Baxter Pass Trail 4/26/2015 | High Sierra Topix  

Baxter Pass Trail 4/26/2015

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.
User avatar

Baxter Pass Trail 4/26/2015

Postby cloudlesssky » Mon Apr 27, 2015 6:25 pm

Drove to the Baxter Pass trailhead above the Mt. Whitney fish hatchery just north of Independence, CA. Road to the trailhead was in excellent condition.

Planned to summit the pass as a day hike, but fresh snow obscured the trail around 10.5kft and route finding was taking more time than hiking so I called it a day around 11kft somewhere before the trail turns north and makes the final climb to the pass.

There was about 6 inches of fresh snow at the spot that I called it a day with drifts a little deeper. There didn't seem to be much consolidated snow underneath the fresh stuff. The new snow was light and seemed to be melting quick. As I dropped down on the way out my bootprints were rapidly melting through to the soil underneath. I'd guess in a week or two the trail will be clear up to the point that I stopped.

The trail itself seems no different than when I went up in 2013. Maybe another tree or two across it. There are spots where it's easy to veer off even without the snow. Very minor route finding is necessary.

Oak creek was flowing nicely, but the recent melting snow surely contributed to that. Not sure what it'll be like when the most recent snow melts out.

Special equipment needed/used: None other than the normal Merrell Moabs with low gaiters and trekking poles. I probably would have pressed on if I could reliably find the trail.



User avatar
cloudlesssky
Topix Regular
 
Posts: 116
Joined: Sun May 13, 2012 4:19 pm
Experience: N/A

User avatar

Re: Baxter Pass Trail 4/26/2015

Postby maverick » Mon Apr 27, 2015 6:53 pm

Here is another TR from the Whitney Zone board from a week ago to the area: http://www.whitneyzone.com/wz/ubbthread ... #Post42261
HST= Wilderness Adventurer who knows no bounds, except for their own imagination.

Have a safer backcountry experience by using the HST ReConn Form 2.0, named after Larry Conn, a HST member: http://reconn.org
User avatar
maverick
Forums Moderator
Forums Moderator
 
Posts: 8050
Joined: Thu Apr 06, 2006 5:54 pm
Experience: Level 4 Explorer

User avatar

Re: Baxter Pass Trail 4/26/2015

Postby ExploreABitMore » Wed Apr 29, 2015 3:35 pm

Thanks for the conditions report. I was thinking of heading up there this weekend, but maybe I will hold off for a little while longer, especially with the new stuff possibly moving in.
Sierra Nevada, Mojave Desert, Night Sky Photography: http://www.evanthomasphoto.com/
User avatar
ExploreABitMore
Topix Regular
 
Posts: 132
Joined: Thu Jan 11, 2007 2:38 pm
Location: Ridgecrest, CA
Experience: Level 4 Explorer

User avatar

Re: Baxter Pass Trail 4/26/2015

Postby jenreyn » Tue May 05, 2015 8:24 am

I think we were following your pole marks/ boot tracks up the trail Cloudlesssky. We got almost to the top of the pass; thunderstorm buildup prevented us from cresting. On our way down after 20 minutes, the weather turned nasty into sideways snow at points and cold! Glad we turned around when we did. I hadn't hiked the trail in some years, however, I can say its not in as good shape as it was before. Previously, I hiked it after the fire by a year or two. The erosion and down trees now are much greater and it seems that the FS isn't doing much maintenance if at all. We noticed the large amount of lupin down low that would be amazing to experience if it was a wet year with plenty of blooms. Either way, it was a nice day to get some mileage and gain under our feet.
Attachments
10847400_10206587367672020_9190325843638207011_o.jpg
11174666_10206587364471940_734525641086614491_o.jpg
11187196_10206587364631944_8385599157109253456_o.jpg
11206852_10206587363191908_1675918151369251858_o.jpg
User avatar
jenreyn
Topix Acquainted
 
Posts: 44
Joined: Wed Jul 31, 2013 12:37 pm
Experience: N/A

User avatar

Re: Baxter Pass Trail 4/26/2015

Postby ExploreABitMore » Tue May 05, 2015 8:58 am

Hi jenreyn,
Thanks for the update. Are a couple of those photos from up high near the pass? If so, I'm guessing the trail was pretty much snow-free most of the way?
That's one of the areas I was thinking of trying this weekend, if the weather doesn't look too nasty.
Thanks!
Sierra Nevada, Mojave Desert, Night Sky Photography: http://www.evanthomasphoto.com/
User avatar
ExploreABitMore
Topix Regular
 
Posts: 132
Joined: Thu Jan 11, 2007 2:38 pm
Location: Ridgecrest, CA
Experience: Level 4 Explorer

User avatar

Re: Baxter Pass Trail 4/26/2015

Postby jenreyn » Tue May 05, 2015 12:55 pm

Exploreabitmore,

Yes, the second photo is on the way to the top of the pass. It was all snow free. However, I'd wait and see what this next weather system brings. There was fresh snow on the Whites yesterday and it was snowing at the pass after we turned around. It could be a wet next couple days.
User avatar
jenreyn
Topix Acquainted
 
Posts: 44
Joined: Wed Jul 31, 2013 12:37 pm
Experience: N/A

User avatar

Re: Baxter Pass Trail 4/26/2015

Postby ExploreABitMore » Tue May 05, 2015 2:36 pm

jenreyn wrote:Exploreabitmore,

Yes, the second photo is on the way to the top of the pass. It was all snow free. However, I'd wait and see what this next weather system brings. There was fresh snow on the Whites yesterday and it was snowing at the pass after we turned around. It could be a wet next couple days.


Thanks jenreyn! Yeah doesn't look real promising right now ... will probably end up waiting another week, or so. Glad you guys got in a nice hike up there.
Sierra Nevada, Mojave Desert, Night Sky Photography: http://www.evanthomasphoto.com/
User avatar
ExploreABitMore
Topix Regular
 
Posts: 132
Joined: Thu Jan 11, 2007 2:38 pm
Location: Ridgecrest, CA
Experience: Level 4 Explorer


Return to Conditions Reports and Information



Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 10 guests