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Current Conditions for Minarets?

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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Current Conditions for Minarets?

Postby norak » Fri May 01, 2015 10:13 am

Hi,

We're hoping to get to the Minarets the second or third week of May. Does any one have info on current conditions in that area (snow, etc.)? We've backpacked there before but in early autumn. We have some experience with hiking on snow but nothing requiring crampons. Also wondering if mosquitoes will already be active in a couple of weeks at those elevations. Also considering Emigrant Wilderness but figured mosquitoes will be pretty bad there by then....

Thanks in advance for any input!

Nora



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Re: Current Conditions for Minarets?

Postby seanr » Fri May 01, 2015 12:04 pm

norak wrote:Hi,

We're hoping to get to the Minarets the second or third week of May. Does any one have info on current conditions in that area (snow, etc.)? We've backpacked there before but in early autumn. We have some experience with hiking on snow but nothing requiring crampons. Also wondering if mosquitoes will already be active in a couple of weeks at those elevations. Also considering Emigrant Wilderness but figured mosquitoes will be pretty bad there by then....

Thanks in advance for any input!

Nora


There is a Condition Reports sub-forum:
viewforum.php?f=34

Someone reported on Lake Ediza area a couple of weeks ago:
viewtopic.php?f=34&t=12628

A foot or more of snow fell after that. It is melting fast.

Sometimes succinct condition reports get posted here:
viewtopic.php?f=34&t=12300

Use weather.gov point/area forecasts to keep an eye on temperatures and additional stormy weather. Mammothweather.com may be helpful as well.

If you need ideas on where to go to avoid snow and mosquitos, there are tradeoffs. Generally, Mammoth area and north has more snowpack than Whitney region south of the Palisades. Generally going high enough to find freezing temperatures and snow lessens mosquitos, but increases odds of needing microspikes, crampons, axe, ways to deal with ice, frozen lakes, cold air, cold water, cold fuel, mushy, wet conditions, etc. Generally avoid lots of north facing, shaded terrain if you want safe, easy conditions. It is hard to know exactly what you will find this time of year without seeing a same day or extremely recent report combined with a good short term weather forecast.
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Re: Current Conditions for Minarets?

Postby norak » Sat May 02, 2015 12:13 pm

Thank you for your response Seanr - I guess we'll just watch the weather and go, and be prepared to adjust plans and routes depending on what we find there. Main thing is just to be out there, and even if we don't get as far as we' had planned, I imagine there still won't be too many people about, it being so early in the season. In the meantime maybe someone will post more current info.

Thanks again!
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Re: Current Conditions for Minarets?

Postby oldranger » Sat May 02, 2015 2:00 pm

Unless you are willing to start your hike from the main lodge or Minaret summit you should keep an eye on when the road down to Agnew/Reds Meadows will open. If I was down in Cal I would take off the day the road opens.

Mike
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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: Current Conditions for Minarets?

Postby mkbgdns » Sat May 02, 2015 2:22 pm

yes, old ranger's right--current expectation is that road will open may 16 (oddly, a saturday--they usually open on a friday to accommodate 1st weekend crowds). I've reserved a permit for monday the 18th, giving them a couple days wiggle room, but there are no guarantees. my guess is that the PCT and Muir trails will be passable, but the lake basins? well, keep your ear to the ground. you sound like a backpacker/camper (like me) rather than a climber. patches of snow, half-frozen lakes, and frost overnight are the mosquitophobe's ally. the road situation makes the second week in may problematic.
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Re: Current Conditions for Minarets?

Postby norak » Sat May 02, 2015 5:15 pm

Mkbgdns and oldranger

Yes of course, the road! Was going to check into that next - thanks for the heads up re the projected opening date. It all feels like a brave new world with the drought - in the past we never really considered backpacking before mid July. Hoping that at least the summer monsoon pattern will be strong again, like last year, when the creeks were running full despite the low snowpack (in the southern Sierra anyway). If and wherever we end up going, will post a report.

Thanks again

Nora
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Re: Current Conditions for Minarets?

Postby robertseeburger » Tue May 05, 2015 5:01 pm

I posted a trip report from April below with a picture of the minarets from Ediza. Ediza was frozen.
But in general there won't be much snow up to Ediza. I don't think you could get across to Cecile and Iceberg Lake easily without snow.

With regard to hiking the opening of the road, one thing to consider. It is actually quite a peaceful hike on the road without cars!!. I started at the resort and it is only 3 miles or so to Agnew Meadows. Easy hike. Good views of the minarets. No snow. No cars for next 10 days.
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Re: Current Conditions for Minarets?

Postby maverick » Tue May 05, 2015 5:16 pm

Nora,

Please read about road: viewtopic.php?f=16&t=12590
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
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Re: Current Conditions for Minarets?

Postby norak » Tue May 05, 2015 6:00 pm

Only three miles from Mammoth Mtn to Agnew Meadows - I didn't know that, thank you for pointing it out. It doesn't look likely that we'll be able to get out before the 16th in any case, though since you put it so enticingly (no cars for the next 10 days!), I may try extra hard to motivate my husband to go next week.

Thanks again to everyone for all the helpful info.

Nora
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Re: Current Conditions for Minarets?

Postby seanr » Mon May 11, 2015 12:34 pm

https://m.facebook.com/inyonfrefsrc=htt ... m%2Finyonf

The opening of the Reds Meadow Road, scheduled for May 16th, has been rescheduled for May 22, again weather permitting...
The forecast is calling for more snow/rain as well later this week.
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Re: Current Conditions for Minarets?

Postby schmalz » Mon May 11, 2015 1:55 pm

seanr wrote:https://m.facebook.com/inyonfrefsrc=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.facebook.com%2Finyonf

The opening of the Reds Meadow Road, scheduled for May 16th, has been rescheduled for May 22, again weather permitting...
The forecast is calling for more snow/rain as well later this week.


Ha, I have a permit out of Red's for May 23rd. Fingers crossed it works perfectly.
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Re: Current Conditions for Minarets?

Postby norak » Tue May 12, 2015 8:06 am

Thanks for the heads up seanr! It doesn't look like these incoming weather systems are expected to bring a lot of precipitation but still probably make things wet and mushy. I noticed Sonora Pass was closed over the weekend (Sat?) but open again yesterday. We'll just wait and see, at this point, I'll be happy to be thwarted by weather as it means we get a bit more moisture up there :)

Nora
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