[Cdt-l] Fw: Trail conditions - Stony Pass to Monarch Pass

Brian Dickson briansolar1 at yahoo.co.uk
Sun Jun 12 11:21:00 CDT 2011

That is a fantastic hike you have done so far and god luck with the rest. I had 
a brief look at your website and the mapping with 'my topo' map background 
switched on is a step up from anything I have seen before. I guess you are using 
a SPOT tracker or similar to record your nightly position? 

Anyway will have a look again at your journals and photos as I am keen to see 
how you did on the AZT, Hayduke and Moab-CDT connector.

Keep it up!

Brian, Black Isle Scotland


----- Forwarded Message ----
From: Benjamin Mayberry <benmayberry at gmail.com>
To: cdt-l <cdt-l at backcountry.net>
Sent: Sat, 11 June, 2011 2:51:24
Subject: [Cdt-l] Trail conditions - Stony Pass to Monarch Pass

After hiking through Arizona, Utah and Western Colorado, I reached the CDT at 
Stony Pass on June 5th. I just completed the section from Stony Pass to Monarch 
Pass and thought I'd report on the conditions for any NOBO's that are about to 
enter that area. 

-Stony Pass to Cataract Lake - Ley CO37 & 36: lots of snow but there is bare 
ground in places as well. The route through this area is very well cairned and 
easy to follow. A backcountry ranger in Silverton warned me about avalanche 
danger in the Canby Mountain area. If you reach it later in the day, maybe 
consider a lower-elevation route.

-Lost Trail Creek drainage below Carson Peak - Ley CO36: almost totally snow 
free until you climb back up to the divide to the east of Carson Peak.

-Divide east of Carson Peak to west side of Jarosa Mesa - Ley CO36 & 35: snow on 
and off but overall pretty good. There is a forested hillside just before the #2 
note on CO36 that is still completely covered in snow.

-Jarosa Mesa - Ley CO35: the higher parts are covered in mushy, slushy, 
easy-to-walk-through snow. Everything is wet. Once you start to drop down to 
Spring Creek Pass, it becomes completely melted out.

-Spring Creek Pass to east side of Snow Mesa - Ley CO35 & 34: no snow until you 
reach Snow Mesa. Snow Mesa is mostly clear but the drainages not only have snow 
but also rivers of water-saturated snow (consistency of a slushee) that are not 
difficult to cross, just really, really cold.

-East side of Snow Mesa to pass just below San Luis Peak - Ley CO34 & 33: snow 
off and on, not as much as you might expect considering that most of this 
section is on the N side of the divide.

-Pass just below San Luis Peak to Razor Creek Park - Ley CO33 through 30: no 
snow! Other than a little bit at either end of this section (i.e. descending 
from the pass, climbing out of Razor Creek Park).

-Cochetopa Hills & Sargents Mesa - Ley CO30 & 29: some small patches of snow but 
the trail corridor is fairly obvious. Generally snow free.

-Windy Peak to Monarch Pass - Ley CO28 & 27: lots of snow but there are breaks. 
The trail is generally easy to follow. Once you get to the N of Marshall Pass, 
you can avoid a lot of the snow by staying on the divide rather than the trail. 
You'll do some extra elevation gain/loss but it beats postholing.

I hiked this section with the Ley maps, a pair of snowshoes, and a set of 
microspikes. The maps were all I needed for navigation, the snowshoes spent a 
relatively small amount of time actually strapped to my feet but were invaluable 
when I actually used them, and the microspikes helped a lot with traversing some 
of the slopes in the morning while the snow was still crusty.

Hope this helps. I'm leaving from Monarch Pass tomorrow but taking the Colorado 
Trail (lower elevation than the CDT) to Twin Lakes, then taking the CDT from 
there to Frisco. I'll post the trail conditions for Twin Lakes to Frisco after 
I've done it.

Ben Mayberry
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