MtnHermit wrote:You're kidding yourself considering the Sawatch in mid-May. You'll be in deep rotten snow whenever you're in the trees, that will make a mile like ten. Check the Snotel sites if you need to know snow depths.
Something to consider, across the valley, the Mosquito Range has had a light snow year. In mid-May a couple of years ago I did a loop around the Buffalo Peaks, route tops out at 11,300', ~27 miles around, chance to summit both 13,300 peaks. While you'll cross a few roads, most are closed until Memorial Day weekend. I saw two people, trip report over at 14er.com.
chicagotransplant wrote:If you don't want snow at all, go south instead. The Sangres have been pretty dry all year. I'm heading that way April 30/May 1 and will let you know what I find.
While every year is different, and some parts of the state had big snow years this year, I have had luck in the Collegiate Peaks area and southward in the Sawatch that time of year in avoiding snow if I wanted to. I think you would be able to find peaks with minimal snow issues this (or any really) May, particularly south or west facing ridge routes in the southern Sawatch and Sangre de Cristo range. Especially if you can minimize your time below treeline. Try and find routes that utilize roads for the approach, even if snow covered they are usually more packed out because people snowmobile on them during the winter. It will help reduce your postholing. They can get you tree line with less postholing then you can go up a south facing route that has melted off.
Tonka wrote:Thanks Mike. I still think we are going to stay North. Buena, Fairplay area.
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