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2014 Backcountry Conditions Reports

Discussion related to Sierra Nevada current and forecast conditions, as well as general precautions and safety information. Trail conditions, fire/smoke reports, mosquito reports, weather and snow conditions, stream crossing information, and more.
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Re: 2014 Backcountry Conditions Reports

Postby maverick » Fri May 30, 2014 11:38 am

Please PM member with questions about any areas of interest. Thanks
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Falls Creek, Yosemite, 5/26

Postby tomba » Sat May 31, 2014 2:15 pm

Falls Creek runs high, as expected. Seems hard to cross. See photos. Click to enlarge.

Outlet of Lk. Vernon, just below the bridge.
DSC03723-falls-ck-vernon.jpg

In Jack Main Canyon, here on the map. Some snow in the distance.
DSC03673-falls-ck-jack-main.jpg
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Re: 2014 Backcountry Conditions Reports

Postby AaronRDavis » Mon Jun 02, 2014 4:52 pm

6/1
Vandebergh/Lady lakes area off Beasore road/Norris TH in Ansel Adams 95% snow free. Couple creek crossings are ankle deep. Only snow found in small shady north facing spots.
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Twin Lakes-Silliman Pass, Lakes Trail, Woods Creek 5/29-5/31

Postby franklin411 » Tue Jun 03, 2014 1:05 pm

Twin Lakes-Silliman Pass, Lakes Trail, Mist Falls 5/29-5/31

Route taken on 5/29: Twin Lakes trail to Silliman Pass
The Rangers at Lodgepole told me Silliman Pass was snowed over, but I found it to be snow-free. Water crossings were 4-6" deep at most. No mosquitoes.
View from Silliman towards Ranger Lake:
Image
upload pictures

And towards Silliman Peak:
Image
upload image online


Route taken on 5/30: Wolverton to Lakes Trail (Watchtower Route) to Emerald Lake
The Rangers at Lodgepole said that the Watchtower Route was closed due to ice/snow, but when I arrived at the trail junction the sign said it was open. I took the Watchtower Route up and had no real problems, aside from one patch of snowed over trail near the canyon wall. Later I ran into a couple who met the Pear Lake Ranger on her way up. Apparently the route is still closed, but the Ranger was going to take it up to see if it was safe to open it yet. No mosquitoes yet--and I ate lunch right next to a pool of standing water.

Difficult Section:
One 10-15' long section of snowed-over trail near a precipice. I didn't have any trouble but others might. Here's a pic:
Image
image ru

Route taken on 5/31: Roads End to Mist Falls, small detour up Sphinx Creek trail because I wanted to see what I could see. I recall crossing over 4 wooden bridges *after* the wood/metal bridge spanning the South Fork of the Kings River, but only the lower two had water under them.

There were several mosquitoes around me near the river.

View towards the Sphinx:
Image
greenshot
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2014 Backcountry Conditions Reports - Glen Pass

Postby Hobbes » Tue Jun 03, 2014 1:28 pm

Carrot Quin, a popular PCT blogger, posted an interesting description of her trip over Glen yesterday:

http://carrotquinn.com/

She's got a couple of good shots of the snow coverage from the top of the pass @ her Instagram link.
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Mineral King Area 5/30-6/2

Postby dapperdave » Wed Jun 04, 2014 9:39 am

Mineral King area
Blackrock pass was snow free on the western side, the eastern side had patchy snow down to the second lake. (30th May)
Franklin pass was snowed in all across the ridge, trail not obvious (2nd June)
Both passes doable with trail runners
Chagoopa plateau trail - pretty much melted.
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Emigrant Wilderness 5/30-6/4

Postby Wandering Daisy » Wed Jun 04, 2014 9:06 pm

Route: Gianelli TH, Y-Meadow Dam Lake (trail), Toms Canyon (x-c), Toe Jam Lake (x-c), Cherry Creek (x-c), Upper Relief Valley (trail), Iceland Lake-Ridge Lake-U Lewis Lake-Lewis Lake-Summit Creek (x-c), Emigrant Lake (trail), Buck Lake (trail), Long Lake (x-c), Wire Lakes (trail), Spring Meadow(trail), Cherry Creek (x-c), Leopold Lk (x-c), Toms Canyon (x-c), Granite Lake (x-c), Y-Meadow Dam Lk,(use trail), Gianelli TH (trail).

Difficult parts: all trails had snow patches, lots of mud, less used trails were hard to follow. Snow was icy early AM , OK to walk on with about an hour sun, OK until about noon, thereafter deteriorated. Lots of wading creeks, from knee deep to ankle deep (all easy). Crossed Cherry Creek above the waterfall from Wire Lakes. Crossed Summit Creek above confluence with Lewis Creek. Upper Relief Valley to Iceland Lake and down to Lewis Lake- had to do some rock scrambling to avoid snow. Trail to Upper Relief Valley was VERY muddy. Pass to Emigrant Lake very snowy on north side, a muddy mess up top, and dry on the south side.

Special Equipment- trekking poles a must. Knee high gaiters useful. Had to time snow walking to avoid icy conditions (microspikes may have been useful).

Light frost every night and fairly cool daytime conditions, except last day (6/4) when it was significantly warmer.

5/31 Iceland Lake - open
Ridge Lake- froze but breaking up
U. Lewis Lake - frozen - barely breaking up
Lewis Lake - frozen but breaking up

About 50 large Rainbow trout near crossing above the inlet to Emigrant Lake. Spawning?

Large bear walking on rock slabs on west shore of Long Lake

See trip report in a few days.
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PCT Donner to Anderson Peak 6/7

Postby jimandluba » Sat Jun 07, 2014 8:30 pm

Re: 6/7/14 conditions on PCT, Donner Pass to near Anderson Peak

Today I hiked the Pacific Crest Trail south from the TH off of old US 40, to north of Anderson Peak. Snow patches covered many sections of the trail near Mount Lincoln. Only one long, sloped snow field crossing the trail presented a challenge, and caused at least one hiker to turn back during my hike. I would recommend taking trekking poles and mosquito repellent. Many wildflowers, great views of snow-covered peaks. Little wind.

This is my first packcountry conditions report posting. I don't know how to include photos in this posting, or else I would include a photo of the one difficult section, plus one of Anderson Peak. - Jim
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New Army Pass 6/6-6/8

Postby Talimon » Sun Jun 08, 2014 10:11 pm

New army pass 6/6-8

Cornice covering about two switchbacks, 30 ft or so. Easy to descend, but going up might be a challenge without picks. Although I saw a trail runner ascend it fairly easily, so it can be done.
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Bishop Pass 6/7

Postby calipidder » Mon Jun 09, 2014 9:00 am

Bishop Pass - June 7.

The switchbacks on the N side were still snow covered enough that most people were heading straight up the snow-filled chute to their left. Traction devices appreciated but not absolutely necessary unless crossing in the morning when still crusty. Snow was softening enough by mid day that there are plenty of deep footprints and post holes to follow. Melting super fast - I'm sure the trail will be melted out enough within a week or two that the direct snow ascent won't be necessary.

Large snow fields above the switchbacks to the pass proper. Lots of postholing in the midday sun. Can be avoided by circling around using exposed rock piles. No significant snow blockage on the trail on the S side of the pass heading down into Dusy Basin.

Lakes are mostly melted out, at least enough to fish and fill water bottles from shore.

Snow covered switchbacks:
Image

Chute to the left (east) of switchbacks that most people were ascending - switchbacks and trail is out of the shot to the left of the chute in this photo.

Image

Snowfields on the pass:

Image
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Humphreys Basin and Puppet Lake area 6/13-16

Postby tomba » Wed Jun 18, 2014 11:22 pm

Route: Piute Pass; Lakes: Summit, Muriel, Golden Trout, Lower Desolation, Desolation, Tomahawk, Mesa; Puppet Pass; Lakes: Roget, Paris, Alsace, Chevaux, Puppet, Star, Rust; Steelhead Pass; Lakes: Humphreys, Marmot, Cony.

There was small amount of unavoidable snow at higher elevations of this route. Lakes above about 11,300 ft mostly frozen, lakes below mostly thawed. Piute Pass had snow easily bypassed on the right when coming from east. Puppet pass had no snow on the steeper west side, minimal snow on the easy gentle east side. Steelhead pass had no snow on east side, but had some snow on wast side and our climb turned out to be class 3 (using hands), but we never had to take packs off. We used trekking poles.
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Bishop Pass 6/19

Postby maiathebee » Thu Jun 19, 2014 9:49 pm

Bishop Pass 6/19/14

Three lingering unavoidable snowfields. Two are not steep and are very easy to cross. One on the switchbacks is about 40 degrees angle and a fall would have you sliding down far. It's short, though. Climbing around isn't advised since it's in the rockfall area and the talus is loose. One trekking pole is all the gear you need.
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