wasn't considering.....if a foot of snow falls, it can easily drift up into 5-6 feet deep in certain places. I was only thinking of a single height of 1 foot deep the whole time.....that (unless there's a scary, ****** portion of the road where you might fall off the edge) is what I was thinking of as not being snowed in for the FJC.
 

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Man, it is about time. But, a foot of snow is a lot. Given the rain we've been getting on the west side of Denver metro, it's gonna be muddy as heck, too. I know I want to get up, but I sure don't want to tear up the trails.
 

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cant wait to get on the trails
 

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Akosfj sent me a few pictures from our run up around St. Mary's Glacier last Saturday. It appears I was a bit off on my estimate of the amount of snow on the Chinns Lake trail. Looks like it was only about 6 inches or so. It got much deeper up toward the top of Fall River Rd.

Beginning of Chinns Lake:



St. Mary's Glacier area (top of Fall River Road):



Bald Mt. Road (much better here):

 

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Catalyst
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Rerouting this discussion here...

anyone happen to check out camp d!ck while up there? When is MSV/Coney flats expected to open?
after the run off has melted.. the crossing will be too deep until you get closer to the middle of summer.
We'll see. Last year I ran it early July. In 2009 it opened early June. How's Spring Creek and other trails looking in your neck of the woods?
According to the Boulder ranger district, Camp Dick is still closed, and I met the person that updates the website last year, and they're pretty accurate. The worst that could happen is if they're out there and open it on a Saturday, and then get called elsewhere for some kind of issue that has to be dealt with and they don't ave a chance to update the website till Monday morning back in the office.

For newcomers...Notice, it also says that Bunce School Rd. is closed.....this is a confusing one for some people every year. The reason it says 'closed' is because it is a through road which is currently closed at one end....that being, the end that connects with Camp Dick. If Cap Dick is closed, then so is Middle St. Vrain, because that's the way into it.
 

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I stayed around Rampart Range last week and every trail I did off of rampart was dry. I did balanced rock road and damn near got stuck due to my wonderfull bridgestone HT tires!:flame:
 

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I know spring creek won't be ready yet, that definitely suggests that Red Elephant, Bill Moore, Empire Loop, or Kingston Peak are not completely melted yet. That's all I know for this area as we go up some of these trails frequently to our plinkin' spots.
 

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Just did dakan road and the Forrest service graded most of the road. Rough patch is gone, all the cinder blocks are gone. I backed up into a tree! Minor rear bumper damage.
 

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I know spring creek won't be ready yet, that definitely suggests that Red Elephant, Bill Moore, Empire Loop, or Kingston Peak are not completely melted yet. That's all I know for this area as we go up some of these trails frequently to our plinkin' spots.
I haven't taken the truck up yet, but I have gone skiing lately a LOT up high. This is the deepest snow I have ever seen in Colorado this late.

It is going to be a very late season for openings on the very high terrain.

With that said, the dramatic warm up that is forecasted for this week is going to melt things fast, and create new issues such as washouts and GIGANTIC wet-slab avalanches.

I would stick with lower elevation stuff (Rampart mentioned), and also trails in Southern Colorado (Ouray, Sand Dunes, etc). They had a fraction of the snow we had in the central and northern mountains, and are already melting off.

Again, I cannot stress this enough...you cannot compare this year for snow fall and current snow depth to any other year in recent memory. We are still sitting at almost 200% snowpack for May 31st :).

:rocker:
 

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End of June is usually when things up here normally open. I think it's deceiving when people see the north faces of the mountains it's all melted, but as soon as you go to the south side of the mountain, it's still very deep. I live right next to spring creek and I see a lot of jeepers going up, and coming right back down. We sit at 8,500 elevation, I think Spring Creek gets up to about 1,100 to 1,200 fast.
 

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Was up over Guanella Pass this weekend and there were 7-8 ft. drifts that had been plowed through (this was from about 10,500ft. up). It looked like it was starting to melt pretty fast, but there was still a ton of snow on the north facing slopes above 11,000ft. I hadn't been up there in a couple of years and was surprised that they've completely paved it now. Sacrilege!

I made it up the first mile of Bill Moore on Sunday before the Jeep I was with sheared off his steering ram and we had to turn around. :flame:

That part of the trail was completely dry, but I'm not sure how it looked up higher. It did snow on us for about five minutes. Crazy!

Looking across at Spring Creek, there was still snow visible up high. I might go back up to the area next weekend and check it out (Bill Moore/Red Elephant/Mill Creek).
 
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