2012 BACKCOUNTRY CONDITIONS REPORTS | High Sierra Topix  

2012 BACKCOUNTRY CONDITIONS REPORTS

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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Kearsarge, JMT

Postby quentinc » Tue May 29, 2012 2:16 pm

May 26th-28th

Route taken:

Onion Valley to JMT, to just below Glen Pass.

I intended to go to 60 Lakes Basin, but instead reversed course on JMT, to just below Forester Pass.

Back via Bullfrog Lake, explored lake above Kearsarge Lakes


Difficult section encountered:
Saturday - snow! PCTers were going over Glen Pass on the 27th, but I figured I could just come back next week, and then hit 60 Lakes Basin. Two large snow fields before Forester Pass, which I also passed. Several PCTers had come over though.

Special equipment needed/used:

Microspikes would be helpful for either Glen or Forester. I'm sure a lot of the snow is melted by now.

Possible alternative routes:

Chicken out and don't do either Glen or Forester Pass. :)



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Re: 2012 BACKCOUNTRY CONDITIONS REPORTS

Postby cgundersen » Tue May 29, 2012 2:36 pm

connorp & quentin,
Connor:Thanks for the photos; they're the best indication yet of conditions up there and you apparently got out just in time to miss the late snow that Q got! Bet the hot springs were welcome!
Quentin: Any bugs or did the snow force 'em to break out the heavy clothing?
cg
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Re: 2012 BACKCOUNTRY CONDITIONS REPORTS

Postby quentinc » Tue May 29, 2012 3:07 pm

CG: nope, not even in Vidette Meadows. Any day now, though...
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Re: 2012 BACKCOUNTRY CONDITIONS REPORTS

Postby KathyW » Tue May 29, 2012 5:05 pm

cgundersen wrote:Hi Kathy,
Great shots of the Taboose/Striped Mtn, but one question: your post says 4-11-4/12 and your gallery is dated May. I'm presuming it was May, since you had the Birch Lake report from late April. Correct?
Thanks,
cg



Yes, correct - Good catch - I made the edit to the post. Time just flies.
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Re: 2012 BACKCOUNTRY CONDITIONS REPORTS

Postby cgundersen » Wed May 30, 2012 2:55 pm

Hi Kathy,
Great; your photos helped convince me to head up Taboose next week. Relative to last year, the low snow should make a huge difference for what is accessible.
Thanks,
cg
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Re: 2012 BACKCOUNTRY CONDITIONS REPORTS

Postby David and Karen » Thu May 31, 2012 1:32 pm

Not my trip report but I came across this helpful series of photos taken of the Rae Lakes Loop last weekend.

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Re: 2012 BACKCOUNTRY CONDITIONS REPORTS

Postby connorpjack » Fri Jun 01, 2012 1:33 pm

cgundersen wrote:connorp & quentin,
Connor:Thanks for the photos; they're the best indication yet of conditions up there and you apparently got out just in time to miss the late snow that Q got! Bet the hot springs were welcome!
Quentin: Any bugs or did the snow force 'em to break out the heavy clothing?
cg


Nope... snow got us haha. Which was quite a bummer. Bit more info here: http://www.whitneyzone.com/wz/ubbthread ... #Post24572
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Sorthern Yosemite Loop 5/22 - 6/1

Postby oldranger » Fri Jun 01, 2012 7:44 pm

Southern Yosemite- Chiquito TH to Buena Vista Lake, Hoover Lake, over Buena Vista Crest down to Morain Meadows up to Breeze Lake, across to Chain Lakes, out to Chiquito TH today. A few trees down, creek and river crossings easy, most snow was in thick forest on n. slope between moraine Meadow and Breeze. Still easy to follow the trail. No apparent snow on w. side of Fernadez pass. May 22-June 1 good weather except for a bit of snow on Friday and Saturday of Memorial Day weekend.

TR to come.

Mike
Mike

Who can't do everything he used to and what he can do takes a hell of a lot longer!
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Bishop Pass - Dusy Basin | 6.01.2012-6.03.2012

Postby landESCAPE » Tue Jun 05, 2012 6:23 pm

Route taken:
South Lake --> Bishop Pass --> summit of Mt. Agassiz --> upper and lower Dusy Basin --> South Lake



Difficult section encountered:
Almost no snow at all. And this pass is nearly 12000' and north facing!
There were just a few small snow patches along the trail, none of which were over ~100 feet long. Only one small patch was on the actual switchbacks to the pass, and there were some footprints in it but it was also easily avoidable. A few snow patches on Agassiz made the basic class 2 east face route a little trickier...I had to make a few class 3 moves to get around them...but it still wasn't too bad. (Climbing down in the dark, on the other hand, was a little more interesting...)
I could see Muir Pass from Dusy Basin and there was still a significant amount of snow left on it, though it looked passable. I was several miles away though so don't quote me, though ;)
Bishop and Saddlerock Lakes had a little floating ice in them on June 1, but it was all gone two days later. Dusy lakes still had some (see attached photo) but it was melting fast and will probably be gone in a week.


Special equipment needed/used:
None. I brought microspikes but all they did was help balance the pack.
I did use trekking poles, but I always use trekking poles...so no problem. :)


Possible alternative routes:
Pretty much anything...it's all open!
Thunderbolt Pass, Knapsack Pass...all looked clear.
Perfect time to be out there...hurry before the mosquitoes come and get you!
Attachments
_MG_0876 (The Ephemeral and the Everlasting).jpg
Floating ice in my favorite Dusy lake!
- Jeff

landscape photographer | http://www.landESCAPEphotography.com

co-founder and CEO, #escaype (the world's first weather service for photographers) | http://www.escaype.com
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Cirque Peak 6/6/12

Postby Xosob » Wed Jun 06, 2012 6:02 pm

Route taken: Horseshoe Meadows - Cottonwood Pass - SW slope of Cirque Peak - Cottonwood Pass - Horseshoe Meadows

Difficult section encountered: None other than tediousness of sand, which might be a result of going from sea level to summit in ~30 hrs

Special equipment needed/used: None (no trekking poles brought) -- weather was warmer than predicted by NWS, barely a breeze, no insects at all throughout route

Possible alternative routes: None considered
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Cottonwood Pass, Miter Basin, New Army Pass, 6/4 - 6/8

Postby Talimon » Sat Jun 09, 2012 3:44 pm

Route taken: Cottonwood Pass - Soldier lake - Miter Basin (Sky Blue lake) - New Army pass

Difficult section encountered: East side of New Army pass has some snow pack, was about knee-high. A good passage way has been made, however. Seems to be covering the last switchback, and a small portion of the second to last one.

Special equipment needed/used: None. Between the passageway already carved and a little scrambling on surrounding boulders it is easy enough to pass. Only difficulty might be locating the way if coming from the west side, as the snow is covering the trail.

Possible alternative routes: Old army if needed, but really not necessary. I imagine it will be almost fully melted within a week.
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Lunden-GCT-Ten Lakes Yosemite 6/5-6/9

Postby Wandering Daisy » Sun Jun 10, 2012 9:29 am

Route Taken: Lukens Lake TH- Pate Valley- Grand Canyon Tuolumne - Glen Aulin- Ten Lakes- x-c through Ten Lakes - Grant Lake - x-c to Halfmoon Meadow - Yosemite Creek- over pass to Tuolumne draiange - out Lukens Lake. June 5-9

Conditions: delayed 1.5 hours on Tuesday because Tigoa Road was closed due to snow! Started 11:30, about an inch of new snow covered everthing, cold (wore jacket for most of day). Thankfully cool in the canyon. Trail from Lukens Lake avoids the downed trees on the main trail below Harden Lake. Lots of water- all small drainages with flow - this is probably temporary due to recent snow. Major streams are really low. Judged on a Memorial Day trip 2003 at peak runoff, the river is down about 5 feet. Two stream crossings only ankle deep. "Swamp" below Glen Aulin only mix of mud and ankle deep water, but still had to get wet (in 2003 it was crotch deep). Little snow left after the recent snow melted. Trail that goes to Ten Lakes from Tenaya Lake was snow free - one or two small patches. It actually is a well designed trail - right up to snow banks on north side of Tuolumne Peak, but trail dry! Breezy and cold night of June 8, thin ice on some low lying puddles. Trail from Yosemite Creek back to Lukens Lake had numerous downed trees. White Wolf road closed when I went in, opend on June 9. Essentially NO mosquitoes yet!

Route difficulty and detours: no difficulty - no detours needed. No special equipment needed, however wading shoes were nice. LOTS of elevation gain and loss and trekking poles very useful.
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