Wandering Daisy wrote:I disagree that self arrest is easy or can be learned from a video. Yes, by the end of a day of self-arrest practice, you know the technique. But the question is if you will respond as instinct, immediately, if falling. Once you get going, only a few minutes, you can really pick up speed. Personally, I would simply use micro-spikes and maybe put snow baskets on your trekking poles. Crampons can actually become quite dangerous if you do not know how to use them. In snow melt conditions, snow often balls up under the crampon so wearing them can be worse. Wear high-friction clothing so if you do fall you do not slide so quickly. Really avoid slippery nylon. Be sure your shoes or boots have a very aggressive tread - really important to stick on snow. Kick a good step, pause a minute, then transfer your weight. That "sets" the boot in the snow. Then, if things get iffy, simply retreat. Be aware that the trail from Dick's Pass DOES NOT go right down the north facing slope- it stays high and then goes down when the slope eases. Even if covered in snow, try to stay near the trail.
Another worrisome feature of melting snow is stepping next to an unseen melt-out cavity, particularly common next to rocks and trees that are still buried in snow. I guess I am just saying that there are a lot of subtleties in dealing with snow, particularly during melt that are more important to know than simply having an ice axe or crampons. It takes years of backpacking on snow to get really good at "reading" the snow conditions.
Last year, I planned on going in Eagle Falls, but there was not one single parking spot, so went in Bayview instead. This is a very popular day-use area and the parking lots fill up really fast. It is not ugly by any means. The views of Lake Tahoe as you go up are quite nice. There will be mosquitoes! Be prepared.
All of what she said. You really need to practice, practice, practice self arrest so it is an instinct.
I fell up to my shoulders in a snow cavity.
Parking is really tough. For those of you looking for more info: