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Discussion Starter #1
I have begun planning trail run in June. The end of the month is probably best to allow for maximum snow melt, so probably the weekend of June 23-24.

Tentative plan looks like this:

Saturday:
Stage outside Marble at the lake around 9/10am
First group can take the long loop around the north rim of Lead King Basin
Second group can take the shorter route along the southern rim of Lead King Basin.
Meet again at the base of Schofield Pass and make the run from there to Crested Butte.

Overnight in Crested Butte and surrounding area.

Sunday:
Stage east of town to pick route.
Route 1: Gothic Road to Pearl Pass (shorter)
Route 2: Cement Creek to Italian Creek to Taylor Pass (longer)
Both routes terminate in the Ashcroft Valley south of Aspen

Just to add a twist, a separate group could hike/ride over East/West Maroon Pass and hitch a ride too/from the Crested Butte area. There are some links below with helpful information, and I have several maps and books you can look at too. If you have resources that might be helpful for planning, please share!

In the mean time, let me know if you’re interested and in what capacity you might like to participate! If you know other folks that might like to play, let them know as well.

http://www.fs.fed.us/r2/whiteriver/rangerdistricts/aspen_sopris/

http://www.pirate4x4.com/trailreports/

Other events I'm planning (hoping) to attend:

Cruise Moab - Moab, UT May 2-6
FJ Cruiser Event - Ouray, CO July 12-15
Toyota Takeover - Farmington, NM Aug 3-5
4Runner Jamboree - Buena Vista, CO Aug 10-12
TTORA Moab - Moab, UT Sep 18-23 (18/19 White Rim, 20-23 Moab)

I will also be starting some trail runs to get a sense of the snow pack in the next few weeks and could use some company!

Eric Ross :D
 

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Sounds like a great plan!

I think Molly (Lysmachia) posted up a guide planning/leading a successful trail ride, but I can sum up... As things firm up, you need to post up rig requirements, directions (GPS Coords would be nice!), and CB channel. For the best chance of a good run, before the actual event, need to prerun the route and verify the conditions. It works best if the trail leads and gunners are agreed on beforehand.
 

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I'm impressed with the thoroughness of your planning. And based on some of the photos you've posted of your runs, I'd like to get on board for the June trip. There still may be unforeseen obstacles to prevent me attending, but unofficially count me in.
 

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Sound like a decent plan. I haven't been up Schofield in over ten years. Hopefully I'll have my cruizer all together by then. My wife has a friend in Marble she wants to go visit sometime near that timeframe too.
 

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Man this will be a great run - thanks for checking out the trail this weekend!
 

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Hi Folks,
Thanks for the initiative, Eric. I have one concern about some of those trips though, big snow banks. If I remember correctly (which is doubtful) Schofield was closed last year that early because of avalanche debris (maybe it was the year before). Pearl also has a bad habit of being impassable until late in the summer due to that cornice on top of the pass. I'm not sure about Taylor. What have you heard?
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Hey Hawk! Good to hear from you. I know Schofield was open last year and a stock FJ made the run. Pearl was open as well. I know the snow is going to be a concern, but we were looking for a run in June, so I thought we would try the last weekend.

I've been looking at long term a seasonal forecasts and this summer is supposed to be quite warm starting early, which sucks for the greenery, but might be to our advantage for snowmelt!

Anyway, I'm hoping to hook up with some one to make a run at Lead King and perhaps probe the beginnings of Schofield a couple of times as the spring opens to get some idea about whether June is realistic or not. Care to join me!
 

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Discussion Starter #9
I was thinking recon sooner than later, at least to see how far one could get up now so we could plan for a more thorough one later based on current conditions. It sounds like you know more about the winter conditions iup there better than I do, so any input would be great! As far as when it was open I don't remember, just the generic "summer", but if I run into the guy again I'll ask.
 

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Cruz,
I was up there summer before last. I can't remember exactly when it was but we are thinking it was mid to late summer. It was late enough that it didn't even occur to us that it might be closed. But it was. Down below the punch bowl the snow mixed with busted trees was probably still 20 feet deep. The thing is, I don't think those avies run every year. If you don't have avy debris in there, it probably melts off about like any other jeep road.

The other place that gets blocked by avy debris is the road down to Gothic from the top of Schofield. I think that slide is near Emerald Lake. That's no problem though because you can get to Crusty Butt (CB) by going by Cinnamon Mt. and down the Slate River road. The one below the Punch Bowl is a show stopper though.

The easiest way to really find out what's going on in there would be to go in from CB and check it out from the top. The roads are good on that side right up to the top (at least after the snow melts) and the punch bowl is near the top. It's a lot shorter snowshoe/hike that way to get down to the slide ares.

The cornice on Pearl could be checked out the same way (some years Pearl never does open all the way through). But I don't think it's even worth the trouble go up there until close to June. And, as I mentioned before, it sounds pretty dangerous to even be in Schofield before the avelanche danger is over. Maybe we could just have an alternate route for the June date just in case. That way we could switch at the last minute if needed. I've never been over Taylor, so I'm not sure what the issues are there.

By the way, there is a spur off of the Lead King Basin loop that goes to the top of Sheep Mt. to a spectacular over look of Crystal City and nearby peaks. Have you been up there?

One more thing, I may have a conflict with that date. I'll get back to you about that.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
June 2007 Central Colorado Rockies, Schofield Pass

So it looked like a nice afternoon for a drive, so headed up to Marble...

Nice view of the northern slope of Mt Sopris from Dry Park Road south of Glenwood Springs.


Couldn't get this far in March due to snow, so lookin' good!


Took the road to Lizard Lake... You KNOW it's gonna be fun when there's a detour on a one lane 4WD road. This one turned what is normally a bridge crossing to a water obstacle :D


Lizard Lake is one of my favorite spots.


Narrow and getting rocky... Perfect! This is as far as I got back in '98. You can see the remnants fo the landslide that covered the road for about 50 yards. It used to be about 4 feet deep.


Few rocks in the road make for a little fun.


Hmm, not a good sign. Note the large boulders along the right.


Getting worse...


Holy crap!!


A section of the granite wall on the south face sheered off and created this...


Note the size, about as big as my car... the gouge across the road and into the turf was about 3 feet deep and 25 yards long.


Remember all the large boulders along the right side of the first pic? Those and several others created carnage for about 100 yards from the sheering point above to where they rest. Several 1-2ft deep divits are in the road from these beasts BOUNCING across the road.


So I turned around. nice picnic spot, eh?


Looks like a chainsow is in someone's future. Anyone seen a rack mount for one :confused:
 

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So how does this look for the dates we picked? Sory I have been MIA gang. been working tons. (Out picking up chicks while Troy is outta town LOL)
 

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Lys, I'm sure that the forest service will clear this road if we don't. Where Cruz is taking these pictures from is still pretty low on the trail. The real test is up near the Punch Bowl where the avalanches run. If we don't have any big avalanche debris fields up there, I think we'll be fine at the end of June. It wasn't a big snow year so I am hopeful. When the rock slides on McClue get cleared out, Cruz could bounce on over to Crusty Butt (if Kebler pass is open) and check it out from the top. What do you say, Cruz - in your free time? I've been saying, we'll be doing good to really know by the 1st of June. So hang in there. We'll make something happen.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
If I have time this weekend (12/13/14) I will probably head back up and take the long way around the northern rim of Lead King Basin. Barring other obstacles I can still access Schofield and see what it looks like further up. Given enough time, manpower and tools I would love to combine that with clearing the trail, so I'll work on that from my end and look forward to seeing some of you up here! I've got at least one newbie with a stock 07 Taco that want to go and I'll work on a few more!

FYI, this is what my schedule looks like the next few weeks:

May 11 in Boulder (12th too if a run is in the works)
May 15-26 in Europe
June 5-10 in Boston
 

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Discussion Starter #16

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Let me know. I can be flexible this weekend. I plan on one day of housework (have to finish a french drain I started about three weeks ago) and one day for fun. I will pull the chainsaw out of winter storage and sharpen the chain. Just remember when you see my saw that I used to live in the Sierra Nevadas, where a 48" to 60" diameter Ponderosa Pine is not out of the ordinary...
 

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Discussion Starter #18
It looks like the short notice is too short. It also looks like I might be busy, so it'll be shorter notice (like Sat evening) and probably on Sunday, if at all. Sorry 'bout that, but perhaps it'll work!
 

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No runs planned this weekend. I need to clean and rest and finish these movies I keep promising. Change the oil in Both trucks... Oh an pick Troy up from the airport... I better not forget that!
 

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No prob on the short notice. I will do my house work tomorrow, and if you can't go on Sunday, I will do some more exploring around the Flat Tops.

Tony
 
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