[cdt-l] Colorado Trail -- late start questions

Kenneth E. Baldrey keneb at adaes.com
Mon Jul 10 10:22:41 CDT 2006

The only serious bail-off problems on the CT are in the San Juans if
winter sets in early.  There will be normal snows from early September
on but usually for just a day or two and it melts quickly.  And you
could get lucky and have a two week blue sky stretch with no lightning
or storms at all in September.  That's the sweet spot for Colorado
mountaineering and thru-hiking.  Maybe start Durango to Waterton around
Labor Day, that way you clear the high San Juan early and the aspens
will be hitting full bloom from Copper Mountain on.  We've had drought
in Colorado but just recently the monsoons have hit with a vengeance,
it's unpredictable.  


From: cdt-l-bounces at backcountry.net
[mailto:cdt-l-bounces at backcountry.net] On Behalf Of Dust
Sent: Friday, July 07, 2006 11:06 PM
To: cdt-l at mailman.backcountry.net
Subject: [cdt-l] Colorado Trail -- late start questions

Wise ones:

I'm planning an early fall CT hike this year that would have
me on the trail when the aspens are turning. I've been to 
Colorado before and generally, the aspens don't hit peak 
until the third week of September.  So I want to start as 
late as I can without putting myself at serious risk of 
getting trapped if there's an early snowfall up high.

Couple questions:

1.  How late do you think I reasonably can start, to catch 
the turning aspens on the CT?  I've hiked (postholed) in 
snow before and don't mind it for a short while.  If an 
early September snowstorm hits, can you get down to lower 
elevations safely if you don't mind trudging through 
some cool sno?

2.  I've been following the SNOTEL site and it looks like a 
pretty severe drought has taken hold of Colorado this year.
How hard do you think it will be to find water?  I have the 
Data Book and am wondering if the "cup FULL"
 sources will be
reliable this year.

3.  I'm looking to bring some "Rocky Mountain High" with me 
and am wondering what type John Denver smoked and where he
got high.

Thanks folks.  Your wise comments are welcome. 


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