Early July trip

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thomasedillard
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Early July trip

Post by thomasedillard » Thu Mar 30, 2017 8:40 am

Hello,

First of all, thanks for reading and for any insight anyone can give me regarding this trip. My wife and I have permits to hike from Devils Postpile to Happy Isles from July 2-7 on the John Muir Trail. Obviously given that this is a heavy snow year, we are concerned about the feasibility of actually doing this trip and are trying to make plans as to whether or not to pursue this.

I know conditions in July are impossible to predict at this point, but I'm hoping someone with vastly more knowledge than I have of the Sierra and of this area in particular will have a feel for whether this route would be doable/enjoyable for us in this time frame. I know there will be a certain amount of snow, especially on Donohue Pass. Is it likely we will be able to follow footsteps/a well trod path in snowy areas or would we need to have strong route-finding skills? Do you foresee us needing crampons/ice ax?

Also concerned about creek crossings. Any areas you feel could be problematic along this route?

Appreciate any insight anyone can provide. It will be very helpful. We are relatively experienced backpackers but we are Easterners and are not knowledgeable about the Sierra :)

Thank you!








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oldranger
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Re: Early July trip

Post by oldranger » Thu Mar 30, 2017 9:03 am

Unless temps are extremely high between now and then expect to have to deal with snow and a couple of possibly challenging creek crossings. Possibly an issue with access to reds meadow but even then you could start from Minarets summit or even Mammoth Mt. Lodge. Having dealt with similar conditions many times I would personally feel comfortable sticking to my plans if the specific area was super important to me (trekking poles needed for negotiating snow fields). You need to make a realistic judgement of your experience and capability of dealing with less than ideal conditions. On the other hand I think a trip with lower elevations and further s. would be more enjoyable. I, in fact, postponed my scheduled mid July trip to September because of the likelihood of dealing with a lot of snow, nasty creek crossings, and frozen lakes.
Mike

Who can't do everything he used to and what he can do takes a hell of a lot longer!

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sambieni
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Re: Early July trip

Post by sambieni » Thu Mar 30, 2017 9:53 am

oops' posted comment in wrong thread/just relocated it/sorry for the hijack.
Last edited by sambieni on Thu Mar 30, 2017 10:15 am, edited 2 times in total.

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AlmostThere
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Re: Early July trip

Post by AlmostThere » Thu Mar 30, 2017 10:07 am

You don't go 'down' to Tablelands or Moose Lake. You go slowly, painfully, gradually up. ;)

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maverick
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Re: Early July trip

Post by maverick » Thu Mar 30, 2017 1:10 pm

Hi Thomas,

Welcome to HST!
Please read: viewtopic.php?f=1&t=4205
Professional Sierra Landscape Photographer

I don't give out specific route information, my belief is that it takes away from the whole adventure spirit of a trip, if you need every inch planned out, you'll have to get that from someone else.

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

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thomasedillard
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Re: Early July trip

Post by thomasedillard » Thu Mar 30, 2017 6:48 pm

Thanks, oldranger. Really appreciate your insight and you're helping me lean toward thinking that our trip is probably technically doable, but we might be happier elsewhere this time. We are not tied to the Sierras, but I have always wanted to do a section of the JMT.

One more question if you or anyone has any further insight: do you think it is more likely we would be dealing with snow on an everyday basis on our route, or is it more likely to be confined to the immediate vicinity of Donohue? Again, I know there are no absolutes this far out.

Thanks again for your help.

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Wandering Daisy
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Re: Early July trip

Post by Wandering Daisy » Thu Mar 30, 2017 7:36 pm

[rimg]http://i249.photobucket.com/albums/gg23 ... eretts.jpg[/rimg]
This is 6/27/10 Memorial Day weekend. It is from the ridge south of Alger Lakes towards the Minarets.

[rimg]http://i249.photobucket.com/albums/gg23 ... h_Lake.jpg[/rimg]
This is down at Waugh Lake

[rimg]http://i249.photobucket.com/albums/gg23 ... ostLks.jpg[/rimg]
This is up at Lost Lakes (similar elevation, to and just east of Donohue Pass)

Snow was hard enough to walk on early morning - sunk in a bit in the afternoons. There were plenty of small patches of dry ground to camp on.

2010 was a high snow year too. You can look at the CDEC snow graphs to see how it compares to this year as the snow melts.

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Wandering Daisy
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Re: Early July trip

Post by Wandering Daisy » Thu Mar 30, 2017 8:03 pm

Summer 2010 was a bit less than this year, so far, in northern Sierra, considerably less in the Central Sierra and Southern Sierra. I think the Minarets to Tioga Pass are considered in the Central Sierra. So, this Memorial weekend is likely to have more snow than shown on the photos, assuming it melts similarly. In normal to high snowpack, there is still quite a bit of snow on the JMT in that stretch. It is quite walkable if you try to get in most miles early in the day. You need to plan for more than occasional snow.

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Re: Early July trip

Post by BrianF » Fri Mar 31, 2017 3:17 pm

From what I am hearing the current snow surveys are finding 180% - 200+% of average
The direction you are moving in is what matters, not the place you happen to be -Colin Fletcher

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Re: Early July trip

Post by Wandering Daisy » Fri Mar 31, 2017 3:34 pm

http://cdec.water.ca.gov/cdecapp/snowap ... art.action

Here is the current graph, to compare this year with summer of 2010. 2010 was not an exceptionally high snow year, but it had a slow melt.

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