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Late season conditions

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Late season conditions

Postby El Gigante » Fri Oct 16, 2015 12:55 am

I am heading up to the palisade region next week. Warm weather and clear skies predicted again. It has been such a low snow year and so hot so late I am wondering if folks have been up this way recently.

I have 4 days and am comfortable on class 3-4 scrambles. Ok on 5 but I will not be bringing ropes or protection.

I would like to do middle palisade again. And perhaps north pal and sill. Thunderbolt and starlight are options as well.

I would like to approach via pine creek. Not sure I am up to a full ridge traverse unroped but is like to hit as many peaks as I can in 3-4 days.

I am very for so I am willing to try a few different 4- routes for this side.

I am just not sure how the glacier and chutes will look on such a epic low snow year.

I have and am comfortable with ice ace and crampons but am also an ultra lighter so I prefer fast and light and would not like to bring either.

If anyone has been up here recently or in any super low snow years your input would be appreciated.

Thanks In advance. I promise to post a report.



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Re: Late season conditions

Postby seanr » Fri Oct 16, 2015 8:59 am

All the warm days and nights this month have been tempting me to get up high one more time before winter myself. At the same time, are you aware that some parts of the Eastern and Southern Sierra got a major dumping of snow earlier this month? So drought has melted routes significantly, but now there is thin, unconsolidated stuff to deal with in places.

The same storm system has looped back around, but is warmer this time, so it's your guess if it will help or hurt the type of climb you are seeking next week. Rain and warmth could melt the snow from earlier this month, eventually leaving mostly dry conditions for the continuing Indian summer, or more snow could accumulate this weekend. Either way, you might find localized treacherous slick rock/ice. Who knows?

Have you seen these two SP threads? Folks are giving much more conservative advice than usual there, albeit for this weekend during bad weather, and it is forecast to be warm again next week:
http://www.summitpost.org/phpBB3/middle ... 72544.html
http://www.summitpost.org/phpBB3/mount- ... 72453.html

Hearing what you find up there would be great, but if reports scare you off, places farther north and west ought to be a safer bet.
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Re: Late season conditions

Postby WarrenFork » Fri Oct 16, 2015 1:18 pm

I think you would get the most credible responses to your query by posting it on the SuperTopo forum. It has a vastly larger number of active users than HST or Summitpost, and many of them actually live in the vicinity of the Palisades and are likely to have firsthand experience of the area, as well as mountaineering in general and current conditions. If you get a serious "Yer gonna die!" on there you should pay attention but I'd take that response with a grain of salt most anyplace else.

I live at Virginia Lakes near the northeast Yosemite boundary at around 9500 feet. It's raining right now and the snow on the crest from the Oct 4 storm is gone. There was more accumulation farther south though. From the forecast it looks like the Palisades might get as little as two or as much as five inches of snow over the weekend, but as posted above the warm temperatures from Tuesday on are likely to melt a lot of it. I'll be up at Bear Creek Spire and Mt Abbot myself then and I'll be wearing boots not trailrunners and carrying shell pants but as things stand it looks like crampons and ice axe will stay in the gear closet.
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Re: Late season conditions

Postby seanr » Fri Oct 16, 2015 11:36 pm

:lol: Yeah, I was at Tioga Pass when the last storm got going and I bet it wasn't much to write home about in Virginia Lakes area. I wouldn't be taking axe and pons either, nor did anyone suggest it, but, WarrenFork, did you even read the links from summitpost? There were recent pictures from the Palisades, details about possibly relevant routes, and serveral comments by mountaineers and supertopo members, some who live on the Eastside and had just been to the area. Might there be someone who can give a more recent update from the various Palisades routes? Maybe, but I wouldn't get my hopes up, especially on that suggested climbing site that probably has hundreds of threads having nothing to do with alpine climbing, or climbing at all, for every one that does. :lol: Looks like there might be cold nights and cool days @ 13,000 ft. in the Palisades. http://forecast.weather.gov/MapClick.ph ... iRt7lVlAuo

Anyway, maybe you can entertain us with some pictures from your Abbot trip. I concur HST isn't known for much more than backpacking and cross country hiking beta and it gets pretty quiet this time of year. ;)
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Re: Late season conditions

Postby KathyW » Mon Oct 19, 2015 5:03 pm

Inyo SAR was up there not too long ago: http://inyosar.com/mission-reports/
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Re: Late season conditions

Postby El Gigante » Tue Oct 20, 2015 11:28 pm

I think conditions would be ok by Friday but I am going solo and want to do a few peaks ( middle and nor pal sill palum and t bolt) so it either bring crampons and an ace and need or not need them or pick another spot.

I will likely just hit Russell. Carillon. Thor. Whitney. Muir. And perhaps a rest night at sky blue lake. (I love this place) I just dont want to climb back up that scree in the morning so maybe I will forgo that lovely place.

Thanks for all the posts.
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Re: Late season conditions

Postby KathyW » Wed Oct 21, 2015 7:58 am

Snow this time of year is thin: so the axe might not get much purchase if you try to arrest. I've always thought of this time of year with that thin layer of snow as the most dangerous out there, but I'm a bit of a nervous nelly. If you're comfortable on the current conditions, have a great time out there with whatever you do and stay safe.
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