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Onion Valley/Kearsarge Lakes

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Onion Valley/Kearsarge Lakes

Postby bravefanla » Sun Oct 04, 2015 9:37 pm

Due to a very busy summer I haven't been able to get ANYWHERE this summer. However, I'm trying to change that this coming weekend 10/9 - 10/12. Can anyone give me a sense of what's going on with Onion Valley/Kearsarge Pass? I know that at present it is snowing, and will be until Tuesday, however, it's supposed to clear by this weekend.
When does the Forest Service close the road, e.g. lock the gate so you can't get up to the parking lot at Onion Valley?
If Kearsarge isn't doable can anyone give me a trip report on Horseshoe Meadow and Long Lake. I could always to up to the base of New Army Pass. Is there any water in the lakes? I really want to get a line in the water so fishing is a priority on this short trip. Thank you HST'ers!! I look forward to seeing your suggestions.
Brave fan



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Re: Onion Valley/Kearsarge Lakes

Postby seanr » Sun Oct 04, 2015 10:30 pm

(unless accumulation is underestimated in the forecasts) Due to warm ground, warm temperatures, and those roads and trails generally still getting some decent sun this time of year, I doubt you need to worry much by next weekend unless you are averse to finding any snow anywhere. The most snow is supposed to accumulate south, east, and above 9,000 feet. In theory, the farther north, west, or low you go, the better your chances are of finding no snow anywhere. I see no advantage to the HM idea over the KP idea in this scenario unless a huge, localized dumping were to occur around Kearsarge Lakes/Pass. Areas west or significantly north of those two options would theoretically be lower risk, but probably a hassle coming from the south for just a weekend and looking to fish.

There will be no closed gate for OV; later in winter or in the midst of a major, cold storm, there may be a road closed sign. Horshoe Meadow road goes even higher than OV road. Keep an eye out for rocks on either of those roads.

Yes, the natural lakes in the Sierra still have water.
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Re: Onion Valley/Kearsarge Lakes

Postby bravefanla » Mon Oct 05, 2015 7:30 am

Seanr,
Thanks for the in-depth reply. I didn't think there would be much accumulation with this storm. I'm glad to see that you think KP is still doable.
Kevin
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Re: Onion Valley/Kearsarge Lakes

Postby seanr » Mon Oct 05, 2015 8:25 am

As of this morning, forecasts dropped from a previously forecasted possible 6-12 inches of additional accumulation in your target areas to an additional 1-2 inches after a few inches fell in parts of the High Sierra yesterday-overnight. Based on precipitation data reports, I suspect some high areas got a much bigger dumping of wet snow than just a few inches. It will be interesting to see/hear how it turns out when it clears. It should melt fast most places.

I had a great trip out of Tuolumne Meadows this weekend despite changing route and sleeping plans due to the Sunday forecasts. Sunday plans changed even more after my group and I took too long sleeping in and eating breakfast at Whoa Nellie Deli. By the time we headed back up the east side of Tioga Pass, the rangers were on duty for the morning and had just closed Tioga Road at the park entrance due to snow accumulation on the road. By the time we (along with several dozen other vehicles) got back down the hill, a plow crew member was out on traffic duty stopping more vehicles from attempting to head up. Another was making quick work of plowing the slush. With Sonora Pass also closed yesterday, up to Carson Pass we went for a short hike; there are worse ways to spend a day!

Anyway good luck and have fun!
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Re: Onion Valley/Kearsarge Lakes

Postby SSSdave » Mon Oct 05, 2015 8:00 pm

Higher elevations of the Southern Sierra look miserable.

http://www.sierracamnetwork.com/viewcams/sherman-peak/

viewtopic.php?f=1&t=13525
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Re: Onion Valley/Kearsarge Lakes

Postby seanr » Mon Oct 05, 2015 9:28 pm

The thread SSSdave shared is a good read for wisdom/planning/backup plans. Trails could be pretty clear by this weekend, but you also could need to be equipped to deal with some melting snow or be better off going elsewhere.

Here is a report I saw on summitpost from South Lake/Bishop Pass:

On my way out ~9pm Sun night a few cars were parked way up in the "no overnight parking" area, I wiped away the snow from one's windshield (about 5" at the TH, maybe 15" average up on the pass around sunset, so much for the forecast of only a few inches)


The forecast became more in line with decent accumulation again as of this afternoon:

A WINTER WEATHER ADVISORY FOR SNOW ABOVE 8500 FEET REMAINS IN
EFFECT UNTIL 6 AM PDT TUESDAY FOR THE EASTERN SLOPES OF THE SOUTHERN
SIERRA...THE WHITE MOUNTAINS...THE SHEEP RANGE AND THE SPRING
MOUNTAINS.

* TIMING: SNOW CONTINUES TO FALL ABOVE 10000 FEET IN THE
MOUNTAINS THIS AFTERNOON. AS TEMPERATURES DROP TONIGHT AND THE
CENTER OF THE STORM MOVES EAST AND PASSES NEAR SOUTHERN NEVADA
SNOW LEVELS WILL BEGIN TO LOWER AGAIN AND DROP BACK DOWN TO
8500 TO 9000 FEET RESULTING IN ANY RAIN MIXING WITH SNOW OR
PRECIPITATION CHANGING BACK OVER TO ALL SNOW.

* SNOW LEVEL: 10000 FEET EARLY THIS EVENING LOWERING TO 8500 TO
9000 FEET TONIGHT. ANY HEAVIER BURSTS OF SNOW MAY CAUSE SNOW
LEVELS TO LOWER TO 8000 TO 8500 FEET BRIEFLY.

* TOTAL SNOW ACCUMULATIONS: A TRACE TO 3 INCHES ABOVE 8500 FEET
AND OVER 6 INCHES ABOVE 9000 FEET THROUGH TUESDAY MORNING.
HIGHER AMOUNTS APPROACHING A FOOT COULD FALL AT ELEVATIONS
ABOVE 10000 FEET. SNOW AMOUNTS COULD VARY WIDELY ACROSS
SMALL AREAS.
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