CT Conditions 2019 July 30

Tuesday Blog Post – CONDITIONS 2019 – July 30.

Closure info at the bottom; avalanche too; read this top to bottom.

Taken on July 29th above Cottonwood Pass alongside the Trail in CW03. Photo thanks to Mal Sillars.

Taken on July 29th above Cottonwood Pass alongside the Trail in CW03. Photo thanks to Mal Sillars.

SNOWPACK
Substantially melted but there’s still some remaining snow. It’s improving quickly, but this is the latest melt-out (by 2-3 weeks) in the history of The Colorado Trail. Informed guesswork continues below, thanks to user and volunteer reports including some with detail. “PASSABLE” indicates that, in our view, it has become easily snow-passable, that enough has melted to no longer be overly arduous or hazardous, and without snow-related navigation challenges.

Segs 1-6 passable (no snow left)
Seg 7 passable (shrunken patches of trampled steep-hillside snow Breck side; travelers succeeding)
Seg 8 passable (small snow fields on gentler terrain)
Segs 9-14 passable
Seg 15 passable (travelers easily bypassing short sections of cornice snow)
Segs 16-19 passable
Segs 20-21 passable
Segs 22-23 mostly-passable (snow sections have gotten easier)
Seg 24 mostly-passable (a little snow remains; but HUGE AVALANCHE DEBRIS, READ BELOW)
Seg 25 mostly-passable (lingering snow fields)
Seg 26 passable (small snow patches)
Segs 27-28 passable
Seg CW01 passable
Seg CW02 mostly-passable (snowpack lingers on north face Lake Ann Pass where steep)
Seg CW03 mostly-passable (small snow fields, some steep but with footholds kicked in)
Seg CW04 passable
Seg CW05 passable

Many hikers have pushed through all sections, including those deemed mostly-passable, but the remaining snow is still sometimes slick and other times soft.

Stock animals will likely have trouble with the remaining snow even though it has substantially melted. When post-holing, hooves are landing on wildly irregular surfaces, usually not on the Trail.

CREEKS AND BRIDGES
The creeks of consequence that lack bridges are Seg 8 Cataract Creek, Seg 19 Cochetopa Creek, Seg 24 tributary of Elk Creek, Seg 24 Elk Creek where creek may still be above the trail and Seg CW02 Texas Creek. The flow has diminished at each of these to where fording should not be dangerous.

AVALANCHE DEBRIS
Seg 7 avalanche debris zones cleared or improved (okay for foot travel; somewhat challenging for stock)
Seg 13 avalanche debris sections cleared (okay for all including stock animals)
Seg 21 avalanche debris pile (not cleared yet; okay for foot travel; might remain challenging for stock)
Seg 24 four huge avalanche debris piles, shifting as snow melts beneath (challenging for careful hikers; not doable for stock animals)
https://coloradotrail.org/avalanche-debris-segment-24/
Seg CW02 avalanche debris sections easy for hikers and bicyclists (maybe hard for stock)

CLOSURES
Copper Mountain area: two-mile, trail-season detour affecting parts of CT Segments 7 and 8
https://coloradotrail.org/ct-detour-at-copper-mountain/