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how early does the High Sierra Trail become doable ?

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Re: how early does the High Sierra Trail become doable ?

Postby TehipiteTom » Fri Jan 13, 2017 2:57 pm

LOL! I had a feeling someone would correct me on that. Fair point.

Better comparison: Southern region is at 197% of normal-to-date, 83% of April 1 normal; 1/13/16 was 90% of normal-to-date, 38% of April 1 normal.



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Re: how early does the High Sierra Trail become doable ?

Postby franklin411 » Wed Feb 01, 2017 6:05 pm

September's a good time I think. It's not just the snow...I'm thinking the water crossings will be a lot more dangerous with all the snow melt, and I dunno how water levels will remain elevated. I went on the HST to Big Arroyo in a dry year and the water-crossings were all ankle-splashers, but it was obvious from the stream-beds that the normal water level is much, much higher.

However, in all honesty, water concerns me more than snow. With snow, I can see there there's a ton of snow from miles off and turn around. With high water, you don't know whether you can make the crossing until you're right on top of it.
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Re: how early does the High Sierra Trail become doable ?

Postby Saltydog » Sun Mar 12, 2017 9:47 am

Nearest comparison for the HST to this year is 2011, although if anything I would assume that all snow pack, meting dates etc will be bigger and later than 2011. In July of that year, the crux of the HST was not Kaweah Gap or even Trail Crest, but about 50 feet of trail just above the Hamilton tunnel. As of July 10, there was a snow bridge across the trail right in that chute, requiring either crawling under with about 2 feet of clearance and a lot of cold running water below and dripping from above, or traversing over the snow bridge on a high angle with about 1000 feet of exposure. I chose none of the above. The bridge collapsed the day after I turned back from it, leaving only the exposed traverse option. Keep an eye on it but I would expect similar condition even later this year.
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Re: how early does the High Sierra Trail become doable ?

Postby Saltydog » Sun Mar 12, 2017 9:50 am

Nearest comparison for the HST to this year is 2011, although if anything I would assume that all snow pack, meting dates etc will be bigger and later than 2011. In July of that year, the crux of the HST was not Kaweah Gap or even Trail Crest, but about 50 feet of trail just above the Hamilton tunnel. As of July 10, there was a snow bridge across the trail right in that chute, requiring either crawling under with about 2 feet of clearance and a lot of cold running water below and dripping from above, or traversing over the snow bridge on a high angle with about 1000 feet of exposure. I chose none of the above. The bridge collapsed the day after I turned back from it, leaving only the exposed traverse option. Keep an eye on it but I would expect similar condition even later this year.

Oh, and the Buck Creek bridge was under 2 feet of water in the afternoons until at least July 8.
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