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Good Snowshoe Routes?

Discussion about winter adventure sports in the Sierra Nevada mountains including but not limited to; winter backpacking and camping, mountaineering, downhill and cross-country skiing, snowboarding, snowshoeing, etc.
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Re: Good Snowshoe Routes?

Postby Bluewater » Tue Nov 17, 2015 7:27 pm

HikingGeek.com wrote:
Bluewater wrote:In the winter the road is open up to the gate just past Aspendell. From there it's about 1.8 miles to the trailhead.


For a (long) dayhike, what would you consider a good turn around point if hiking out of Aspendell? Any peaks from that area (no tougher than class 2), that I should look into?



For anyone looking for another place to post their snowshoeing & winter hiking photos and trip reports), please take a look at this new group:
https://www.facebook.com/groups/snowsho ... terhiking/


If the conditions were very good (hard packed Sierra cement) I could make it to Sailor Lake and back as a day hike from the Lake Sabrina TH or up to Piute Lake from the North Lake TH. . .but if conditions were bad (breaking trail in deep snow) it would be a push just to make it to Blue Lake. I haven't done winter climbing in the area.

I enjoy snow camping and would recommend doing at least an overnight if you are going to drive all the way to Aspendell:)



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Re: Good Snowshoe Routes?

Postby alpinemike » Tue Nov 17, 2015 9:03 pm

Some questions:
Is San Joaquin Mtn doable as a long day hike?
Has anyone here hiked/snowshoed Mt. Morgan South as a winter day hike?


HikingGeek. I climbed San Joauqin Mtn in the summer last year and it was a long route even though I was able to drive onto the road quite a ways. It took me the better part of 6-7 hours. if you're planning on doing this in the winter you're going to lose light much faster and thus you'll have much less time to do the hike. My friend and I hiked a part of the ridge last year during Christmas and we made it only as far as the Wilderness Boundary before turning back because it was too cold and it was getting too late. I would only attempt it as a day hike if you get a super early start and there isn't a lot of fresh snow to break through. If there's a lot of fresh snow.. forget about it. That ridge accumulates snow like no tomorrow so you'll likely be post-holing the whole way through.

It's certainly a doable day hike given the right conditions and if you're up for the challenge.
Never put off a backpacking trip for tomorrow, if you can do it today...
Alpine Mike-

http://mikhailkorotkinphotography.com/
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Re: Good Snowshoe Routes?

Postby HikingGeek.com » Tue Nov 24, 2015 11:21 am

Thanks for the help everyone.

I've posted my tentative itinerary here and was wondering if anyone has any suggestions, particularly regarding what we should do Friday afternoon and Sunday morning: http://www.hikinggeek.com/2015/11/24/tr ... er-hiking/

Friday: I'm leaving the Riverside area around 11 AM and I'd like to find a short hike between home and Mammoth that would have a nice vantage point for sunset (4:30). Riverside is about 3 hrs from Lone Pine, 4 hours from Bishop, 5 hrs from Mammoth. Any suggestions?

Sunday: I'm hoping to get out with snowshoes for 3-5 hours. We could go somewhere in Mammoth or anywhere south along the 395. It would be nice to find something with a nice view for sunrise.If I stay in Mammoth, ideally I'd head out early, then be able to get back to the hotel by 9 AM to pack up and checkout. It may be possible to pack up, check out, then hike, but I'd need to convince the rest of the group to join me in that case. We do have some time restrictions we'd like to be in Lone Pine by 1 PM at the latest. Any suggestions?
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Re: Good Snowshoe Routes?

Postby DAVELA » Thu Nov 26, 2015 9:20 am

I love snowshoeing in the sierra.Ive never known of any formal routes.I go to the gates and park the car at Aspendell or Big Pine or Mosquito Flats and just wander on the shoes for a few miles or less.The scenery in winter at all those trailheads is pretty spectacular so its sufficient for me to not go too far.In some ways its almost a bad thing that those parking areas are in such nice settings as you dont have to work to be rewarded with such an amazing view- ie south lake in winter.
As i have done these trips quite a few times over the last few years it would be nice to find some new spots or yes,trails.
It would be nice to go further but overnight winter backpacking on snowshoes is much for me.
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Re: Good Snowshoe Routes?

Postby HikingGeek.com » Mon Jan 04, 2016 9:57 am

I'm way behind on posting trip reports, but hoping it catch up over the next couple of weeks. In late November, a buddy and I headed up to Mammoth for some snowshoeing and it was amazing.


Trip Report: Mammoth Lakes Basin
Clicking the link above or any of the photos below will take you to my full report.
Image
Waiting for sunrise at Crystal Crag

Image
Crystal Crag

Image
Lake Barrett

Image
Crystal Crag, as view from above TJ Lake.
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Re: Good Snowshoe Routes?

Postby Lesper4 » Wed Jan 04, 2017 1:33 pm

alpinemike wrote:
Some questions:
Is San Joaquin Mtn doable as a long day hike?
Has anyone here hiked/snowshoed Mt. Morgan South as a winter day hike?


HikingGeek. I climbed San Joauqin Mtn in the summer last year and it was a long route even though I was able to drive onto the road quite a ways. It took me the better part of 6-7 hours. if you're planning on doing this in the winter you're going to lose light much faster and thus you'll have much less time to do the hike. My friend and I hiked a part of the ridge last year during Christmas and we made it only as far as the Wilderness Boundary before turning back because it was too cold and it was getting too late. I would only attempt it as a day hike if you get a super early start and there isn't a lot of fresh snow to break through. If there's a lot of fresh snow.. forget about it. That ridge accumulates snow like no tomorrow so you'll likely be post-holing the whole way through.

It's certainly a doable day hike given the right conditions and if you're up for the challenge.


This is almost exactly the route I want to do. Start at the top of the lodge and hike up to the vista and then across and look for a place to settle in. The second night would be 1000 Island Lake and then exit Silver Lake. It sounds ambitious but we are pretty experience. My only three concerns is finding a place to stay the first night, getting off the ridge into the lakes basin and finally getting down to Silver Lake looks like some steep terrain? I was hoping to go Feb 20th this year. Any suggestions? Rock Creek sounds nice we were just looing for a loop trip not out and back. We have all the necessary gear. This is kind of a steeping stone to Mt Rainier in March.
Thanks, (forgive me this is my first post)
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Re: Good Snowshoe Routes?

Postby Hobbes » Wed Jan 04, 2017 3:42 pm

Lesper4 wrote:getting down to Silver Lake looks like some steep terrain?


Yes, coming down to Agnew lake from Spooky meadow is pretty steep. It starts off very nice with a beautiful view of Mono:

Image

Then you get a slight hint that you'll be dropping elevation:

Image

At which point you're now committed:

Image

Here's a view of the area in question from across the lake:

Image

The (semi-maintained) trail is between the stream/cascade and the scree field under Carson peak. As you probably know, this section faces north, so it can hold snow. There were some trace patches in the shade (you can see them at the top in the bottom photo) when I hiked down in August 7 years ago.

Part of the problem of hiking to Silver from Minaret Vista is you'd be totally committed to exiting this route. That is, it would be too far to hike all the way back. So, it's one of those 'surprise' hikes where all the unknowns are back-loaded. However, if you reversed the course, then you could deal with the hardest part first. If you got turned around, then no big deal - at least you'd still have food and be fairly fresh.

In addition, if the June lake loop was open, then you could simply jump in your car (assuming you parked @ the Rush creek TH), drive 10 minutes to either the Parker or Walker THs, and hike/snowshoe to get in another night or two.
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Re: Good Snowshoe Routes?

Postby paul » Sat Jan 07, 2017 3:28 pm

Getting down to Agnew lake is fairly steep any way you go. Avalanche terrain almost all around, with the possible exception on the tramway route drown from the Gem lake dam. Frankly not somewhere I'd want to be any earlier than mid-April. By then the snowpack is usually more stable.
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Re: Good Snowshoe Routes?

Postby Lesper4 » Wed Jan 11, 2017 9:26 am

Thanks, those pictures say it all, reversing would be a good option if it were later in the year. I think I will pass on that. One option is hiking the same ridge and then dropping down and return via Reds Meadow and climb DPPNM road back out. Another option my friend suggested is Lee Vining to Lundy Lake? And lastly what about Rock Creek in an "out and back" (play around in the Long Lake / Morgan Pass area). Thanks again.
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