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Do you guys think Glen Pass will be passable by now?

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Do you guys think Glen Pass will be passable by now?

Postby sky00high » Wed Apr 29, 2015 12:01 pm

Hey Everyone,

I am trying to get a backpacking trip going this weekend going in King's Canyon National Park. I have being reading snow reports provided by government survey, the title is "Sierra Nevada Snowpack Is Virtually Gone; Water Content Now Is Only 5 Percent of Historic Average, Lowest Since 1950" . So a crazy idea comes up to me, do you guys think it would be possible for me to hike Rae Lake Loop now? WIll I need ice axe/crampon stuff ?

If not, is that possible anyone suggest me a 2-3 days loop hike in kings canyon/Sequoia national park? I have hiked several long day-hikes this year (~20 miles per day with decent altitude gain) but this will be my frist backpacking trip.

Thank you very much! :yummy:

Terry

EDIT: just saw the guidelines for requesting trip advices.
  • - Backpacking Experience: Minimum(?). I have done car camping before. I pack light. I have read a lot of stuff about what should you do while backpacking.
  • - Terrain Preference: Anything without requiring a rope and the equipment is rentable.
  • - Main interest: Lakes are my favorite. Also big mountain scenary I guess. Campsite with great scenery of a lake and mountain is literally my life-long dream. I will bring my camera and tripod this trip.
  • - Since it is off-permit season, I can leave Bay Area Friday afternoon and do the first stretch the hike to first campsite Friday night or find a motel nearby. I can go back Sunday or Monday depends on what trail I eventually decide to hike.
  • - There will be no dogs.

Thanks! You guys are the best!
Last edited by sky00high on Wed Apr 29, 2015 12:17 pm, edited 1 time in total.



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Re: Do you guys think Glen Pass will be passable by now?

Postby maverick » Wed Apr 29, 2015 12:13 pm

Hi Terry,

Welcome to HST! Please read: viewtopic.php?f=1&t=4205
Also when you get the time an intro would be great: viewtopic.php?f=1&t=9329 :thumbsup:
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Re: Do you guys think Glen Pass will be passable by now?

Postby AlmostThere » Wed Apr 29, 2015 12:14 pm

There is still quite a bit of snow lower than Glen Pass. I'd vote possibly do-able with snow gear. No snow gear, don't try it.

For a first ever backpacking trip right now? Not high elevation, so not Sequoia-Kings unless you go out the Middle fork of the Kaweah, or from the South Fork of the Kaweah into Garfield Grove. Many of the usual road closures are still in effect so Sierra National Forest (High Sierra district) is a poor choice - also there is a bridge washout on the way to Dinkey and snow up on Kaiser Wilderness, tho I'm sure that will be melting quickly despite the cooling trend this weekend.

The roads into some of the trailheads leading into Ansel Adams along Beasore Rd are not gated and mostly passable, so perhaps Jackass Lakes or Quartz Mountain through to Chain Lakes in southern Yosemite. Permits from the North Fork office of Sierra National Forest, by mail, or by dropping in at the Clovis main branch to get walk ins the day before you go. Chain Lakes is mandated bear canister territory being in Yosemite. I doubt the road is open thru to Clover Meadow, tho.

In Yosemite, Chilnualna Falls, Ostrander Lake, or for a longer outing the Buena Vista loop, would be a good choice.

Bring mosquito deterrence method of choice - you'll need it.
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Re: Do you guys think Glen Pass will be passable by now?

Postby sky00high » Wed Apr 29, 2015 12:23 pm

AlmostThere wrote:There is still quite a bit of snow lower than Glen Pass. I'd vote possibly do-able with snow gear. No snow gear, don't try it.

For a first ever backpacking trip right now? Not high elevation, so not Sequoia-Kings unless you go out the Middle fork of the Kaweah, or from the South Fork of the Kaweah into Garfield Grove. Many of the usual road closures are still in effect so Sierra National Forest (High Sierra district) is a poor choice - also there is a bridge washout on the way to Dinkey and snow up on Kaiser Wilderness, tho I'm sure that will be melting quickly despite the cooling trend this weekend.

The roads into some of the trailheads leading into Ansel Adams along Beasore Rd are not gated and mostly passable, so perhaps Jackass Lakes or Quartz Mountain through to Chain Lakes in southern Yosemite. Permits from the North Fork office of Sierra National Forest, by mail, or by dropping in at the Clovis main branch to get walk ins the day before you go. Chain Lakes is mandated bear canister territory being in Yosemite. I doubt the road is open thru to Clover Meadow, tho.

In Yosemite, Chilnualna Falls, Ostrander Lake, or for a longer outing the Buena Vista loop, would be a good choice.

Bring mosquito deterrence method of choice - you'll need it.



Hey AlmostThere, thank you very much for your reply. But I saw you give your advices to avoid high elevation for me. Is there any reason for that? If you are worry about altitude sickness I will probably be fine. I was born near Tibet and have done some stuff in high ground.
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Re: Do you guys think Glen Pass will be passable by now?

Postby maverick » Wed Apr 29, 2015 12:37 pm

Thanks Terry for updating your info.

Would not recommend that you do any type of snow/ice travel (crampons/ice axe) without having
experience using them, you could end up seriously injuring yourself by improperly using them!

It is still a bit early for the high country, and some of the main areas are still inaccessible because
of the roads being closed.

I understand you eagerness to go on your first trip, but please keep in mind that there are still a lot
of dangers associated with backpacking, even if the snow/water levels are extremely low.

As AlmostThere mention, be prepared for the mosquitoes, they should be starting to get busy
here shortly at the lower elevations. viewtopic.php?f=15&t=7828&hilit=mosquito+avoidance

The Vernon Lake Loop would also be a good backpacking intro loop, here is a recent TR to the area:
viewtopic.php?f=1&t=12614

PS Other areas that are great for someone new to backpacking are, Little Lakes Valley, 20 Lakes Basin,
Minarets, Seville/Lost Lake, and Dinkey Lakes to name a few, but these areas are not accessible yet.
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Re: Do you guys think Glen Pass will be passable by now?

Postby AlmostThere » Wed Apr 29, 2015 1:50 pm

sky00high wrote:
Hey AlmostThere, thank you very much for your reply. But I saw you give your advices to avoid high elevation for me. Is there any reason for that? If you are worry about altitude sickness I will probably be fine. I was born near Tibet and have done some stuff in high ground.


As I believe has been mentioned, there's still snow up there.

Beginning backpackers are generally not prepared for mountaineering.

As far as elevation sickness, that can happen to anyone, any time, as low as 5,000 feet. (Rarely, but I've had someone along on a few trips who consistently started to feel nausea around 6,000 feet.) I tend to not have a problem myself, but - there have been occasions. That you were raised high makes no difference if you are not currently living high. It will always take someone time to acclimate, and you lose acclimation at roughly the same rate as you obtain it, over about a week and a half.
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Re: Do you guys think Glen Pass will be passable by now?

Postby sky00high » Wed Apr 29, 2015 1:55 pm

maverick wrote:Thanks Terry for updating your info.

Would not recommend that you do any type of snow/ice travel (crampons/ice axe) without having
experience using them, you could end up seriously injuring yourself by improperly using them!

It is still a bit early for the high country, and some of the main areas are still inaccessible because
of the roads being closed.

I understand you eagerness to go on your first trip, but please keep in mind that there are still a lot
of dangers associated with backpacking, even if the snow/water levels are extremely low.

As AlmostThere mention, be prepared for the mosquitoes, they should be starting to get busy
here shortly at the lower elevations. viewtopic.php?f=15&t=7828&hilit=mosquito+avoidance

The Vernon Lake Loop would also be a good backpacking intro loop, here is a recent TR to the area:
viewtopic.php?f=1&t=12614

PS Other areas that are great for someone new to backpacking are, Little Lakes Valley, 20 Lakes Basin,
Minarets, Seville/Lost Lake, and Dinkey Lakes to name a few, but these areas are not accessible yet.


Holy molly your photos are amazing.... I guess the goal for me in next five years is producing pictures half as impressive as yours.

Thank you and AlmostThere. I will do some more research base on your advises. Hopefully I can find a place not requiring me driving 5 hours getting a permit the day before my trip....
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Re: Do you guys think Glen Pass will be passable by now?

Postby sky00high » Wed Apr 29, 2015 1:58 pm

AlmostThere wrote:
sky00high wrote:
Hey AlmostThere, thank you very much for your reply. But I saw you give your advices to avoid high elevation for me. Is there any reason for that? If you are worry about altitude sickness I will probably be fine. I was born near Tibet and have done some stuff in high ground.


As I believe has been mentioned, there's still snow up there.

Beginning backpackers are generally not prepared for mountaineering.

As far as elevation sickness, that can happen to anyone, any time, as low as 5,000 feet. (Rarely, but I've had someone along on a few trips who consistently started to feel nausea around 6,000 feet.) I tend to not have a problem myself, but - there have been occasions. That you were raised high makes no difference if you are not currently living high. It will always take someone time to acclimate, and you lose acclimation at roughly the same rate as you obtain it, over about a week and a half.


I see. Maybe I am too confident about my mountain people blood trait :P. I will pay special attention on that. I will do some more researches base on your and maverick's advises. Thanks a lot!
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Re: Do you guys think Glen Pass will be passable by now?

Postby maverick » Wed Apr 29, 2015 2:16 pm

Terry wrote:
Holy molly your photos are amazing.... I guess the goal for me in next five years is producing pictures half as impressive as yours.


Thank you for your kind comments Terry. You have great parks to work with too, Banff and Jasper would be a dream.
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Re: Do you guys think Glen Pass will be passable by now?

Postby jenreyn » Wed Apr 29, 2015 2:21 pm

I was up Kearsage 2 days ago. I boke trail to the pass from 9000ft up. We went over the pass a little ways but my friend didn't want to slog anymore. There was about a foot at the top of the pass. I am sure it will melt out a bit, however Glen Pass is higher and will hold more snow on the north side.
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Re: Do you guys think Glen Pass will be passable by now?

Postby maverick » Wed Apr 29, 2015 2:33 pm

Thanks for chiming in with those current ground conditions, any photo's you can post in the "Conditions Report and Information"
would be appreciated. :thumbsup:
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Re: Do you guys think Glen Pass will be passable by now?

Postby tim » Wed Apr 29, 2015 2:57 pm

This weekend is likely to have some thunderstorms again. Not a time to be too high or too far in, especially on a first trip.
Why are you fixed on Kings Canyon? Paradise Valley, with a day hike up to Castle Domes meadow/Woods Creek would be fine. But that's not a trip to any lakes. Emerald Lake in Sequoia would be plausible but its an out and back 1-2 night trip.

Or if you widen your options, Lake Aloha is easy and quick to get to from the Bay Area (see our trip last week: viewtopic.php?f=1&t=12607). As you can see there is still a fair amount of snow at higher elevations in some places. This weekend, Tioga Road is expected to be open, so day hikes in Tuolumne Meadows would be possible if the weather is OK. Or a trip to North Dome.
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