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Have you made it over the High Sierra Trail recently?

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Have you made it over the High Sierra Trail recently?

Postby MaineForests » Mon Jul 17, 2017 6:41 am

The crazy snow year has made it hard to get a sense of conditions to expect up there. If you have been over the HST recently could you please share your experience. Taking two 14 year olds up next week and before we run a shuttle out to Portal I need to have some idea of passibility from Crescent Meadow to Whitney Portal. Any one make it through these last couple weeks? If you can help with any of these questions it would be a huge help. 1) are the creeks passable 2) is serious snow crossing avoidable 3) how bad are the bugs 4) are there any other currently relevant concerns to plan for?
Looking for info on the High Sierra Trail specifically. Thanks.



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Re: Have you made it over the High Sierra Trail recently?

Postby AlmostThere » Mon Jul 17, 2017 7:40 am

A recent trip report:
viewtopic.php?f=1&t=16127

I would not count on a snow free experience. The high country is being very slow to lose its icy layer. All water crossings will be high in the afternoon, lower in the early morning.
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Re: Have you made it over the High Sierra Trail recently?

Postby AlmostThere » Mon Jul 17, 2017 7:48 am

AND there are plenty of mosquitos. Deet and a headnet, and long baggy sleeves. Hike in pants, not tights. I was using Ultrathon last weekend, very happy to have it -- ran into a lady who forgot the deet wore short sleeves and looked like head to toe red welts... she was not feeling good.
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Re: Have you made it over the High Sierra Trail recently?

Postby ERIC » Mon Jul 17, 2017 11:32 am

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Re: Have you made it over the High Sierra Trail recently?

Postby maverick » Mon Jul 17, 2017 12:02 pm

Hi MaineForests,

Welcome to HST!

SEKI NP:

7/14 - Creek crossings have gone down, considerably. Continue to exert caution, especially at Hamilton Creek. Patchy snow persists from Hamilton to the Junction of the Big Arroyo. 90% snow coverage from below Precipice up to the top of Kaweah Gap. Any person attempting to travel through this area needs to be prepared to route find and be equipped with a 7 1/2 min map. Chagoopa Plateau is free of snow. Some down trees on trail.


7/13 - Whitney Creek to Little Five Lakes on the High Sierra is mostly clear of snow. The Big Arroyo Creek crossing from Blackrock Pass is not unseasonably swift. Trekking pole are advised. Big Arroyo area's snowline is around 10,300ft along the tree line, East of the Great Western Divide.


https://www.nps.gov/seki/planyourvisit/trailcond.htm
I don't give out specific route information, my belief is that it takes away from the whole adventure spirit of a trip, if you need every inch planned out, you'll have to get that from someone else.

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: Have you made it over the High Sierra Trail recently?

Postby shsutter » Mon Jul 31, 2017 9:13 am

Just returned from completing the HST last week (7/29). There were large (car sized) blocks of snow left in the ravine after the tunnel above Hamilton Lakes, but they continue to melt out from underneath so we managed to crawl through despite being told by the permit ranger that they had collapsed onto the trail. They may be gone by now -- not much more than 10' of the trail is blocked and some people just went up and over them. The river crossings were all manageable with poles, knee deep in the Kern Valley and negligible elsewhere. Snow fields covering the trail above Precipice Lake, but just a mile or so and mostly flat. We used micro-spikes and poles, but others just had boots. Everything else was clear of snow. A few minor patches on Whitney, but either went around or just walked across without spikes. Possibly gone by now. Mosquito's were heavy at Bearpaw, Big Arroyo and Junction Meadow, but mild elsewhere. So, other than that lingering snow at the tunnel, should be clear hiking now.
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