2019 Backcountry Conditions Reports

Questions and reports related to Sierra Nevada current and forecast conditions, as well as general precautions and safety information. Trail conditions, fire/smoke reports, mosquito reports, weather and snow conditions, stream crossing information, and more.
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maverick
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Alta Peak 7/7

Post by maverick » Tue Jul 09, 2019 1:00 pm

Posted on SNCC-TPP by Gabrielle Stadem:
Trail was basically snow-free until 10,500' then consolidated snow to the summit. I did it with microspikes and an ice ax but is probably doable with boots and trekking poles, if you're feeling brave. No issues with stream crossings.
Will likely be snow-free in a few weeks.

Had a view of Pear Lake from the summit- still totally snowbound and partially frozen.
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I don't give out specific route information, my belief is that it takes away from the whole adventure spirit of a trip, if you need every inch planned out, you'll have to get that from someone else.

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Piute Pass 7/6

Post by maverick » Tue Jul 09, 2019 1:06 pm

Posted on SNCC-TPP by Ben Banet:
Just went over Piute Pass yesterday & spent the night over the top. Some snow starting at Loch Leven and about 50% snow coverage above Piute Lake. We lost the trail intermittently from there to the pass. I used my ice ax for the final climb to the pass because I had it, but people were making it in trekking poles. Heavy snow coverage & major suncups beyond the pas
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I don't give out specific route information, my belief is that it takes away from the whole adventure spirit of a trip, if you need every inch planned out, you'll have to get that from someone else.

Have a safer backcountry experience by using the HST ReConn Form 2.0, named after Larry Conn, a HST member: http://reconn.org

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Emigrant Wilderness out of Crabtree Trailhead 7/4-7/7

Post by tomba » Tue Jul 09, 2019 9:24 pm

Route: The trail to Gem Lake, down to Buck Meadow Creek, up to Jewelry Lake, over the hill towards Gem lake, south of hill 8426T, down to the lower trail, cross West Fork Cherry Creek, up to Piute Lake, up Louse Canyon almost to Salt Lick Meadow, west across a gentle pass to Toms Canyon, down to Piute Meadow, and out.

Some snow on trail, particularly after Piute Lake and before Gem Lake. Significant snow near Jewelry Lake.

In Louse Canyon, some snow above 8080 ft and mostly full snow coverage above 8400 ft. In Toms Canyon snow eases up a bit below 8400 ft and mostly gone below the narrows, or about 8080 ft.

See viewtopic.php?f=34&t=19286&start=10#p148118 for creek crossing conditions.
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Re: 2019 Backcountry Conditions Reports

Post by SSSdave » Wed Jul 10, 2019 9:39 am

Today's NASA July 10 EOSDIS WV satellite is the clearest this week that shows the recent couple weeks have melted out increasingly areas of the high country. Even Huckleberry, Saddlebag Lake, Ediza, huge Duck, and Rae Lakes are now breaking up. However the majority of high country lakes are still under snow. My input here is in regards to vegetation, especially wildflowers that are more an interest for serious photographers like this person interested in peak summer aesthetics. Immediately after snow melts, there will be some early species that rise up like the heathers and common monkeyflowers, and short gruss flat residents, however most species require several weeks to move through their cycles. In any higher areas vegetation growth is more dependent on sun exposure and how wet or dry soils are with most plants requiring partial drying so air can move down into soils.

Accordingly I'm expecting the best conditions this summer in southern High Sierra areas won't peak till mid August. Those lower areas like southern Emigrant now melted out and volcanic geologies north of Yosemite will tend to peak later this month of July. The peak for expanses of Lobb's lupine, lupinus lepidus var. lobbii, is likely the end of August.

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Re: 2019 Backcountry Conditions Reports

Post by SSSdave » Sun Jul 14, 2019 10:15 am

Looking at today's High Res satellite image in the central Sierra Nevada as we enter mid July, high country lakes are rapidly melting off their ice layers and snow showing dark black of open water. It is fascinating to this person how rapidly lakes undergo such change once mid summer sun starts penetrating waters. Away from lakes, as soon as snow melts out, vegetation cycles begin that often show green herbs pushing up in just days. Outside of heathers, common monkeyflowers, shooting stars, and buttercups, it takes 2 or 3 weeks for significant numbers of other wildflowers species to show that is where I tend to time my trips for.

Above Saddlebag that melted out last week, one can now see Greenstone and Odell dark water with Steelhead beginning to melt out. Nearby Gaylor Lakes likewise half way melted out. To the north at Green Creek, Green, West, East, Gilmore,Summit all dark water now. To the south we can now see Thousand Island and Garnet with a few open water spots while Clark and Summit Lakes just became black and Minaret is mostly so.

South at Convict Creek, Mildred, Dorothy, Edith, Bright Dot now melted out now. And to the west about Fish Creek, Duck and Anne are mostly so while Purple, Olive, and Virginia are now dark. South of the Silver Divide into Mono Creek, Devils Bathtub has been out for awhile while nearby only the lowest Graveyard and Mott.

Four of the Pioneer Lakes, Fourth Recess, Third Recess, and Lower Mills Creeks Lakes and have gone black now. The big lakes of French Canyon and Humphreys Basin Golden Trout, Elba, Moon are dark while others are all showing dark areas as the sun has its way. On Bear Creek, Lou Beverly, Sandpiper, Orchid, Apollo, are melted out while Rose and Marie show mostly open water.

Along Bishop Creek, Piute, Loch Levin, U&L Lamarck, Blue, Emerald,Topsy Turvey, George, Donkey, Tyee, Long, Chocolate are black while others showing open water.

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Day hike on Flume Trail, east side Lake Tahoe, 7/12/19

Post by wildhiker » Sun Jul 14, 2019 10:32 pm

Did a day hike on the east side of Lake Tahoe up the Tunnel Creek Road/trail to the Flume Trail, and then south along the Flume Trail for a couple of miles. Elevations 6250 to 7800 feet. All dry and not a speck of snow. But plenty of snow visible across the lake on the northeast slopes of the Crystal Range in Desolation Wilderrness. Great views of Lake Tahoe, of course. Ceanothus were blooming from about 6500 feet elevation up, but not much else in the way of flowers on these dry open forested slopes. The Nevada highway department has created large off-highway parking areas along highway 28 at the start of the Tunnel Creek road/trail. They were completely full at 10 am on Friday! We had to park a couple blocks away in a residential area of Incline Village.

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Day hike from Loney Meadows in Grouse Lakes RA, 7/13/19

Post by wildhiker » Sun Jul 14, 2019 10:38 pm

Did a nice day hike from the Loney Meadow trailhead off Bowman Lake Road in the northwest corner of the Grouse Lakes roadless area in the Tahoe National Forest, north of I-80. Hiked the trail up to upper Rock Lake, and then cross-country up to the peaklet to the south for views of almost the entire roadless area and up to the crest. Trail was dry and not a speck of snow on this route except on the peaklet above 7000 feet. The trail runs by several large wet meadows and then through forest with numerous small meadowed openings. Elevations 6000 to 7200 feet. Numerous wildflowers were in bloom, especially ceanothus and ****-paw buckwheats at lower elevations, and then mules ears just getting going well up closer to 7000 feet. A few mosquitoes. Conditions were really just about perfect for a day hike or short backpack into the Rock Lakes. The rest of the Grouse Lakes roadless area looked pretty open, with some large snow patches on north facing slopes.

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devils postpile -> superior lake -> beck lakes -> minaret lake

Post by myg606 » Mon Jul 15, 2019 11:29 am

did a 2 night trip in the ansel adams wilderness this weekend starting at devils postpile -> superior lake -> beck lakes (XC) -> Nancy Pass (XC) -> minaret lake -> JMT out.

seeing snow pretty much over 9k, getting to superior lake on the beck lakes trailhead after the switch backs required some route finding as snow covered the snow. not too bad but slowed us down a bit.

superior lake: there really is only one place to camp not snow covered. Getting to the actual lake is tough bc of the snow so we had to grab water from snow melt and the stream out of the lake.

beck lake: approach is snow covered, lake is mostly iced over.

nancy pass: we made a rookie mistake and missed Ropers approach to Nancy pass and came over it from Becks Lake side but the pass itself was pretty snow free. The XC section to Minaraets lake was fun but glad we had an microspikes. didnt have to break out the axe thought but im glad we brought it.

Minaret Lake: much of the trial to minaret lk was snow covered so more route finding but it was pretty easy to find. The lake was partially snow/ice covered but it was easy to find a campsite. It seems that cecile lake and iceberg lake are do-able but we didnt get that far, we encountered a woman dayhiking it with crampons.

Minaret Creek: not terrible crossing, water is thigh high and kinda fast (and obviously cold), def. do it early though.

we had a blast and the temperatures were incredible (70-80 during the day, hight 30s-40s night). seems kinda unique to have this kinda early season conditions with summer temperatures?

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Jenny Lakes Wilderness 7/14-7/17

Post by maverick » Thu Jul 18, 2019 1:59 pm

Posted on SNCC-TTP by Kenton Klaudt:
Marvin Pass > Seville Lake > Lost Lake > Kenawyer Pass > Marvin Pass. Only a few tiny patches of snow on trails so microspikes not needed. Intense mosquitos on some of the swampier trail sections, and everywhere at dusk, but manageable with head nets and lots of bug repellent, and not too bad during the day.
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I don't give out specific route information, my belief is that it takes away from the whole adventure spirit of a trip, if you need every inch planned out, you'll have to get that from someone else.

Have a safer backcountry experience by using the HST ReConn Form 2.0, named after Larry Conn, a HST member: http://reconn.org

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Upper/Lower Dragon Lakes 7/12

Post by maverick » Thu Jul 18, 2019 2:01 pm

Posted on SNCC-tpp by Evan Thomas:
Some photos from Dragon Peak area, 7/12.
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Professional Sierra Landscape Photographer

I don't give out specific route information, my belief is that it takes away from the whole adventure spirit of a trip, if you need every inch planned out, you'll have to get that from someone else.

Have a safer backcountry experience by using the HST ReConn Form 2.0, named after Larry Conn, a HST member: http://reconn.org

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