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Large Hail While Backpacking

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Large Hail While Backpacking

Postby maverick » Sun Jul 12, 2015 5:44 pm

What is the largest size hail that you have experienced, Sierra of beyond? Cherry sized hail is the largest I have encountered, decades ago while in Lakes Basin. Was using a tarp, and it was okay, but has me wondering what golfball size or even baseball sized hail, like the one hears about in the central part of US, whether anyone has experienced large size hail while out backpacking.
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Re: Large Hail While Backpacking

Postby astrogerly » Sun Jul 12, 2015 6:00 pm

We had up to golf ball size hail at Pear Lake last September. Probably a good 15-20 minutes of it. It was a bit frightening, but escaped with only two holes in the door of our Copper Spur tent. We encountered more hail yesterday at Moonlight Lake, but it was tiny in comparison to what we got at Pear Lake.
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Re: Large Hail While Backpacking

Postby TahoeJeff » Sun Jul 12, 2015 6:59 pm

Here in So Lake Tahoe last week, I experienced grape/marble sized hail, but some reported golf ball size hail:

http://www.tahoedailytribune.com/news/1 ... lake-tahoe
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Re: Large Hail While Backpacking

Postby maverick » Mon Jul 13, 2015 10:10 am

but escaped with only two holes in the door of our Copper Spur tent


Any photo's you could post of that would be great.
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Re: Large Hail While Backpacking

Postby astrogerly » Mon Jul 13, 2015 10:30 am

I'll have to check to see if I still have photos of the holes as we've since repaired the tent. Here's the link to the photos from the trip in general (might have posted last fall): https://www.flickr.com/photos/astrogerly/sets/72157647874924982
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Re: Large Hail While Backpacking

Postby maverick » Mon Jul 13, 2015 11:56 am

Yes I remember the TR, and star tattoo on the foot. :)
HST= Wilderness Adventurer who knows no bounds, except for their own imagination.

Have a safer backcountry experience by using the HST ReConn Form 2.0, named after Larry Conn, a HST member: http://reconn.org
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Re: Large Hail While Backpacking

Postby sekihiker » Tue Jul 14, 2015 8:44 am

The largest "hail" I've seen was pea-sized. Some of the stuff that looks like hail compresses like styrofoam. I'm sure there must be a name for it.
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Re: Large Hail While Backpacking

Postby Sierra00 » Tue Jul 14, 2015 8:10 pm

Back in 2002 I experienced a hail storm that was about half golf ball size, maybe more, in Humphreys Basin, which lasted about 15 minutes.

I was in my tent, and I remember how loud it was, beating down on the tent walls. In fact even after putting earplugs in, it was still more or less deafening. (But my Tarptent held up, no holes.)

The same storm also briefly had some pretty close lightning strikes so it was a memorable experience to be sure. Fortunately it was short in duration.
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Re: Large Hail While Backpacking

Postby mschnaidt » Wed Jul 15, 2015 4:16 pm

The largest I've experienced was pea-sized ranging up to marble sized. I was in a thunder/hailstorm that lasted 5.5 hours a mile or so below New Army Pass on the Western side. I was in a borrowed Tarptent Moment that my friend hadn't seam sealed yet and my brother was in my trusty Tarptent Contrail. Both tents held up very well to the hail although the Moment did get a bit drippy after a few hours. I liked the Moment so much that I picked up a Moment DW this year. And yes, I seam sealed the heck out of it :)

Here are some pics from early in the storm and then as it was winding down.

P1010287 (Medium).JPG


P1010288 (Medium).JPG


P1010291 (Medium).JPG
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Re: Large Hail While Backpacking

Postby giantbrookie » Wed Jul 15, 2015 10:37 pm

The largest hail I ever experienced in the High Sierra was large pea sized at Shepherd Pass in 1996. The biggest I've ever seen requires an asterisk.

The largest hail, if you could call it that, was a chunk I saw hit the ground about 100 m in front of me in Sunol Regional Wilderness, eastern SF Bay Area in the spring of 2010 while I was returning to the parking lot after another day teaching my students geologic field mapping. The largest fragment remaining after it broke up upon hitting the ground was bigger than a softball. The original size was probably something around a basketball size. A direct hit would have caused serious bodily harm. The odd thing is that it wasn't raining at the time this thing fell out of the sky. It had in fact rained earlier in the day and it was overcast, but I was pretty shocked when I saw this big white thing fall out of the sky and blow up on the trail in front of me. I looked at the fragments and they appeared to be a conglomeration of smaller hailstones of pea size.

IceFromSkyRemainingPieceCr.jpg
Largest fragment of ice bomb (about 4.5" in long dimension) remaining after impact. The big block was composed of many pea (or smaller) sized hailstones stuck together (texture best visible in upper right).
Since my fishing (etc.) website is still down, you can be distracted by geology stuff at: http://www.fresnostate.edu/csm/ees/facu ... ayshi.html
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Re: Large Hail While Backpacking

Postby snowblind » Thu Jul 16, 2015 1:28 pm

In June of 2013, I found myself in a marble-sized hailstorm while hiking back from Pilot Knob around Humphrey's Basin. I had to hang out under a tree for a while as it was quite painful.
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Re: Large Hail While Backpacking

Postby rlown » Thu Jul 16, 2015 1:49 pm

giantbrookie wrote:The largest hail I ever experienced in the High Sierra was large pea sized at Shepherd Pass in 1996. The biggest I've ever seen requires an asterisk.

The largest hail, if you could call it that, was a chunk I saw hit the ground about 100 m in front of me in Sunol Regional Wilderness, eastern SF Bay Area in the spring of 2010 while I was returning to the parking lot after another day teaching my students geologic field mapping. The largest fragment remaining after it broke up upon hitting the ground was bigger than a softball. The original size was probably something around a basketball size. A direct hit would have caused serious bodily harm. The odd thing is that it wasn't raining at the time this thing fell out of the sky. It had in fact rained earlier in the day and it was overcast, but I was pretty shocked when I saw this big white thing fall out of the sky and blow up on the trail in front of me. I looked at the fragments and they appeared to be a conglomeration of smaller hailstones of pea size.


Sunol is an approach path for Airplanes to the major airports. This might have been what you experienced: http://www.pressdemocrat.com/news/18542 ... ice-rained

Ok, not Sierra but i could see that happening over Yose as well as that is also a major airline highway.
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