2018 Backcountry Conditions Reports

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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maverick
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Re: 2018 Backcountry Conditions Reports

Post by maverick » Wed Jun 13, 2018 5:53 pm

Mav, you're a saint. Thanks for putting this together.
Your welcome! Just trying to give all our members a wonderful & safer trip. :nod:


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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, an HST member: http://reconn.org






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Kings Canyon High Basin Route 6/5-6/12

Post by CAMERONM » Wed Jun 13, 2018 6:39 pm

Some more info, including responses:
-The snowline and quality of the snow really varied according to the orientation of the land and the sun. When I went up Silliman, the snow started at 9500. But Colby Lake at 10584 was clear as an August day.
IMG_6109.jpg
-Upper Tableland was not so bad as one could navigate to avoid a lot of snow, but I went out of my way to cross it in the earlier morning so that the snowier stretches would be colder and less likely to collapse on me:
IMG_5971.jpg
-Yes, what I call Lonely lake Pass is the same as Horn Col:
IMG_6032.jpg
-Yes, what I call "the basin under Elizabeth" is Deadman Canyon. Crossing it was fine, but once again, I did it early in the morning:
IMG_6033.jpg
I came down a pass to the southeast of Copper Mine Peak, not the north one that is shown on the HST map, and it was steep and required the axe. I noticed one fresh pair of 12 point crampon tracks lower down the snow incline; whoever it was chose to ascend up the rocks that looked too sketchy to me. The long descent down into Cloud Canyon was in the afternoon and the post-holing the most nerve-wracking.
IMG_6062.jpg
The other place that gave me post-hole trouble was the southern ascent up to Talus pass. I actually spent the night on top of Talus Pass so I could descend on the north side in the morning. The snow was ice at 7 am and tough work, but the distance between safe rocks was not far:
IMG_6154.jpg
Most of what I show is already a week old, and everything was melting fast. Still, waiting at least one more week might make for a less difficult trip.
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Saddlebag Lake 6/14

Post by Fly Guy Dave » Fri Jun 15, 2018 4:37 pm

Image

Here's a shot from yesterday (14 June) of Saddlebag Lake looking toward Mt. Conness. The trail along the west shore of the lake is still pretty much snow covered, which I did on the way in, but I took the trail on the east side of the lake going out. Not into post-holing, thank you very much. The east trail was soggy in spots, but no snow. Greenstone is iced out, but barely. That's as far into the basin I got. The water is COLD so the fishing was SLOW...either that or I suck, which is a distinct possibility...
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Koip Peak-Mono Pass-Parker Pass 6/16

Post by maverick » Mon Jun 18, 2018 11:45 am

Ayelet Bitton wrote on SNCC-TPP:
Climbed Koip Peak on Saturday from the Mono Pass trailhead to Parker Pass to Koip Pass. A little swampy in the last mile to Parker Pass. From Parker to the bottom of the Koip switchbacks, some snowfields, but all low angle/safe to cross (though make sure you're not on any snow bridges). Switchbacks up to Koip were clear, but then had to cross maybe ~5 short, steep snowfields to get to the top of the pass. Used my axe, but you can also scramble around if you're ambitious. More snow still out there than I was expecting.
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Professional Sierra Landscape Photographer

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, an HST member: http://reconn.org

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Duck Pass 6/6

Post by maverick » Mon Jun 18, 2018 1:25 pm

Nikki Z Bobello posted on SNCC-TPP:
Hey guys! Did a last minute trip up Duck pass last weekend. It was gorgeous!! A little snowy at the pass, but pretty clear steps to follow, without any sort of spike or snowshoe. & we had Pika lake all to ourselves! The only mosquitoes were at Barney lake. Don't stop when you walk through there in the evening.. if camping, hike up into the hill a bit & you'll be fine!
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Professional Sierra Landscape Photographer

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, an HST member: http://reconn.org

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Vandenburg Lake 6/15-6/17

Post by maverick » Mon Jun 18, 2018 4:42 pm

Chris Kantarjiev wrote on SNCC-TTP:
We visited Vandenburg Lake (from Norris/Fernandez) this weekend - some snow patches around 8600, pretty solid around 9200-9500 on north aspects. Mosquitos were out in force.
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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, an HST member: http://reconn.org

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Re: 2018 Backcountry Conditions Reports

Post by wildhiker » Mon Jun 18, 2018 10:36 pm

Maverick, thanks for posting so many reports from other sites. But what is "SNCC-TPP"? Google doesn't know the answer.

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Re: 2018 Backcountry Conditions Reports

Post by maverick » Tue Jun 19, 2018 11:31 am

Maverick, thanks for posting so many reports from other sites. But what is "SNCC-TPP"? Google doesn't know the answer.
Sierra Nevada Current Conditions-Trails, Passes and Peaks on Facebook.
Professional Sierra Landscape Photographer

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, an HST member: http://reconn.org

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Dana Couloir 6/17

Post by maverick » Tue Jun 19, 2018 5:47 pm

Nolan Goodnight wrote on SNCC-TPP:
Climbed the Dana Couloir on 6/17. Great early morning (7am) snow conditions after a freeze the night before.
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Professional Sierra Landscape Photographer

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, an HST member: http://reconn.org

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Emigrant 6/12-6/19

Post by LightBulb » Wed Jun 20, 2018 11:22 am

Bourland>hyatt lake>big lake>N cherry creek>boundary lake>cherry creek (N+E)>W cherry creek

Wild flowers in full bloom, great weather, creek flows raging then tailing out near the end. Spare patches of snow at 8000 feet and above.

Either go very soon or wait until fall. I think July may be too hot (you get double sunlight for the reflective granite).

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