Continental Divide Trail – Day 35
June 5, 2023
Miles Today/ Total: 18.1 / 693.6
I was up early this morning knowing that I might be walking through some snow and wanting to get an early start before the snow softens and causes me to posthole.
I reached the Lagunitas Campground about 7:00 and met Walt who was packing up his gear. The Professor and Slytherin had already started up the trail. The trail from the campground climbed up to a ridge. The trail was mostly clear with just a few snow drifts under the pine trees.
As the trail progressed there were some wide open meadows with little to no snow and some areas under the trees where I would have to climb up and walk over snow for 50’ to 100’ before dropping down to the trail again. The trail circled the Brazos Meadows and finally dropped down from the north side.
I refilled my water bottles from the East Fork Rio Brazos and then started climbing up toward Cumbres’ Pass. The trail entered the pine forest and the entire forest was still covered with 3-6’ of snow. Beneath this snow lay thousands of deadfall trees scattered across the forest floor like toothpicks.
I was able to follow footprints from earlier hikers, but the snow was getting softer as the day progressed and I was beginning to posthole quite a bit. Sometimes falling between downed trees under the snow. I fought my way through 3 miles and finally reached an area along a forest road with some dry ground slightly above the road.
I had been hearing a thunderstorm building behind me for some time so I took the opportunity to set up my tent and called it a day. Hopefully the snow will be harder in the morning and I can hike the remaining 7 miles to Cumbres’ Pass with too much postholing.
About 30 minutes after I set up my tent it began to hail and then rain. It has been raining quite heavily for about 2 hours now. I’m not sure how that will effect my morning snow, but I guess I’ll see in the morning.