Conor wrote:What do you guys mean by winter trailhead? Does that mean if you drove to huron's summer trailhead last december 23rd, you view that as not a "true snowflake?"
It changes year to year, but generally it tends to be more accessible earlier in the season. During some winters (like last "winter"), summer THs remained accessible. But we also got lucky and were able to drive to Winfield in January '13, it's more of a function of how many trucks were on that road and the snowfall pattern. I also made to Missouri gulch TH in a Subi first week of March'16 or '17 (Winfield was off limits by then
). Maroon Creek road & Castle Creek road are gated, and snowmobiling is not allowed for approaches.
I was able to drive to the Missouri Gulch TH one year, and counted my Belford ascent.
Was able to drive to Winfield, and counted my Huron ascent.
I believe the "spirit" of the snowflake is to drive to the TH in a 'normal' car/truck, drive as far as you can.
I also believe the "spirit" of the snowflake is based on "normal" winter weather. Yes, there are some years with less snow, some with more.
And anyone who is out in CO weather knows that some of the heaviest snowfall can be in the spring, which proves a great point about "conditions" over "calendar."
And I guess some international folks categorize winter as something other than "calendar" winter, it ends sooner.
But the standard for this site and most 14er folks is calendar winter, whatever the conditions are.
The 3,000 foot isn't normally a factor, if you have to walk the roads from the winter TH. Driving up Pikes partway for a Winter summit, goes against the "spirit" of the snowflake.