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2010 CA SP gathering, Round Top, March 27th 9:30am

Regional discussion and conditions reports for the Golden State. Please post partners requests and trip plans in the California Climbing Partners forum.
 

Postby QITNL » Wed Mar 24, 2010 4:50 am

jeff wrote: Scrounging up a pair of snowshoes on such short notice might be an issue....


Hey Jeff - This outfit seems to rent snowshoes for a reasonable price, their shop in Sonora is a quick jog of the 108:

Sierra Nevada Adventure Co.
173 S. Washington St.
Sonora, CA
209.795.9310
8am to 6pm Daily
http://snacattack.com/

Alternatively, I've got a spare pare of MSR Denali Evo Acsents I could lend you if you can fetch them from downtown Oakland.
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Postby NewDayRising » Wed Mar 24, 2010 4:51 am

:shock:
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Postby Marmaduke » Wed Mar 24, 2010 5:57 am

For what it's worth.....next year I'm in. Not ready for a snow climb yet.
Cheers, Troy
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Postby Diggler » Wed Mar 24, 2010 3:48 pm

Matthew Holliman wrote:
Diggler wrote:I sorta have a hankerin' to do Thunder Mountain (the summit above Kirkwood), & according to my calculations there should be a little bit of time following the Round Top trip. Anybody interested in going to Silver Lake afterwards & giving it a go? With a little planning (& a shuttle), one could start at Silver Lake, summit Thunder, then end up at the base of Kirkwood afterwards. One-way from Silver Lake to the summit would be 3-4 miles. Skis would make this quite feasible (i.e. it would be way preferable if you had skis)!


A better option IMO would be to follow the ridge over to Thunder. Bob and I did something similar a few years back, albeit in the other direction, traversing the ridge from Martin Point over Thunder, Timble etc. to Round Top, descending Crescent Moon Couloir. One of the best snowshoe outings there is around Tahoe, I think.


Thanks, Matthew- I'll consider this. I might get ahold of you between now & then to get some beta.
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Postby rhyang » Wed Mar 24, 2010 4:54 pm

I remember two years ago when we did this one of the guys (jeff I think) got a ticket because he hadn't bought a sno-park pass. The fine is $87. You can get the passes at Kirkwood and some other places (there's a list here) -

http://www.parks.ca.gov/?page_id=1233

Somewhere upthread there is a list of places in the bay area that rent snowshoes -- REI and Marmot Mountain Works, for example. I think Kirkwood does also.
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Postby keema » Wed Mar 24, 2010 7:03 pm

jeff wrote:I'm sorta late to this party, but is this still on for Saturday? Scrounging up a pair of snowshoes on such short notice might be an issue but if I can then I'll be there. Did it two years ago and had a great time.

Snow shoes can be rented at the Kirkwood cross country center.
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Postby jeff » Thu Mar 25, 2010 12:44 am

rhyang wrote:I remember two years ago when we did this one of the guys (jeff I think) got a ticket because he hadn't bought a sno-park pass. The fine is $87. You can get the passes at Kirkwood and some other places (there's a list here) -

http://www.parks.ca.gov/?page_id=1233

Somewhere upthread there is a list of places in the bay area that rent snowshoes -- REI and Marmot Mountain Works, for example. I think Kirkwood does also.


That was me. First time there so I had no idea I needed a parking pass. Not going to be able to make it this year so have fun everyone and be safe.
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Postby Rinat Shagisultanov » Thu Mar 25, 2010 4:19 pm

Coming. Driving early morning from North Bay/San Rafael area. Carpool?
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Postby jddeetz » Fri Mar 26, 2010 12:24 am

Squishy, I can definitely carpool with you. PM me with a time/location to meet.

Look forward to meeting all of you! As promised, I will bring some Fat Tire with me.
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Postby ScottyP » Fri Mar 26, 2010 2:39 am

What is a good landmark for MAPQUEST to use for the parkng area ? I am contemplating going but I am also need to be in Truckee that afternoon for another climb/ski. Thnks Scott
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Postby NewDayRising » Fri Mar 26, 2010 5:40 am

squishy,

send you a pm
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Postby rhyang » Fri Mar 26, 2010 12:58 pm

ScottyP wrote:What is a good landmark for MAPQUEST to use for the parkng area ? I am contemplating going but I am also need to be in Truckee that afternoon for another climb/ski. Thnks Scott


Use Google Maps instead :) Type in "Carson Pass, CA" and select the one in Alpine County / Markleeville.
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Postby rhyang » Fri Mar 26, 2010 2:28 pm

Today's avy advisory -
http://www.sierraavalanchecenter.org/advisory

Forecast Disscussion:

Last night, 2-4 inches of cold, light snow (7-8% density) fell across the forecast area. Southwest winds averaging 30-35 mph continued to blow until early this morning when they shifted to the northwest and started to decrease. The northwest winds should continue today as a high pressure starts to build over the forecast area. Clear skies should also start to return to the Sierra as this high moves in. By tomorrow the winds should shift to the east and daytime highs should start to warm back up.

Observations:

Yesterday, the strong southwest winds and the new snow formed small wind slabs on the leeward slopes near and above treeline. Ski cuts and dropping oven-sized cornices onto the wind-loaded slopes on the east ridge of Tamarack Peak in the Mt. Rose backcountry caused these new winds slabs to fail. The resulting avalanches ranged from 6 to 18 inches deep and 15 to 60 feet wide. These slides only entrained the newly formed wind slabs and only ran 30 to 60 feet downhill. All of these slides occurred on N-NE facing, 38-42 degree slopes near ridgelines. These wind slabs only existed on open wind-loaded slopes near and above treeline. Below treeline on non-wind-affected slopes, the 3 inches of new snow sat on top of old crusts in most places. This crust was less prevalent on some of the shaded north aspects. On Elephant's Back near Carson Pass, less snow and more wind created smaller more isolated wind slabs. In areas where these wind slabs existed, they could be triggered by a skier. In both areas, a layer of graupel (snow's equivalent to ball bearings) 2-3 inches above the base of the new snow served as the failure layer. Wind scoured and wind packed surfaces with a dusting of new snow on top of them existed in most of the Elephant's Back area.

Avalanche concern #1: Wind Slabs

Wind slabs that have formed since Wednesday night will remain the primary avalanche concern today. These slabs should be slightly larger and more widespread today due last night's new snow and continued southwest winds. Human triggering of these wind slabs will remain possible today. The wind loaded, N-NE-E aspects near and above treeline will hold the largest and most tender of these wind slabs. Cross loading on the NW and SE aspects should have also created some wind slabs on these slopes in near and above treeline terrain. As the winds shift to the NW today, they will move more snow onto the SE aspects adding size to the wind slabs that currently exist on those aspects.

Avalanche concern #2: Warming instabilities

As the intense March sun hits the new snow, some isolated areas of instability may form on sun exposed aspects. Most of these instabilities should present as roller balls and point-release slides; however, some slab avalanches could occur especially on steep SE facing slopes with new snow on them. These warming instabilities should be most common below 8000', but they are not impossible at some of the higher elevations on the most sun exposed slopes.


The bottom line:

MODERATE avalanche danger exists in near and above treeline terrain on NW-N-NE-E aspects, 35 degrees and steeper with pockets of MODERATE danger on SE aspects. Below treeline avalanche danger is LOW with pockets of MODERATE danger in wind affected areas on NW-N-NE-E-SE aspects 35 degrees and steeper.
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