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

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

Postby ExploreABitMore » Wed Apr 29, 2015 3:09 pm

jenreyn wrote: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.


You were in/on snow from 9000 ft on? Parking lot is at 9200! Wow, I hardly had to touch snow a few weeks ago all the way to Rixford. Is all the new snow from the unsettled weather we had move through? I was just in the Whitney region not too far South and they really didn't get much at all from the latest weather.
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Re: Do you guys think Glen Pass will be passable by now?

Postby sky00high » Wed Apr 29, 2015 3:40 pm

tim wrote: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.


Thanks for your reply. I am not fixed on Kings Canyon. I was just genuinely interested in Rae Lake Loop after I saw the pictures, without realizing the difficulty of crossing the Glen Pass. I will definitely research the places you mentioned and some other places in Sequoia.
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Re: Do you guys think Glen Pass will be passable by now?

Postby AlmostThere » Wed Apr 29, 2015 3:43 pm

By the way, any place you go in the parks, you'll still need a permit. If it's before quota season you self register for one. If going into national forest wildernesses, this is a little different - you get one from an office just the same, and the quotas are the same. Except for those wilderness areas that do not require permits at all - Jennie Lake, Ventana, Sespe, Dick Smith. If the trail is straight up national forest outside designated wilderness boundaries then no permit other than the annual campfire permit is needed. Not that this lets you have a campfire, necessarily. There will once again be campfire bans. Hoping they do not do a stove ban - Ventana has a complete fire ban including stoves in very dry years, but so far they have been the only ones.

A friend went to Paradise during the snow last weekend. It was pretty, they did fine, but they were prepared for it. It will probably be melted out by next week as it's not high enough.
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Re: Do you guys think Glen Pass will be passable by now?

Postby sparky » Wed Apr 29, 2015 4:03 pm

Why not just do and out and back from roads end in kings canyon? Just go as far as you can, and turn around when you hit snow. You will still have an amazing time. The river, the trees, the views....its all good man...enjoy it.
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Re: Do you guys think Glen Pass will be passable by now?

Postby jenreyn » Wed Apr 29, 2015 4:32 pm

We hit some snow just above the parking lot, then snow at the first lake onwards. It will melt fast, as we even saw melting during the day in our boot packs. There was no snow at the parking lot. However not too far above....
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Re: Do you guys think Glen Pass will be passable by now?

Postby ExploreABitMore » Wed Apr 29, 2015 8:22 pm

jenreyn wrote:We hit some snow just above the parking lot, then snow at the first lake onwards. It will melt fast, as we even saw melting during the day in our boot packs. There was no snow at the parking lot. However not too far above....


Thanks jenreyn, sounds like a few areas got a bit more snow than I realized. Gonna have to change some plans I had this weekend!

In regards to the OP, another thing to keep in mind is that in many areas the south facing slopes are holding very little, if any, snow, while the N facing slopes are holding on to quite a bit. So, even if Glen Pass looks good on the way in from the South, it wouldn't be terribly surprising if the N facing side has a lot of snow.
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Re: Do you guys think Glen Pass will be passable by now?

Postby sky00high » Thu Apr 30, 2015 12:36 am

AlmostThere wrote:By the way, any place you go in the parks, you'll still need a permit. If it's before quota season you self register for one. If going into national forest wildernesses, this is a little different - you get one from an office just the same, and the quotas are the same. Except for those wilderness areas that do not require permits at all - Jennie Lake, Ventana, Sespe, Dick Smith. If the trail is straight up national forest outside designated wilderness boundaries then no permit other than the annual campfire permit is needed. Not that this lets you have a campfire, necessarily. There will once again be campfire bans. Hoping they do not do a stove ban - Ventana has a complete fire ban including stoves in very dry years, but so far they have been the only ones.

A friend went to Paradise during the snow last weekend. It was pretty, they did fine, but they were prepared for it. It will probably be melted out by next week as it's not high enough.


Thank you for your note! I think I will try a easier try in sequoia/kings canyon national park that won't require crossing a pass this time. Since I have already done a bit of research about this place. I would definitely check out those places you mentioned and get the campfire permit!
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Re: Do you guys think Glen Pass will be passable by now?

Postby sky00high » Thu Apr 30, 2015 12:37 am

sparky wrote:Why not just do and out and back from roads end in kings canyon? Just go as far as you can, and turn around when you hit snow. You will still have an amazing time. The river, the trees, the views....its all good man...enjoy it.


This is true... I think I might just end up doing that. Thank you for your opinion!
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Re: Do you guys think Glen Pass will be passable by now?

Postby sky00high » Thu Apr 30, 2015 12:38 am

ExploreABitMore wrote:
jenreyn wrote:We hit some snow just above the parking lot, then snow at the first lake onwards. It will melt fast, as we even saw melting during the day in our boot packs. There was no snow at the parking lot. However not too far above....


Thanks jenreyn, sounds like a few areas got a bit more snow than I realized. Gonna have to change some plans I had this weekend!

In regards to the OP, another thing to keep in mind is that in many areas the south facing slopes are holding very little, if any, snow, while the N facing slopes are holding on to quite a bit. So, even if Glen Pass looks good on the way in from the South, it wouldn't be terribly surprising if the N facing side has a lot of snow.


Thank you for this advice! This is very valuable!
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Re: Do you guys think Glen Pass will be passable by now?

Postby ianrb » Thu Apr 30, 2015 9:13 am

tim wrote: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.

Sorry if this is derailing the thread, it seemed really relevant to my upcoming weekend.

I was actually looking to make my first eastern sierra trip out to the Kearsarge pass area this coming weekend. I have some backpacking experience (been going non-stop since last october), but I have not been to the sierra yet. We are not planning on heading up the pass or onto any of the nearby peaks/ridges. Our plan is to just hang out at Matlock Lake and hike around the surrounding area, take pictures and enjoy the mountains. I've been watching the weather and it seems like it is a pretty low probability of rain/thunder/snow. Though, I understand the higher elevations are always more prone to this kind of weather. Would you think it would be pretty unsafe to continue with this trip, even if we are staying in the lower parts of that area? We have a backup plan to go do an out-and-back to Twin Lakes in Sequoia, but we're pretty eager to get into some higher elevation this weekend. Thoughts? Thanks
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Re: Do you guys think Glen Pass will be passable by now?

Postby AlmostThere » Thu Apr 30, 2015 9:22 am

ianrb wrote:
tim wrote: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.

Sorry if this is derailing the thread, it seemed really relevant to my upcoming weekend.

I was actually looking to make my first eastern sierra trip out to the Kearsarge pass area this coming weekend. I have some backpacking experience (been going non-stop since last october), but I have not been to the sierra yet. We are not planning on heading up the pass or onto any of the nearby peaks/ridges. Our plan is to just hang out at Matlock Lake and hike around the surrounding area, take pictures and enjoy the mountains. I've been watching the weather and it seems like it is a pretty low probability of rain/thunder/snow. Though, I understand the higher elevations are always more prone to this kind of weather. Would you think it would be pretty unsafe to continue with this trip, even if we are staying in the lower parts of that area? We have a backup plan to go do an out-and-back to Twin Lakes in Sequoia, but we're pretty eager to get into some higher elevation this weekend. Thoughts? Thanks


If the snow line is around 9-10,000 feet, and you are hiking in snow covering the trail, are you still inclined to go?
How do you feel about mosquitoes?
NOAA says there is a 20% chance of thunderstorms today thru Saturday night, and a chance of rain late Sunday, in the vicinity of Onion Valley. Lows are in the 30s. It will likely feel colder if there is snow.

The danger of lightning is always present everywhere, to some degree. It can strike from ten miles away, and do unpredictable things. In the summer there are often afternoon thunderstorms that last 1-3 hours. You can check out NOLS lightning safety info at http://tinyurl.com/mjqqygu
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Re: Do you guys think Glen Pass will be passable by now?

Postby ExploreABitMore » Thu Apr 30, 2015 9:34 am

ianrb wrote:
tim wrote: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.

Sorry if this is derailing the thread, it seemed really relevant to my upcoming weekend.

I was actually looking to make my first eastern sierra trip out to the Kearsarge pass area this coming weekend. I have some backpacking experience (been going non-stop since last october), but I have not been to the sierra yet. We are not planning on heading up the pass or onto any of the nearby peaks/ridges. Our plan is to just hang out at Matlock Lake and hike around the surrounding area, take pictures and enjoy the mountains. I've been watching the weather and it seems like it is a pretty low probability of rain/thunder/snow. Though, I understand the higher elevations are always more prone to this kind of weather. Would you think it would be pretty unsafe to continue with this trip, even if we are staying in the lower parts of that area? We have a backup plan to go do an out-and-back to Twin Lakes in Sequoia, but we're pretty eager to get into some higher elevation this weekend. Thoughts? Thanks


When we backpacked into there a few weeks back there was very little snow to Flower lake, which is where we camped, but it looked to be continuous snow from there towards Matlock. (Might have gotten better when you crest the little hill in between the two). Sounds like there is more snow now, so you might want to expect being on snow from Flower lake on, possibly post-holing and having to navigate some. However, Flower lake also makes for a great spot to camp this time of year since there's not many people up there now.

As it stands now, I'm still going to head into the Sierra this weekend somewhere, but don't forget even with low probability of thunderstorms specific/isolated areas can still get hammered. (And, then, there is always Murphy's Law which dictates that just has to be the area you're in)
Last edited by ExploreABitMore on Thu Apr 30, 2015 9:41 am, edited 1 time in total.
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