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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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Re: Aspen to Crested Butte early June

Postby yosemite98 » Fri Apr 05, 2013 12:45 pm

I'd say it's not your "classic" Colorado experience. The rock is very different than most other parts of the state and it's a little more arid, so you won't get as lush vegetation as you'd see in the Maroons or higher up in other ranges.

However, it is a very scenic hike, and the rock formations are really cool. The creek goes under the mountains and get's "lost" for a while. There are places you can wade through to the other side, and some places where it just goes down a waterfall into the abyss not to resurface until over 1/2 mile later (specifically talking about the Shaft House area). You can climb around and explore this area for days. I hiked the loop in May with a little snow, so by June it should be completely free of snow.

I'd say Lost Creek is a must do for everyone living in Colorado. It just depends on if you want the "classic" Colorado experience or something a little different.

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Re: Aspen to Crested Butte early June

Postby ajkagy » Fri Apr 05, 2013 1:45 pm

Here is a comparison of the gunnison basin snowpack. We're only slightly ahead of last year and well below normal. If you're flexible you could wait until early May to pull the trigger on the maroon pass hike as then you'll have a better idea of the snow situation. Once the snow melts out higher up on the roads I like to ride gothic and wash gulch roads for training so I can update with pictures on the melt.

ftp://ftp-fc.sc.egov.usda.gov/CO/Snow/snow/watershed/daily/basinplotgun13.gif
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Re: Aspen to Crested Butte early June

Postby jesseparker1 » Wed Apr 10, 2013 9:46 am

So I am quessing with all the snow you got this week...this is going to make my trip a little tougher?

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Re: Aspen to Crested Butte early June

Postby ameristrat » Wed Apr 10, 2013 4:15 pm

One storm won't make or break it. Just keep an eye on it over the next several weeks.
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 » Wed Apr 10, 2013 6:42 pm

ameristrat wrote:One storm won't make or break it. Just keep an eye on it over the next several weeks.


+1, it will all depend on the temps this month and next, here are a few shots from last year with our lean snowpack. The snowpack is slightly higher than last year at this time, but still well below normal.

April 15th last year
https://sphotos-b.xx.fbcdn.net/hphotos-snc7/466723_10100645424820510_1213693933_o.jpg

April 25th last year
https://sphotos-b.xx.fbcdn.net/hphotos-snc7/468274_10100678434803240_1777158487_o.jpg

May 9th last year
https://sphotos-a.xx.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ash4/412494_10100709239265850_1691858093_o.jpg

June 10th last year
https://sphotos-a.xx.fbcdn.net/hphotos-frc1/336095_10100757288325150_562431929_o.jpg
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Re: Aspen to Crested Butte early June

Postby jesseparker1 » Thu Apr 11, 2013 6:12 am

That is awesome Ajkagy!

Where is the picture taken at? Is this close to the trail where I be going?

You guys are great!!

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Re: Aspen to Crested Butte early June

Postby ajkagy » Thu Apr 11, 2013 8:50 am

jesseparker1 wrote:That is awesome Ajkagy!

Where is the picture taken at? Is this close to the trail where I be going?

You guys are great!!


these were all in and around crested butte, the last picture was taken at around 11,000ft near the 403 trail. By early June last year there was literally hardly any snow even in the high mountains to contend with. I'll take more pictures in 3-4 weeks here when the snow starts melting out the mountain roads.
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Re: Aspen to Crested Butte early June

Postby jesseparker1 » Tue Apr 23, 2013 12:24 pm

Well we got another 7"s of snow last night...I am really concerned about my trip out there. Anything new to report?

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Re: Aspen to Crested Butte early June

Postby yosemite98 » Tue Apr 23, 2013 4:40 pm

when you first posted I wouldn't have been concerned. After the past 3 COLD weeks with tons of snow... I would be. I was looking for RMNP backpacking trips in late June, now I'm looking in the Sangre de Cristo.

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Re: Aspen to Crested Butte early June

Postby Scott P » Wed Apr 24, 2013 6:09 am

Well we got another 7"s of snow last night...I am really concerned about my trip out there. Anything new to report?


Plan on snow and bringing snow gear. There is no way that that region will be relatively snow-free by early June. Last year was exceptional. Early June is almost always too early to expect relatively snow free conditions. Snowpack is almost right on average for the date.
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Re: Aspen to Crested Butte early June

Postby peter303 » Wed Apr 24, 2013 6:44 am

Sounds like a normal snowfall year where you'd expect snow fields on the 12K Elk passes until July 1.
The above photos come from 2012 which was a severe drought year and the snow gone by late May.
The year before had abnormally large snow with reports of snowfields to almost August.

May could through some weather surprise with additional snow or melt a lot. Have to be flexible in Colorado.

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Re: Aspen to Crested Butte early June

Postby ajkagy » Wed Apr 24, 2013 7:09 am

full on winter here the last 2 weeks and we really need it. We didn't get as much as the northern areas, but the moisture will help the water situation. At the same time we've had at least 4 dust events this spring, with one of them being pretty bad. This is going to really accelerate the melt once the warm temps hit this weekend and into next week. While there will definitely be more snow than last year in May, the jury is still out on late May into June. The huge amount of dust will change things.
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