Monday, January 15, 2007

Barr Trail report: snowy, but packed.

Here's the latest trail conditions from Teresa at Barr Camp:

I came up the trail yesterday morning and there was about 3-4 inches of new snow over the ice on the bottom 3 miles. It was actually better footing than it has been due to the cold and the snow adhering to the ice beneath. It had been tracked so it was not too bad. The snow continued to get deeper over the rest of the trail to Barr Camp with some pretty deep areas where there was a lot of post-holing steps!
There were 9 people who went down on snowshoes yesterday around noon, so I am sure it is much more packed and with the cold temps it is probably pretty good. That said, the trees are full of snow and there is powder all over so any wind at all will re-drift the trail and it will be a post-hole trek in those areas.
Above Barr Camp has not seen any traffic since January 1st when 4 snowshoe clad people spent the whole day making the summit and catching the train down. I cannot imagine how deep the snow must be just below timberline, and what the drifting is like above there. The avalanche potential seems high, and the cold temps and wind blowing up there right now make it seem like a good day to be inside by the fire!
The trail conditions change daily if not hourly! When I went down Friday I was able to stay on the crust for the most part. There were some soft areas on the upper end and lots of ice down low. I was actually surprised at how much it had changed by the time I came back up a day and half later.
Quite a winter we are having! We have had about 116 inches of snow here thus far, with about 40 inches on the ground around camp. What a melt out we could have!

Happy trails,

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