Trailhead Conditions Report 7/15/2018

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Summer is in full swing, and the Wind River high-country is totally accessible! The current snowline is sitting around 11,000-11,200 feet. Every day the snow comes off faster. Remember that high passes will still hold snow later into July. This is especially important for Bonney Pass, Knapsack Col, Texas Pass and Hailey Pass. Micro spikes and trekking poles or micro spikes and an ice axe are advised, especially the latter if you’re concerned about your comfortability on snowy slopes.

Green River Lakes: Trailhead and trails are totally dry and accessible. A short note, if you plan on climbing Gannett fron GRL, Tourist Creek is your best bet. Expect rugged terrain and lots of bushwhacking, as well as exposed crevasses on Mammoth Glacier.

New Fork Lake: Trail up Palmer Canyon is dry and snow free, as is the trail up to Lozier Lakes and beyond. Rocky Mountain Conservation Corps and our local Forest Service trail crews have been hard at work repairing the Doubletop Mountain Trail, which is newly rennovated and in great shape.

Spring Creek Park: Dry and snow free trails past Summit Lake and Elbow Lake and over Shannon Pass. Expect snow in the Peak Lake area.

Elkhart Park: Snow-free all the way into Titcomb Basin. Snow will continue to expose talus and boulders on Bonney Pass going over onto the Dinwoody Glacier. No major crevasse danger on Dinwoody, except for moulins located sporadically along the edges (read, giant holes in the glacier). I was told in the last few days that the snowbridge over the Gooseneck Gully bergshrund would not last for much longer. If this is the case, you have two options: 1) climbing the rock to the right of the gully to circumnavigate the bergshrund or, 2) the heavily-crevassed Southwest Couloir.

Boulder Lake: Dry and snow-free trails all the way to Angel and Hay Pass. Small snow fields on top of those two passes should not present and problems to hikers going across.

Scab Creek: Trails are dry and snow-free all the way to Mt. Bonneville and beyond.

Big Sandy Opening: The Cirque and surrounding basins are dry and accessible. Snow on routes is manageable to non-existant, and approaches are manageable. The descent on Wolf’s Head may require a rappel to navigate around the steep snow near the top. Camping in the Cirque is plentiful. Remember that there is no camping within a quater-mile of Lonesome Lake.

If camping above treeline for an extended amount of time, please consider a wag bag to cut down on the human waste in fragile alpine areas. If not, the least you can do is BURY your waste AND toilet paper. There is nothing worse than seeing dirty toilet tissue while hiking above treeline in a pristine alpine area or right night to a trail. Remember that one of the most important tenets of Leave No Trace hiking and backpacking is packing out everything you pack in, and leaving an area as close to how you found it. As the Winds grows in popularity, this will become a concern and backpackers will need to use self-policing and common-sense so that further regulations aren’t put into effect.