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Aspen to Crested Butte early June

FAQ and threads for those just starting to hike the Colorado 14ers.
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Aspen to Crested Butte early June

Postby jesseparker1 » Thu Apr 04, 2013 7:38 am

Hey everyone!

I have been doing a lot of research about a hiking trip that I am planning the first week of June. We were originally thinking about doing the 4 pass loop, but after talking with a lot of people they say that may not be the best idea. After talking with a couple people at the local camping stores in Aspen they said the trip from Aspen to CB is a good trip. I am thinking that we would do two nights to CB spend a night there and then one more night on the way back to Aspen.

My question is...Would this be a good trip or not? Any other ideas?

Thanks in advance for all your help!!
Jesse

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Re: Aspen to Crested Butte early June

Postby peter303 » Thu Apr 04, 2013 7:51 am

June is a snow gamble. Could still be significant snow on the north facing side of passes.

The Maroon Bell shuttle bus will try to open June 16, 2013. Private vehicle probably earlier.
http://www.stayaspensnowmass.com/activities/visit-maroon-bells
The Gothic bus will try to open June 10, 2013.
[urlhttp://www.mtnexp.org/html/schedules/gothicSchedule.html[/url]

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Re: Aspen to Crested Butte early June

Postby Muskie5280 » Thu Apr 04, 2013 12:53 pm

Biked it last year in mid June (Aspen to CB via Taylor and Star Pass, CB to Aspen via Pearl Pass) and we dealt with several sizeable snow fields but overall it was relatively easily passable.

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Re: Aspen to Crested Butte early June

Postby peter303 » Thu Apr 04, 2013 1:30 pm

Muskie5280 wrote:Biked it last year in mid June (Aspen to CB via Taylor and Star Pass, CB to Aspen via Pearl Pass) and we dealt with several sizeable snow fields but overall it was relatively easily passable.

2011-2012 was one of the lowest snowpack seasons on record, to note.
This year is shaping up to be below normal, but probably not as low as last year.
Wont really know until the snow season winds down in a month or two.
Last edited by peter303 on Thu Apr 04, 2013 2:14 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Aspen to Crested Butte early June

Postby jesseparker1 » Thu Apr 04, 2013 1:49 pm

I am so lost! Will it be passable without snow shoes?

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Re: Aspen to Crested Butte early June

Postby Scott P » Thu Apr 04, 2013 2:17 pm

Will it be passable without snow shoes?


Which route are you taking? Are you walking the 4wd road? East Maroon or West Maroon Pass?

Yes, there will almost certainly be snow the first week of June, but in the morning at least, the snow should be hard enough to get along without any snowshoes.
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Re: Aspen to Crested Butte early June

Postby ameristrat » Thu Apr 04, 2013 2:39 pm

I took the W Maroon Pass trail in August. Can't speak on snowpack, but it's a long day. If there is a lot of snow, it will be soft before you're off the trail. I'll echo what's already been said - a lot depends on the snow in the next two months. If it quits now, you'd probably be in decent shape. If it snows more consistently, it may not be the best option. Remember though, the pass you take to Crested Butte (E or W Maroon) are both part of the four pass loop, so if it's too snowy for the Four Pass Loop, it may be too snowy for this.

I hope you can make it / snow cooperates - it is an awesome hike!
You cannot stay on the summit forever; you have to come down again. So why bother in the first place? Just this: What is above knows what is below, but what is below does not know what is above. One climbs, one sees. One descends, one sees no longer, but one has seen. There is an art of conducting oneself in the lower regions by the memory of what one saw higher up. When one can no longer see, one can at least still know. - Rene Daumal

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Re: Aspen to Crested Butte early June

Postby ajkagy » Thu Apr 04, 2013 2:49 pm

there will be snow in early June, it's just a matter of how much. We could get pounded with snow in April, also we usually get some snow in May up until about memorial day, especially the higher mountains.

Another wildcard will be whether a car will even be able to get to the west maroon pass trailhead up in paradise park. Schofield pass is usually impassable until late Summer/early fall because of the snow plug there. Paradise divide is the only option and it takes a bit for that to melt out as well. If I were you I wouldn't make definite plans until you know that the road can be accessed by a vehicle for someone to pick you up at schofield park since it's a good 12 miles back to Mt. CB.

Schofield pass snotel: http://www.wcc.nrcs.usda.gov/nwcc/site?sitenum=737&state=co
This will give a good indication of the kind of snow left up there.
http://www.resortbeta.com - An interactive ski/snowboard experience for all your favorite ski resorts.

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Re: Aspen to Crested Butte early June

Postby jesseparker1 » Fri Apr 05, 2013 7:18 am

Thank you so much everyone for your help! Does anyone have any recommendations of a good three day hike that my wife and I could do at that time of the year? Are tickets are bought as we are going to a show at The Red Rocks (Edward Sharpe & The Alabama Shakes). Please anything would be greatly appreciated!

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Re: Aspen to Crested Butte early June

Postby Jim Davies » Fri Apr 05, 2013 8:21 am

There's a beautiful 25-mile loop in Lost Creek Wilderness that should be snow-free by then. Clockwise, it's Goose Creek trailhead to Hankins Pass to Lake Park to McCurdy Park and down Lost Creek back to the trailhead. Early June might be the perfect time to do this. Here is a good TR by Derek about doing the loop counter-clockwise in two days with two side climbs. That's a lot of mileage for most people, but breaking it into three days would make for a more relaxed experience. You can do this hike without the hassle of crowds and buses etc that come with the "Aspen Experience", and it's a lot closer to Denver.
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Re: Aspen to Crested Butte early June

Postby jesseparker1 » Fri Apr 05, 2013 8:37 am

Thank you so much. I was looking at that hike the other day. Very nice post on it. I am sure it goes without saying that it is a very scenic hike?

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Re: Aspen to Crested Butte early June

Postby Jim Davies » Fri Apr 05, 2013 12:12 pm

Yes, very nice scenery. Not as spectacular as the Maroon Bells perhaps, but still pretty great; big spires of weathered granite and huge boulders everywhere. And no camping restrictions like in the Bells area.
Some people are afraid of heights. Not me, I'm afraid of white blood cells.

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