[Cdt-l] Snow in Northern NM, Soithern Co

Charlie Thorpe charliethorpe at att.net
Sun May 15 18:30:53 CDT 2011

Hello Rick -

You said:

> He's concerned about snow in San Pedro Wilderness and Southern CO, especially the section between Cumbres Pass and Wolf Creek Psss
> Then on to Spring Creek Pass and Stomy Pass.  I suggested he slow down by taking a bunch of zeros to take about 3 weeks to Chama.  Anybody out there know the current snow situation in those areas and/or care to speculate on the status 3 to 4 weeks from now?

I drove through Cumbres Pass about a week and a half ago.  The road was completely clear, but there was anywhere from 2 to 4 ft of snow on both sides of the road.  It had snowed 4 to 6 in in the higher elevations of northern NM the day before, so even the lower bumps which had previously been bare were still dusted white.  My daughter in Colorado Springs said that it snowed at her place at 7,000 ft yesterday - I am guessing that your advice to stall is very appropriate.

BTW, when I went by there was still plenty of solid white up high where the trail goes up into the Santa Fe NF just north of Cuba.

I recall that I hiked from Cumbres Pass north in late June when i did that section.  There was zero snow in Cumbres Pass when we crossed the tracks, but we still found plenty of snow in the South San Juan WA (turned out to be well consolidated and easy to walk on).  The only place we really had trouble was Knife Edge in the Weminuche which was completely blocked for someone like me (with my superlative and finely honed Alabama snow skills) - I still get chills thinking about some of the dumb stuff we did trying to punch through.  

We ended up dropping a thousand feet or more to detour below Knife Edge and made what turned out to be a nice above-treeline hammock camp in one of my favorite sites of that entire outstanding section (we named it "Columbine heaven" when we found it...and quit cussing Knife Edge).

Tell your friend to be prepared for a seriously beautiful stretch of trail however the snow works out!

- Charlie

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