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XC ski or snowshoe this weekend - where?

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XC ski or snowshoe this weekend - where?

Postby Alpine » Wed Jan 02, 2013 8:31 am

I am thinking of doing a bit of XC or snowshoeing this weekend, probably somewhere along the Peak to Peak highway.

Anyone been out in these areas this last weekend or yesterday?

I saw Brian C's post about Brainard, and that is helpful, although it sounds limited to the road.

Particularly looking info on these areas:
Sourdough trail
S St Vrain trail
Coney Flats
Middle St Vrain/Bunce
Allenspark/Rock Creek
Wild Basin


Thanks.
"You know I've always loved you...and you know I always will." Third Day

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Re: XC ski or snowshoe this weekend - where?

Postby madbuck » Wed Jan 02, 2013 12:08 pm

Rock Creek was great almost 2 weeks ago (Friday), I would think the trees would still hold good snow.
I made a lame short video that shows the snow conditions of the road at the end. It's more of a fun, sustained descent than I thought it would be.

Otherwise, have you looked at Snotel for snow depths?
We were also at Cameron Pass a few days ago and it was great, I know it wasn't on your list but by way of comparison it suggests to me that anything in the trees over 20" is worth the drive for mellow touring.
Have fun!

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Re: XC ski or snowshoe this weekend - where?

Postby Alpine » Wed Jan 02, 2013 1:53 pm

Lame? I thought it was great.

St Vrain has been on my short list for a while now - probably will try to get it this winter.

Thanks for posting.
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Re: XC ski or snowshoe this weekend - where?

Postby DaveSwink » Thu Jan 03, 2013 9:51 am

I liked the video too. =D>

Alpine, I sent you a PM about the weekend.

Dave

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Re: XC ski or snowshoe this weekend - where?

Postby HuskyRunner » Thu Jan 03, 2013 1:53 pm

There's a nice ~12 mile loop in that area that we skijor with the dogs a couple times a year, haven't been there this season, stress fracture keeping me from having fun outside.

Start at Beaver Reservoir and head west on the Beaver Creek trail toward Coney Flats.
At Coney Flats find the jeep road that heads north down into the Middle St Vrain valley.
Nice long gentle downhill toward Camp Dick. Before you reach Camp Dick take the Sourdough trail that winds back up hill. Keep an eye out for the trails heading back toward Beaver Res. After a good snow some of the trails are a little difficult to follow, betting that most of the trails are pretty well packed out currently.
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Re: XC ski or snowshoe this weekend - where?

Postby lpyle » Fri Jan 04, 2013 11:20 am

I'm also thinking of skiing this weekend, so would appreciate any condition updates. I posted a similar request to a Boulder trailrunning group. I got one response saying that snow is thin in the Brainard Lake area and another that said that over 10,000', the snow is pretty good.
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Re: XC ski or snowshoe this weekend - where?

Postby madbuck » Fri Jan 04, 2013 3:49 pm

Another spot that had good coverage last weekend is Eldora: keep in mind that the Jenny Creek Trail is NF land and open for free public use.
I took it to Guinn Mountain (steeper for skinny skis but doable, a bit of hardpacked off-camber traverse and short steep section at the end) which was great all the way to the (open) Arestua Hut. The (flat tundra) Guinn Mtn. summit was completely windswept, but made a nice loop with a short descent in variable snow in the trees down to Jenny Creek just below Yankee Doodle Lake, then returning down Jenny Crk, ~9mi RT.

Anyway, everything around there in the trees had good coverage, comparatively. Either Guinn (4mi each way, somewhat steeper) or Jenny Creek (5-mi each way, consistently moderate grade) are good out-and-backs with great views of the Divide, if it's not blowing snow. Making a connecting loop with a short bit of route-finding and hiking is fun. And I would agree with the other observations that open spots like Brainard Lake Road, Rainbow Lakes Road, probably the beginning of the road at Wild Basin, etc. themselves might be windswept as usual in early winter, while the trails in the trees are likely holding snow just fine to make it worth the drive. Have fun!

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Re: XC ski or snowshoe this weekend - where?

Postby Alpine » Sat Jan 05, 2013 7:20 pm

Conditions update:

We ended up going to Wild Basin - Finch and Pear Lakes. We started at the Allenspark trailhead. The first 4 Miles to Finch was well packed by previous snowshoers (looked like a few skiiers too). Snowhoes not required here since it had been packed pretty well.

Nobody had been up to Pear so we broke trail for that 2.2 miles or so, averaging about 1- 1.5 feet of snow. Glad we had our shoes for that!

Anyway, there is a trench up to Pear if anyone wants it. 12 miles RT and 8 hours including rests, from the Allenspark trailhead.

By the way, there are a few really great views of Wild Basin from this trail, especially in the old burn area before you get to Finch. Worth the hike just for that.

All the Wild Basin peaks looked absolutely spectacular today. Sorry, no pics - forgot my camera. They all looked in great shape for early winter ascents though.
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