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2015 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: 2015 Backcountry Conditions Reports: Center Basin 5/12

Postby KevinDo » Thu May 21, 2015 1:35 pm

marymaryland wrote:Hi all--

Slipped in for a quick trip to Center Basin in southern Kings Canyon NP last week. This info is likely out of date after this week's storms, but there was practically no snow on the ground in the basin, just drifts about 8-12 inches deep that were easy to avoid/ walk around. Creek levels were low-- like early July of last year. Attached is a picture of the Bubb's Creek crossing at Junction Meadow toward East Lake. I didn't try, but looked mellow and passable, definitely lower than in June of 2014.



Anyone with info about what the high country looks like after this week's weather, speak up, please! I'd like to head out again this weekend over Shepherd Pass but am not sure how much has accumulated. Ranger stations in Bishop and Lone Pine had no reports to relay when I called today.


That's good to hear! I'll be heading out for Rae Lakes this weekend (CCW) and will report back how the conditions are!
By the way, I don't think the photo attached?
-Kevin



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Re: 2015 Backcountry Conditions Reports

Postby Hobbes » Thu May 21, 2015 3:05 pm

Brian, do you know the person who posted those shots? Hardcore winter technical climbing trips me out. It's so far out of my experience level it's not even funny.

Getting up that last section of Shepherd was probably harder (and way more dangerous) than actually climbing Tyndall. Jeez, look at this: :eek:

Image

Not to be outdone, there's the usual professional guide crew down @ Whitney:

http://www.whitneyzone.com/wz/ubbthread ... Mt_Whitney
I was told at the Hostel that there has not been a summit for the last 2 weeks ...

Image
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Re: 2015 Backcountry Conditions Reports

Postby schmalz » Thu May 21, 2015 8:14 pm

Hobbes wrote:Brian, do you know the person who posted those shots? Hardcore winter technical climbing trips me out. It's so far out of my experience level it's not even funny.


I'm facebook friends with him but don't know him personally. Like people here, we share a love of the Sierra. I have dabbled in winter climbing and want to get more into it. I also did a lot of steep offtrail skiing at Squaw Valley in my youth as well as rockclimbing so the sport seems natural to me. The problem that I face is that I'd like to have a partner to go on those trips with and I have yet to find one. Maybe I'll groom my son into one? If anyone reads this and is interested in teaming up on a climb, let's meet up. :drinkers:

Also, that section on Shepherd's was probably fine as long as the snow was nice and soft. It all depends on conditions. They seem to have gotten great climbing conditions based on the photos.
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Re: 2015 Backcountry Conditions Reports

Postby marymaryland » Thu May 21, 2015 10:56 pm

schmalz wrote:
Here are some photos of that area from a few days ago.

https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set ... 561&type=1


Thanks for sharing these, they're exactly what I need! Travel really doesn't look that bad, but things would feel quite different up there with thunderheads overhead instead of that sweet blue sky.
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Re: 2015 Backcountry Conditions Reports: Center Basin 5/12

Postby marymaryland » Thu May 21, 2015 11:07 pm

KevinDo wrote:That's good to hear! I'll be heading out for Rae Lakes this weekend (CCW) and will report back how the conditions are!
By the way, I don't think the photo attached?
-Kevin


Whoops... file size was too big and I forgot to adjust. This one should work.
2015-05-13 16.27.53 copy.jpg
2015-05-13 16.27.53 copy.jpg (197.47 KiB) Viewed 215 times


And a panorama of Center Basin as of 5/12 for good measure. Looks like July to me.
2015-05-12 12.30.01 copy.jpg
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Re: 2015 Backcountry Conditions Reports

Postby Hobbes » Fri May 22, 2015 6:54 am

schmalz wrote: I have dabbled in winter climbing and want to get more into it. I also did a lot of steep offtrail skiing at Squaw Valley in my youth as well as rockclimbing so the sport seems natural to me. The problem that I face is that I'd like to have a partner to go on those trips with and I have yet to find one.


Yeah, it's a pretty small cadre of people performing at that level, not the least of which is the specialized gear to pull this off:

Image

Add snow shoes, x-country skis & ice skates and you'd be ready for anything.
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Re: 2015 Backcountry Conditions Reports

Postby Hobbes » Fri May 22, 2015 10:20 am

Doug Sr @ the Portal store posted a great summary of conditions on Whitney here:

http://www.whitneyportalstore.com/forum ... mber=99833

Including this little tidbit:

Buying/ renting gear will not come with a packet of tricks you MAY need as the conditions change.

To which someone else posted this awesome graphic:

Image

Doug also mentioned a lady came in who had just finished the JMT. I believe she posts here as part of her 'Sierra mapping project'. Here's her Instagram link - check out the photos!

https://instagram.com/sierramappingproject/
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Re: 2015 Backcountry Conditions Reports

Postby rlown » Fri May 22, 2015 10:28 am

Someone needs to win an award for that "Magic Set" graphic. =D>
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Re: 2015 Backcountry Conditions Reports

Postby Bluewater » Fri May 22, 2015 2:21 pm

"Set contains small parts and small balls". . . There's a lot of comedy on that one graphic.

Here's one from yesterday at the top of Kearsarge Pass from Randy Berton on the PCT 2015 Facebook page. There's a lot of snow up there.

10408508_850244735054917_515670234030603745_n.jpg
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Re: 2015 Backcountry Conditions Reports

Postby sparky » Sat May 23, 2015 10:20 am

Well, supposedly temps will stay cool all week then rise dramatically by next weekend. Fresher snow will melt quicker.
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Re: 2015 Backcountry Conditions Reports

Postby Jimr » Sat May 23, 2015 1:03 pm

maybe I'm crazy, but I'm going over Kearsarge on Tuesday to hang around on the West side for a few days. Anyone feeling a bit crazy and wants to come along, give me a shout. At the moment, it's a solo trip.
What?!
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Re: 2015 Backcountry Conditions Reports

Postby Hobbes » Sat May 23, 2015 1:33 pm

June 6, 2012

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