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Indian Peaks and RMNP Conditions around July 1

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Indian Peaks and RMNP Conditions around July 1

Postby Snidely Whiplash » Mon May 13, 2013 5:04 pm

A friend and I are planning to do some scrambles in the Indian Peaks Wilderness and Rocky Mountain National Park around June 28-July 4. He called the ranger station, who told him that the trailheads will still be under snow in the Indian Peaks at that time, and that we would need snowshoes. As a teenager I remember being in RMNP at that time of year, in much bigger snow years than this, and the trails were mostly melted out. Plus I see that Colorado has about 75% normal snowpack. What can I expect in trail conditions at this time of year? Is the ranger correct, because up here, their information always seems designed to keep you out of the area.
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Re: Indian Peaks and RMNP Conditions around July 1

Postby Scott » Mon May 13, 2013 6:28 pm

Snowpack is close to average in the area (slightly above). Of course things could change, but there shouldn't be enough snow to bury all the trailheads.

Three should be snow around and some routes require an ice, but almost all the trailheads should be open. I wouldn't anticipate taking snowshoes, but you may be walking through snow in places, depending on the route.
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Re: Indian Peaks and RMNP Conditions around July 1

Postby Snidely Whiplash » Tue May 14, 2013 11:54 am

That sounds a lot like the Washington Cascades. So would you say it's fair to say that most trails up to timberline will be melted out, with some consolidated snow in places? And that the snow shouldn't be much of a hindrance to approaches?
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Re: Indian Peaks and RMNP Conditions around July 1

Postby Scott » Tue May 14, 2013 2:14 pm

It will probably be like that, unless it snows a lot in late May and June.

The snow in the afternoons will be pretty soft though.
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Re: Indian Peaks and RMNP Conditions around July 1

Postby Snidely Whiplash » Tue May 14, 2013 10:00 pm

Scott, Thanks so much. Your advice has been very helpful.
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Re: Indian Peaks and RMNP Conditions around July 1

Postby Snidely Whiplash » Sat Jun 08, 2013 12:02 am

Bump. How are the trails looking right now in the Indian Peaks and RMNP. Are they melting out (I hope)?
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Re: Indian Peaks and RMNP Conditions around July 1

Postby Sarah Simon » Sat Jun 08, 2013 9:48 pm

I've been in IPW a lot the last few weekend.

Fourth of July TH is plowed and open for season. A lot of snow on trail and some snow traverses, but somewhat packed down.

Brainard Lake is still not open - winter TH in use - and a huge amount of snow is still present - drifts up to 10 ft deep, was just up this morning attempting Apache.

Have fun!
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Re: Indian Peaks and RMNP Conditions around July 1

Postby Snidely Whiplash » Sat Jun 08, 2013 10:16 pm

Sarah, thanks for the info. Do they think that Brainard Lake will open in the next 2-3 weeks? If not, how far down is the winter TH? Do you know if Junco Lakes TH is open yet?

Thanks.

Tom
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Re: Indian Peaks and RMNP Conditions around July 1

Postby Sarah Simon » Sat Jun 08, 2013 11:02 pm

Rumor says Brainard Lake TH should be opening soon. I would call the Boulder Ranger District for more precise details:

Key Contacts

Forest Supervisor’s Office
2150 Centre Ave., Building E
Fort Collins, CO 80526
Phone: 970-295-6600
Open: Weekdays 8-5

Boulder Ranger District
2140 Yarmouth Avenue
Boulder, CO 80301
Phone:303-541-2500
Open weekdays 8 - 4:30


All told, I believe the extra mileage was 1 3/4 miles on way, so over 3 miles roundtrip, due to parking at the winter TH.

Bah. Nothing like walking almost 2 miles in Scarpas on blacktop to suddenly encounter 4+ feet of snow in the trees!

RMNP also has plenty of snow, though I've not been in the mountains lately in RMNP, just looking at them.

I hope this helps!
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Re: Indian Peaks and RMNP Conditions around July 1

Postby Snidely Whiplash » Sun Jun 09, 2013 12:18 am

Sarah,

Thanks so much. Very helpful. We arrive in 2 1/2 weeks, so glad to hear that Brainard Lake might be opening soon and Fourth of July already open. But 4+ feet of snow in the trees? Yikes! Well, there could be a lot of melting between now and then. Then again, I guess it will be what it will be. Thanks for the great up-to-date information, contact numbers. and addresses.

Tom
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Re: Indian Peaks and RMNP Conditions around July 1

Postby Sarah Simon » Sun Jun 09, 2013 4:21 am

I think this image of SP member ChicagoTransplant traversing the southern slopes below Quarter to 5 Peak above Fourth of July Mine gives a good idea for recent conditions:

Image

This is last weekend, the 1st of June. Yeah, happy Springtime in the Rockies, and all that... 8)
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Re: Indian Peaks and RMNP Conditions around July 1

Postby Sarah Simon » Sun Jun 09, 2013 4:39 am

Here are a pair of links to Twitter photos from the same weekend:

ChicagoTransplant on ridge of Quarter to 5 Peak:
pic.twitter.com/kX5PygUTDE

Mike descending ridge of Quarter to 5 Peak:
pic.twitter.com/j3NsIdWmVb
Note Neva is still graced by an ample blanket of snow.
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Re: Indian Peaks and RMNP Conditions around July 1

Postby AndyJB444 » Mon Jun 10, 2013 8:52 pm

Its currently 95 degrees here in Boulder, and its supposed to continue on for at least the next week - so I'd expect the melting to accelerate up higher. I think you'll be fine July 1, save for the occasional snow field.

You can always check TundraCam for up to the second conditions in the area...http://instaar.colorado.edu/tundracam/

Cheers!
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Re: Indian Peaks and RMNP Conditions around July 1

Postby Snidely Whiplash » Tue Jun 11, 2013 3:12 am

AndyJB444 wrote:Its currently 95 degrees here in Boulder, and its supposed to continue on for at least the next week - so I'd expect the melting to accelerate up higher. I think you'll be fine July 1, save for the occasional snow field.

You can always check TundraCam for up to the second conditions in the area...http://instaar.colorado.edu/tundracam/

Cheers!


Hey, cool link, Andy. Thanks.

Tom
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Re: Indian Peaks and RMNP Conditions around July 1

Postby scotty1974 » Mon Jul 01, 2013 5:31 pm

Conditions are fine...still tons of snow, but most trails are dry and even the N / NE are passable. That being said there is still tons of snow for climbing and skiing.

The melt is on big time though. Tuesday I stepped over some 2 foot drifts, saturday they were gone.
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