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Old 02-07-2018, 07:59 PM
 
18 posts, read 13,341 times
Reputation: 19

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Quote:
Originally Posted by sunsprit View Post
Having raced dinghy's and keelboats on Lake Dillon since the lake was formed by the dam construction ... I've got a long term outlook on being out on the water there.

On just about any given summer day, expect the unexpected at anytime. Be prepared for anything from glassy water drifters to 60+ mph blow-outs with whitecaps/steep and deep chop. There may be days when the winds come up and drop multiple times through the day. Due to the influence of the surrounding terrain, winds can be in widely varying directions only yards apart from each other.

(True story: I've had more than a few days racing my Laser where the adjacent boat was on the opposite tack to mine, parallel to my track, both beating to weather, dealing with the puffs/gusts and that boat ... only a few boatlengths from mine ... disappeared from my view when we were in the troughs).

You need to keep an eye on the clouds approaching the lake to be aware of potential winds/shifts. As well, it pays to look at the dam and the area near it ... oft times, you'll be further down the lake in calm/light winds and see the water "boiling" off the dam. Sometimes those gusty winds will reach you and be quite a challenge, sometimes they'll come down the lake a few hundred yards and lift. (We've had more than a few races out in front heading down the lake only to see the rest of the fleet planing down on us while we were in light air, being overtaken ... and then the wind disappeared as quickly as it had arrived. Such see-saw events in races there are not unusual).

Bear in mind that the average thermocline of very cold water is typically very close to the surface; hypothermia is a serious risk in less than 2 minutes if you're not dressed for water contact. I wouldn't consider racing my Laser there without wearing a shorty wetsuit as a minimum, and usually wear long pant foulies and a couple of water resistant tops over my soft lifejacket.

Of course, there will be summer days when such conditions don't present ... and there will be days when the calms don't present, either. Mornings usually better for calmer conditions than later in the day when the sun heats up the surrounding mountainsides. There are shoreline areas which present a bit more shelter from the strong winds and opportunities to beach your craft until conditions improve, too.

PS: am reminded of a national regatta weekend years ago when a Fireball class regatta was held at Dillon. A most pleasant sunny, warm, calm day ... inviting shirtsleeves and shorts sailing on Dillon for a lot of the out-of-towners who had little experience with the local conditions. A friend whose husband was racing got a vantage point overlooking the lake. The fleet was sailing downwind, spinnakers up, on the dam-to-Frisco leg in a moderate, non-planing wind, smooth water day. She photographed the scenes where a number of puffs came boiling up over the dam, rapidly overtaking the fleet of very experienced high performance dinghy racers. In a matter of seconds, the entire fleet from last place boats nearest the dam to the front runners were all capsized. Even the boats in front who could see the capsizes behind them could not react quickly enough to adjust their sailing angle/boat trim/douse 'chutes before they were overwhelmed and in the water, too. Fortunately, nobody was injured, but the experience was pretty devastating for many of the racers who weren't prepared for the dunking into the ice bath. A Fireball is not self-righting or rescuing, so it takes a bit of effort to get the sails/gear organized, right the boat, and then sail away to let the bilge drains do their work ... at least several minutes of time exposed to the cold water and subsequently being soaked and cold.
Sunsprit - thanks for the detail on the unpredictable wind conditions on the Lake. We hope to spend zero time with water contact. It sounds like we may need to keep close to shore and keep a keen eye out for boiling water conditions and with an eye on the approaching clouds. I sure hope that we can be blessed with some of those calm water days when the ambient air temperature is warm enough to make for a pleasant paddle, as the surrounding scenery looks like it is very spectacular, based on only on the photos and videos I have seen of the lake.
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Old 02-11-2018, 11:29 AM
 
Location: Breckenridge, Colorado
59 posts, read 32,977 times
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Last summer June was totally dry but it rained almost every afternoon in July and August. It didn't dry out until mid September. This is called the "Monsoon" It pretty much made my life miserable when it came to camping and hiking this past summer. I spoke to a lot of people and some said it was a rainier than normal season but most said it was "normal for the mountains." Colorado may get 300 days of sun in some places but not in Summit County during the summer.

The mornings start out nice so it's important to get up early and do everything before noon. Then at noon the clouds would roll in and sometime between 1-3 the showers would start. Sometimes they would blow through but often they'd last until dusk and then it would clear at night.

It rarely rained all day. I think that happened twice so if you don't mind this pattern and learn to live with it, it's doible. I personally loved the temperature here in the summer. It rarely gets HOT with temps in the 60-70s and it's chilly at night so you dress in layers and always carry rain gear during the day, a jacket or sweatshirt at night. It's not humid unless it's raining (obviously).

That said, I vastly prefer the winter weather here. I love the blue skies and sun and when it's doing something, it's snowing. We are one of the few places that are getting snow this winter. I won't be here this summer so good luck! I prefer warmer/drier in the summer. Fall and winter are my favorite time of year here.

In the summer, always keep an eye out because the weather literally changes in 10 minutes, especially in the afternoon. Colorado turns you into an early riser when it comes to outdoor activities.
Attached Thumbnails
Help Requested For Frisco/Dillon Lake Co Summer Weather Conditions-21106686_699370136924542_1978508313732312908_n.jpg   Help Requested For Frisco/Dillon Lake Co Summer Weather Conditions-20728390_692625087599047_4166106704732109893_n.jpg  
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Old 02-11-2018, 12:05 PM
 
Location: Breckenridge, Colorado
59 posts, read 32,977 times
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The bike path around Dillon Reservoir is awesome and there is some much to do and see in the area. Summit Country is very friendly to bikers. Lots of mountain biking as well and paved paths run all over the county up and past Breck into Hoosier Pass or out to Copper Mountain. It really is a biker's paradise!

For me, if you get much hotter than 72 degrees it's uncomfortable and it's the rain that's more of a problem than the temperatures. If you plan accordingly you do everything early and be prepared. That's Colorado in general. You won't escape the monsoon in Boulder but you'll get much hotter temps. My daughter lives there and it's easily 20 degrees warmer in Boulder and they get the T-storms as well. Can't speak for Glenwood Falls but honestly, I think if you are looking for great scenery and a really great experience for biking you can't beat the Dillon-Frisco area. Frisco is a great town in itself and Breckenridge is right up the road.

I love the bike path around the reservoir...These are from last August. It didn't rain during the ride but when I was waiting for the bus to take me back to Breck around 2 pm the clouds came in, the winds picked up and I was glad I could wait in the little bus shelter. You just have to keep an eye on the sky. That's Colorado in the summer
Attached Thumbnails
Help Requested For Frisco/Dillon Lake Co Summer Weather Conditions-21151535_699992063529016_2917270892396166848_n.jpg   Help Requested For Frisco/Dillon Lake Co Summer Weather Conditions-21231874_699992790195610_9056383176898577104_n.jpg   Help Requested For Frisco/Dillon Lake Co Summer Weather Conditions-21151336_699991050195784_1660731257697428092_n.jpg  
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Old 02-11-2018, 08:54 PM
 
18 posts, read 13,341 times
Reputation: 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by Freak On a Leash View Post
The bike path around Dillon Reservoir is awesome and there is some much to do and see in the area. Summit Country is very friendly to bikers. Lots of mountain biking as well and paved paths run all over the county up and past Breck into Hoosier Pass or out to Copper Mountain. It really is a biker's paradise!

For me, if you get much hotter than 72 degrees it's uncomfortable and it's the rain that's more of a problem than the temperatures. If you plan accordingly you do everything early and be prepared. That's Colorado in general. You won't escape the monsoon in Boulder but you'll get much hotter temps. My daughter lives there and it's easily 20 degrees warmer in Boulder and they get the T-storms as well. Can't speak for Glenwood Falls but honestly, I think if you are looking for great scenery and a really great experience for biking you can't beat the Dillon-Frisco area. Frisco is a great town in itself and Breckenridge is right up the road.

I love the bike path around the reservoir...These are from last August. It didn't rain during the ride but when I was waiting for the bus to take me back to Breck around 2 pm the clouds came in, the winds picked up and I was glad I could wait in the little bus shelter. You just have to keep an eye on the sky. That's Colorado in the summer
Freak on a Leash - Thanks very much for your detailed reply and for sharing your experience with the area. That is helpful for us to know what to expect if we do choose Dillon/Frisco as our summer vacation destination (And Boulder as well.), which it looks like we may at this point. We prefer riding on dedicated paths vs. on open roads with motor vehicles and this is one of the reasons that the area holds so much appeal to us, with the extensive recreational path system. I am also a stand-up paddleboarder, so the lake holds attraction for that as well

We live in the Sonoran desert in Arizona and we too get regular summer monsoon rains here. The difference is that the temps are in the triple digits in July and August. Mix that with rains and it ain't pretty!

If we could find a location with scenic beauty, temps in the high 70s and little to no rain, with bike path riding, throw in a lake or two, that would be perfection. San Diego ticks most of these boxes, but SoCal usually has lots of fog in the summer months and is obviously a huge city vs. Dillon/Frisco.

Thanks for including the photos as well. That scenery is gorgeous!
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Old 02-12-2018, 12:11 PM
 
9,830 posts, read 19,531,434 times
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A couple of things to understand:

1. In the mountains you can have 4 seasons in one day. Not saying you will every day but it can happen.

2. I lived 7 years up there. No summer was the same. There were July months where there were boiling thunderstorms coming up every afternoon and other July months where I never saw a raindrop and it was bone dry.

3. Air temp is only part of it. Up high in the Rockies the air is thin and you are closer to the sun. So the air temp of course might be cool but in the sun you'll be warm. At night when it cools into the 40's it can often be a relief. Many places simply do not have AC, so interior rooms facing the sun can heat up significantly. Unless you suffer from medical conditions, I can't see needing more than a windbreaker and sweater on hand.

4. The wind is likely going to blow every afternoon. The most consistent time for calm weather is morning and evening. Once the sun gets up in the sky and begins heating air, the air moves up and down the mountains and you'll have wind. That's just a fact of life in the mountains in the summer.
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Old 02-13-2018, 10:03 PM
 
Location: Breckenridge, Colorado
59 posts, read 32,977 times
Reputation: 78
Quote:
Originally Posted by calkidwilly View Post
Freak on a Leash - Thanks very much for your detailed reply and for sharing your experience with the area. That is helpful for us to know what to expect if we do choose Dillon/Frisco as our summer vacation destination (And Boulder as well.), which it looks like we may at this point. We prefer riding on dedicated paths vs. on open roads with motor vehicles and this is one of the reasons that the area holds so much appeal to us, with the extensive recreational path system. I am also a stand-up paddleboarder, so the lake holds attraction for that as well

We live in the Sonoran desert in Arizona and we too get regular summer monsoon rains here. The difference is that the temps are in the triple digits in July and August. Mix that with rains and it ain't pretty!
Yes, people don't often realize that about the southwest..that it's NOT always bone dry! There's the summer monsoon and it does affect Colorado. But here you have altitude and the mountains have their own weather system. An hour away the weather can be completely different but Colorado as a whole is affected by the monsoon, especially last summer.

Yes, Summit County and Boulder are very bike friendly. My daughter says in Boulder that they plow the bike paths before the roads! There's lots of great biking in Boulder but keep in mind that it's a city, with sprawl, traffic and it's much warmer but they can get some volatile weather because Boulder is literally in a valley, with the mountains to the west and the plains to the east. I personally think it's too warm and prefer the actual mountains. You can be in the mountains in less than an hour but if you want to stay and bike around it will be a more urban environment with the Flatiron foothills as your environment. Except for the reservoir and lakes you can drive to, there aren't any big bodies of water I know about.

Summit County has a LOT to do for an outdoors person. Aside from the Dillon reservoir, there's tons of biking, hiking, rafting and lots of towns to explore as well as other areas like Buena Vista, Great Sand Dunes, etc..a few hours away. It's a great area. Definitely a lot different from Arizona.

Quote:
If we could find a location with scenic beauty, temps in the high 70s and little to no rain, with bike path riding, throw in a lake or two, that would be perfection. San Diego ticks most of these boxes, but SoCal usually has lots of fog in the summer months and is obviously a huge city vs. Dillon/Frisco.
You are talking to a kindred spirit if you want to avoid rain! I hate rain and in the summer of 2016 I went to Lake Tahoe and spent August there and on the northern CA coast. The coast didn't get rain but it was foggy and damp most days and that drove me nuts. I love sun and blue skies and the northern CA interior mountains, the Sierra..delivered that in spades. If you go inland in the northwest you will get the warmer temperatures and escape the monsoon. You can still get an afternoon T-shower but in the months I was in CA it didn't rain much at all. It was as many described Colorado to me: A storm would blow in for a half hour or so and blow out and clear up. In the 3 months I was in CA it rained twice and it was spotty. In September I got some snow but it was 75 degrees two days later. I loved the weather in CA.

If little to no rain is what you are looking for and a lake, then maybe you should look at the Lake Tahoe area. It's drier and warmer. It's also more crowded though and I didn't find Lake Tahoe as "biker friendly". But I did love being able to wake up, plan a day and not have to worry about it clouding over and raining.

I personally am heading into interior Oregon, to Crater Lake NP, to work and stay for the summer. Everyone says "You're going to Oregon? But you HATE rain!". But it's the inverse of Arizona. Yes, it rains/snows a good portion of the time the rest of the year but months of July and August tend to be dry there so that's where I'm going. That, and I want to explore a new area of the country.

So if you are still shopping, check out the Lake Tahoe area. It might fit you better if you desire warmer, more tranquil weather for the summer. It can get cool there but it's not as cool as the high country at Colorado. The highest point on the lake is around 9000 feet and much of it is lower. You can hike, mountain bike, paddleboard, kayak or just lounge on the beach. The lake is huge! Lots of options there! I saw blue skies and warm temps for most of August and September

I also included a few pics of Boulder as well. It takes about 90 minutes to drive from Dillon to Boulder. The Flatirons are right outside town and it's indeed a city. One pic is of famous Pearl Street, where there are lots of restaurants, shops, etc.
Attached Thumbnails
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Help Requested For Frisco/Dillon Lake Co Summer Weather Conditions-14095721_525738357621055_7269213455087878879_n.jpg   Help Requested For Frisco/Dillon Lake Co Summer Weather Conditions-14102331_525740417620849_5751308458330063228_n.jpg   Help Requested For Frisco/Dillon Lake Co Summer Weather Conditions-14100357_525738367621054_3030899275127774474_n.jpg   Help Requested For Frisco/Dillon Lake Co Summer Weather Conditions-14089258_525744030953821_8434140324707166404_n.jpg   Help Requested For Frisco/Dillon Lake Co Summer Weather Conditions-14054095_525747017620189_3715938102521719389_n.jpg  


Last edited by Freak On a Leash; 02-13-2018 at 10:28 PM..
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Old 02-14-2018, 06:38 AM
 
18 posts, read 13,341 times
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Freak on a Leash - Thanks for the ideas and suggestions! Receiving helpful responses like yours and the others on this forum offering friendly help to a stranger restore my faith in people. So much of the social media that I am exposed to quickly devolves into rude, unfriendly shouting matches between people that receiving friendly help is refreshing.

I am not familiar with the Crater Lake area, but have heard that it is gorgeous. Lake Tahoe is indeed a very special place on this earth. I have explored Tahoe and have spent time there. The only important box that Tahoe does not tick in our list of search criteria is a significant bike path system. While the scenery is spectacular to be outside and cycle in, the dedicated (paved) paths are limited and require a cyclist to ride in the road with vehicle traffic much of the time. As you have also noted, the summer crowds in force at Tahoe can also be heavy.

Based on your feedback it sounds like you are an adventurous soul who enjoys exploring. Thanks for sharing your experience with these locations. Your photos and description of the Boulder area also provide more context for us in our decision (We have not been to Boulder before.). It sounds like Summit County would better match our search criteria than would Boulder.

Yes, I share your aversion to the wet and damp coastal fogs that dominate the Pacific Coast in the summer months. I lived for decades on the beach in central Cal and the "fog monster" visits frequently. As the locals call it, expect "June Gloom" and "May Gray." Often much of July is also foggy.

Thanks again, the information you provided is helpful and is appreciated!
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Old 02-14-2018, 06:55 AM
 
18 posts, read 13,341 times
Reputation: 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by wanneroo View Post
A couple of things to understand:

1. In the mountains you can have 4 seasons in one day. Not saying you will every day but it can happen.

2. I lived 7 years up there. No summer was the same. There were July months where there were boiling thunderstorms coming up every afternoon and other July months where I never saw a raindrop and it was bone dry.

3. Air temp is only part of it. Up high in the Rockies the air is thin and you are closer to the sun. So the air temp of course might be cool but in the sun you'll be warm. At night when it cools into the 40's it can often be a relief. Many places simply do not have AC, so interior rooms facing the sun can heat up significantly. Unless you suffer from medical conditions, I can't see needing more than a windbreaker and sweater on hand.

4. The wind is likely going to blow every afternoon. The most consistent time for calm weather is morning and evening. Once the sun gets up in the sky and begins heating air, the air moves up and down the mountains and you'll have wind. That's just a fact of life in the mountains in the summer.
Wanneroo - Those are all helpful points you raise and are important considerations for us. Thanks very much for pointing them out. The common theme regarding the weather patterns in the Dillon/Frisco area seems to be that the weather changes rapidly in the summer months. Based on your observations, it sounds like we should plan to get our paddling in on the lake before noon and be prepared for winds and potentially rains if we cycle in the afternoon.
I'm happy to read your observation that a windbreaker and sweater should be sufficient and that we may be able to leave our down parkas behind when we visit the area in the summer.

Thanks again for providing your helpful observations. Much appreciated!
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Old 02-14-2018, 09:37 PM
 
9,830 posts, read 19,531,434 times
Reputation: 7602
Quote:
Originally Posted by calkidwilly View Post
Wanneroo - Those are all helpful points you raise and are important considerations for us. Thanks very much for pointing them out. The common theme regarding the weather patterns in the Dillon/Frisco area seems to be that the weather changes rapidly in the summer months. Based on your observations, it sounds like we should plan to get our paddling in on the lake before noon and be prepared for winds and potentially rains if we cycle in the afternoon.
I'm happy to read your observation that a windbreaker and sweater should be sufficient and that we may be able to leave our down parkas behind when we visit the area in the summer.

Thanks again for providing your helpful observations. Much appreciated!
I think the way to look at it is the weather CAN change very fast, not that it always will. There can even be a freak snowfall, especially if you go above 10000ft, hiking or biking. As long as you have that mindset of preparation you'll be good. Definitely the morning or later in the evening is going to be your best chance for calm conditions, especially that first hour or two after sunrise. Part of my family has been in the Colorado mountains for many decades, their rule of thumb was always get their hiking or biking or watersports in before noon, then they didn't have to worry about thunderstorms or wind in the afternoon.
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