2011 BACKCOUNTRY CONDITIONS UPDATES

Questions and reports 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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papercup
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Re: 2011 BACKCOUNTRY CONDITIONS UPDATES

Post by papercup » Tue Jul 12, 2011 8:43 am

One of my companions definitely has some photos of Army and New Army. I'll post them when I manage to get ahold of them, which should hopefully be within the next day or two.








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Sierra Maclure
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Cathedral Lakes 7/8-7/10

Post by Sierra Maclure » Tue Jul 12, 2011 9:22 am

Sunrise Lks Thead at Tenaya Lk outlet is down to about 30 in. deep. Navigable non-postholing snow up to the Clds R. Junction.

Cath. Lkes trail clear til just before the Toe. Creek into Lower C is brisk. Lower C. meadow a knee deep swamp. Upper Cath. Lk 80% frozen. Lots of snow. Some dirt to camp on.
Lower Cathedral Lake 7-10-11:
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Upper Cathedral Lake 7-10-11:
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Last edited by maverick on Tue Jul 12, 2011 9:25 am, edited 1 time in total.
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maverick
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Re: 2011 BACKCOUNTRY CONDITIONS UPDATES

Post by maverick » Tue Jul 12, 2011 9:23 am

Hi Papercup

Thanks for the update, but please include a date.
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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: 2011 BACKCOUNTRY CONDITIONS UPDATES

Post by papercup » Tue Jul 12, 2011 10:27 am

Sorry-- 7/2 through 7/9.

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GunnyJC
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Horseshoe Meadow-Soldier Lakes 7/3-7/6

Post by GunnyJC » Tue Jul 12, 2011 10:41 am

We spent July 3rd to July 6th in the Horsehoe Meadows - Cottonwood Pass - Soldier Lakes area and very similar findings to what Papercup posted earlier. The trails were 99% snow free and easy to follow. Likewise, we saw hardly anyone out there which I thought was amazing considering it was 4th of July week, but I'm not complaining one bit. There was two other tents at Chicken Spring Lake and we had Lower Soldier Lake to ourselves for 3 nights. Sure wish the weather would have been better though as we had a lot of pea sized hail, rain & t-storms three days in a row. Still loved being out there though.
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Maggie Lake 7/9-7/10

Post by tomcat_rc » Tue Jul 12, 2011 1:42 pm

Summit Trail to Maggie Lakes July 9-10, 2011

Trailhead - open
Trail condiitons -
Meadows - wet and flowing
Snow coverage - 1/4 mostly still on northern and shaded area. Downed trees were more of a disctraction than snow navigation was.

Maggie Lakes - all open for camping with just a couple of small snow patches left.

On way out we noticed fire burning to east. We assume Little Kern area. FS lists as Lion Fire under controlled observation.
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Kearsage; Glen; 60 Lakes -- July 9 - 12

Post by quentinc » Tue Jul 12, 2011 3:51 pm

Kearsarge Pass is melting fast. Two patches just before the winding winding winding switchbacks, well worn with boot tracks and soft by 9 a.m. West side will be snow-free by next weekend. The permit office will warn of fallen trees -- they are on drugs.

Snow starts on JMT above Charlotte Lake -- about 60% cover. Easy but following the trail gets a bit confusing in one spot. Glen Pass: easy from the south. North is covered, but boot tracks and soft conditions make it OK. It was arduous getting back over from the north courtesy of some a-hole thru hikers who glissaded down the boot tracks.

60 Lakes Basin, contrary to what the ranger would have one believe, is easily navigable. Only the highest lakes have any ice. The north saddle entrance (above Arrowhead Lake) was a bit difficult -- by far the hardest part of the trip. Stream crossing below Arrowhead is waist deep, but slow.

Secondhand info on the JMT to the South. Things have improved drastically. There was a hot dog concession on top of Forester Pass over the weekend!

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Minarets from Shadow Lake to 1,000 Island Lake July 9 to 12

Post by DoyleWDonehoo » Tue Jul 12, 2011 8:38 pm

For the last four days I have been hiking in the Minarets, the crux being from Shadow Lake to 1,000 Island Lake. Speaking for that area, I would say from 8500 feet to 9000 feet, expect any combination of snow coverage from nothing to 100%, depending on location and how much sun it gets. From 9000 feet to 10,000+ feet it is pretty continuous, with some dry patches here and there, with sections of very deep drifts, maybe more than 20 feet deep in some places (like gullies). So if you go there anytime soon, be prepared for travel over hard packed snow, very icy and slick in the mornings, and softer in the afternoons. Also be prepared to face snow bridges and (unavoidable) steep traverses and other complex situations associated with these conditions. The pictures below should give you some clues. O:) I will try to do a TR soon.
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rlown
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Re: 2011 BACKCOUNTRY CONDITIONS UPDATES

Post by rlown » Tue Jul 12, 2011 8:46 pm

Nice. feeling better everyday about pushing back my fishing trip..

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EGBill
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Loon Lake Trail to Rockbound Lake 7/9-7/10

Post by EGBill » Tue Jul 12, 2011 9:25 pm

Route taken: Loon Lake trail to Rockbound Lake

Difficult section encountered: A few trees down on the trail along side Loon Lake, after that no problems. Snow Free. Buck Island Lake and Rockbound Lake were full to the brim with water!!


Special equipment needed/used: None


Possible alternative routes: None

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