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Mark Montag
(mMontag) - F
Which TH on 06/17/2012 13:45:49 MDT Print View

Hey Stuart,

The choice of TH's to me is about the same - I like getting into the alpine and away from other "trail hikers" as quickly as possible. The "Middle St. Vrain" TH (from CD) is a little longer, more popular and much more scenic - the Beaver Creek TH is shorter but gets you into the alpine faster - the first 4 miles is a 4WD trail which truly $uck$ for hikers - it's best to get a sunrise start to avoid the motor vehicles. I mostly hike off-trail - I'll use a main trail to get me into a general area then go my own way, scrambling, screefields, snowfields & tiptoeing through the tundra.

If you come in from MSV - it's about six miles to Red Deer Lake - nice camping spots on the northern side, up on the crown overlooking the lake. The melting snowfield at that end can be quite loud this time of year - take earplugs.

Stephen,

No sooner do I mention the limited rain in the Rockies this time of year - the "current" forecasts are now showing rain in the coming week or so. Front range Colorado can go into it's summer monsoonal pattern - dry mornings with afternoon showers, then drys back up - as it gets said, if you don't like the weather in Colorado - just wait 5 minutes. The rains is not a problem but the lightning can **** you - or just scare the heck out of you! Be safe.

Stephen M
(stephenm) - MLife

Locale: The Great Lakes Bay Region
Re: Which TH on 06/17/2012 15:45:21 MDT Print View

Hi Mark,

I am definitely going to pack decent rain gear.

Stuart had warned me about the longing so we plan to be off the high passes by lunch time.

Cheers,

Stephen

Aaron Croft
(aaronufl) - M

Locale: Alaska
Indian Peaks on 06/17/2012 16:23:52 MDT Print View

I think all of the info by everyone else is quite accurate. I generally use a 20 degree bag for 3 season use in Colorado, and it works pretty well along with my UL7 pad. Wind can always be a concern at these high elevations, but properly secured, the Stratospire should be fine. Colorado weather can be fickle, so making sure you're off of exposed areas by the early afternoon is a good rule of thumb in the summer to avoid lightning and storms.

Long days of slogging through melting snow aren't that great, but I find that my trailrunners and lightweight synthetic socks are generally able to dry fairly quickly, although I am not especially prone to blisters. Your mileage may vary of course.

I'd also echo other's sentiments regarding the elevation. I think the effects of high altitude vary from person to person, but just be aware of it and make sure to stay well hydrated and to pace yourself.

Other than that, it is a beautiful place and I hope you have a great trip!

Stephen M
(stephenm) - MLife

Locale: The Great Lakes Bay Region
Re: Indian Peaks on 06/17/2012 16:58:43 MDT Print View

Hi Aaron,

Cheers for the advice, I am really looking forward to the trip, especially after looking at Dondo's photos.

If the forecast looks bad I Might pack my TT scarp instead.

Stuart .
(lotuseater) - M

Locale: 40°N,-105°W (Near enough)
Route & conditions on 06/18/2012 10:07:21 MDT Print View

Bizarre that my earlier comments reposted when I refreshed the page. Removed and here's what I really wanted to say:

Thanks Mark, Dondo and Aaron for your feedback. I'm looking at TH options and Pass conditions before Stephen comes out, and will speak with the rangers for optimal route planning. Your comments and knowledge of early season conditions has helped enormously. I've done variations of the trip in mid- to late-summer before, but may have been over-optimistic for late June with ~100F temps and reports of 2% snowpack.

Edited by lotuseater on 06/18/2012 11:38:16 MDT.

Eric Blumensaadt
(Danepacker) - MLife

Locale: Mojave Desert
WM Megalite overfill on 06/18/2012 11:51:41 MDT Print View

Stephen,

At the time of my Arapaho Pass trip 3 years ago my Megalite did not have overfill. I had it overfilled 1 oz. (850 cu. in.) last fall so I will likely get at least a 5 F. lower temp range. BUT... with the overfill it's now not possible to shake down from the bottom to the top and vice-versa. The bag now looks more like the Michelien Man.

As I said earlier, I wore a Thermolite insulated jacket and pants that night. Because it was a Megalite bag (wider torso) there was room for that insulated suit. I think with the overfill it is actually good for a 10 F. lower temperature rang. i.e. 20 F. but I haven't had the temps to test that assumption.

Stephen M
(stephenm) - MLife

Locale: The Great Lakes Bay Region
Re: WM Megalite overfill on 06/18/2012 17:28:54 MDT Print View

Hi Eric,

I am surprised that one ounce of down adds that much warmth.

Nice one :-)

Serge G.
(sgiachetti) - M

Locale: Boulder, CO
conditions on 06/20/2012 01:10:46 MDT Print View

sorry I missed your follow up question. Looks like you've got plenty of info to go with, but I thought I'd chime in since I've been spending a lot of time in IPW lately. I hiked to buchanan last week and there wasn't much snow. There are a few patches near the pass that can be easily avoided by veering slightly north and skipping a few switchbacks (it will be obvious.) I cowboy camped at crater lake last night with a 40 degree quilt and neo air xtherm, and woke up quite hot in the middle of the night. Used the same setup with a tarp about a month ago on the edge of tree line on a snowy night at around 11,000 and stayed plenty warm. YMMV, and of course conditions change, but IMO a 10 deg bag and even a 20 deg bag are overkill in summer.
I'd definitely go with trail runners if you've got some your comfortable hiking in. I've mainly been wearing merrell trail gloves up there with no issues to speak of.

Enjoy your hike. Thats a great route! Lone eagle cirque has to be one of the coolest alpine settings I've been to.

Stuart .
(lotuseater) - M

Locale: 40°N,-105°W (Near enough)
Up to date trail report on 06/20/2012 09:37:02 MDT Print View

@Serge - Thanks for your up-to-the-minute report on conditions at Buchanan Pass and Crater Lake. I called the Boulder Ranger Station on Monday and they said most snow was gone at Buchanan Pass, but they had no data on Pawnee Pass conditions. By any chance did you cross back over Pawnee on your way out?

Stephen's in for a treat once we hit the trail.

Stephen M
(stephenm) - MLife

Locale: The Great Lakes Bay Region
Re: conditions on 06/20/2012 21:31:57 MDT Print View

Hi Serge,

Thanks for getting back.

Unfortunately I was not able to source a lighter bag in time so if its too warm I will use my 10f bag like a quilt, I sleep cold so having the warmer bag may be no harm.

As its my first time in the Rockies my base weight for the trip is 6.5kgs all in, I reckon starting off the trail will be 10kgs, for my next trip I will probaly be able to get my base weight down to 5.5kgs with a lighter sleeping bag and rain gear, I have packed Micro spikes just in case.

I have packed 3000 calories for each day.

Cheers,

Stephen

Serge G.
(sgiachetti) - M

Locale: Boulder, CO
pawnee on 06/21/2012 01:20:34 MDT Print View

Hi stuart, pawnee has just about no snow on it. No need for microspikes. From what I remember, there is only one place where you cross some snow, which is low angle about 15 feet across with obvious steps from other hikers, and this is at the very start of the ascent.

Stephen, hope I didn't imply that a 30 deg bag is completely necessary or anything. You'll be totally fine with your 10 draped over you. This forum is at its best when we provide solid UL info for each other, but sometimes we just inspire each other to buy more $h*+. Have a blast on your trip, and feel free to fire me a PM if you have any more questions. Will be headed back up to brainard in the morning.

Stephen M
(stephenm) - MLife

Locale: The Great Lakes Bay Region
Re: pawnee on 06/21/2012 07:35:48 MDT Print View

Hi Serge,

I normally have a 30f bag for summer but have been testing out a a quilt and hoodless bag which I sold but left it too late to get a replacement.

That's good to kno Micro spike are not needed, thats another 400g our of the bag :-)


Cheers,

Stephen

Paul Magnanti
(PaulMags) - MLife

Locale: People's Republic of Boulder
Hardly any snow on 06/21/2012 08:00:02 MDT Print View

I did the nearby Mt. Audubon yesterday after work and I was amazed how little snow there was for this time of the year.

No need for any special equipment. Enjoy the wildflowers while you can; think it is going to be short season if the heat keeps up.

Stephen M
(stephenm) - MLife

Locale: The Great Lakes Bay Region
Re: Hardly any snow on 06/21/2012 08:05:00 MDT Print View

Cheers Pual,

I have taken the Micro Spikes out of my bag :-)

I am really looking forward to it.

Stephen M
(stephenm) - MLife

Locale: The Great Lakes Bay Region
Great Trip on 06/25/2012 19:49:18 MDT Print View

Hi folks,

The trip went very well, the area is truely amazing.
I did get beaten up a bit by the heat and the altidue.

Will post a trip report tomorrow :-)

Cheers,

Stephen

Stephen M
(stephenm) - MLife

Locale: The Great Lakes Bay Region
Re: Sleeping system for the Indian Peak Colorado on 08/23/2012 13:52:23 MDT Print View

Deleted

Stephen M
(stephenm) - MLife

Locale: The Great Lakes Bay Region
Re: Sleeping system for the Indian Peak Colorado on 08/23/2012 13:53:39 MDT Print View

Bumped in error, please ignore

Edited by stephenm on 08/23/2012 14:13:40 MDT.