2011 BACKCOUNTRY CONDITIONS UPDATES

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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gary c.
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Re: 2011 BACKCOUNTRY CONDITIONS UPDATES

Post by gary c. » Mon Jun 20, 2011 9:35 am

Here is one of the blogs I have been following and they just came out over Keararge this past weekend to resupply. They did Mt. Whitney and it sounds like it was a real mother. She posted video of both Whitney and Forester, pretty interesting. Sounds like there are a lot of folks having navigation problems in the snow along with quite a few so far minor injuries.

http://erinspctjournal.blogspot.com/" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;


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Wandering Daisy
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Snow Creek Trail, North Dome, Yosemite Falls 6/17

Post by Wandering Daisy » Mon Jun 20, 2011 3:31 pm

Route taken: Mirror Lake TH to Snow Creek, to trail jct near Tioga Road, North
Dome, cross trail to Yosemite Point, descend Yosemite Falls trail.




Difficult section encountered:
Solid snow for about a mile on top, patchy snow
for about 2 miles. Trail junction sign (Porcupine Creek trail and North DOme Trail)
clear of snow. Most snow is from this junction back down to Snow Creek. As long
as you can read a map you are OK. Good solid snow. No sinking in. Creek
crossings-trivial. Snow Creek is roaring! Yosemite Creek is roaring! Both have good
bridges. I did not need to cross Porcupine Creek- it would be difficult. Backpacker
campground in Valley half flooded- few spaces available.
Spring in rock at North Dome is still running water.




Special equipment needed/used:
N/A



Possible alternative routes:
N/A
Last edited by maverick on Mon Jun 20, 2011 3:45 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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norcalhiker
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Re: 2011 BACKCOUNTRY CONDITIONS UPDATES

Post by norcalhiker » Tue Jun 21, 2011 12:16 am

Nope, I was not confusing TM for KM. The PCT frontrunners lefts KM around the first of the month. Pretty bold. Here's a link: http://pcta.org/planning/during_trip/Tr ... asp?sect=I" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

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Re: 2011 BACKCOUNTRY CONDITIONS UPDATES

Post by Flux » Tue Jun 21, 2011 8:02 am

norcalhiker wrote:Nope, I was not confusing TM for KM. The PCT frontrunners lefts KM around the first of the month. Pretty bold. Here's a link: http://pcta.org/planning/during_trip/Tr ... asp?sect=I" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
Wow. I'm blown away. I have been seeing ski trip reports from those areas. Those folks are tough, tough, and tough.

Guess I will see some of it first hand. 2.5 weeks until I head out on a 10 day trip into some remote spots.

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Desolation Wilderness 6/17

Post by Coops » Wed Jun 22, 2011 3:57 pm

Not exactly the "High" Sierra, but I was up in Desolation Wilderness last weekend (6/17/11). Still loads of snow for June....pretty much 100% coverage above 8,000'. We walked across Lake Aloha comfortably, but I imagine it will thaw fast with the weather this week and that will no longer be feasible by the weekend of 6/25. Summited Pyramid Peak. Snow was stable on both the North and South side and the talus near the top of the south side is exposed and snow free (same for north ridge). Looked to be around 6-8 feet of snow depth on the PCT judging from the tree wells. Not shockingly, we saw no one once above 8,000'. The solitude and scenery were beautiful, but be prepared for 1.5 mile/hr pace or less.
Last edited by maverick on Wed Jul 06, 2011 11:44 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: 2011 BACKCOUNTRY CONDITIONS UPDATES

Post by windknot » Sat Jun 25, 2011 12:17 am

Thanks for the Desolation update! Which trailhead did you use to reach Aloha? Were any of the lakes at lower elevations either ice free or look to be thawed soon? I might head up to Desolation over the July 4 weekend but primarily want to find some open water for fishing.
You can read a few backcountry reports here: http://wanderswithtrout.wordpress.com/

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Kibbie Ridge 6/21

Post by DoyleWDonehoo » Sat Jun 25, 2011 10:01 am

Route taken: Kibbie Ridge to 7000 feet, Kibbie Lake.

Difficult section encountered: No bugs to speak of.


Kibbie Ridge: I started to hit large patches of snow at 6800 feet, a lot more higher. The worst part is that the trail is in excessively poor condition. Faint or missing in places, snow covered in others, or just plain obliterated in long stretches due to a burn and a harsh winter that blew a lot of the burned stuff down. This used to be a very nice well groomed trail: not any more. It will take a lot of work to clear all of the dead-fall, litter and trashy burned stuff off the whole route. If you do this, you had better be good at route-finding, a compass and map, and faint trail detection. Have your wading shoes handy.


Kibbie Lake: Beyond the Kibbie Lake and Ridge junction above Shingle Springs, expect lots of dead-falls and detours, in particular along the burned areas. Lots of flooded trail, one extensive section has a rough use-trail around it that requires some careful route-finding. Nothing dangerous or too difficult. One section was very nearly over-run by brush. The section of trail near the lake outlet is flooded, so you have to find other ways around the cliffs guarding the lake. I suggest going to the North End cross-country. More later in a TR.



Special equipment needed/used:
Wading shoes if you do not know about some of the bypass routes available.


Possible alternative routes:The whole trail is an alternative route. What a mess.
Road: It is a bit rough the last mile to SS. Cars got to Shingle Springs somehow.
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Last edited by maverick on Sat Jun 25, 2011 11:46 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Grouse Ridge Area 6/24/11

Post by Quercus » Sat Jun 25, 2011 11:24 am

Route taken: Bowman Lake Road to Carr/Feely Lakes.



Difficult section encountered: Snow encountered on the dirt road leading to Carr Lake Campground. Able to drive about 1 mile then had to walk the rest. Patchy snow cover at 6100 foot elevation, but mostly solid snow cover above 6500 feet. Both Carr and, especially, Feely Lakes still had ice cover.



Special equipment needed/used: Waterproof boots/shoes, hiking poles ,and snowshoes or skis if travelling above about 6500 feet.



Possible alternative routes: n/a
Last edited by maverick on Sat Jun 25, 2011 11:48 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Carne_DelMuerto
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Re: 2011 BACKCOUNTRY CONDITIONS UPDATES

Post by Carne_DelMuerto » Sat Jun 25, 2011 12:23 pm

Quercus, I was up there yesterday and hiked up to that solid patch at 6300-6400. I would have gone further, but my 4-year-old son was reaching his limit. Here's a photo of that patch at 6400-ish.
FR_17_062411.jpg
Edit: proper elevation
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Dinkey / Kaiser Wilderness 6/23

Post by AlmostThere » Sun Jun 26, 2011 7:34 pm

Route taken: roads into Dinkey/Kaiser wilderness areas (Sierra NF)

Difficult section encountered: Not many miles up the FS route from Dinkey Creek Rd toward Willow Meadow TH (the usual TH for Dinkey Lakes basin) people in cars/Jeeps/etc are being turned back by 18-24" of snow in the road. The trees in the area are free of snow, but views north and east show complete coverage on the ground where there are treeless spaces. Snowline is prolly between 7-8,000 feet depending on which way slopes face. Tamarack Ridge road from the 168 north of Shaver is still gated.

A drive up Kaiser Pass reveals the same - Potter Pass trailhead is still under snow, and the sign bagged up. We turned around after realizing the upper trailheads were still going to be this way. Road has been cleared and Vermillion is open but I suspect the trails are still 60-90% coverage between 7-8,000 feet and 100% above that.

Trails out of Wishon toward Crown Valley are going to be the same story - snow within 1-2 miles of the trailheads climbing up. I saw this area from the helicopter, lower areas are full of wildflowers and grass now going brown, high areas still under snow.


Special equipment needed/used: probably crampons and poles will do the trick. I may do an exploratory overnight soon, p'raps out to Kaiser.

Possible alternative routes: none; Courtright Rd is still closed due to snow on the higher parts of the route.
Last edited by maverick on Sun Jun 26, 2011 7:40 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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