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- no bears - anywhere on actual hike (old reports of bears in minihaha gulch, but we didn't camp there.)
- bear warning at Difficult Campground, w threat of $350 fine if food left out; we stayed there 1 night, thank god no bears!
- hiked above crater lake to about 10,600 for acclimatization day, visited by a porcupine at night, each tent was visted, apparently just visiting, no issues.
- Frigid air pass is really worn down with tough footing, but is pretty short. Watch out if wet. We were really huffing and puffing at this point due to the altitude (we came from sea level)
- No water sources after going over frigid air pass into fravert basin, creeks dry, almost up until the lower forest treeline, but everyone had water, only needed a little over the 2 passes into fravert's. Plenty of streams, I counted 10 leading up to W maroon pass (from crater lake).
- Once into fravert basin we were pretty beat due to the higher than expected heat and camped in a good flat spot about a quarter mile before the tree line, next to the stream. All the tents were soaked outside from a small rain shower and inside from the humidity from the stream. Sun hit over the ridgeline by 0800 and tents were dry by 0830-0900.
- Once we hit the tree line we found 2-3 excellent designated sites we could have stayed in had we walked on for 20 more minutes.
- the 2010 tree blowdown just past King Falls has a new path cleared thru the debris.
- The water crossing just past the hasley basin trail cutoff was low, could have crossed by jumping rocks, most of us changed shoes to wade across the freezing water for the relief. Further the creek in W Maroon Basin was pretty low and the crossing easy.
-temps in my tent fell to 39F for 3 nights, 41F for 3 nights, between 5-6 am.
- Daytime low 80's, which felt VERY warm and impacted our energy levels. BTW we had one gal (approx 270lbs) carryig a 53lb pack (we weighed in in the parking lot) she made it the entire trip, though up to 2 hrs behind the group, I thought for sure she might bail out before the first pass. Anyway, sunscreen and a hat and sunglasses HIGHLY recommended.
- Unfortunately very few wildflowers.
- about 11 designated sites just at crater lake if a party needs to stay there.
- We stayed at crater lake day 6 for an early exit and drive to breakfast in aspen, ate at the hickory house, just on the left on the highway into town - YOU MUST STOP THERE FOR BREAKFAST -OMG, a highlight of the entire trip, ENORMOUS portions, great price and atmosphere, perfect for a post-trip victory celebration!
- we also stopped 1 night at geneva lake, great call, was beautiful, if you do that, from fravert basin, take the lower (to the left) trail junction which is a flat beautiful walk but with a 900' up the last mile, but excellent views so you don't have to re-cover that same walk when heading for trailrider pass;
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