High Sierra Trail 7/5-7/12 Crescent meadow to Whitney Portal

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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sbphilip
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High Sierra Trail 7/5-7/12 Crescent meadow to Whitney Portal

Post by sbphilip » Sun Jun 23, 2019 6:51 pm

Hello all, I'm planning a High Sierra Trail trip starting July 5th. Looking at the forums and NPS website has definitely got me wondering if the full High Sierra trail is navigable. Top of my list of concerns are
-the Kaweah Pass (specifically the section of trail that may have fallen away)
-Creek/river crossings along the trail
- navigating the last section from Guitar lake to Mt. Whitney.

I understand that conditions/snow melt will be changing quite a bit as things warm up, however If you have any reports from the trail/if the full trip is even feasible I would appreciate the info.

Right now planning on micro spikes- trekking poles and ice axe for gear.
Thanks so much!








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AlmostThere
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Re: High Sierra Trail 7/5-7/12 Crescent meadow to Whitney Portal

Post by AlmostThere » Sun Jun 23, 2019 7:32 pm

You need to look at the SEKI website trail conditions page. A part of the trail between Hamilton and Precipice has slid out/is gone. It isn't "may have" it has fallen... And the creek crossings will still be a very, very big concern into mid July.

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sbphilip
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Re: High Sierra Trail 7/5-7/12 Crescent meadow to Whitney Portal

Post by sbphilip » Mon Jun 24, 2019 8:31 am

Yeah, I've been looking at the SEKI website trail conditions, I'm curious if any folks have been in the area for first hand accounts. If it's impassable at Kaweah I can accept that, but I would feel better about pulling an audible on our trip if literally no one has been able to make it across. Which creek crossings are the most important to time/plan to try to cross early morning (if we even get that far)?

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Re: High Sierra Trail 7/5-7/12 Crescent meadow to Whitney Portal

Post by AlmostThere » Mon Jun 24, 2019 9:04 am

Well, since the rangers are telling people that Buck Creek is impassible and causing a complete bottleneck, I'd say all of them. It had a bridge, might still have one if the cables kept it in place and the water is just going over it.

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Re: High Sierra Trail 7/5-7/12 Crescent meadow to Whitney Portal

Post by sbphilip » Mon Jun 24, 2019 2:19 pm

Any resources, to get insight as to when peak flow will be for these rivers/crossings over the next couple of weeks?

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Re: High Sierra Trail 7/5-7/12 Crescent meadow to Whitney Portal

Post by AlmostThere » Mon Jun 24, 2019 5:07 pm

Not that I'm aware of. a lot of it depends on temperatures and weather. It has for example snowed again at high elevation in the central Sierra Nevada -- last week. The afternoon cycle of thunderstorms can also have an impact -- we had rain for an hour to two hours last week for four days straight, with random bouts of hail. For planned outings I am calling three days prior to the anticipated start date to verify I have good information to base the final decision upon.

I'm watching the satellite images daily at the NASA EOSDIS website. Still a lot, LOT, of snow. Am happy that my July trip is not in California.

https://worldview.earthdata.nasa.gov/?p ... 4002428545

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Re: High Sierra Trail 7/5-7/12 Crescent meadow to Whitney Portal

Post by c9h13no3 » Mon Jun 24, 2019 6:55 pm

sbphilip wrote:
Mon Jun 24, 2019 2:19 pm
Any resources, to get insight as to when peak flow will be for these rivers/crossings over the next couple of weeks?
https://www.cnrfc.noaa.gov/ol.php?type=riverReservoir

However, I find their forecasts to be not very useful. Just watch the temps & rain forecast. If it's hot, with t-storms in the afternoon, you can bet it'll be rollin'.
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sbphilip
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Re: High Sierra Trail 7/5-7/12 Crescent meadow to Whitney Portal

Post by sbphilip » Tue Jun 25, 2019 6:21 am

I also found this via the high Sierra trail facebook group
https://andrewskurka.com/psa-hazardous- ... ySScKYOzaE

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Re: High Sierra Trail 7/5-7/12 Crescent meadow to Whitney Portal

Post by AlmostThere » Tue Jun 25, 2019 6:59 am

sbphilip wrote:
Tue Jun 25, 2019 6:21 am
I also found this via the high Sierra trail facebook group
https://andrewskurka.com/psa-hazardous- ... ySScKYOzaE
The fun part - it's entirely subjective, what can kill you. Silliman Creek, most of the time, never makes these lists that attempt to set down in writing what's dangerous or not. Yet someone died crossing it in 2017.

You should by default be ready to turn around, if the creek crossing looks too dangerous for you. What's dangerous for someone with little experience is less so for someone with more. But what kills people is in the end not the creek -- it's being unwilling to turn around if it's too deep, too fast, too slippery, too much for the people/person to manage.

My recommendation, not that anyone listens to me, is not to do things like the HST until the melt calms down -- not to do routes that require you to go forward or backward, with no options. Places like Jennie Lakes without major tributaries allow you to wander a bit up or down the stream instead of crossing it give you more options to make the best of things -- unlike the HST where everyone and their best bud ends up fighting for a few flat spots in a canyon, trying to tick something off their bucket list.

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Re: High Sierra Trail 7/5-7/12 Crescent meadow to Whitney Portal

Post by mooretess » Wed Jun 26, 2019 9:56 am

I have permits for HST around the same time (7/1-7/8). https://www.nps.gov/seki/planyourvisit/trailcond.htm
And as of now, I'm leaning towards what @AlmostThere is saying. Probably just going to wait this one out and find something we don't have to potentially turn back on right now.
But any other info or updates you find would be helpful! Thanks.

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