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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 ianrb » Thu Apr 30, 2015 9:41 am

AlmostThere wrote:
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


Thanks for the response. I'm fairly comfortable with the idea, but I haven't done it yet. I have taken a land nav class and have practiced it outdoors a few times. I have my maps for the area already and my compass, as well as a gps I can use and we'll only be a relatively short distance from the trailhead, though I know it is still entirely possible to get lost out there even a couple miles away. I'm pretty aware of the capabilities of lightening, as I am the type to do as much research about a topic as possible, so thats mostly what my time has involved during this week. That being said, thats the reason why I thought I'd ask you guys about the current weather predictions. Does this look like a regular storm that frequently rolls through the eastern Sierra? I know if I spend my time out there enough, I will definitely end up in a storm eventually. Just not sure how stupid you guys think it would be to willingly head out there. I don't have stubborn tendencies and am fully prepared to head out to Sequoia instead if that really is the best option. But I really would love to experience the eastern side! :)



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

Postby AlmostThere » Thu Apr 30, 2015 9:59 am

Walking in late season snow is a pain in the backside. Lost is less of a concern for me - cold, soaked feet and postholing into pools of water? That sucks. Even if you have Goretex boots, or leather, you'll get wet. The transition areas between snow fields and mud/shallow ponds are no fun. I make it across all the snow (in the early AM, when it's nice and firm) only to sink up to my knees in trying to get down off it. The pants over the tops of the gaiters wick the wet in, making it all the way down to the socks.

It looks like weather - sometimes, NOAA ups the chance of rain as the weekend approaches, and that I would take seriously. Only 20% has less of a chance of being an issue.

I'm heading for the coast to see some wildflowers, myself. Have fun.
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Re: Do you guys think Glen Pass will be passable by now?

Postby ianrb » Thu Apr 30, 2015 10:07 am

AlmostThere wrote:Walking in late season snow is a pain in the backside. Lost is less of a concern for me - cold, soaked feet and postholing into pools of water? That sucks. Even if you have Goretex boots, or leather, you'll get wet. The transition areas between snow fields and mud/shallow ponds are no fun. I make it across all the snow (in the early AM, when it's nice and firm) only to sink up to my knees in trying to get down off it. The pants over the tops of the gaiters wick the wet in, making it all the way down to the socks.

It looks like weather - sometimes, NOAA ups the chance of rain as the weekend approaches, and that I would take seriously. Only 20% has less of a chance of being an issue.

I'm heading for the coast to see some wildflowers, myself. Have fun.


Well, that description of the hike made me more willing to head to the other side of the Sierra instead. I will have to make a game time decision tomorrow I guess, and continue to keep my eye of the weather. I'm sure either trip will be a blast, but in their own ways.
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Re: Do you guys think Glen Pass will be passable by now?

Postby gary c. » Thu Apr 30, 2015 12:10 pm

Even if there is only a 20% chance of rain there is something else to keep in mind. It's not pleasant to get back to the trail head and find 6 or more inches of snow on the parking lot and road. Driving down from any of the eastside TH is not going to be fun on snow and ice. For those of you that are new to the sport, there are some hikers getting out there now but they are experienced and have the right gear. If you are new chances are that you have a 20 degree or warmer rated bag and canister stoves that won't work well below freezing. Your boots are probably too light and you don't have gaiters. There are plenty of reasons for the inexperienced not to go hiking quite yet. Don't get me wrong, it could all go great and you could have the time of your life. It could also go very wrong. Most of us have been stuck at home wishing we were in the high country but we accept that it is still a little early for most of us. We know that even in July we can get stuck in our tent while it blows and snows outside and we are freezing in our 20" sleeping bags. All that I'm trying to say is that if you are new to backpacking make sure that you are prepared and know what you are getting into. Just because we are in a draught and it's unseasonably warm things are different above 9,000ft.
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Re: Do you guys think Glen Pass will be passable by now?

Postby ianrb » Thu Apr 30, 2015 12:54 pm

gary c. wrote:Even if there is only a 20% chance of rain there is something else to keep in mind. It's not pleasant to get back to the trail head and find 6 or more inches of snow on the parking lot and road. Driving down from any of the eastside TH is not going to be fun on snow and ice. For those of you that are new to the sport, there are some hikers getting out there now but they are experienced and have the right gear. If you are new chances are that you have a 20 degree or warmer rated bag and canister stoves that won't work well below freezing. Your boots are probably too light and you don't have gaiters. There are plenty of reasons for the inexperienced not to go hiking quite yet. Don't get me wrong, it could all go great and you could have the time of your life. It could also go very wrong. Most of us have been stuck at home wishing we were in the high country but we accept that it is still a little early for most of us. We know that even in July we can get stuck in our tent while it blows and snows outside and we are freezing in our 20" sleeping bags. All that I'm trying to say is that if you are new to backpacking make sure that you are prepared and know what you are getting into. Just because we are in a draught and it's unseasonably warm things are different above 9,000ft.


Thank you, all very good points to make. I'm starting to lean more and more towards going on my backup trip with all the info that has been provided. The snow in the parking lot is definitely something I have considered and is one of my biggest worries right now. May be giving the Twin Lakes trail a try this weekend I guess.
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Re: Do you guys think Glen Pass will be passable by now?

Postby sky00high » Thu Apr 30, 2015 6:14 pm

I have written to the National park and asked for several trails that in good condition for people not comfortable with anything close to mountaineering(although I did mention I will bring a crampon). They suggested, twin lakes trail, lakes trail and High Sierra Trail to Hamilton lake. I really wish to camp besides a trail, so this is my plan.

Friday afternoon I arrive lodgepole and camp there. Saturday I camp at twin lake. Sunday I get back and if I feel I can pull it off I will camp at pear lake. Monday go home.

Thank you guys for very descriptive, if not scary, descriptions of the danger of high Serria. I guess I will play it safe this time....
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Re: Do you guys think Glen Pass will be passable by now?

Postby sky00high » Thu Apr 30, 2015 6:25 pm

The weather looks encouraging in Twins Lake http://forecast.weather.gov/MapClick.ph ... t=36.65854 . Finger crossed!
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