It’s May 31 and there are still some fairly deep snow drifts high on the east side of the Sandias. There also seem to be an exceptionally large number of downed trees this year. I did a loop this afternoon from Ellis trailhead across the Gravel Pit Trail to the upper tram, to the top of La Luz, up the La Luz Spur Trail to the Crest (the trail with 36 steps at over 10,000 feet), and back down the Crest Trail (mostly) to Ellis trailhead. There was a point — before I got to this one — where the snow was so deep and steeply sloped that I had to slide down the drift on my butt (a very quick slide since I was wearing nylon pants — whee!). I’ve seen snow at the top of the Sandias in late May before but not this much, and not this late.
I’m grateful to the Friends of the Sandia Mountains, whom I’m guessing chopped through this tree and made this part of the Crest Trail passable.