Peak:  Carbonate Mountain A (13er)
 Route:  SSE gorge
 Range:  Sawatch
 Posted By:  Mark 13+14er hiker
 Date of Info:  07/24/2019
 Date Posted:  07/25/2019

Road 240 closed just beyond Angel of Shavano Campground due to extensive avalanche debris just above 10,400 feet (this added nearly 8 miles round-trip and a little less than 1600 feet of elevation gain and loss to my ascent, compared to starting at "Cyclone Creek Trailhead"). Reportedly, it will be cleared by mid August.
Lots of avalanche felled trees near the bottom of the SSE gorge, many of which appeared fresh, with fresh green leaves sprouting from felled aspen.
Lots of deadfall in the areas of the old closed road/trail between the trailhead and base of the gorge. In the worst area, I advise bypassing uphill, I went downhill, strayed too far from the trail, and had some nasty bushwhacking to join the trail again. It seemed easy to stay on the trail on the way back down to County Road 240, making the descent of this area much easier and faster.
The gorge has the usual steep scree and some talus. This was quite unstable above treeline on the side of the gorge.
Several snowfields in the upper reaches of the gorge.These made for a quicker descent, but observe carefully on the way up. The largest snowfield had a large drop off at its lower end, so exit early if you go there soon. The snow was a nice consistency, moderately firm granular snow, perfect for walking with boots (no post-holing, and did not require kicking steps; I did use snow for a short segment of my ascent). On descent, I used long strides, sliding 6-12 inches extra with each step, using trekking poles with snow baskets to control my descent. It probably could be boot skied at this point, but I have a bad knee, and was aloneĆ¢‚¬Ā¦
I had hoped to traverse to/ascend more peaks north of Carbonate, but the road closure and afternoon thunderstorms put an end to that possibility, despite an early start.

Comments or Questions
07/25/2019 16:35
Appreciate the update on the planned schedule for clearing the road.

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