Current conditions of the Sangre de Cristo Wilderness
Current conditions for the Sangre de Cristo Wilderness of Southern Colorado as of May 19th, 2001 are as follows:
It is mid Spring here in the Sangre de Cristo Wilderness and we are enjoying its quiet magnificence. Temperatures fluctuate between 28 and 70 degrees Fahrenheit under mostly blue skies. The leaves of the Aspen, Willow, Cottonwood and Apple trees are almost completely open. Wildflowers are starting to bloom by the millions..... Flowers are God's thoughts in physical form.
Streams are running strong from the deep snowfields above treeline at the 11,000 - 14,000 foot level.... The grass and prairie of the valley floor are green and we are horseback riding, mountain biking and hiking at the lower elevations on dry ground.
As you may know, the Rainbow Trail traverses the Eastern base of the Sangres for almost 100 miles in a North-South direction at elevations of between 9000 - 10,000 feet. The trail is wide, smooth and almost level in it's traverse of this range and offers wonderful outings. The US Forest Service has been fixing up this trail and it is wider and smoother than I have ever seen it.
Strong Winds occasionally visit us at the base of the Sangre de Cristos. Exploring trails with heavy tree cover like the Rainbow Trail on these days gives you a shelter from these winds and allows you to have an enjoyable outing. The Spanish call these winds "La Escoba de Dios" which translates into English as "The Broom of God". Be careful on exposed ridges and near cliff systems when these winds are present.
We hardly see another person on even the most popular trails. It is very beautiful here right now and conditions for pursuit of "Le Grande Alpinism" are at their finest. It is a great time to explore this area!
Bring plenty of sun block and water as the solar energy levels are very high at these elevations. Dehydration and sun burn can make you uncomfortable. Something to eat keeps your energy levels and enthusiasm for the ascent high. Long, loose pants and polypropylene turtlenecks are the clothing of choice with pile jackets, hats and Gortex jackets to put on if you are up high in the morning when the air is still cool.
" Some routes to Happiness are easier than others.... Carefully choose the path that seems like the most Fun! "
Arthur Vyn Boennighausen - Webmaster @ http://sangre-de-cristo.com
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