2015 Backcountry Conditions Reports | High Sierra Topix  

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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Wrights Lake and Wallace Lakes Basin 6/25-06/28

Postby Bluewater » Wed Jul 01, 2015 4:16 pm

Conditions update from a quick trip last Thurs - Sunday, 06/25 - 06/28 over Shepherd Pass. The snow field at the top of the pass is easily passable. There was plenty of water in the creeks on the way. I got into Wallace and Wright Lakes Basins, both beautiful with plenty of water and no snow. I will post a TR soon but for now just a few photos:

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Diamond Mesa from Rockwell Pass.


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Top of Shepherds Pass, Mt. Tyndal in background.


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Wales and Wallace Lakes.


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Wright Lakes Basin.
Last edited by maverick on Tue Jul 07, 2015 5:31 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Reason: Title and dates added



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McGee-Convict headwaters July 2-6

Postby Wandering Daisy » Tue Jul 07, 2015 11:46 am

Just got back from a 5-day trip McGee Creek (the one south of Mammoth Lakes) to headwaters of Convict Creek. Very stormy weather. July 4- intense storm, started at 2PM with many waves of severe thunderstorms, ending about 9PM. Yesterday, driving home, I ran into several extremely severe storms going north on 395. At one point enough hail on the road to be like driving in snow! Monitor Pass was open, but I would not recommend going over it - rocks on road, wash-outs and mud slides. Burned area is very sad as well as very unstable. Rained all the way from Mammoth Lakes to Tahoe. Same weather pattern the next 3-4 days. Be prepared and plan for some tent time.

Corridoor Pass- two short (but still enough length to cause injury if you were to slide into the rocks below) snow gullies- too hard with icy patches (around noon) to safely go over so I had to go up the sides on gnarly moraines. If you want to do the snow, I would recommend crampons or wait until late afternoon (not possible with the current pattern of severe afternoon storms). Or be a bear! Bear prints with claw marks showed that a bear went straight up these snowfields very recently! Sure wish we had built-in crampons.

Gemini Pass, east side, still a rather large snowfield. I considered it unsafe without ice axe and crampons so altered my route.

Be aware of slopes above your route. All the rain has caused some slope instability. For example, just after the storm rocks were coming off Red Slate Mountain, so going around the southwest shore of Constance Lake is not safe until there are a few days of dry weather.
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Shepherds Pass - East Side Conditions

Postby Bluewater » Sat Jul 18, 2015 3:31 pm

These photos are from a trip over Shepherds Pass from 06/25 - 06/28.

I got a late start on Thursday but it was still 92 F at the trail head when I left at 7:00 pm. I made it to the first saddle and camped at about 9:30. There was a good flow in Symmes Creek on the way from the parking lot to the crossing just before the start of the switchbacks.

I carried a few liters of water and used all of it by the time I reached the first water at the low point after the saddle. From there it was a hot slog through the manzanita up to Anvil Camp. There was a lot of water in the creek that goes through Anvil Camp.

After that the trail is wide open all the way to the snowfield with a large amount of water in the creek at the final crossing.

The snowfield was easily passable with trail runners and trekking poles, although a slide down the snowfield and boulders would be dangerous. I will do a tr later but wanted to get these up before leaving for the meetup.

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water in symmes creek


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saddle camp in the morning


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shepherd creek


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washout


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anvil camp


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water at anvil camp


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snowfield


7.JPG
top of the pass
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Re: 2015 Backcountry Conditions Reports

Postby oldranger » Fri Aug 07, 2015 6:10 pm

I have a friend doing the last portion of the Muir Trail starting at South Lake. Does anyone have a late report on stream flows between Forester Pass and Guitar Lake? He will be departing Bend on Aug 16 and starting to hike on August 18. Any info on conditions would be appreciated.

Thanks

Mike
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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Re: 2015 Backcountry Conditions Reports

Postby Wandering Daisy » Thu Sep 17, 2015 8:09 am

Just returned from Emigrant Wilderness. A heads-up on the water situation. There is good flow on Summit Creek below Lower Relief Meadow. Relief Creek in the meadow is bone dry (cows grazing there-full of cow piles). Summit Creek has flow, being fed by Lewis Creek. Above this confluence Summit Creek is mostly dry, showing flow again at Sheep Camp and then mostly dry from Lunch Meadow upstream. There are a few small trickles from the two side creeks that flow in from the north as you go up to Brown Bear Pass. The creek through Emigrant Meadow is bone dry- a little flow upstream as you near Lost Lake. Cherry Creek at Horse Meadow is still flowing. Emigrant Lake outlet flowing but the dam is dry so you can walk across it. Meadow Creek bone dry.

Bottom line is that water is scarce in creeks. Lakes are the only dependable source.

Middle Emigrant Lake is really low- but that has concentrated the fish- easy to catch large brook trout.
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Re: 2015 Backcountry Conditions Reports

Postby Wandering Daisy » Thu Oct 01, 2015 7:27 am

Just returned from 5 days in Sabrina Basin. Only a faint smell of smoke two days late afternoon. Lakes are low but not as bad as I thought they would be. Fishing is good. It was unusually warm at night, but that likely will end soon. Quite a few day hikers/ trail runners but very few backpackers. I was alone at Hungry Packer Lake! Most permanent snowfields are gone, but the scenery is spectacular as ever.

Not sure if it is a seasonal thing, but you have to park across from the Sabrina FS campground and walk about third a mile to the trailhead. No overnight parking is allowed at the parking lot up by the lodge.

Aspen are very colorful at Sabrina Lake now. Just beginning to turn along 395 south of Bridgeport.
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Re: 2015 Backcountry Conditions Reports

Postby markskor » Fri Dec 11, 2015 10:16 am

Awoke to clear skies but 6" of new heavy wet snow in town - 7,800 elevation - more above, turning lighter today as the cold front passes through with more new storms projected later. Stay tuned!
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Re: 2015 Backcountry Conditions Reports

Postby TahoeJeff » Fri Dec 11, 2015 11:27 am

We got about a foot over the last 24 hours here at lake level (6,200').
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Re: 2015 Backcountry Conditions Reports

Postby markskor » Mon Dec 21, 2015 4:44 pm

On this the eve of the winter solstice of 2015...(days will be getting longer soon enough)...lots of wet blowing snow and continuing - forecast same all this week too - Sierra. BTW, today Mammoth Mountain reported winds of 118 mph across the crest. Only one lift open...
Still, looking like a promising winter to come, starting tomorrow.
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Re: 2015 Backcountry Conditions Reports

Postby rlown » Tue Dec 22, 2015 8:39 pm

a warm storm. looks like it's more rain than snow.
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Re: 2015 Backcountry Conditions Reports

Postby markskor » Fri Dec 25, 2015 8:33 am

Awoke to 12" of champagne powder (over the heavy wet ice - remaining from the last storm) -
No wind and blue skies -
Heavy avalanche conditions, but...
a gorgeous X-Mas to all down below!
Mark
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2016 Tioga entry station reports.

Postby rlown » Mon Jan 11, 2016 3:10 pm

As the http://cdec.water.ca.gov/cgi-progs/queryF?TES appears to be down (I alerted them; probably hit by lightning again), I now look at

http://cdec.water.ca.gov/cgi-progs/queryF?DAN It's close enough to what is happening near the Tioga Entry station.

Looks good so far.. 50" on the ground with a WC of 11.80". Keep snowing, mother nature!!
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