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1.1 k triplogs
Mar 14 2021
chumley
avatar

 Guides 80
 Routes 687
 Photos 15,418
 Triplogs 1,578

47 male
 Joined Sep 18 2002
 Tempe, AZ
Clover Creek CanyonPayson, AZ
Payson, AZ
Snowshoeing avatar Mar 14 2021
chumley
Snowshoeing5.89 Miles 956 AEG
Snowshoeing5.89 Miles   3 Hrs   30 Mns   1.73 mph
956 ft AEG      6 Mns Break
 no routes
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
Part two of the storm dumped another foot of snow along much of the rim and I decided to take advantage of the snowfall for yet another floaty trip through some beautiful country. Managed to push through the plowed bank at FR142 and parked there. I paralleled the fence line along the rehabilitated riparian area along 44 Canyon before reaching the summer-accessible kiosk. From here it was a wonderland into the wilderness. Despite cloudless skies on a bluebird day, high winds in the treetops kept me on alert as there was ample snow falling from the trees above.

This storm will be good for moisture content for the next month or so and was desperately needed, but it's still incredibly dry. There was nary a drop of water in the creek until about 3 miles in, save for one small puddle along the way. I turned back when the canyon thickened up and oversnow travel became particularly treacherous.

It was a nice way to spend a few hours in the higher elevations of a wilderness that doesn't get a lot of human use in the snowy season.

On the drive out I got to witness Coconino SAR enjoying the chance to play with some of their toys in a totally not-life-threatening situation. They had two snowmobiles and a snowcat out on the closed rim road to "rescue" an AZT hiker who didn't care for hiking in the snow from his cozy shelter in General Springs Cabin. Maybe my 2012 experience will become more of a trend for folks in the thru-hiker crowd who either have no clue what they're getting into, or don't care to enjoy it while they're there?

After a bomb 50-mile February, I've got almost 80 miles of snowshoeing in this winter, just about doubling my high from two winters ago. :y: But was this the last of it? :-k
_____________________
33s over 45s
2 archives
Mar 12 2021
chumley
avatar

 Guides 80
 Routes 687
 Photos 15,418
 Triplogs 1,578

47 male
 Joined Sep 18 2002
 Tempe, AZ
Mormon Mountain Trail #58Flagstaff, AZ
Flagstaff, AZ
Snowshoeing avatar Mar 12 2021
chumley
Snowshoeing7.64 Miles 2,161 AEG
Snowshoeing7.64 Miles   4 Hrs   28 Mns   1.80 mph
2,161 ft AEG      13 Mns Break
 
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
I wasn't expecting to do any more snowshoeing this year after getting back from Colorado, but alas, Arizona had a little winter left to squeeze out. I had to work in the morning, but managed to zoom on I-17 with good signal. I've definitely seen Stoneman unplowed under several feet of snow before so it was a nice surprise to see it was plowed today and didn't slow me down at all, hitting the trail at about 1:30.

The sun had been out for a bit, but thankfully clouds dominated and snow showers continued. The south-facing aspect of this trail melts out quickly, so I was thrilled with the foot of new light powder and soft, fluffy footing on the way up. From 7500 and up it just got deeper and fluffier. It was clear that there had been plenty of existing snow on the mountain before this latest storm, and there were places I could dig my pole down over 3 feet before hitting soil.

When I reached the summit road, I was a bit disappointed that there was no sign of any utility use. I had sort of been counting on a packed underlayer to ease my effort. A little bit exhausted, I considered just turning around rather than traversing over to the towers, but figured that would be cheating! I took a break by sitting on a snow-free electrical box. It was a rare treat when snowshoeing ... a "heated" seat for lunch! Though probably barely 50 degrees, it was noticeably warmer than the air.

Of course as I tried to take a break, the skies opened up with a brutal snow squall. High winds, whiteout snowfall, and a rumble of thunder had me bailing on my break pretty quickly. By the time I had made it back to the trail junction, there was blue sky visible once again. #timing :sweat:

The descent was quicker (not just for being downhill, but for following my own broken trail) and I was pleased to see that the south aspects had stayed cloudy and cold, holding all the snow, though a short stretch did get a bit crunchy after having softened a bit earlier in the afternoon warmth. I opted against the extra-curriculars around the campground and went directly back to the trailhead. The temp was now around 20 and daytime melting made the road very icy. Having considered a return through Payson, I opted instead for the dirt road back down to lower elevations and I-17 for the easy drive back to the desert. The road had not been plowed again, so it was a bit more adventurous on the trip down :).

Gotta love these quick winter getaways when you live in the land of golf courses and palm trees!
_____________________
33s over 45s
Mar 06 2021
chumley
avatar

 Guides 80
 Routes 687
 Photos 15,418
 Triplogs 1,578

47 male
 Joined Sep 18 2002
 Tempe, AZ
Reavis Gap Trail #117Globe, AZ
Globe, AZ
Backpack avatar Mar 06 2021
chumley
Backpack18.10 Miles 4,445 AEG
Backpack18.10 Miles2 Days         
4,445 ft AEG
 
1st trip
Partners partners
BiFrost
friendofThundergod
John9L
slowandsteady
I've been busy lately but it's been a while since I've carried everything on my back for a night so when 9L mentioned this one it sounded perfect. I haven't been out this way since the fire(s) and was saddened to see that Campaign Creek is absolute toast. The Gap is the same steep, rocky climb as always but largely unburned and I was happy to see that. We took a side trip down 2— to check out the spring and scope future camp sites in the area.

As we crested the ridge and got a view down in to Pine Creek we were happy to see little burn damage at the bottom of the canyon, though the hillside to get there had been torched. The campsites were intact, and we were also happy to find a pool of water suitable for filtering at the crossing. Along the hike in, we had begun to wonder if we would have to hike a bit up or downstream to find any water, so this was a relieving moment.

Once camp was set up, Karl and I opted for an exploratory afternoon loop following an old road/route that parallels the creek up high on the west side. We were partially successful. A few sections of miserable overgrown brush connected other sections of well-cairned and easy to follow route. Ultimately we reached the Fireline trail (link it!!) which we took for a short stretch before heading back toward camp in the bottom of the Pine Creek drainage.

The first mile along Pine Creek is as nice as any in the Superstitions. There's no water here but the valley features a beautiful ponderosa forest, unaffected by fires. It's a rare remaining island oasis of what once was. :cry:

Back at camp enjoyed a pleasant night by the fire. Over the two days we chatted with 4 thru-hikers -- none of which had any idea where they were or what they had seen, nor did they care -- time and miles are all that matters :roll: . Amongst them, somebody who didn't feel the need to bury their shit. Yay. I hope they're proud of their pin or button or whatever they get for finishing.

Sunday morning, Karl and I made an attempt at finding a better place to access the route we found Saturday afternoon, but came up empty. So we headed back down the hill, catching up with the others about halfway. We added another for the end of the hike as a friend of Lee's had hiked up in the morning to meet us. It was a fun and quick overnight in the Supes. Glad to see there are a couple of spots that didn't burn down.
Culture
Culture
Campsite
Named place
Named place
Walnut Spring
_____________________
33s over 45s
1 archive
Feb 27 2021
chumley
avatar

 Guides 80
 Routes 687
 Photos 15,418
 Triplogs 1,578

47 male
 Joined Sep 18 2002
 Tempe, AZ
Ironwood Forest Trail - Saguaro NP WestTucson, AZ
Tucson, AZ
Hiking avatar Feb 27 2021
chumley
Hiking6.26 Miles 633 AEG
Hiking6.26 Miles   1 Hour   56 Mns   3.24 mph
633 ft AEG
 no routes
1st trip
Amazingly enough, I'd never been in SNPW, and we wanted to get a couple of hours hiking in on the way to Tucson. Being midafternoon on a weekend, we skipped the cherry-dipp'd line up the chains at Picacho, and I wasn't really keen on hiking straight uphill into a Catalina burn area, so I threw a bunch of SNP routes in the app and headed out. We spent a little too much time at the pool in the morning to have time for Wasson ... save that for another day ... but managed to put together a nice little loop from the north.

There was a little bit too much sandy wash hiking for me as we headed into the park, but the return half was much more pleasant. It's a bit dreary out there for spring. The lack of fall and winter rains is returning a whole lot of meh. Still a nice couple of hours outside.
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33s over 45s
Feb 25 2021
chumley
avatar

 Guides 80
 Routes 687
 Photos 15,418
 Triplogs 1,578

47 male
 Joined Sep 18 2002
 Tempe, AZ
Piestewa Peak Summit Trail #300Phoenix, AZ
Phoenix, AZ
Hiking avatar Feb 25 2021
chumley
Hiking2.48 Miles 1,109 AEG
Hiking2.48 Miles   1 Hour   15 Mns   2.22 mph
1,109 ft AEG      8 Mns Break
 no routes
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
Back in the vos to entertain friends from out of town. As tourists they wanted to do tourist things and who am I to keep them from touristing? The weather was cool and pleasant. We spared no shame in making fun of the folks waiting for the closest parking spots to open up. Who would want to climb a mountain AND ALSO walk an extra hundred yards from one of the dozens of open parking spots in the next lot up? That's just silly! :lol:
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33s over 45s
Feb 22 2021
chumley
avatar

 Guides 80
 Routes 687
 Photos 15,418
 Triplogs 1,578

47 male
 Joined Sep 18 2002
 Tempe, AZ
Rabbit Ears, CO 
Rabbit Ears, CO
 
Snowshoeing avatar Feb 22 2021
chumley
Snowshoeing5.30 Miles 788 AEG
Snowshoeing5.30 Miles   2 Hrs   54 Mns   1.94 mph
788 ft AEG      10 Mns Break
 no routes
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
After enjoying several of the nearby nonmotorized trails, I decided to see how things looked on the unrestricted east side of the pass.

I started from Muddy Creek, one of four trailheads that provide access to snow machines. Motorized users must yield to skiers and snowshoers, but I wasn't sure I'd be happy listening to the drone of engines and breathing exhaust of these guys who can easily reach speeds over 50mph.

I may have gotten lucky, but starting in the late afternoon resulted in me not encountering any vehicles for over two hours until a group of 5 passed me while making my way back to the truck.

I headed up the groomed Trail 1J which leads a mile north to the old/original highway crossing of Rabitt Ears Pass and the current location of the CDT just east of Dumont Lake. From there I attempted to climb toward nearby peak 10,366 via the cut of forest road 311. Once I reached an elevation high enough to break free from the trees, the views opened up nicely to the east, and Rabbit Ears Peak looked amazing. I'd never been this close to it before, and I seriously contemplated an unplanned summit attempt.

It was less than a mile from me but I hadn't planned time for that long of an adventure today so I decided to enjoy the view and no more. (Also I had done no research lol -- the higher ear is technical, the slightly lower one can apparently be done with a class-4 scramble. I probably couldn't have pulled that off in the snow anyway. Perhaps I'll have to make a summer visit to this gem!)

The sun began to lower in the sky and the wind kicked up. I went from comfortably warm in a thin baselayer to freezing cold in hat, gloves, poofy ... the works. I decided to pick up the pace and regain some warmth. As I descended, trees sheltered the wind and the remainder of the afternoon was comfortable.

I spent some time on the CDT, as well as a little effort trying to literally trace the actual divide for a stretch. It's always cool to think about how water that drains on your left side will make it's way to the Pacific, while a few inches away the water will eventually find its way to the Atlantic.

Did you know the CDT isn't on HAZ!? Me neither!

I'm not sure I'd want to mingle with the snow machines too often, but they do a good job packing down the snow. A layer of fresh snowfall on top of their tracks is a pleasure to float on.
Culture
Culture
Benchmark Memorial
Named place
Named place
Rabbit Ears Pass Rabbit Ears Peak
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33s over 45s
Feb 21 2021
chumley
avatar

 Guides 80
 Routes 687
 Photos 15,418
 Triplogs 1,578

47 male
 Joined Sep 18 2002
 Tempe, AZ
Yampa River Core TrailNorthwest, CO
Northwest, CO
Hiking avatar Feb 21 2021
chumley
Hiking4.85 Miles 297 AEG
Hiking4.85 Miles   1 Hour   36 Mns   3.03 mph
297 ft AEG
 no routes
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
There was a social event I was looking to avoid, but I didn't have the effort for anything too big so I decided to check out the core trail before dinner. The trail is plowed, but was still hardpacked and a few folks I saw had traction but I survived bare booted with a little extra care in some spots. The river flows free near downtown, but was mostly frozen along the rest of the route. Most parks adjacent to the trail were gated closed for the winter, or just unused. There's a riverside trailer park whose continuing existence defies the laws of 21st century gentrification. I would pay a pretty penny just for the land only to burn down the trailer and start over!

I ended by checking out some of the hot springs at the west end of town. I had no idea that it got the name Steamboat Springs from the only known geyser in Colorado. Unfortunately the railroad was built within 100 feet of the spring and the construction damaged the natural order of things and the spring never geyser'd again. So the railroad sunk the steamboat! Numerous springs (hot and less hot) still abound in the region.

Dinner at the brewery was annoying due to illogical covid regulations but package laws have been suspended so I enjoyed a tasty barrel-aged stout on the walk back home.
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33s over 45s
Feb 20 2021
chumley
avatar

 Guides 80
 Routes 687
 Photos 15,418
 Triplogs 1,578

47 male
 Joined Sep 18 2002
 Tempe, AZ
Fish Creek FallsNorthwest, CO
Northwest, CO
Snowshoeing avatar Feb 20 2021
chumley
Snowshoeing4.91 Miles 1,586 AEG
Snowshoeing4.91 Miles   3 Hrs   11 Mns   1.65 mph
1,586 ft AEG      12 Mns Break
 
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
On another marvelous snowy afternoon I decided to take a crack at Fish Creek Falls. This is by far the most popular trail in the area and I was happy to find only a couple of cars in the parking lot. One of them belonged to some climbers who were taking on the falls. That's the first time I've gotten to watch that in person. Looks easier than rock climbing, but who knows.

I started in bare boots, but added microspikes after crossing the bridge for going up the switchbacks, and switched to snowshoes maybe a mile in as the snow got deeper and the footing irritatingly soft.

After crossing the second bridge the trail traverses a tough stretch around a cliff. This area had not seen as much traffic (I could barely tell anybody had been before me), and it took very careful steps, each dug in and assured of stability before moving the other foot. I made it around this obstacle, but the heavy and drifted snow resulted in me missing the turn that goes up the final climb to the upper falls and instead went into drainage below the falls and turned around. It turned out to be ok because the trail climbs a steep slope that was windloaded with fresh snow and it didn't look like a good idea for me to be on it anyway!

I descended to the 2nd bridge via some ski trails that folks who leave the ski area from a backcountry gate high above had broken just an hour or so earlier. The rest of the way back down was another winter wonderland. With another couple inches of fresh snowfall on the trail since I began, I kept snowshoes on the whole way back to the parking lot.
_____________________
33s over 45s
1 archive
Feb 19 2021
chumley
avatar

 Guides 80
 Routes 687
 Photos 15,418
 Triplogs 1,578

47 male
 Joined Sep 18 2002
 Tempe, AZ
Emerald Mountain Trail NetworkNorthwest, CO
Northwest, CO
Hiking avatar Feb 19 2021
chumley
Hiking5.72 Miles 1,579 AEG
Hiking5.72 Miles   2 Hrs   49 Mns   2.09 mph
1,579 ft AEG      5 Mns Break
 no routes
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
Another day out the door and up Emerald. As with previous trips, started with Blackmere but cut over to try out Lupine. I'm not sure when these irrelevant switchbacks would ever make sense. Not on snow, and not on a bike at anytime of year or in any direction. Some nice views though. Made the last push to the quarry on Little Moab. Apparently it's got a lot of bare rock under the snow. Either way, it's steep, but short. I decided to bag the peak and make the final push via Lane of Pain, an aptly named trail as the slope seems to double from Blackmere and really grinds. My planned return was via Morning Gloria but it had not been groomed and not a single user had broken the trail. Given my daylight limitations I opted for a descent on Quarry Mtn and some offtrail track that had been broken before me and led directly down to Hudson before taking the Prayer Flag road over to Larrys where the broken trail seemed to deviate from the map and I got some time on Tbar too. Finished up in the dark with the lights of the Yampa Valley sparkling in the reflective snow of the surrounding mountains.
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33s over 45s
Feb 18 2021
chumley
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 Guides 80
 Routes 687
 Photos 15,418
 Triplogs 1,578

47 male
 Joined Sep 18 2002
 Tempe, AZ
Walton Creek Loop 3ANorthwest, CO
Northwest, CO
Snowshoeing avatar Feb 18 2021
chumley
Snowshoeing6.13 Miles 1,221 AEG
Snowshoeing6.13 Miles   4 Hrs   13 Mns   1.50 mph
1,221 ft AEG      7 Mns Break
 no routes
1st trip
Linked linked
Partners none no partners
I started out doing the 3A loop clockwise but missed the intersection where the loop departs from the 3C peak trail because it wasn't broken. This turned out perfect because I really wanted to bag the peak anyway.

This seems like a fairly popular winter route because on skins you can reap the rewards of your ascent with a beautiful backcountry descent off the peak when you're finished working!

Up follows a maintenance road with a very moderate grade. Down drops steeply off the peak and down a drainage back to where it meets up with the 3A loop. I took care to stay close to the treeline as I'm not great at assessing avalanche danger and the new snowfall overnight had me paying attention for clues of instability and there was definitely a wind loaded component at play today.

I saw a couple of people and two dogs heading ccw on the loop after I got down off the peak and decided to follow them. They were breaking trail and it was deep. I caught up with them quickly and took a break to let them break some more trail :lol: . Again, I was on their heels in no time and they "offered" to let me go ahead of them. Thanks! ](*,) So I broke trail through super deep pow for a half a mile or so (mostly downhill :y: ) until getting back to the 3A loop intersection I had missed on the way up.

A good day and a fun peak in deep snow :y:
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33s over 45s
2 archives
Feb 16 2021
chumley
avatar

 Guides 80
 Routes 687
 Photos 15,418
 Triplogs 1,578

47 male
 Joined Sep 18 2002
 Tempe, AZ
South Summit Loop 1CNorthwest, CO
Northwest, CO
Snowshoeing avatar Feb 16 2021
chumley
Snowshoeing3.19 Miles 465 AEG
Snowshoeing3.19 Miles   2 Hrs   8 Mns   1.57 mph
465 ft AEG      6 Mns Break
 
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
I've been watching a lot of Sesame Street and working on my ABCs! Tuesday is for C :lol:

This one starts across the road from the A and B loops so I got to enjoy another day covering all new terrain. I went clockwise, starting along the edge of an open meadow, and finishing with a climb in a drainage and finally topping out at the high point of the loop.

Did I mention it was absolutely dumping snow? Again! :y: A pair of skiers who had finished the loop just as I was starting gave me a good base for a track to follow, but by the time I finished, I could barely tell that they had been on the snow today, and even my tracks from the start of the loop had been largely obscured.

There's a popular route for skiers heading down to one of the switchbacks on the road through the woods here, so if you do this loop counterclockwise, it's important to note where the loop turns left away from where the majority of users head downhill. That'd be a bad turn to take if you weren't planning on it! And after a fresh snowfall, the tracks off the mountain far exceed those for the loop trail. Just something to keep an eye open for!

Finished up before dark, but yet another day that nobody else was enjoying the storm. I think the CDOT plow crews recognize my truck by now and the Routt Sheriff pretty much gave up on warning me of road conditions. :sweat: :)
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33s over 45s
Feb 15 2021
chumley
avatar

 Guides 80
 Routes 687
 Photos 15,418
 Triplogs 1,578

47 male
 Joined Sep 18 2002
 Tempe, AZ
Walton Creek Overview 1BNorthwest, CO
Northwest, CO
Snowshoeing avatar Feb 15 2021
chumley
Snowshoeing5.82 Miles 762 AEG
Snowshoeing5.82 Miles   3 Hrs   33 Mns   1.67 mph
762 ft AEG      4 Mns Break
 
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
After a fantastic loop on 1A yesterday, I decided to try 1B today. This one is apparently not quite as popular, and a couple of miles longer because it requires a mile on 1A to reach.

I saw yesterday that the north end of the loop had only seen one skier while the south end had seen a few different tracks, so I opted to try it counterclockwise taking advantage of the better broken trail, and hope that completing the whole loop was possible.

I made it to the farthest point on the loop before the trail petered to a single skier but I pressed on. Unfortunately I had made the wrong choice with my less-floaty trail snowshoes when the bigger ones would have made the rest of the loop a little easier. After a mile or so, the single ski track took off in a direction that left the trail and and I contemplated following the tracks for less work, but opted to stick to following the blue diamonds -- not knowing where the ski tracks might lead!

I had about a 350 foot climb along the virtually indistinguishable FR296 to get to a point where I knew I could at least make a short connection to the earlier part of the loop and get relief from breaking trail. Sinking each step knee-deep into soft snow, a "big" elevation gain, and another day of driving snowfall, made for a fun, but hard-work adventure. At the top of the hill, a single set of ski tracks appeared and I opted to finish the loop on the proper route rather than taking the bail route back to the start.

As I finished up, I cruised along the well-broken segment of 1A as darkness fell and I finished up under the light of my headlamp. :y:
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33s over 45s
Feb 14 2021
chumley
avatar

 Guides 80
 Routes 687
 Photos 15,418
 Triplogs 1,578

47 male
 Joined Sep 18 2002
 Tempe, AZ
West Summit Loop 1ANorthwest, CO
Northwest, CO
Snowshoeing avatar Feb 14 2021
chumley
Snowshoeing4.00 Miles 716 AEG
Snowshoeing4.00 Miles   2 Hrs   3 Mns   2.00 mph
716 ft AEG      3 Mns Break
 
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
The polar vortex finally inched just far enough west to reach the mountains for a chilly day. The pictures don't tell the story ... a fantastic bluebird day. But the temperature topped out at a balmy 2 degrees and for the first time all week, I used a neck gaiter and kept my hat on the entire time.

These afternoon loops are great, after the morning rush has all finished and headed home. Of course, it's doubtful there were many folks out enjoying today's chill to begin with.

I opted for a clockwise loop which features a long steady climb with a steep descent at the end. I figured if I had done the loop ccw, I would have worked up a sweat on the steep climb at the beginning and then had to deal with being wet for the rest of the loop on brisk day.

The trail was nicely broken, and last night's snow left everything soft and fluffy on my feet and the temperature kept all the scenery frosty through the day.
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33s over 45s
Feb 13 2021
chumley
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 Guides 80
 Routes 687
 Photos 15,418
 Triplogs 1,578

47 male
 Joined Sep 18 2002
 Tempe, AZ
Emerald Mountain Trail NetworkNorthwest, CO
Northwest, CO
Hiking avatar Feb 13 2021
chumley
Hiking4.20 Miles 967 AEG
Hiking4.20 Miles   1 Hour   24 Mns   3.00 mph
967 ft AEG
 no routes
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
Attempted to keep up with Steven and Elsie on a straight shot up Blackmere. The grooming was nice and flotation wasn't necessary. It got a little soft toward the top and traction would have helped. As such we turned around at the quarry and headed back down for lunch.
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33s over 45s
Feb 13 2021
chumley
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 Guides 80
 Routes 687
 Photos 15,418
 Triplogs 1,578

47 male
 Joined Sep 18 2002
 Tempe, AZ
Fox Curve 2BNorthwest, CO
Northwest, CO
Snowshoeing avatar Feb 13 2021
chumley
Snowshoeing3.72 Miles 552 AEG
Snowshoeing3.72 Miles   1 Hour   46 Mns   2.21 mph
552 ft AEG      5 Mns Break
 
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
After having to bail on an unfinished loop because of an unbroken trail and deep snow on Sunday, I had hoped to try again on Tuesday or Wednesday after others had had a chance to break the remaining section of trail. Alas, it took until today to get back, and another foot of snow had fallen in the meantime! But the good news was the loop had been fully broken, and I was able to knock out the 3 miles I hadn't gotten to on Sunday.

It was a quick trip through a delightful winter wonderland and a nice followup to climbing Emerald a few hours earlier to round out another great day on the snow.
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33s over 45s
Feb 11 2021
chumley
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 Guides 80
 Routes 687
 Photos 15,418
 Triplogs 1,578

47 male
 Joined Sep 18 2002
 Tempe, AZ
Fiddlehead - Soda - Ditch, CO 
Fiddlehead - Soda - Ditch, CO
 
Snowshoeing avatar Feb 11 2021
chumley
Snowshoeing4.03 Miles 490 AEG
Snowshoeing4.03 Miles   2 Hrs   10 Mns   1.98 mph
490 ft AEG      8 Mns Break
 no routes
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
Not a lot of info online about these named FS trails-- I'll get them posted on HAZ in due time.

For my afternoon adventure today, I headed up to the Dry Lake Trailhead. In the summer, there's an open dirt road that crosses Buffalo Pass a few miles east, the only other driveable crossing of the divide in the Park Range besides US 40 over Rabbit Ears. In winter, the road is closed at Dry Lake and the summer driving route is groomed for snowcat skiing and other motorized snowplay. There are, however, non-motorized areas and that's where I headed, enjoying a nice loop combining the Fiddlehead, Soda Creek, and Ditch trails.

While signed, these trails are not as well-marked as those on Rabbit Ears so where the track was not established it was a bit tricky to find. But that's part of the adventure! It turned out to be a really nice loop and one I would definitely do again. The forest here was much healthier with a lot more large aspen groves than farther south near Rabbit Ears. Daily snowfall had kept things fresh, fluffy, and deep, and while only light snow fell during my loop, the higher elevations above were getting pummeled. :y:

I wasn't sure what to expect from this one, but would come back for sure. There are other options that really start to grind the 2100 feet of elevation gain from the trailhead to the divide at Buffalo Pass if that's what you're in the mood for!
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33s over 45s
1 archive
Feb 09 2021
chumley
avatar

 Guides 80
 Routes 687
 Photos 15,418
 Triplogs 1,578

47 male
 Joined Sep 18 2002
 Tempe, AZ
Bruce's Trail 1DNorthwest, CO
Northwest, CO
Snowshoeing avatar Feb 09 2021
chumley
Snowshoeing4.19 Miles 558 AEG
Snowshoeing4.19 Miles   2 Hrs   10 Mns   1.98 mph
558 ft AEG      3 Mns Break
 
1st trip
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
I decided on a new loop up on the pass. Haven't seen an eagle in a while so opted for Bruce's Loop. It's really two or three loops that parallel each other. I started on the advertised "more difficult" lower loop. I missed the turn and ended up down in a beautiful valley with a creek. I didn’t realize I was off track til later but there was a broken route that headed back up toward where I wanted to be. It started to snow pretty hard and I decided I should swap to warmer gloves. At this point I realized I left my backpack and all my gear at the trailhead ](*,) . I considered going back because snowshoeing in the mountains in winter during a storm is not really smart with no gear. But the whole loop is within a mile of the road, so I opted to finish the loop. I stopped back at my truck, grabbed my pack, switched to my bigger floaty snowshoes for breaking trail and headed to do the "easier" upper loop (which I had seen was not previously broken). The snowfall got heavier. It was lovely. Daylight waned and I finished up with a headlamp. Never saw any eagles.
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33s over 45s
1 archive
Feb 08 2021
chumley
avatar

 Guides 80
 Routes 687
 Photos 15,418
 Triplogs 1,578

47 male
 Joined Sep 18 2002
 Tempe, AZ
Emerald Mountain Trail NetworkNorthwest, CO
Northwest, CO
Snowshoeing avatar Feb 08 2021
chumley
Snowshoeing4.67 Miles 1,084 AEG
Snowshoeing4.67 Miles   2 Hrs   22 Mns   2.03 mph
1,084 ft AEG      4 Mns Break
 no routes
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
After big effort in deep snow yesterday, I opted for the quick and "easy" alternative out the front door for my after work breath of fresh air. After making quick work of the ascent on Blackmere, I cut across on Blair Witch -- an enjoyable singletrack traversing through pine and aspen. I continued the singletrack by heading down via MGM which was masterfully groomed by a singletrack trail machine that I wish the ASNF had! Finished off with Orton back to Blackmere.
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33s over 45s
1 archive
Feb 07 2021
chumley
avatar

 Guides 80
 Routes 687
 Photos 15,418
 Triplogs 1,578

47 male
 Joined Sep 18 2002
 Tempe, AZ
Fox Curve 2BNorthwest, CO
Northwest, CO
Snowshoeing avatar Feb 07 2021
chumley
Snowshoeing3.00 Miles 496 AEG
Snowshoeing3.00 Miles   3 Hrs   25 Mns   1.02 mph
496 ft AEG      29 Mns Break
 
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
After a solid storm that dumped between 18-24" of fresh champagne pow I headed up the the pass to play in the snow. Fox Curve seemed like a good option, a simple 4 mile loop with minimal elevation gain.

A couple of skiers had broken the trail ahead of me, but I learned a little over a mile in that they were in search of some backcountry steeps and not following the loop. I retraced my steps to where the loop turned away from their tracks and set out to break some trail. I knew I couldn't possibly do this for 3 miles, but I figured I'd do my part and made it almost 3/4 of a mile in just under 2 hours. DEEEEEEEEEEEEEP! :y:

A couple of others had followed my track but turned around and headed back when they reached me ... the end of the broken trail!

Finally, a group of 6 passed me at about the point I had decided to turn back anyway. They made it about 300 yards before also turning back and we all hiked back out to the trailhead within view of each other.

Despite not completing the loop, it was an absolutely magical day in the mountains. :)
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33s over 45s
4 archives
Feb 05 2021
chumley
avatar

 Guides 80
 Routes 687
 Photos 15,418
 Triplogs 1,578

47 male
 Joined Sep 18 2002
 Tempe, AZ
Emerald Mountain Trail NetworkNorthwest, CO
Northwest, CO
Snowshoeing avatar Feb 05 2021
chumley
Snowshoeing3.03 Miles 781 AEG
Snowshoeing3.03 Miles   1 Hour   35 Mns   2.00 mph
781 ft AEG      4 Mns Break
 no routes
Linked none no linked trail guides
Partners none no partners
Needed to get my trail legs on and settled on the groomed Blackmere Trail which climbs steadily toward the quarry. I opted for a stretch on the singletrack Orton Trail, but it ended up getting too deep to make an enjoyable ascent, so I cut back to Blackmere. I got caught enjoying the weather and surroundings and realized it started to get dark before I even reached the summit. So I turned around and headed back down as night fell. Winter Carnival is on hold due to Covid, but they still had fireworks which I enjoyed from the banks of the Yampa.
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33s over 45s
3 archives
average hiking speed 1.91 mph
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WARNING! Hiking and outdoor related sports can be dangerous. Be responsible and prepare for the trip. Study the area you are entering and plan accordingly. Dress for the current and unexpected weather changes. Take plenty of water. Never go alone. Make an itinerary with your plan(s), route(s), destination(s) and expected return time. Give your itinerary to trusted family and/or friends.

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