Bull Hill A  
Condition Updates  
Route: South Ridge
Posted On: 2022-10-30, By: CheapCigarMan
Info: Camped at the end of the 4wd road by the concrete foundation. This is probably 50 yards beyond / above where the trail begins at the creek crossing. Woke up to 14 degrees and no wind, not even a breeze until we got to the ridge and then winds were probably no more than 3 - 5 mph. Light snow through the woods and on most of the route to the summit, 2" - 4". No traction or flotation needed. Bluebird day. Met Steve, a great partner to have met and have hiked with. We spotted bear tracks on trail through the woods on the descent. This was another spectacular hike. We both discussed how this was underrated as Casco and especially La Plata majestically mesmerized us. 
8 3
Route: South Ridge
Posted On: 2022-10-30, By: Sbenfield
Info: Did not use spikes or snowshoes. Snow gaitors helpful but not necessary. From the TH, creek crossing a bit slippery in the morning. Switchbacks easy to follow the entire way up. Great scenery and very cool mining ruins. Nice to meet the CheapCigarMan at the TH and join forces on this one!! 
5 3
Route: South Ridge
Posted On: 2022-06-25, By: halfapackofapache
Info: Summer conditions 
Route: Black Cloud TH
Posted On: 2022-04-30, By: osprey
Info: The weather forecast for today called for -5 to-15 windchills with gusts up to 45 mph so I went in with my full winter clothing prepared for Brrr instead of Bull. (Pun!) Instead it was warm and the only wind was a cooling breeze and the conditions led to rapid de-layering to prevent heat stroke. Intermittent snow on the trail started about 10,700 and because continuous after the stream crossing which was on a log bridge and GAIA was required to navigate through the forest after the stream crossing until just below timberline. I put on microspikes at the bottom of the gully that leads to above timeline and left them on for the rest of the ascent and the descent until re- crossing the stream. Spikes and poles were fine for the ascent as all the snow was quite consolidated. There was some post holing in the forest during the descent but I survived to tell the tale. 
Route: Black cloud approach
Posted On: 2022-02-21, By: B_2
Info: “Cleared out” a parking spot at Black Cloud TH, which was plowed in. (Be prepared to also get stuck in the sugary snow and have ability to traction/dig out.) Very low snow levels, had to boot most of first 600 vert in woods. Cut skin track several miles to above tree line. Some powder below tree line mixed with frozen and sun crusted drifts. Everything above tree line is firm, or frozen solid. Skinned to around 13K and booted straight up last 700+ On mix of snow ice rock. Crampons not necessary but would be safer on final pitch of 35-40 deg. This cirque and drainage will probably be very dangerous after the fresh snow. So maybe this report is pointless, heh. Happy trails! 
Route: From Elbert/S Elbert saddle
Posted On: 2021-06-18, By: LetsGoMets
Info: Did an Elbert > South Elbert > Bull Hill through hike, starting on Elberts East Ridge. Bull Hill from saddle between Elbert and S. Elbert (as stated in previous report) goes at a 2+ in places and is tedious. Some snow to avoid, talus hopped down to the saddle and then was basically ridge proper to summit. Took South Ridge route down Bull Hill to highway 82, summer conditions on that route. 
Route: Black Cloud
Posted On: 2021-06-12, By: dwoodward13
Info: Did a loop of Cosgriff->Elbert->Bull Hill from Black Cloud today. Summer conditions on the full route. Any snow is avoidable if one so chooses. Elbert to Bull Hill is Class 2+ in places and a bit tedious. I did an ascending traverse to Bull Hills more eastern side to walk up a grassy ramp the final 100 feet. Quite surprisingly large boulders guarded its northern flank, although they also looked like they went if you wanted to do that way. Followed the old Fidelity Mine trail on the USGS 2016 map back to the Black Cloud trail to complete the loop. The trail is a bit thin but I never really had issues losing it. There are cairns every so often as well. 
4 2
Route: Black Cloud to ESE Face
Posted On: 2021-04-24, By: k_fergie
Info: thatOneMonoskier and I used the Black Cloud Trail to approach the ESE face of Bull Hill to claim a first split-monoski descent of the peak. We were successful. The wind was absolutely horrendous up top, whipping way harder than the forecasted 25G40. Approach shoes on mostly dry trail for the first mile or so. Skinned from there to the top, and were able to ski all the way back to within a mile of the TH before losing snow and returning to approach shoes. This peak is not commonly skied, and this approach was never documented as being used, but I'd recommend it. EDIT: I forgot to add that there were 2 pairs of boots hanging out at the trailhead, so if you know a lady and a gentleman that are missing boots, they are still sitting there 
Route: Southeast Ridge via Black Cloud
Posted On: 2020-10-06, By: supranihilest
Info: The Black Cloud Trail is easy to follow. At the turnoff listed in the Roach guidebook (39.0823, -106.4364) for the trail to Fidelity Mine I couldn't locate any trail and just bushwhacked west through the forest until I hit an open drainage, then went up the drainage until the trail appeared to my right on the hillside. The trail is overgrown and faint. It's not necessary to find it, just go up the drainage if need be. Above treeline the ridge becomes rocky and progress slows, but it's all easy, if long, and goes at Class 2. I continued on to Elbert from here. 
Route: South Ridge
Posted On: 2020-07-04, By: E_A_Marcus_949
Info: Full summer conditions. No lingering snow. The creek crossing 0.3mi from lower TH has a bunch of logs for crossing, but they're slick. After Golden Fleece Mine you can follow the GPX route and go up the rocks or skirt around to the side and angle up. Took GPX route up and skirted around on the descent - some trail segments there. 
Route: South Ridge
Posted On: 2020-06-24, By: JasonKline
Info: Summer conditions. With only a little effort between South Elbert and Bull Hill, the little remaining snow is easily avoidable. The same could not be said for the crowd of about twenty people who insisted on standing tightly-packed while blocking distanced access to the Elbert summit block and flying a drone. 
Route: South Ridge
Posted On: 2020-06-18, By: two lunches
Info: Trail is completely dry 
Route: South Ridge
Posted On: 2020-05-21, By: angry
Info: Summer conditions. You can completely avoid remaining snow patches by skirting left/right. There is one annoying loose scree section around ~12,700. The creek crossing was flowing pretty strong on the way out and the logs were very slick, mind the gap. 
5 3
Route: South Ridge
Posted On: 2020-05-17, By: HikerGuy
Info: Essentially snow free, no need for traction or snowshoes. There are some remaining wind drifts on the trail as you approach the first switchback, but nothing major. Maybe bring gaiters, but the postholing is limited. I just cleaned out my shoes once I was through. Most of the remaining snow can be avoided. Otherwise, summer conditions. 
2 4
Route: South Ridge
Posted On: 2020-01-26, By: AnnaG22
Info: Trench installed roughly along the trail. We had some fun navigating below treeline. Once you reach the switchbacks for the standard dry trail, hang further east and keep to the less than 25 degree slopes instead of continuing to follow the switchbacks (this will make for slightly less flailing). 
Route: From Mt Elbert & down the ridge to Black Cloud TH
Posted On: 2019-07-28, By: majtytom
Info: Bone dry...full summer. Snow remnants are there for views. 
Route: South Ridge
Posted On: 2019-06-02, By: WildWanderer
Info: Snow started about 1/4 mile after the stream crossing and didn't stop. I wore snowshoes and postholed from when the snow started until treeline (up to my thighs). The trail was covered in several feet of snow, so there was some route finding involved (now the route is well marked by my postholing). There was an avalanche in the gully, and just before the last switchback I decided to take the consolidated gully instead of the postholing switchbacks (postholing at 5am was getting old). This was a great idea, but you have to wait until the last switchback because the gully doesn't "go" all the way down to the stream (see pic). Easy trek from mine to summit. Wore snowshoes but they probably weren't needed after the mine. 
Route: South Ridge
Posted On: 2018-11-19, By: cottonmountaineering
Info: Snow begins at road until a bit after you exit treeline, from there you can go up intermittent snow/rocks onto ridgeline Snowshoes recommended for the lower half of the mountain 
Route: South Ridge
Posted On: 2018-06-29, By: denvermikey
Info: 100% summer conditions. Quick update of Bill's TR from 2012. We kept missing the turnoff for the TH as the TR does not mention the turnoff is on private property. This may not have been the case in 2012 but there is an address sign posted at the entrance which is why we kept driving by. Address is 12715. Also the sign in his pic 2 has fallen but the post is still there. Otherwise the TR is spot on. Easy trail to follow! 
Route: South Ridge
Posted On: 2017-12-09, By: Trotter
Info: Trail is usually a mix of 1 inch of snow and clear. Once you get above treeline, the mining road holds about 3-5 inches of snow on long parts of it. Once above the second mine, that ridge is swept fairly clean, maybe an inch of snow. Did find several icy patches mixed in. Brought spikes but never used them, snowshoes aren't needed either yet, but would have been nice on the mining road in some spots 

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