It appears the great spring melt-down has begun in the higher elevations, but the weather is still a risky mix at any given time. One of my favorite 60-mile MTB loops that I typically ride all winter has been rather impassable this year (lots of snow or blown in snow). Well maybe it was open quite a bit, but not during the times when I was up there staring at the wall of snow in my path.
The first two pics here are where the wall of snow existed, but some nice county chap must have cleared it with his monster tractor (thanks I say) because just a few weeks ago I ventured way up there again to find that the majority of my preferred route had been cleared allowing a fun ride through snow canyons.
But not all of it has been cleared...
Which means I had to ride a bit more pave than I desire (dirt is better anytime), but in the end it was still fun (I guess)...
I've been back several times over the last few weeks and have noticed the snow walls have diminished from canyon walls to small drifts. But the weather is still a terror up there at times...the first ride I started out in sunshine (ahh...great stuff), which progressed into a soaking downpour. I had time to pull out my rain jacket and tent it over me and part of the bike. Just as quickly as it started it ended. A bit higher up I was in a white-out of ice/snow-pellets (aka "graupel").
What next? Wind! Ouch was all I could say going home struggling to maintain forward momentum going downhill into the wind (30 miles of pedaling into a strong head-wind can make anyone wimper some).
After all the weather mishaps on my first trip up there this year I was back 3-days later smiling all the way because ironically nearly the same thing happened again. What should you take home from this lesson??? Always be prepared. I've had people pick up my pack with a grunt and ask what's in there? Survival...nothing more, nothing less.