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Eastern Sierra Alpine Conditions

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Eastern Sierra Alpine Conditions

Postby seanr » Sat Apr 18, 2015 11:10 pm


...Alpine ice climbers should start paying attention and getting ready. We actually had a time in March this year where we could choose between climbing ice in Lee Vining Canyon or in the Palisades couloirs. That has never happened in the history of Eastern Sierra ice climbing. A couple feet of snow in the Palisades last week made the approach a lot more strenuous, but as temps warm, the snow will sublimate up the canyon and out of the couloirs. There will be an early window of perfect alpine ice conditions up there before the snow at the top and margins melts off and releases the loose rocks that are currently frozen in place. North Peak ice couloirs and the Dana Couloir will be other ones to hit early this season for the same reasons. Every storm that comes along will prolong the start of that ideal ice climbing window. We are almost there now, but there is a weather change possible in the next week that could put a hold on that order.

Current conditions are good for backcountry travel. Access points are open up high. Highway 120 has been opened to Tioga Pass from the east. Highway 108 is open. All the Eastside mountain roads are expected to open by “Fishmas” next weekend. Mammoth Mountain might make it to mid-May, but nobody knows for sure when they will close at this point. It is no problem to hike up to places like Kearsarge Pass, Taboose Pass, 3rd Lake in Big Pine Creek, or Piute Pass without more than running shoes and maybe some ankle gaiters. Shaded slopes above 10,000′ still have a bit of snow remaining from the last storm that dumped 1-2 feet and the going is more challenging where this snow fell on bare scree or talus....

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Re: Eastern Sierra Alpine Conditions

Postby ExploreABitMore » Mon Apr 20, 2015 11:07 am

Thanks for posting this, didn't realize these guys posted updates like this, good to know!
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