2011 BACKCOUNTRY CONDITIONS UPDATES | High Sierra Topix  

2011 BACKCOUNTRY CONDITIONS UPDATES

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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Glacier Point to Bunell Cascade, Yosemite 6/10-6/11

Postby snusmumriken » Tue Jun 14, 2011 10:26 pm

Route taken:
Took the bus up to Glacier Point, hiked along the Panorama Trail to top of Nevada Falls, onto Little Yosemite Valley and four miles beyond to the twin footbridges just past Bunell Cascades (6600 feet) where I camped for the night. Hiked back the same way except I exited down to the Valley instead of returning to Glacier Point.

Difficult section encountered:
The trail was snow free the whole way.
On the bus ride up to Glacier Point we saw a fair amount of snow along the road, mainly in the area close to Badger Pass at about 7300 feet.
There was some smaller seasonal creeks running across the trail but nothing that was difficult to cross.
Did almost step on two rattlers though, the first one a mile beyond Little Yosemite and the next one only a half hour later on the same trail. The two other parties I spoke with had also seen rattlers on the trail in this area.

Special equipment needed/used:
None.

Possible alternative routes:
I spoke to one party that was returning from Merced Lake and said that the trail was essentially snow free all the way to the lake, so I could have easily continued that far.



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Yosemite Valley up the Snow Creek Trail 6/12-6/13

Postby snusmumriken » Tue Jun 14, 2011 10:50 pm

Route taken:
From Yosemite Valley went past Mirror Lake up the Snow Creek Trail to the camping area just beyond the bridge. It was to early in the day to settle in to camp so I went on to see what the trail towards Tuolomne looked like and thought I might see if I could find the Snow Creek cabin.
A mile beyond the bridge at 7600 feet the trail abruptly changes from clear, dry and easy to follow to snow-covered and impossible (for me) to find. I went another half mile or so but did not attempt to cross the creek as it was running high and I could not locate the foot bridge, so I returned the way I came and settled in at camp with a fabulous view of Half Dome.

Difficult section encountered:
Once I was a mile or so beyond the footbridge above Snow Creek Falls I found it difficult to find my way with the total snow coverage.

Special equipment needed/used:
None.

Possible alternative routes:
I met several parties (both day hikers and back packers) who were attempting to or had done the full loop from Snow Creek to North Dome and onto Yosemite Falls and down that way. Several miles of snow cover but a fair number of foot prints to follow given the number of parties doing it. Although it is melting at a furious pace at the moment so footprints disappear pretty quickly. They also said there was some scouting around needed to find a good crossing of the creek in Indian Canyon.
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Kearsarge Pass Trail 6/15/2011

Postby jessegooddog » Wed Jun 15, 2011 6:45 pm

Route taken: Kearsarge Pass Trail 6/15/2011


Difficult section encountered: I planned a quick dayhike to at least Little Pothole
(10,050),but the snow became too steep (I did take a 15 foot slide) and footprints of
several PCT through hikers before me seemed to vanish so I turned back maybe only 1/3
mile from this lake. I have not hiked any part of this trail before and have very little
experience hiking uphill thru snow and did not have a good map, so it was not safe for me;
I will try other trails that I am very familiar with. Others more experienced and/or not
hiking alone would have enjoyed the beautiful weather and cascades. The trailhead at
9200ft is snow free, and there was not a solid covering where I turned back.

Special equipment needed/used:
N/A



Possible alternative routes:
N/A
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Armstrong Canyon 6/11/11

Postby KathyW » Fri Jun 17, 2011 12:05 pm

Route taken: Armstrong Canyon (north of Sawmill Pass)



Difficult section encountered: No bugs. Conditions ranged from dry ground to
nicely consolidated snow to post-hole hell. I went waist deep a good number of times
once I hit 12,000'.



Special equipment needed/used:N/A



Possible alternative routes:N/A

Photo's of trip: http://kathywing.smugmug.com/California ... 68_S8jHh6g
Last edited by maverick on Wed Jul 06, 2011 11:43 am, edited 2 times in total.
Reason: To properly format
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Re: 2011 BACKCOUNTRY CONDITIONS UPDATES

Postby quentinc » Fri Jun 17, 2011 3:19 pm

Great pictures Kathy. Looks a little more challenging than New York Mountain in the eastern Mojave! (We did that together a few years back.)
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Re: 2011 BACKCOUNTRY CONDITIONS UPDATES

Postby maverick » Fri Jun 17, 2011 3:50 pm

Thanks for the update, and the great photo's Kathy!
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: 2011 BACKCOUNTRY CONDITIONS UPDATES

Postby norcalhiker » Sat Jun 18, 2011 6:48 pm

This isn't my beta, but I'm in touch with the frontrunners of the northbound PCT herd. The report is that those who were north of Tuolumne Meadows can't make it past the creeks. As of yesterday, Return Creek was totally uncrossable and even getting that far north on the PCT involved a series of crazy dangerous crossings. My friends are flipping north of Tahoe. They think that the creeks haven't crested yet and that they will remain this high or higher for perhaps two weeks. They're extremely experienced, fairly high risk takers and spent many hours looking for a place to cross Return. They even waited until morning for lower flows. Return doesn't have a reputation for being a particularly bad crossing on the PCT either.

Be safe out there. I'm worried about all of the PCTers in the Sierra right now.
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Re: 2011 BACKCOUNTRY CONDITIONS UPDATES

Postby Flux » Mon Jun 20, 2011 8:18 am

Norcal, are you perhaps confusing Kennedy with Tuolumne?? I have been watching some of the postings on "postholer.com" and the fast folks seemed to have made it to Kennedy and some are heading into the white void. I have also heard the Eastern Sierra trans folks have been getting calls from hikers bailing the trail around the Olancha area. I share your concerns for these folks.
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Re: 2011 BACKCOUNTRY CONDITIONS UPDATES

Postby gary c. » Mon Jun 20, 2011 9:35 am

Here is one of the blogs I have been following and they just came out over Keararge this past weekend to resupply. They did Mt. Whitney and it sounds like it was a real mother. She posted video of both Whitney and Forester, pretty interesting. Sounds like there are a lot of folks having navigation problems in the snow along with quite a few so far minor injuries.

http://erinspctjournal.blogspot.com/
"On this proud and beautiful mountain we have lived hours of fraternal, warm and exalting nobility. Here for a few days we have ceased to be slaves and have really been men. It is hard to return to servitude."
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Snow Creek Trail, North Dome, Yosemite Falls 6/17

Postby Wandering Daisy » Mon Jun 20, 2011 3:31 pm

Route taken: Mirror Lake TH to Snow Creek, to trail jct near Tioga Road, North
Dome, cross trail to Yosemite Point, descend Yosemite Falls trail.




Difficult section encountered:
Solid snow for about a mile on top, patchy snow
for about 2 miles. Trail junction sign (Porcupine Creek trail and North DOme Trail)
clear of snow. Most snow is from this junction back down to Snow Creek. As long
as you can read a map you are OK. Good solid snow. No sinking in. Creek
crossings-trivial. Snow Creek is roaring! Yosemite Creek is roaring! Both have good
bridges. I did not need to cross Porcupine Creek- it would be difficult. Backpacker
campground in Valley half flooded- few spaces available.
Spring in rock at North Dome is still running water.




Special equipment needed/used:
N/A



Possible alternative routes:
N/A
Last edited by maverick on Mon Jun 20, 2011 3:45 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Reason: To properly format
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Re: 2011 BACKCOUNTRY CONDITIONS UPDATES

Postby norcalhiker » Tue Jun 21, 2011 12:16 am

Nope, I was not confusing TM for KM. The PCT frontrunners lefts KM around the first of the month. Pretty bold. Here's a link: http://pcta.org/planning/during_trip/Tr ... asp?sect=I
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Re: 2011 BACKCOUNTRY CONDITIONS UPDATES

Postby Flux » Tue Jun 21, 2011 8:02 am

norcalhiker wrote:Nope, I was not confusing TM for KM. The PCT frontrunners lefts KM around the first of the month. Pretty bold. Here's a link: http://pcta.org/planning/during_trip/Tr ... asp?sect=I


Wow. I'm blown away. I have been seeing ski trip reports from those areas. Those folks are tough, tough, and tough.

Guess I will see some of it first hand. 2.5 weeks until I head out on a 10 day trip into some remote spots.
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