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Crusty Butt in late July - CO MONKEYS

boostindoubles

Nacho Libre
Mar 16, 2004
4,393
1,988
Yakistan
There may be a chance for a mini Rky Mtn cruise later this summer. I've never been to Crested Butte but have heard all the words forever proclaiming the superiority of it's trails. I can take a shorter and more standard route to my destination and still ride great trails, via Montana and Wyoming. Is late July going to be all melted out up there and in prime season for pedaling the trails?
 

SkaredShtles

I love NEWCASTLE and will ONLY drink NEWCASTLE!!!!
Sep 21, 2003
50,795
4,169
In a van.... down by the river
There may be a chance for a mini Rky Mtn cruise later this summer. I've never been to Crested Butte but have heard all the words forever proclaiming the superiority of it's trails. I can take a shorter and more standard route to my destination and still ride great trails, via Montana and Wyoming. Is late July going to be all melted out up there and in prime season for pedaling the trails?
Late July should be *primo*...

Unless, of course, it hasn't melted yet.

I've given up on predictions this year regarding snow pack/melt out.
 

stoney

Part of the unwashed, middle-American horde
Jul 26, 2006
15,356
1,917
Colorado
Late July should be *primo*...

Unless, of course, it hasn't melted yet.

I've given up on predictions this year regarding snow pack/melt out.
I just realized the bachelor party is the weekend of July 12th. Biking and fly fishing. I'm not sure we'll be able to do either between snow on trails and high melt on the streams/river. Oh man, I'm gonna have a hangover when we're done...
 

Full Trucker

Frikkin newb!!!
Feb 26, 2003
6,317
2,078
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Here's hoping late July will be good to go... I just saw a post from CBMBA on the Facebooks today regarding snow coverage in the area... this is the area the 401 trail is:



And down lower, where the snow has melted out, avalanches have basically all but closed trail access in spots:



Late July is still 6 weeks out, lots can happen in that time. I'd keep an eye on the CBMBA website and/or Facebook page and make the decision as close to your trip dates as you can.

https://crestedbuttemountainbike.com/
https://www.facebook.com/cbmba.org/

If you do roll through here, we can certainly set you in the right direction for good rides.
 

Full Trucker

Frikkin newb!!!
Feb 26, 2003
6,317
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I've given up on predictions this year regarding snow pack/melt out.
Yeah, the last estimates I saw were saying 2-3 weeks later than normal. So teh Crest is usually considered "fully in" around July 4th, this year it's likely to be closer to July 24th. But the snowpack melt isn't really the whole story in a lot of places, we had that epic avalanche cycle in March, and all the debris is gonna take a hot minute to get cleared. On our hike up towards Grays/Torreys this weekend, we crossed an avy debris pile on the road that will probably keep that road closed for the summer. The avy ran all the way across the valley, buried the road, and then snapped 100-year-old trees on the opposite side of the valley as it headed uphill. Sobering, and awesome.
 

Full Trucker

Frikkin newb!!!
Feb 26, 2003
6,317
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more avalanches?
I guess I was meaning that in the next 6 weeks we could see a lot of melting... but also yes; there will most certainly be more avalanches in the next 6 weeks. Mostly point-release wet slides, or avalanches caused by cornice fall, I suspect. Hopefully now that the snowpack has pretty well "stabilized" (i.e. it's had several freeze/melt events and has consolidated to a degree) we won't see the large, destructive avalanches that were running naturally in early March.

EDIT: This Facebook post from the Alpine Rescue Team shows the avalanche path and debris I was talking about in my previous post. This was a few months ago, right after it slid. But the pile of snow and debris sitting on the road is still gotta be 12' deep in spots.

Another fun article about how the great winter we had here will be impacting summer activities in the high country.
 
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SkaredShtles

I love NEWCASTLE and will ONLY drink NEWCASTLE!!!!
Sep 21, 2003
50,795
4,169
In a van.... down by the river
I just realized the bachelor party is the weekend of July 12th. Biking and fly fishing. I'm not sure we'll be able to do either between snow on trails and high melt on the streams/river. Oh man, I'm gonna have a hangover when we're done...
Is the bach gig in Crusty Butt?

Best bet will be to head down to the Taylor River below the dam - it will at least be *controlled* release of water, so you might be able to do some fly fishing there. Unless, of course, the res is full and the water is up over the spillway. Which wouldn't surprise me much, to be honest.
 

jonKranked

Press Button, Receive Stupid
Nov 10, 2005
60,419
7,675
media blackout
Is the bach gig in Crusty Butt?

Best bet will be to head down to the Taylor River below the dam - it will at least be *controlled* release of water, so you might be able to do some fly fishing there. Unless, of course, the res is full and the water is up over the spillway. Which wouldn't surprise me much, to be honest.
 

Full Trucker

Frikkin newb!!!
Feb 26, 2003
6,317
2,078
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Ooh... here we go. Even better: https://www.14ers.com/php14ers/threport.php?recnum=6627

That report was from the same day I was up there. The road that's buried here is on the opposite side of the valley from whence the avalanche ripped. Just... whoa.







Note the trees pointed uphill in the last pic.

Trust me, I've got fingers crossed that we'll have a good(ish) high country riding season this year... but the signs are kinda pointing to it being pretty short. CB got a metric fuckton of snow this year... it's gonna be a minute. I'm hoping it melts though... my girlfriend's sister's boyfriend's dog's littermate's owner's ex-husband lives in CB and I'm hoping/planning at least a trip or two to ride this summer/fall.

 
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stoney

Part of the unwashed, middle-American horde
Jul 26, 2006
15,356
1,917
Colorado
Is the bach gig in Crusty Butt?

Best bet will be to head down to the Taylor River below the dam - it will at least be *controlled* release of water, so you might be able to do some fly fishing there. Unless, of course, the res is full and the water is up over the spillway. Which wouldn't surprise me much, to be honest.
Yep. I'll pass this along to the fish guys.
 

boostindoubles

Nacho Libre
Mar 16, 2004
4,393
1,988
Yakistan
Ok so probably, but maybe not in primo conditions. It really sounds like a limited trail season for the high up Rockys this year. The Cascades are not suffering the same fate. I will keep watching the internet. Maybe this year should be a Montana run since last years plan was sidelined by the Montana Month of Monsoon 2018.
 

Montana rider

Monkey
Mar 14, 2005
665
586
Maybe this year should be a Montana run since last years plan was sidelined by the Montana Month of Monsoon 2018.
Reach out if you're thinking SWMT, and @Serial Midget and I will try to meet up...

Unlike CO (assuming no fires...) we should be able to ride the goods by mid-July.

I'll be in Island Park ID for the bulk but back in BZN weekly (damn kids... And their summer "activities")

Top 6 or so rides:

*Muskrat Creek (normal ride, but threatened)
https://www.trailforks.com/trails/muskrat-creek/
*Curly Highline (epic high country ride, though a bit motoed out... )
https://www.trailforks.com/route/curly-lake-highline/
*Blackmore to Cottonwood (epic Hyalite "shuttle") just outside BZN
*Wolverine Basin (epic shuttle in South Gravellies with angry griz and en route to Lionhead,)
https://www.trailforks.com/trails/wolverine-basingazelle-creek/
*Mile and or Sheep in Lionhead
https://www.trailforks.com/region/lionhead-15430/trails/
*CDT in Centennials (Taylor Mtn)
 

Full Trucker

Frikkin newb!!!
Feb 26, 2003
6,317
2,078
[303]
Reach out if you're thinking SWMT, and @Serial Midget and I will try to meet up...

Unlike CO (assuming no fires...) we should be able to ride the goods by mid-July.

I'll be in Island Park ID for the bulk but back in BZN weekly (damn kids... And their summer "activities")

Top 6 or so rides:

*Muskrat Creek (normal ride, but threatened)
https://www.trailforks.com/trails/muskrat-creek/
*Curly Highline (epic high country ride, though a bit motoed out... )
https://www.trailforks.com/route/curly-lake-highline/
*Blackmore to Cottonwood (epic Hyalite "shuttle") just outside BZN
*Wolverine Basin (epic shuttle in South Gravellies with angry griz and en route to Lionhead,)
https://www.trailforks.com/trails/wolverine-basingazelle-creek/
*Mile and or Sheep in Lionhead
https://www.trailforks.com/region/lionhead-15430/trails/
*CDT in Centennials (Taylor Mtn)
Your ideas intrigue me and I'd like to subscribe to your newsletter.

Seriously, though... my gal and I are headed to Montucky this year. Last weekend in July - first weekend in August. This list is a good start. What else you got?

Also...

Blackmore to Cottonwood (epic Hyalite "shuttle") just outside BZN:
https://www.mtbproject.com/trail/7025824/blackmore-trail
https://www.mtbproject.com/trail/7005000/south-cottonwood-creek-trail
https://www.tetongravity.com/forums/showthread.php/128858-TR-Mt-Blackmore-where-bikes-belong-eternally
 
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SkaredShtles

I love NEWCASTLE and will ONLY drink NEWCASTLE!!!!
Sep 21, 2003
50,795
4,169
In a van.... down by the river
Insane, but also sorta misleading. Gunni river basin is usually melted out by now, and it's just... Not. Melting.
That and there is only a *single* site that is reporting snow in that basin. So data is kind of useless at this point. That said - there is still a retaaaaaahded amount of snow up high, according to all photographic evidence.
 

Full Trucker

Frikkin newb!!!
Feb 26, 2003
6,317
2,078
[303]
That and there is only a *single* site that is reporting snow in that basin. So data is kind of useless at this point. That said - there is still a retaaaaaahded amount of snow up high, according to all photographic evidence.
I've seen it with my own damn eyeballs.
 

Montana rider

Monkey
Mar 14, 2005
665
586
I only had the chance to do one big ride in Centennials last year, up keg springs to CDT (which is cough, cough, eminently shuttleable...)

https://www.trailforks.com/trails/keg-springs-road/

Over to Taylor Mtn and down Howard Creek...

https://www.trailforks.com/trails/howard-creek/

The new Beartooth guide to SWMT suggest Taylor Creek descent but then says trail is rough, I stumbled out of Howard post dusk but thought the downhill was primo...
https://www.trailforks.com/trails/taylor-creek/

Buy this book:
https://www.beartoothpublishing.com/product/southern-montana-single-track-mountain-biking-guidebook/

Depending what riding you and lady friend want to do I can offer up more specifics.

There's a few rides in Big Sky I left out, and if you go to beartooth hwy / Cooke City (which is my happy place and closest we have to Ouray...) Line Creek Plateau

https://www.trailforks.com/trails/line-creek-plateau/

Depending on whether my (not yet) rental is still under construction I should have room for you in Mack's Inn (closer to Lionhead) or our other place which is closer to Centennials.

And of course tacos and brewpub recs in BZN:cheers:
 
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6thElement

Schrodinger's Immigrant
Jul 29, 2008
5,637
3,045
That and there is only a *single* site that is reporting snow in that basin. So data is kind of useless at this point. That said - there is still a retaaaaaahded amount of snow up high, according to all photographic evidence.
Scofield Pass data says it's normally melted out by now, but currently has 5 foot deep snow still.
 

stoney

Part of the unwashed, middle-American horde
Jul 26, 2006
15,356
1,917
Colorado
Anybody have evidence of what CB actually looks like right now? I'm hoping to not need a fat bike...
 

Pesqueeb

bicycle in airplane hangar
Feb 2, 2007
30,036
5,470
Riding the baggage carousel.
CB is closed for the summer.View attachment 134922
LOLZ

That and there is only a *single* site that is reporting snow in that basin. So data is kind of useless at this point. That said - there is still a retaaaaaahded amount of snow up high, according to all photographic evidence.
That's what I was saying yesterday. Those numbers are so far off scale I find them suspicious despite having seen this years snowfall with my own peepers, and my peepers dont lie.
 

Full Trucker

Frikkin newb!!!
Feb 26, 2003
6,317
2,078
[303]
Anybody have evidence of what CB actually looks like right now? I'm hoping to not need a fat bike...
https://ridemonkey.bikemag.com/threads/crusty-butt-in-late-july-co-monkeys.284439/#post-4349350

That top picture in that post was taken a few days ago, by people that skied down to the 401 trail. That is the valley the 401 sits in. The low point of that trail is at 9,500'... which is only ~100' higher than the base of the ski area.

Trails in town are around 8,900' and some are starting to be rideable... according to the CBMBA.org website I linked to above. Keep your eyes on their trail conditions page, is the guidance I have for you.
 

6thElement

Schrodinger's Immigrant
Jul 29, 2008
5,637
3,045
LOLZ



That's what I was saying yesterday. Those numbers are so far off scale I find them suspicious despite having seen this years snowfall with my own peepers, and my peepers dont lie.
Numbers aren't lying, it's just a late melt.

It's basically second column dividing by third column zero at this point.
https://wcc.sc.egov.usda.gov/reportGenerator/view/customSingleStationReport/daily/737:CO:SNTL|id=""|name/-29,0/WTEQ::value,WTEQ::median_1981,WTEQ::pctOfMedian_1981,SNWD::value,PREC::value,PREC::average_1981,PREC::pctOfAverage_1981,TMAX::value,TMIN::value,TAVG::value?fitToScreen=false
 

boostindoubles

Nacho Libre
Mar 16, 2004
4,393
1,988
Yakistan
Reach out if you're thinking SWMT, and @Serial Midget and I will try to meet up...
Right on, we'll see how things shake out. Grizzlies are ok, although I don't normally ride with pepper spray. Where I ride in North Idaho there's brown and black bears. Do people ride with pepper spray in bear country? I know lots of hikers/backpackers do. I can't recall anyone showing off bear spray in their mtb kit though.
 

Montana rider

Monkey
Mar 14, 2005
665
586
IMG_20190612_113023.jpg
The Gravellies, Henry's (Lionhead) and Centennials are all prime griz habitat.

I highlighted Wolverine Basin as that area has at least one angry griz who was eating people (hunters) a few years back.

Realistically you can bump into a (black) bear on any ride so pack an extra pair of clean underwear ;)

I have a loaner (jerk) pepper spray or two if needed...

Since I ride alone 99% and am hoping to explore the Centennials this summer, I've been debating "rocking" a USB speaker and music/podcasts when riding as I'm not so good/consistent with yelling "Hey Bear" all the time.

I haven't been out on the dirt down here yet but think Southside CDT off Targhee Pass should be riding soon as it's lower and sunnier than north side/Mile Creek.

Hoping to ride that back to rental at Mack's Inn (over two top) in a week

https://www.trailforks.com/trails/cdt-two-top/

It's family friendly and less tech/gnar than north side CDT, Mile Creek)

No swamp donkeys today but eagle, sandhill cranes and 11ty billionty fish.

But soon the high country will be open... (Sawtell Peak off in the distance, or the start of the Centennials and apparently a hot spot for griz leaving YNP.)
 
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