This was the first winter run of the 2005 season and it was definitely not fall anymore in the mountains. It had been snowing all night and the trail was covered in snow that ranged from a couple inches to about a foot deep in places. It was also pretty windy and the temperature got down to as low as 23 degrees. Still, even with the weather we had a blast like we always do in the snow.
We met in Boulder and hung out for a bit at the warm Starbucks, then headed up to meet Perry at the trailhead. He was driving his son Patrick's Samurai for the first time on a trail run.
The snow wasn't very wet and it didn't really get too icy when everyone slid around on it, which was good. The ground underneath was pretty frozen and slick, though, so it made the trail pretty slippery. Everyone was slipping off of even the smallest rocks, making things a little unpredictable at times.
The water crossings weren't frozen, and there were even spots that we expected to be slick with ice but found them to still be running water.
We got to the rocky obstacle pretty quickly, and everyone found their own line through it. Ladd went first and tried to get up on the big rock, but it wasn't cooperating so he went around. Dave took the line through it on the left and managed to stay up on the high-centering rock so he breezed right through it.
Bob went next and tried to get up on the big rock but everything was just so slippery that he kept falling off. He went around and backed up onto it instead so he could get a snowy flex shot.
Perry came through in the Samurai and the open differentials meant he had to give it some gas in places to get through, but he still came through it pretty easily.
Eric tried to get up on the rock next, but he didn't have much more luck. It was too slippery so he went around it too.
Jed worked on the left line but his tires weren't being as cooperative as Dave's were. Open differentials make things a bit more challenging, especially in the snow. He took the usual "S" curved line through it instead and made it look pretty easy.
Carlos has a rear locker this time -- he didn't have one last year -- so he was determined to get up on the rock. He got closer than anyone had so far, but the rock face is pretty steep and the ground was a snowy, wet mess. He kept trying, though, and one time he came at it a little too far over and bent his tie rod. He even lost a little plastic from somewhere. It wasn't too bent, so he went around the rock and kept going.
Don was bringing up the rear and he came through last. He got to the big rock and worked on it for just a minute and then suddenly he was up on top of it. It looked great and it looked like he'd be the only one to go over it, but then he slid off the side and ended up going around. He was the only one to get up on it, though.
We kept going up the trail and even though it was slick we didn't really have any issues. Then Bob took a wide line through some rocks and his rear end slid around suddenly and he was sideways in the trail. It was really slick where he was and he couldn't get himself back in the right direction, so Dave gave him a little tug with a tow strap to get him back up on the rocks.
We were going to do Coney Flats, too, and we were thinking we might skip the far end of Middle St. Vrain and just go have lunch at the "lake." The trail had been pretty slick, though, so we were expecting the trip up the first hill on Coney Flats to take us awhile (and it did!). We went to the end of Middle St. Vrain to have lunch, instead.
The snow at the end of the trail was deepest of all, but it wasn't as deep under the trees. We had our lunch there, but then the wind suddenly picked up and blew all of the snow off of the trees down onto us instead. We were all completely covered in snow, including about 1/4" of snow on our sandwiches. It was cold but we were still laughing.
We didn't stop for very long, and then we were off to tackle Coney Flats.
Reports from Other Days: 11
Use the arrows or dots to flip through the previews of the other reports for Middle St. Vrain. Click one of them to read more and see all of the photos from that day.