[Cdt-l] Speedstick's Report: Monarch to Tennessee

Moynihan mary.moynihan at gmail.com
Sat Jun 25 18:16:00 CDT 2011

Well, after all the rumors about the conditions from Monarch to Tennessee, I
thought I would end up dropping down to forest service roads, but I stayed
true to the trail, summitted the big dog and I am damn pleased with myself
for making it through solo. So, my report is, well there is a bit of snow
through here, enough to make me yurn for the hot, hot endless road stretches
through Wyoming.
>From the get-go, Monarch ski resort had patches of snow, nothing too much to
complicate navigation, although I happened to get off track and b-lined it
to the top of a ski lift and it just so happened the trail rewarded me with
a full can of PBR!!!! At the top of the resort the trail is clear through to
the pass where you drop to Hunt Lake. That's a pain in the butt but,
navigation it's hard to mess up too much as the lake is obvious and melted
out, but oh the postholing!!! Somewhere in the woods I found Tomato's tracks
making the time pass a bit easier. At Boss Lake Res it's clear again,
although I sent an extra half hour at least when a local told me I was not
on the CDT when I was the whole time!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Since then I have
been given two more sets of not so correct information and I will no longer
trust these locals with trail advice, I'll just stick to asking where the
best place to eat and have a pint is...
Chalk Creek Pass(Ley26), snow before and after, but again navigationaly not
too bad as you just shoot for the pass. A big avy came through a meadow just
south of the pass, just head straight.
Patches of snow, quickly and I mean quickly melting out between Hancock Lake
and the Pass, it may even be gone now.
Snow all along the Alpine Trail, but your on a railroad bed, so how can you
go wrong. I can see this melting quick too. The snow gets deeper as you head
north from the Alpine tunnel, definitely consider doing this when the snow
is firm. My recommendation would be from Tunnel Lake (Ley26) north to
Tincup(Ley25) would be to NOT drop into the woods at North Fork, stay
somewhere in the middle of the red and purple alt. The trees were a chore
and the alt. had a giant cornice looming on it where you'd drop to the
Snow melting quick below Tincup, decent snow wall at the Garden Basin pass,
nothing too much, although I have been pretty impressed with my ability to
handle cornices/ snow walls solo, I seem to be much calmer and take my time.
Patches of snow at Sanford Basin (Ley25)
Texas creek short cut fordable, pushy and just under waist deep for my 5'5
Snow climbing to Pass at lake ann, headed x-c until above alpine. (PS love
Sketchy cornice at the pass before Lake ann. Get out your ice axe. There's a
couple of windows to get over, which I used and then hung by my axe and then
glissaded down. Again, surprisingly I stayed calm through this intense
Snow, snow, snow all the way to Hamilton, including a tree slog.
Clear all the way to Mt Hope.
Light snow below Mount Hope Pass, all the way over Elbert (both N and S
The trail is clear until.... shoot those maps are MIA right now... a couple
miles before Timberline trail, patches.
and then....misery. After climbing from Timberline TH, at the pass before
Bear Lake the trail is mostly snow covered for almost three miles.....just
get through it as after Long Gulch the trail is snow free for 6 miles to the
pass and you will be rewarded with scenery, warm air and......well, just
trust me.
Hope this helps. I started Monarch on 6/20(only went a couple miles that
night and got to Tennessee 6/25.

*To find out more about Mary and her hike along the 3,000 mile long
Continental Divide Trail please go to*: www.marriedtothetrail.com
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