Early Fall mild snowstorm in SEKI Sierra Crest; how would conditions be?

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Re: Early Fall mild snowstorm in SEKI Sierra Crest; how would conditions be?

Post by Dwwd » Thu Oct 04, 2018 9:36 am

Dear WikiReader
The backcountry variables in shoulder seasons can be highly uncertain and change rapidly as a function of altitude. Weather 2" of snow/rain/sleet goes to 0" or >6": Cold Wind Chill at -5 or -30 degrees bites deep beyond stated temperatures: Gear warm/dry or cold/leaking and frozen/broken water containers: Slippery rocks with icy coating, snow drifts, or not. Plus the skill level of your group is uncertain.

So monitor the weather forecast/changes as your date approaches. Then make sure you have a comfortable margin of safety in all details of your plans or backup plans. Including all the good points made previously. Consider one or two of the critical variables may change for the much worse. The real effects of cold, wet, or physical hurts must be strenuously mitigated for an enjoyable time.

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Re: Early Fall mild snowstorm in SEKI Sierra Crest; how would conditions be?

Post by rightstar76 » Sun Oct 07, 2018 5:27 pm

Just took a look at the Mt Williamson webcam:


Looks like a fair amount of snow this Sunday afternoon. Probably will melt but the passes will be icy for awhile.

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Re: Early Fall mild snowstorm in SEKI Sierra Crest; how would conditions be?

Post by WikiReader » Tue Oct 09, 2018 11:50 am

Thank you everyone for your extremely helpful comments! Our group of 3 did hike up Kearsarge pass and make camp in the basin on Saturday when it snowed 2-3 inches over 7 hours. The only scary part was hearing thunder when we were traversing the pass. We followed all the tips here and were able to be warm, dry, happy, and safe. The forecast even predicted up to 20-25 mph winds over the weekend but our campsite in a tree covered part of the basin was quite sheltered and although we could hear the howling winds, we could not feel it.

The next two sunny days rapidly melted the snow. We did a day trip to Rae lakes - the sun beating down on the day old snow made it mostly very comfortable to walk without additional traction even at the north part of Glen Pass where there was more snow. By Monday when we were getting out, it was hard to believe that it snowed reasonably heavily 2 days before. We got views from 2 seasons!

Seemed to be lightly trafficked (few north to south PCT folk) in most parts but the Rae lakes loop still has a lot of people.

@rightstar76 , thanks for the webcam link - definitely a resource to use for me in the future.
@Dwwd , I agree that strenuously mitigating environmental effects is absolutely necessary.

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