Trail Conditions

As of Jun 3:  The trail is clear to just below the Middle Cottonwood Pass/Bostwick Pass (about mile 3) where it is then snow covered to the summit.  In spots the trail is hard to see with about 2 to 3 feet of snow.  The north face of South (first) Bostwick has a lot of snow.  I estimate the snow is about 5 feet deep.  It was frozen near the summit and hard to get footing, but soon we could punch in and could make good time.  The trail becomes clear on all south facing slopes.  The trial is again snow covered in North Bostwick and in the trees below with about 3 to 4 feet of snow over the trail.  Once you are out of the trees on the Truman side and get to the meadow the trail is clear all the way to the Truman trailhead.  
Going from Middle Cottonwood over to Sypes (50K only) I found only a few spots with snow and it was near the ridge summit.  It should be gone or only a trace left by race day.  The avalanche area in the bottom out of Middle Cottonwood is clear this year.  No avalanches!

Overall the course will be beautiful (lots of flowers), yet challenging this year.  The snow is melting fast, but there will still be some in the Bostwicks as it has been in years past.

After the second Bostwick and into Truman Gulch there are several areas where the trail was eroded and now re-routed.  Once you start down Truman Gulch the trail has been re-routed  away from the creek and now is an extensive series of switchbacks.  The new trail adds some length to the course and the distance from the Middle Cottonwood start to the Truman aid station is now almost exactly 9 miles, nearly a half mile addition but easier to run fast in this part.

Looking at the forecast we are supposed to have sunny days and temps in the 80's June 5-10, and in fact almost 90 on June 8.  The nice thing is all south facing slopes are free of snow and in fact dry.  It is EASY to see the trail looking forward from the Saddle Aid station (mile 4). Look forward to see where the trail goes up the opposite side. Middle Cottonwood to Sypes is completely clear of snow, and water, except at the creek crossing where you have turned right towards Sypes. Expect to wade Middle Cottonwood Creek at the crossing, but it's only about 6 to 8 inches deep. Expect some mud as you travel uphill on a tributary stream.

There will be no race packets sent out. You will pick up race numbers and shirts at the race start which is at Middle Cottonwood Trailhead. Directions are at the Race Info page. Be sure to arrive at the race start by 5:30 AM. Parking will be very tight along the road as you approach the trail head. Pull off far enough for people to get by you. There will be only one porta-john so you should be prepared to use the woods if in a hurry.

Post-race party is at 6:30 at Lindley Pavilion. In Bozeman, go east on Main Street towards Billings, up the hill past the first Exxon, turn right on Buttonwood at the park near the top with a horse and rider statue. You can go past the statue and turn right on Cyprus too. Free pulled pork sandwiches from Bar 3 BBQ and Golden Ale from Map Brewery plus water and pop.


     All Pictures from June 3

Looking forward from the first Bostwick June 3                  Looking back up the first Bostwick June 3


Looking down the second Bostwick, going forward June 3            Coming down the second Bostwick. Best to stay in the center


  Notice how consolidated the snow is                                                       New Switchback trail in Truman - go left


Coming out of the second Bostwick                                          Typical creek crossing on the upper course