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My Plan A and Plan B hikes for May are toast. Help me with Plan C?

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Offline House Made of Dawn

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Re: My Plan A and Plan B hikes for May are toast. Help me with Plan C?
« Reply #15 on: March 19, 2019, 08:15:58 AM »



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Offline backpacker56

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Re: My Plan A and Plan B hikes for May are toast. Help me with Plan C?
« Reply #16 on: March 19, 2019, 09:21:30 AM »
I'm no expert on Colorado, but I think mid-May is way too early to be hoping for flower-decked alpine meadows that far north and that high up.
Unrelated second point: the guy who did the Gila loop in the 4K Highlights video was out for nine days (!).  It could probably be done faster, as he probably used up a lot of time shooting video, but my point is that a 4-day trip in the Gila is pretty short.  It's a big place.  A week would be more like a decent chunk of time.
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Offline House Made of Dawn

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Re: My Plan A and Plan B hikes for May are toast. Help me with Plan C?
« Reply #17 on: March 19, 2019, 10:51:20 AM »
I'm no expert on Colorado, but I think mid-May is way too early to be hoping for flower-decked alpine meadows that far north and that high up.
Unrelated second point: the guy who did the Gila loop in the 4K Highlights video was out for nine days (!).  It could probably be done faster, as he probably used up a lot of time shooting video, but my point is that a 4-day trip in the Gila is pretty short.  It's a big place.  A week would be more like a decent chunk of time.

Agreed on both points. SW Colorado MIGHT be sufficiently snow free by then: itís high and dry. The latter helps, but the former argues against it. Iíd check with locals first before heading up there....

And as for Gila...definitely worth a week or more. There are just sooooo many interesting trails and peaks and creeks within easy reach of each other.

A side note on that 4K highlight video: Iím pretty sure that backpacker posted a similar video of his OML on BBC, or at least a link to it. If this is the same guy (and I think it is), he hiked the OML in the last year or two with an older, ex-military partner and they had a great time. Same voice, same gear, same video style.


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Offline elhombre

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Re: My Plan A and Plan B hikes for May are toast. Help me with Plan C?
« Reply #18 on: March 19, 2019, 11:43:26 AM »
It can be hard to determine how much snow is still around that may effect a backpacking trip.  A strategy I use to see how much snow is hanging around in the mountains of Colorado is to look at 14ers.com and the trip report page.  People will put their reports up with plenty of photos.   Generally right after a weekend.  You can see what the conditions are looking like high up in the different mountain ranges.  So far, it looks like a heavy snow year with these late snow storms these past weeks, but it can all change.....

Here is a pretty good web site for backpacking ideas  https://www.hikingproject.com/directory/8007418/colorado
« Last Edit: March 19, 2019, 02:52:05 PM by elhombre »
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Offline House Made of Dawn

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Re: My Plan A and Plan B hikes for May are toast. Help me with Plan C?
« Reply #19 on: March 19, 2019, 01:59:17 PM »
It can be hard to determine how much snow is still around that may effect a backpacking trip.  A strategy I use to see how much snow is hanging around in the mountains in Colorado is to look at 14ers.com and the trip report page.  People will put their reports up with plenty of photos.   Generally right after a weekend.  You can see what the conditions are high up in the different mountain ranges.  So far, it looks like a heavy snow year with these late snow storms these past weeks, but it can all change.....

Here is a pretty good web site for backpacking ideas  https://www.hikingproject.com/directory/8007418/colorado

GREAT advice, elH!


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Offline Losthiker68

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Re: My Plan A and Plan B hikes for May are toast. Help me with Plan C?
« Reply #20 on: March 21, 2019, 05:54:22 PM »
I'm no expert on Colorado, but I think mid-May is way too early to be hoping for flower-decked alpine meadows that far north and that high up.
Unrelated second point: the guy who did the Gila loop in the 4K Highlights video was out for nine days (!).  It could probably be done faster, as he probably used up a lot of time shooting video, but my point is that a 4-day trip in the Gila is pretty short.  It's a big place.  A week would be more like a decent chunk of time.

In a normal snow year, my original plan to hike the Lost Creek Wilderness and Buffalo Peaks would have worked. I would have had to contend with a little packed snow but manageable.

The storm that hit recently made it a not normal year. Snow will be around until mid-June, likely.

Gila is on my list. i will DEFINITELY be doing a 3-5 day loop there at some point in the next 3-5 years, but not this summer unless the Grand Junction area gets another snowstorm.

The plan I'm working on for western CO keeps me below 10,000' for most of it. I may get some meadows and wildflowers but that will likely be in the lower, more desert areas. Someone I've been chatting with online who lives in Grand Junction said that the storm that snowed on central and eastern CO mostly brought them rain so it should be a great season for wildflowers in the lower elevations. The hike I'm working on has aspen forests (on Grand Mesa), sub-alpine lakes (Grand Mesa and the Ouray area), desert arches (Colorado National Monument), wild horse herds (Little Book Cliffs), and Gothic-looking canyons (Black Canyon of the Gunnison). That's about perfect.

My wife and I have a rule about my January and May hiking breaks, If she wants it for us to take a vacation together, she gets it. She's leaning heavily toward wanting to go to CO next year, although she can't hike. Instead we'll do Great Sand Dunes, the Anasazi ruins in the southwest, and dinosaur stuff in the northwest.

It's looking like I'll get to Gila in May of '21 or '22.
« Last Edit: March 21, 2019, 05:59:23 PM by Losthiker68 »
Take a course in good water and air; and in the eternal youth of Nature you may renew your own. Go quietly, alone; no harm will befall you. - John Muir

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Offline Losthiker68

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Re: My Plan A and Plan B hikes for May are toast. Help me with Plan C?
« Reply #21 on: March 21, 2019, 05:56:29 PM »
It can be hard to determine how much snow is still around that may effect a backpacking trip.  A strategy I use to see how much snow is hanging around in the mountains of Colorado is to look at 14ers.com and the trip report page.  People will put their reports up with plenty of photos.   Generally right after a weekend.  You can see what the conditions are looking like high up in the different mountain ranges.  So far, it looks like a heavy snow year with these late snow storms these past weeks, but it can all change.....

Here is a pretty good web site for backpacking ideas  https://www.hikingproject.com/directory/8007418/colorado

Yeah, that site has been a great source of info. Also https://pmags.com/

I'm also chatting with some CO locals on a few Redditt hiking forums.
Take a course in good water and air; and in the eternal youth of Nature you may renew your own. Go quietly, alone; no harm will befall you. - John Muir

 


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