2017 HIGH UINTAS OPENING – MIRROR LAKE SCENIC BYWAY OPENING – GRANDVIEW TRAILHEAD & GATEWAY to the GRANDADDIES

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Daily Update: MIRROR LAKE SCENIC BYWAY —

GLITCH SOLVED — SPINE BEEFED UP —

 THE HIGHLINE TRAIL — PROPOSED BACKPACKS FOR 2017

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KEY AREAS OF THE HIGH UINTAS,  STATIONS REPORTING – 0-” of snow, they are:
Brown Duck (10,572 ft.), Lake Fork Basin, Five Points Lake (10,911), Chepita (12,120 ft.), Hewinta Guard Station (9,495 ft.), Henrys Fork (10,180 ft.) 
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HIGH UINTA CRITICAL PASSES OPENING

GRANDVIEW TRAILHEAD …“Gateway to the Grandaddies” UPDATE Monday June 19
Just talked to Jeff at the Duchesne Ranger Station who reports that the gate is still locked and closed to backpackers/horsemen due to the timber sale, and won’t be open until approximately the end of the month–he will email me and let me know when open, and I’ll immediately report it here.  
In the meantime, get some exercise to be in shape, as I’m doing now in my 82nd year, with a daily mini-hike with backpack, today with 51 lbs. of load, & also  boots that  are 7 oz. each heavier than the ones I’ll use backpacking–once again helping my body be stronger than otherwise might be the case.
NOTE:  If you don’t think 7 oz. per step less  is important, consider the following:  In 10 miles it adds up to 8,750 lbs. less weight lifted with your legs!
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WOLF CREEK PASS Highway 35 to No. Fork of the Duchesne & Hanna opened May 17th

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BALD MOUNTAIN PASS–MIRROR LAKE SCENIC BYWAY 

Highway 150 – Kamas to Evanston, Wyoming–OPENED TODAY June 2, 2017

BALD MOUNTAIN PASS 10,759 ft.
CURRENT AT THE TOP

Wednesday June 21 – SNOW GONE! – 65 degrees at 11:00 AM

Tuesday June 20 – 2″ – 65 degrees F.

Monday June 19 – 7″ WOW! – 60 degrees F.

Sunday June 18 – 12.5″ of snow – 56 degrees F.

Saturday June 17 – 16″ of snow – 50 degrees F.

Friday June 16 – 21″ of snow – 56 degrees F.

Thurs. June 15 – 24″ of snow = 56 degrees F.

Wed. June 14 – 26.6″ of snow – 50 degrees F.

Tuesday June 13 – 30″ of snow  – 32 degrees F.

Monday June 12 – 28″ of snow – 38 degrees F.

Sunday June 11 – 29″ of snow – 50 degrees F.
Saturday June 10 – 31″ of snow – 60 degrees F.

Friday June 9 – 34″ of snow – 60 degrees F.
Thursday June 8 – 37.5″ of snow – 58 degrees F.
Wednesday   June 7   – 41″  of snow   –  60 degrees F.
Tuesday    June 6 –  44″ of snow  –  59 degrees F.
Monday,     June 5 – 47″  of snow  –  60 degrees F.
Sunday,       June 4 – 50″ of snow  –   60 degrees F.
Saturday,  June 3 – 52″ of  snow –  58 degrees F
Friday,        June 2  – 55″ of snow  – 50 degrees F
For previous snow depths since May 14th go to PREVIOUS POST
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GETTING IN SHAPE FOR BACKPACKING
In the previous post I explain that  my back was operated on  for the 2nd time–the first in 2012, and I’m working on getting back into shape for backpacking as outlined in the previous post & mentioned at the end of this report.    My hike today,   in my 82nd year–June 4th–was 2 miles up Grove Creek Canyon with 43 lbs. of load, and I’ll confess it wasn’t easy–especially with 97 degree temperatures, but I will keep doing my darndest as my challenge over the 15 year Project has been to……
..today,  June 8th, up to 46 lbs. & experiencing some pain, so will up my intake of cod liver oil from 3 gel caps/daily, to 5 and see.
NEVER GIVE IN…..EASILY!
The other option doesn’t interest me yet
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IMPORTANT NOTE:  
Yesterday, Saturday morning, June 3rd, I gave my first report to KSL OUTDOOR’S RADIO. You can listen  on your computer each Saturday morning from 6:10 to 8:00 AM from anywhere in the world. 
On the program my friend, Russ Smith, from SKYCALL SATELLITE assured me he now has me on the schedule for a satellite phone for the summer–which I recommend each group have one of, and if you’re going alone, you’ve got to have one along with a SPOT Personal Satellite Tracker.  Get one!
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EXPLORATORY TRIP June 2, 2017 
My first stop was at the KAMAS FOREST SERVICE RANGER STATION to talk to my old friend Brenda, who told me that last night the road clearing crew “broke through” the last drifts, so the HIGHWAY IS NOW OPEN!

Following is my photo report of the trip I made this morning, Friday, June 2, 2017


If you know me, you’ll expect me to take you with me, with a few views along the highway on the 80 mile round trip from Kamas with little comment.

SPRING IN THE UINTAS


First real stop was…as always….at the PROVO RIVER FALLS

Below is a view of the Falls on June 4, 2016, shown with the shadows of the afternoon.

Here we are at the Pass with Bald Mountain looming over it, pictures actually taken on the return after having continued on to the entrance to the Highline Trail, 

Below is a view of the Pass and Bald Mountain on June 4, 2016, with visibly less snow than this year. 


Here we are seeing the weather station operated by UDOT (Utah Department of Transportation)  from which I acquire daily information on the snow depth and temperature.
From the pass we continue to the northeast seeing the snow depths.

Shortly there is a turnoff…of course now snowed in, from which we see below Moosehorn Lake, still frozen over, and in the distance Hayden Peak.

A little further along as we descend to towards the Mirror Lake turnoff,  the panorama is enlarged, also with Mt. Agassiz on the right


Above is a photograph of Hayden Peak on June 4, 2016, I show to indicate again there was much less snow last year.

From this point we swing our view to the south looking towards the Grandaddy Basin area, still with a great deal of snow.

We are here approaching Hayden Pass, and find all the snow removal equipment parked at the pull-offs for Butterfly Lake, which was still frozen.

Now we are at the 2nd important objective of my drive, to see the
 entrance to the famous HIGHLINE TRAIL 
zoom in on the sign you see below.

Below we see the sign on June 4, 2016…..so it will be likely at least until the end of June that there will be access…..of course depending on the thaw.


We have turned around and heading back, seeing the sign to the Highline Trail, on the west side of the highway.

We are now over the pass and heading back to Kamas, seeing on the north side of the highway Lilly Lake showing the beginning of the thaw,  and below on the other side of the highway, Lost lake.

Below is Lost Lake on June 4, 2016.

We have now quickly traveled back-in-time photographically to the
GATEWAY TO THE GRANDADDIES
on June 23, 2016

This was my first 2016 Season backpack, and my schedule has me doing my first 2017 backpack from this trailhead too.


What is the access to the Grandview Trailhead…NOW?
I just talked to Sheila at the Forest Service Ranger Station in Duchesne.  She reports one of the rangers snow-shoed in there a couple of weeks ago, and was amazed how much snow  there is.

THE PLAN:  They hope to have the road open in about two weeks, but for a couple of weeks it will be used for a timber sale. 

 For backpackers?  
It will likely be in about 1 month–THAT WILL GIVE ME TIME TO KEEP WORKING ON GETTING IN SHAPE AFTER MY BACK SURGERY–NOW HIKING EVERY DAY WITH MY BACKPACK–THIS WEEK WITH 43 lbs.  NEXT WEEK=46;  THE FOLLOWING=48;  BY BACKPACKING TIME=50 lbs……although I don’t plan on backpacking with that much weight, except for the 136 miles on the Highline Trail in August.  
I will keep in touch with Sheila, and keep all of you informed about access, along with any other access information I can glean from other areas.

UPDATE Tuesday June 13
Just talked to Jeff at the Duchesne Ranger Station who reports that they have heavy equipment clearing the road of snow with about 1-1/2 feet of snow at the Trailhead, but the road will only be accessible for a timber sale, and not  for backpackers for “2-3 weeks,” which would mean between June 27th to July 4th.  He asked me to call back for updates in a week….at which time I will give an UPDATE here.  

In the meantime, get some exercise to be in shape, as I’m doing now in my 82nd year, with a daily mini-hike with backpack, today with 48 lbs. of load.
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