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Mt. Darwin Apr 17-19? conditions?

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Mt. Darwin Apr 17-19? conditions?

Postby bcrowell » Sat Apr 05, 2014 9:53 am

A friend and I are planning to do some spring travel in the Sierra Apr 17-19, starting from somewhere in the vicinity of Bishop or Lone Pine. We have a car that is somewhat decent on mountain roads (Nissan Murano), but don't want to deal with chains or serious snow to get to a trailhead -- which I'm guessing won't be an issue for most (all?) trailheads because of the very light snow year. This would be our first time in the Sierra in spring, but we're fairly experienced in snow.

We've been wanting to do Mt. Darwin for a while, and it seems like if we want to do the west ridge the classic ice ax/crampon way, then this would probably be a year in which that should be done early in the season. We would bring equipment for setting up a belay on the summit block, but we don't know if the summit block would be covered with snow and ice in April of this year, which would make it a no-go for us.

Does anyone have any comments on the feasibility of the Darwin climb for this date? Any information on current conditions at the higher altitudes? If Darwin is not likely to be a good idea, does anyone have other suggestions for good spring trips in this area, in this very atypical snow year? We're open to snowshoeing, ice ax/crampon stuff, or just trail hiking if that's what there is this year.

Thanks in advance!



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Re: Mt. Darwin Apr 17-19? conditions?

Postby cgundersen » Sat Apr 05, 2014 11:02 am

hi bcrowell,
From what I can tell (by looking at the webcams that face Bishop basin or Mt. Williamson) there is more snow now than there was when I took day hikes in Bishop basin in late January. I posted a few photos in a short thread, and they should give you an idea: south facing slopes have very meager coverage, but you'll hit places with >2 ft on north-facing slopes and in valleys. Snowshoes would definitely be a good idea. Also, the road is closed just beyond Aspendell, so it's a bit of a walk to reach Sabrina, but no big deal.
cg
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Re: Mt. Darwin Apr 17-19? conditions?

Postby bcrowell » Sat Apr 05, 2014 11:14 am

Thanks, cgunderson -- that's very helpful!

For others who may be interested, I think this was the thread referred to above:
viewtopic.php?f=1&t=10652&p=80644#p80644
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