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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Re: 2011 BACKCOUNTRY CONDITIONS UPDATES

Postby cgundersen » Fri Aug 26, 2011 7:46 am

quentin,
OK, on the compilation by Martz (link below), it's referred to as Ericsson Pass (not, col). It's also rated 2-3, but my impression was that it was equal to or slightly easier than Harrison. And, I've only been over Harrison in late season when the snow (that I well understand can be scary) has been a non-issue. Ericsson is more exposed and probably does not hold snow as long. Anyway, just a thought.... The other question concerns that tight little lip due North of Caltech Peak (also visible in the map cutout in the link). As a conduit twixt Forester and Lake SA it would save tons of time, but I agree that it's looked very dicey (sans ropes) and I've never even tried day hiking it. Still, as you noted, such free-lancing can be a kick in the rump, but sometimes it can also pay off handsomely. That said, the broad loop around the southern flanks of Caltech Peak is so wide open and pretty in most places that the shortcut idea is partly just academic.
cg
http://sierrabackpacker.com/Ericsson.htm



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Re: 2011 BACKCOUNTRY CONDITIONS UPDATES

Postby quentinc » Fri Aug 26, 2011 4:44 pm

CG, thanks. I see now that Ericson Pass is listed in Secor too, and he says it's not as steep as Harrison. I'm guessing it starts from where the small snow patch is in the middle of this picture (of the benign south side).

Image
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Re: 2011 BACKCOUNTRY CONDITIONS UPDATES

Postby sparky » Sun Aug 28, 2011 1:56 am

8/24-8/27 New Army pass, Crabtree Pass, Crabtree meadow, Rock Creek, Cottonwood Pass

Crabtree pass is clear, the uppermost lake in the crabtree creek drainage has a steep snowfield to cross on north side of lake, and few on the south side and that's it for snow. Never put on DEET or a headnet. Didn't cross anything more than knee deep. Smoke is gone.

The top of New Army Pass to Crabtree Meadow VIA crabtree pass was the most fun I have had in awhile. Not to mention the scenery. Pretty crowded in Miter Basin though....is that normal? I would like to go back and have it all to myself.
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Re: 2011 BACKCOUNTRY CONDITIONS UPDATES

Postby quentinc » Sun Aug 28, 2011 4:13 pm

Sparky, any place as beautiful and relatively accessible as Miter Basin is bound to draw crowds. Try it either before the snow has melted or after Labor Day -- those are the only times I will go. I'm amazed you made it all the way along Rock Creek without needing DEET.
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Re: 2011 BACKCOUNTRY CONDITIONS UPDATES

Postby Cross Country » Sun Aug 28, 2011 7:30 pm

"CG, thanks. I see now that Ericson Pass is listed in Secor too, and he says it's not as steep as Harrison. I'm guessing it starts from where the small snow patch is in the middle of this picture (of the benign south side)".

By no means do I intend to minimalism your pic. I LOVE pics of remote places. It's had much to do with why I went. I would however, like very much to see some pics from the North side. The times I was around and over these passes I didn't have a camera with me -- drats!. Could somebody show me some pics to refresh the memory of an OM. Please someone indulge me.

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Re: 2011 BACKCOUNTRY CONDITIONS UPDATES

Postby quentinc » Sun Aug 28, 2011 8:23 pm

This is the only other one I have of the north side of Harrison. I do have, for the asking, the north side of Lucy's Foot (which looks shockingly benign in the photo, compared to what it actually looked like from where I took it) and the next stage down of the route on the north side of Harrison.

Image
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Re: 2011 BACKCOUNTRY CONDITIONS UPDATES

Postby Cross Country » Sun Aug 28, 2011 11:30 pm

I have to admit that this is not an aesthetic pic but I absolutely love it. Even in art (I taught it), context and content REALLY count. It's nice to be retired and also not have an early game tomorrow morning. I tend to get in the last word here (it's late).
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Re: 2011 BACKCOUNTRY CONDITIONS UPDATES

Postby try » Mon Aug 29, 2011 12:36 pm

Would love to see a pic of Lucys, Quentinc. Haven't been there since July 4, 1976.
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King's Canyon NP: Rae Lakes / Glen Pass 2011-10-10

Postby tomba » Thu Oct 13, 2011 9:04 am

King's Canyon NP: Rae Lakes Loop / Glen Pass , 2011-10-08 - 2011-10-11

Route: Rae Lakes Loop: Roads End, Paradise Valley, Woods Creek, Rae Lakes, Glen Pass, Bubbs Creek.

Difficult section encountered on this trip:

Route mostly covered with snow on the JMT/PCT section. We met people who turned back at Dollar Lake. Stepping in existing footprints helped us to south end of Rae Lakes. After that we had to step through virgin snow across Glen Pass, all the way to near Bullfrog Lake, where we found footprints. Trail is mostly not visible. In some places one can see an "indentation" in the snow that indicates where the trail is. We had to use GPS with offline topo map application on iPhone to help us find the trail few times. Snow depth close to the pass was routinely above half calf, and sometimes above the knee. An overcast day on 10-10 helped the snow not to become too soft near the pass late morning and early afternoon.

It seems that so much snow at this elevation will take a long time to melt.

Special Equipment Used: Trekking poles.
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Re: 2011 BACKCOUNTRY CONDITIONS UPDATES

Postby East Side Hiker » Sun Oct 16, 2011 1:46 am

Thank you Maverick for your reminders.
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Cottonwood Pass, Rock Creek, Mt. Guyot 10/16 - 10/18

Postby quentinc » Tue Oct 18, 2011 11:25 pm

The snow that was so arduous last weekend was almost completely gone from the trail. Too much snow higher up on Mt. Guyot, though, so I turned back 100 feet from the top. Today, it was so beautiful I was hiking in shorts and short sleeve shirt at 11,000+.
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Re: Cottonwood Pass, Rock Creek, Mt. Guyot 10/16 - 10/18

Postby Ska-T » Wed Oct 19, 2011 10:58 pm

quentinc wrote:The snow that was so arduous last weekend was almost completely gone from the trail. ... Today, it was so beautiful I was hiking in shorts and short sleeve shirt at 11,000+.


I realize that your trip was further south, but do you think I will have trouble with snow going over Taboose Pass, Mather Pass, Cirque Pass, Potluck Pass, Knapsack Pass and Bishop Pass on a trip starting this Fri? Thanks for your best guess. (Anyone's comments are welcome.)
-Scott
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