As of Saturday last, Bear Creek from Ouray all the way up to Engineer's is possible with lots of post-holing above Yellow Jacket.
As of today (15th), Ouray to Governor's Basin aid-station compleatly clear. From Governor's to Virginius Mine doable with no gear half of the way. Above tree-line Khatoola running spikes and yellow tent pegs makes for safe snow-field traversing. From Mine to just below the last snow-field to the Pass is doable. Not doable without serious gear is the climb to the Pass.
The constant pm rains are accelerating rate of melt. Will try to get to Virginius Pass without any gear next week.
Course marking is rapidly getting closer!
From: Charles Thorn <thorncha@...
To: HR100List <firstname.lastname@example.org
Sent: Monday, June 15, 2009 9:38:40 AM
Subject: [hr100] Hardrock Course Conditions 13JUN09
Hardrockers, Don Moden sent this update on the Hardrock course last Saturday.
Okay, Hardrock. Another Hardrocker and I did another long session on the
course Saturday. The plan was to depart the Ouray Hot Spring Pool and run
the course to Silverton. Not!
1) The course is completely clear of snow up to the left turn on Camp Bird
where the road splits to Governor & Yankee Boy.
2) Shortly thereafter the road takes a sharp left. From this point all the
way to the ridge before dropping into Humboldt Mine is snow covered. The
nice benefit is you can sneak along the edge most of the way.
3) From Humboldt Mine to the top of Virginius Pass is one huge snow field.
I wouldn't even attempt that without real crampons and axe. At this point
we turned around.
4) Not part of the course, we decided to get over to Telluride via Imogene
Pass Road. The plowing is currently two miles from the top. We made it to
within about 3/4 mile of the pass when the weather turned; it started to
snow and blow extremely hard.
5) We were forced back down to Ouray.
I know a number of you are coming to the area early to train. You might
consider bringing along some light weight equipment for snow travel if you
want to train the high sections of the course. We continue to have cloudy
days even in the morning with rain & snow.
I will be running the Sherman, Handies, Grouse, Engineer, Ouray section this
coming Sunday after San Juan Solstice. I will send another update, which
will have a comparison of Engineer from two weeks ago. That will be a good
indicator of how fast the snow is melting.
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