CT Conditions 2019 July 9

Trail Tip Tuesday Blog Post – CONDITIONS 2019 SNOW AND MORE – July 9, 2019.

SNOWPACK
Great news! Melt-off of this year’s record snow has progressed and even more of the CT is passable. Guesswork continues below, thanks to wonderful user and volunteer reports. “PASSABLE” refers to whether we consider it easily snow-passable, indicating that enough has melted to no longer be overly arduous or hazardous, and without snow-related navigation challenges.

Segs 1-5 passable (no snow left)
Seg 6 mostly-passable (Georgia Pass on the Breck side retains 1 mile of trampled snow)
Seg 7 impassable up high on the Breck side (3 miles of steep-hillside snow)
Seg 8 impassable up high (5 miles of snow travel, reportedly easier than Seg 7)
Seg 9 impassable up high (about 2 miles left of deep snow in the shade of trees)
Segs 10-14 passable
Seg 15 impassable (some deep and lengthy snow left but some folks getting through)
Seg 16 guessing passable (we lack reports)
Segs 17-19 passable
Segs 20-21 impassable
Segs 22-27 impassable (lengthy and deep snow; among last to melt this year)
Seg 28 passable
Segs CW01-CW05 impassable (some lengthy and deep snow still; among last to melt)

July 7 2019 on Segment 8 thanks to Jim Collins.

July 7 2019 on Segment 8 thanks to Jim Collins.

Hikers are beginning to push through all sections deemed impassable, succeeding by expending more energy than normal, etc. They’re reporting that some snowpack is hard while some is soft and results in post-holing. Expect that snow conditions will vary a lot. We’d want our trekking poles, knee-high waterproof gaiters for their abrasion protection in the soft, crystalline snow and micro-spikes because they help traction where the snow is hard, especially on steeper hills.

Guesses (does not cover every segment)
Guessing Segs 7-9 passable ~ mid-July
Guessing Segs 20-27 passable ~ late-July
Guessing Collegiate West passable ~ late-July

Snow-line is ‘patchy,’ probably around 11,800 feet elevation, lower on north- and northeast-facing slopes that melt more slowly, especially in the shade of trees, and higher on south- and southwest-facing slopes that melt more quickly. Using 11,800 feet, you can use the CT Databook or Guidebook and guess how lengthy the snowy sections might still be.

CREEKS AND BRIDGES
Seg 8 requires fording Cataract Creek now swollen with snowmelt (no bridge)
Seg CW02 Texas Creek ford reported as challenging (no bridge)
Seg 19 Cochetopa Creek ford getting easier, runoff has diminished (no bridge)
https://coloradotrail.org/snowpack-2019-and-segment-19-creek-ford/
Seg 24 Elk Creek is reportedly raging and has overtopped the Trail; challenging ford

AVALANCHE
Seg 7 avalanche debris zones have been cleared or improved (okay for foot travel; not for stock)
Seg 13 avalanche debris sections cleared (okay for all including stock)
Seg CW02 avalanche debris sections easy for hikers and bicyclists (maybe hard for stock)
Seg 24 avalanche debris is monumental, though passable by careful hikers (not for stock animals)

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