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TR: Skelton Lake snow camp, April 22-23, 2017

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.

TR: Skelton Lake snow camp, April 22-23, 2017

Postby jimmeans » Sat Apr 29, 2017 10:09 am

In 2017 for our yearly spring snow camping trip we chose to return to the Mammoth Lakes region. The first effect from this year's snow fall is the date for our trip. This is about 3 weeks later than in previous years.

We (Cloudlesssky, Blackfoot, Brad and I) started at the Lake Mary road closure and snowshoed past Lake Mary to the Duck Pass trail. The weather was gorgeous with temps in the 60s. We roughly followed the trail to Skelton Lake where we set up camp near the south end of the lake, and this site was about 4.1 miles/4.5 hours from our trailhead. Of course there was a lot more snow than we encountered last year at Arrowhead Lake. Once we got camp established we had a fine happy hour with Guinness and Glenmorangie.

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Overnight weather was pretty good. Temperatures didn't get below freezing, and the only negative was the occasional burst of wind that would rattle the tent a bit. We broke camp the next morning and were on the trail by 9AM, reaching our trailhead in about 2 hours.

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I overlaid my GPS track on Google Earth, and I found that we were camped on the ice over the lake.

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Re: TR: Skelton Lake snow camp, April 22-23, 2017

Postby DAVELA » Sun Apr 30, 2017 1:41 pm

Nice...was the snow soft,crusty?
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Re: TR: Skelton Lake snow camp, April 22-23, 2017

Postby jimmeans » Sun Apr 30, 2017 2:06 pm

The snow was consolidated and firm, but it definitely softened through the day. We didn't put on snow shoes until we got to where the Duck Pass trailhead is located. There was some potholing on the road/trail before then. Around the campsite it was mostly firm, but there were a few spots where there was potholing, unfortunately usually me since I'm the biggest person in our group. On Sunday morning it was very icy, everybody had to be careful walking around camp. In a couple of the photos you can see our tracks which may give you some idea. I've been in snow that was a lot harder to snow shoe through.
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Re: TR: Skelton Lake snow camp, April 22-23, 2017

Postby DAVELA » Sun Apr 30, 2017 3:02 pm

Thx for the info...waiting,hopefully, for one last storm to leave fresh snow.I guess after the upcoming warmup the snow will be a mess.
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