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When is the weather going to improve?!?

Colorado 14er peak questions and conditions should be posted here. 14er Trip Reports
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When is the weather going to improve?!?

Postby AlexMack » Tue Jun 09, 2009 4:59 pm

I don't mind being out in inclement weather but I don't want to bag a high peak when I can't even enjoy the view. All the different peaks under the weather links show likely snow for days (probably more like rain/no accumulation) but I'm ready for some more predictable afternoon storms and alpine starts!! Am I crazy or should I just get out there tomorrow?? (NE ridge of elbert is the one I want to do)
"Good judgment comes from experience. Experience comes from bad judgment." - Evan Hardin

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Re: When is the weather going to improve?!?

Postby jrbren_vt » Thu Jun 11, 2009 12:37 pm

I have a similar question. I am about 75% of the way through trip planning to spend the week of July 11-19 in the Colorado Rockies. I hope to attempt Long's peak after a 1 or 2 "warm up hikes" on Flat Top and/or Ypsilon, and then 1-2 more 14er hikes the second half of the week. I hear rumors of 300+ days of sunshine in Colorado (ski area brochures I think). I see everyone's gorgeous photos with blue sky in the trip reports. Then I check the 14er weather page on this site each day for past week or so. Here I see rain, snow, thunder and hopeless gloom until further notice has been the forecast for each day I have checked for the past week or so for each of the 14ers I am considering. So is this
a.) an unusual weather pattern ? :shock:
b.) typical, it always rains in June so it will be just glorious in July [-o<
c.) It is always cloudy all summer, the photos are all from the 1 or 2 hours the sun comes out each month or are doctored with a photo editor.
d.) Who knows, it will do what it wants when it wants, deal with it or take up another hobby
?

When is the best time to go to the 14ers if the time frame is one week between July 1 and August 31 ? Is one week as good as any other as far as getting some clear weather for viewing ? (I am familiar with the afternoon thunderstorm hazard making alpine starts needed for the 14ers).

Thanks.
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Best Regards - John
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fvhayden

Re: When is the weather going to improve?!?

Postby fvhayden » Thu Jun 11, 2009 12:43 pm

As a native, this spring has been one of the least sunny and rainiest I can remember. Blue skies are definitely the norm in the summer.

Re: When is the weather going to improve?!?

Postby traderaaron » Thu Jun 11, 2009 12:44 pm

June is the driest of the spring and summer months in Colorado.

This June has started out wet but it's been much more cloudy and cool than it has actually been stormy and wet.

Take cloudy and cool over July and August day after day t-storms any time.

Re: When is the weather going to improve?!?

Postby traderaaron » Thu Jun 11, 2009 12:46 pm

Best week from July 1-Aug. 31? For me that is usually the second week of July, just before the monsoon seasonality that usually fires up the 3rd week of July.

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Re: When is the weather going to improve?!?

Postby Mark A Steiner » Thu Jun 11, 2009 1:11 pm

Guess it depends on where you are when the sky decides to unload. Also heard Berthoud Pass had snow last night; then again that is not unusual. One Denver weather "expert" is looking at sunny weather (in the vicinity of the Front Range, I presume) this weekend. We'll see.
Not that I speak in respect of want: for I have learned, in whatever state I am, therewith to be content - Paul the Apostle.
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Re: When is the weather going to improve?!?

Postby muzik83 » Thu Jun 11, 2009 1:29 pm

d.) Who knows, it will do what it wants when it wants, deal with it or take up another hobby
?


I've lived here since I was 2, and 24 years later i'm still perplexed by the weather. I'll agree that lots of sun is a general trend (more sun than the Pac NW, Midwest, upper east coast), but I still have seen really sunny summers and really rainy summers. I feel that this is rainier and cloudier than usual. I think of it this way though.... the mountains are prettier with some snow on them. The snow provides more contrast and helps bring out how drastic they are. A colder spring will help keep it around longer (plus keep the glissade routes in, which are always super fun! :D )

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Re: When is the weather going to improve?!?

Postby ColoradoKrazy1 » Thu Jun 11, 2009 1:51 pm

put me down for d. :wink:

I would go in August but thats just me.

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Re: When is the weather going to improve?!?

Postby utepasspro » Thu Jun 11, 2009 1:53 pm

Just did Bierstadt in the snow. Most other places I would have turned around, but it's a little tougher to go wrong there. Met some folks on their way up and told them that i couldn't really see more than 10 yards in front of me the whole time....get back to Guanella Pass TH and look back. The summit is totally open and the sun is shining up there and it's snowing on me at the TH.
Yes, it's been wetter than normal, but I still had a great time in the mountains today....If you're trying to figure out which is the "best" week in the summer, I'd say it is a total crap-shoot, but 2nd week of July isn't a bad idea- it's just that some years those afternoon t-storms are an everyday thing and some years they hardly show up- or at least that's been my experience
"There are three kinds of patriots, two bad, one good. The bad ones are the uncritical lovers and the loveless critics. Good patriots carry on a lover's quarrel with their country, a reflection of God's lover's quarrel with all the world.” - William Sloane Coffin

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Re: When is the weather going to improve?!?

Postby Presto » Thu Jun 11, 2009 2:31 pm

Just to add another (factual) consideration and balance to the discussion, I'd rather have the rain than the fires. We all know that, in the past, we've been burning around the state by now (if not earlier) due to dry conditions. I know that doesn't aid people trying to plan trips coming from out of state (or those whose schedules limit the ability to get into the mountains). But for those of us that live here all year, watching the fires and breathing the smoke (which I have done more than once as I'm sure some of you have also), I'll take some daily rain over the fires any day. Happy trails! :D
As if none of us have ever come back with a cool, quasi-epic story instead of being victim to tragic rockfall, a fatal stumble, a heart attack, an embolism, a lightning strike, a bear attack, collapsing cornice, some psycho with an axe, a falling tree, carbon monoxide, even falling asleep at the wheel getting to a mountain. If you can't accept the fact that sometimes "s**t happens", then you live with the illusion that your epic genius and profound wilderness intelligence has put you in total and complete control of yourself, your partners, and the mountain. How mystified you'll be when "s**t happens" to you! - FM

Re: When is the weather going to improve?!?

Postby Bean » Thu Jun 11, 2009 2:37 pm

Presto wrote:Just to add another (factual) consideration and balance to the discussion, I'd rather have the rain than the fires. We all know that, in the past, we've been burning around the state by now (if not earlier) due to dry conditions. I know that doesn't aid people trying to plan trips coming from out of state (or those whose schedules limit the ability to get into the mountains). But for those of us that live here all year, watching the fires and breathing the smoke (which I have done more than once as I'm sure some of you have also), I'll take some daily rain over the fires any day. Happy trails! :D

The problem is that the forest needs fire to be healthy. Our ridiculously poor "management" techniques in CO have resulted in this pine beetle situation, and now the coming fire will be bigger and worse than it would have been had we allowed fires to burn naturally, or at least done some controlled burns. The longer it takes to come, the bigger the fire will be.
gdthomas wrote:Bean, you're an idiot.

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Re: When is the weather going to improve?!?

Postby Presto » Thu Jun 11, 2009 2:39 pm

Bean, I totally agree on the pine beetle situation and lack of proper management. I do, too, fear the fires to come. We're "California" waiting to happen. :?
As if none of us have ever come back with a cool, quasi-epic story instead of being victim to tragic rockfall, a fatal stumble, a heart attack, an embolism, a lightning strike, a bear attack, collapsing cornice, some psycho with an axe, a falling tree, carbon monoxide, even falling asleep at the wheel getting to a mountain. If you can't accept the fact that sometimes "s**t happens", then you live with the illusion that your epic genius and profound wilderness intelligence has put you in total and complete control of yourself, your partners, and the mountain. How mystified you'll be when "s**t happens" to you! - FM

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