TR: Snowmelt update from Kings Canyon | High Sierra Topix  

TR: Snowmelt update from Kings Canyon

If you've been searching for the best source of information and stimulating discussion related to Spring/Summer/Fall backpacking, hiking and camping in the Sierra Nevada...look no further!

TR: Snowmelt update from Kings Canyon

Postby Flamingo » Mon May 05, 2014 9:43 pm

Hi All,

Last weekend, I made a short trip to Roads End, to check out the snow conditions and try a couple new pieces of summer gear. I backpacked from Roads End up to the PCT junction at Woods Creek, camped by the suspension bridge, and then returned to the trailhead the next day. It was exciting to see this area of the park, normally crowded, with a deeper sense of solitude.

Snow: On north-facing slopes, the snow is melted away up to 9000'. On many south-facing slopes, the snow is entirely gone.

I encountered a handful of day hikers going to Mist Falls, but otherwise I met only two backpacking parties. One guy was finishing the Rae Lakes loop counterclockwise, and he said it was a long slog through rotten snow from Glen Pass down to 9000'. Another two guys were starting the Rae Lakes loop clockwise, lacking trekking poles or an ice axe (err, good luck).

The conditions are very nice right now! Warm nights, low crowds, no mosquitos. . .

Image
The Sphinx and Palmer Mountain

Image
Perfect picnic conditions in Castle Domes Meadow

Image
Castle Domes

Image
On the Woods Creek suspension bridge; patchy snow on north-facing slopes above 9000'

If you're curious, I posted more photos on my Flickr stream: (link)

Cheers,
V.



User avatar
Flamingo
Topix Regular
 
Posts: 136
Joined: Tue Mar 29, 2011 11:18 am
Location: Santa Clara, California
Experience: Level 4 Explorer

TR: Snowmelt update from Kings Canyon

Postby Bluewater » Tue May 06, 2014 12:00 am

Thanks for posting your photos. This really makes we want to get back out there, soon!


Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk
User avatar
Bluewater
Topix Expert
 
Posts: 553
Joined: Sun Oct 23, 2011 2:33 pm
Location: Laguna Beach
Experience: Level 4 Explorer

Postby bheiser1 » Tue May 06, 2014 8:53 pm

Yes, what Blue water said. It looks like summer!

Sent from my Nexus 7 using Tapatalk
User avatar
bheiser1
Topix Regular
 
Posts: 176
Joined: Thu Aug 05, 2010 8:39 pm
Location: San Francisco, CA
Experience: N/A

Re: TR: Snowmelt update from Kings Canyon

Postby Ballpeen » Wed May 07, 2014 8:31 am

Thanks for the info! I like to take my boys up there early season for car camping and day hiking. Last year around this time, roads end was day use only. Sounds like that might not be the case this year. Were any of the campgrounds in the roads end area open?
User avatar
Ballpeen
Topix Acquainted
 
Posts: 20
Joined: Mon Mar 25, 2013 9:57 am
Experience: N/A

Re: TR: Snowmelt update from Kings Canyon

Postby KathyW » Wed May 07, 2014 9:56 am

Thanks for the update. I'm headed up the Copper Creek Trail this weekend. I'd like to camp at Grouse lake and attempt Goat Mountain. Any suggestions on the need for snowshoes above 9000' or 10000'? Did the guy who did the Rae Lakes Loop have snowshoes or wish he had them if he did not? If I end up hauling the snowshoes and other winter gear, I might split the uphill to Grouse Lake into 2 days instead of one.
User avatar
KathyW
Founding Member
 
Posts: 351
Joined: Thu Aug 26, 2010 5:19 pm
Experience: N/A

Re: TR: Snowmelt update from Kings Canyon

Postby maverick » Wed May 07, 2014 10:32 am

Thanks for the TR Vhsvhs. Were their a lot of campers in Paradise?

Ballpeen wrote:
Were any of the campgrounds in the roads end area open?


Campgrounds that are currently open: http://www.nps.gov/seki/planyourvisit/campgrounds.htm
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
User avatar
maverick
Forums Moderator
Forums Moderator
 
Posts: 9313
Joined: Thu Apr 06, 2006 4:54 pm
Experience: Level 4 Explorer

Re: TR: Snowmelt update from Kings Canyon

Postby Flamingo » Wed May 07, 2014 6:17 pm

@KathyW - The Copper Creek trail is snow-free, at least up the ridge to Mount Hutchings, and I would guess that the route to Grouse Lake is also snow-free. However, Goat Mountain still has snow on its southern face, but not much. See the photo I attached. It's not a very good photo, but it shows a dusting of snow on Goat Mountain, as viewed from Castle Domes meadow. FWIW, I hope that helps.

ImageA view of Goat Mountain from Castle Domes Meadow.
User avatar
Flamingo
Topix Regular
 
Posts: 136
Joined: Tue Mar 29, 2011 11:18 am
Location: Santa Clara, California
Experience: Level 4 Explorer

Re: TR: Snowmelt update from Kings Canyon

Postby Flamingo » Wed May 07, 2014 6:23 pm

Hey @Ballpeen and @maverick - I saw one group camped in Lower Paradise, but Upper Paradise was a ghost town.
User avatar
Flamingo
Topix Regular
 
Posts: 136
Joined: Tue Mar 29, 2011 11:18 am
Location: Santa Clara, California
Experience: Level 4 Explorer

Re: TR: Snowmelt update from Kings Canyon

Postby KathyW » Thu May 08, 2014 5:16 am

vhsvhs - Thanks - it helps. I might just plan to try to be out where there is snow early in the day instead of dragging the snowshoes.
User avatar
KathyW
Founding Member
 
Posts: 351
Joined: Thu Aug 26, 2010 5:19 pm
Experience: N/A

Re: TR: Snowmelt update from Kings Canyon

Postby Duxbait » Fri May 09, 2014 4:25 pm

KathyW wrote:vhsvhs - Thanks - it helps. I might just plan to try to be out where there is snow early in the day instead of dragging the snowshoes.


I plan to do similar. I am decide whether or not to carry crampons and an axe now. Seems either soft snow or hard in the am where I may want the traction.
User avatar
Duxbait
Topix Novice
 
Posts: 8
Joined: Thu May 01, 2014 2:12 pm
Experience: N/A

Next

Return to Backpacking / Hiking / Camping



Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Bing [Bot], commonloon and 5 guests