2015 Backcountry Conditions Reports | High Sierra Topix  

2015 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.

2015 Backcountry Conditions Reports

Postby ERIC » Wed Feb 04, 2015 8:46 pm

To quote maverick from last season:

maverick wrote:This is not a place to post trip reports, but a place for members to post a quick update on conditions experienced in the back-country on recent trips. Posting photo's of difficult sections encountered is encouraged.
This will allow other members considering visiting, or traveling, through the same location a heads up on difficult sections, so they can plan/prepare or re-route accordingly.

This is meant to be a quick reference for members, with up to date information, saving time from having to look through numerous trip reports to gather pertinent information for an upcoming trip. Just paste the form below into you post, and fill out the info.

Please do not ask questions about a particular area or post anything but a report
in this thread.

In the "Subject" above (title of post) section please post the area you visited, include
the dates.

Route taken:

Difficult section encountered:

Special equipment needed/used:

Possible alternative routes:


Subject: Rae Lakes-Lake Reflection-Sphinx Lakes 7/12/12 to 7/18/12

Route: Roads End-Upper Paradise Valley-Rae Lakes-Glen Pass-Junction Meadow-Lake
Reflection-Longley Pass-Cinder Col-Sphinx Col-Sphinx Lakes-Roads End

Difficult section encountered on this trip:
- Lost of snow on northern side of Glen Pass icy in the morning hours.
- Bubbs Creek crossing very difficult, found the best crossing point 400 yards west
of the usual low water crossing section.
- Big cornice encountered on Longley Pass, which was bypass by climbing rocky
section north of the pass (class 3).

Special equipment needed/used:
- Ice Axe
- Crampons
- Trekking Poles

Possible alternative routes:
- When crossing Bubb's, I notice a section about 100 yards further west that looked
much easier.
- Should have bypassed the cornice on the southern side, route looked barely class 2.
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Re: 2015 Backcountry Conditions Reports

Postby markskor » Thu Feb 12, 2015 6:44 pm

Just got back from a quick day hike up around the Mammoth Lakes....Mary and looking down at Twin.
Just to let you all know how things looked today at 9,000 feet.
BTW, was 60º...awesome.
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Re: 2015 Backcountry Conditions Reports

Postby The Other Tom » Fri Feb 13, 2015 5:12 am

Thanks Mark. So maybe 6" of snow ?
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Not Backcountry but From Glacier Point

Postby gary c. » Tue Mar 31, 2015 3:04 pm

Spent the weekend in Yosemite Valley. The Merced is running better than I expected and they opened the road to Glacier Point on Saturday. Saw quite a few backpackers heading in when we hiked the Mist Trail on Saturday. No snow anyplace except for in the culvert along to road to GP and a few small patches seen in shady areas. Here is what it looked like heading into the backcountry from GP.


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Chilnualna Falls/Buena Vista Loop March 29 - 31

Postby AlmostThere » Tue Mar 31, 2015 3:49 pm

Chilnualna Falls trail to the junction is dry as a bone. The creek is running like it's July. :(

We headed up to Grouse/Crescent Lakes and the trail was dry, only a couple pair of boot prints belonging to a couple lads who were on their way out - they told us the snowshoes on their packs came in handy over the Buena Vista crest.

We stayed a night at Crescent and woke to frost. Day hiked to Johnson and started to have to walk across long patches of snow (it was that or wade through the boggy meadows). Beyond Johnson Lake there started to be larger patches of the sort that are melting from the underside and are actually thin bridges of snow over muddy ponds. We turned around at that point. We had a few mosquito attacks at Johnson. Of course - that's where the snowmelt was. Below that point, we saw a few skeeters but nary a bite. The bees were more of a nuisance - they were drawn by all the manzanita blooms and stuck around to pester us in our bright colored sweat-drenched shirts.

Saw one marmot at Chilnualna Falls on the granite - many squirrels in the forest searching around.

Lower down, the meadows are frightfully dry and ugly.

Very few people on the trails other than day hikers who rarely make it all the way to the falls.
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Re: 2015 Backcountry Conditions Reports

Postby balzaccom » Sun Apr 05, 2015 7:47 am

Hey AT--we were in the same area just a few days later. Hiked in from the Ostrander Lake Trailhead, since Glacier Point Road is now open. Only tiny patches of snow visible all the way to Grouse Lake, where we camped. Not a single mosquito--but it was cold! Water frozen in our bottles overnight. We decided we'd rather sleep in a warm cabin than a snowbank near Buena Vista Lake...so headed back out the next day.

Here's a shot of Chilnualna Creek, to give you an idea of the flow:


As some of the first people on the trail, we saw a lot of downed trees, but nothing that kept us from staying the course.

Now let's hope that this next week brings us tons of rain and snow...

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Re: 2015 Backcountry Conditions Reports

Postby ExploreABitMore » Thu Apr 09, 2015 3:24 pm

Don't know it this will be as helpful now, since it sounds like a storm may have just dumped up to 2 feet of snow, but here is what Rae Lakes Basin looked like last weekend from Mount Rixford. Not much snow on the route, and look pretty slim to the North here, as well.

If it stays warm, it just might look like this again soon, since the new stuff will probably melt off pretty fast. But, here's hoping for some more storms!

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Re: 2015 Backcountry Conditions Reports

Postby tomba » Thu Apr 09, 2015 10:19 pm

It is helpful. Thank you.
-- Found trash? Please pack it out. Thank you.
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Re: 2015 Backcountry Conditions Reports

Postby TehipiteTom » Sun Apr 19, 2015 10:55 am

Got a shot of Emigrant Wilderness flying out to Philadelphia on Wednesday. There's a whole lot more granite showing than snow.

Couple more photos here.
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Re: 2015 Backcountry Conditions Reports

Postby Gazelle » Sun Apr 19, 2015 3:23 pm

From one of the snow survey people a good read


looks like Ritter and banner on memorial day weekend might happen

The woman who follows the crowd will usually go no further than the crowd. The woman who walks alone is likely to find herself in places no one has ever been before. Albert Einstein
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