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Eastern Sierra snow condition updates?

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

Re: Eastern Sierra snow condition updates?

Postby Greg Enright » Sat Dec 07, 2013 5:23 am

Yeah, it's thin. But Tamarack Cross Country opened today and it was mighty fine skiing that thin strip of nicely packed powder. The next storm was blowing in as the sun went down this afternoon, and we are looking forward to a foot of new!
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Re: Eastern Sierra snow condition updates?

Postby Deb » Sat Dec 07, 2013 10:35 pm

Image
I spent most of today in the Buttermilks and driving towards Basin Mtn. Gloriously horrid winter conditions with screaming winds and snow tornados. Snowed an inch in town, but I found a good 4" in the "country." Took the opportunity to ski while wimpy boulder-ers stayed in town drinking coffee. :)
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Re: Eastern Sierra snow condition updates?

Postby Deb » Tue Dec 17, 2013 6:49 am

I've been finding from Bishop to June Lake snow conditions are frustrating. Very dry with deep drifts, even with the recent warm weather. More cold weather and winds with the snow coming this week. Hmmmm
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Re: Eastern Sierra snow condition updates?

Postby Greg Enright » Wed Dec 18, 2013 6:56 am

Here's a pic of Horsetail Falls near June Lake from this morning. Looks like Parker Canyon has some ice also.

Image
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Re: Eastern Sierra snow condition updates?

Postby Deb » Wed Dec 18, 2013 7:24 am

OK Greg, I've got new picks and I'm warmed up on post-holing. Let's go!
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Re: Eastern Sierra snow condition updates?

Postby Clark_Griswold » Sun Dec 22, 2013 5:11 pm

Once again, with Mammoth Mountain reporting a season total of 45 inches, which is less than half of what lesser Colorado Resorts like Durango Mountain report, and well less than last November's totals at Mammoth, let alone what was on the ground by this time last December, is there a snow drought/ regular drought in the Sierra? I suppose.

Can the old timers like Rick slip in their teeth and comment on this? Is it recoverable? Sure, maybe. Can we speculate wildly at this time? Please do. Will it be a banner year in Colorado, and a severely dry one in the Sierra? Most definitely, we don't know yet.

One thing I notice, is a complete absence of the typical Gulf of Alaska lows, coming down off the coast, tapping sub-tropical moisture and bringing up water, and then dropping it over the Goldilocks State before moving inland and precipitating over the rest of the inter-mountain dwellers. I watched a number of lows move down from the Great Basin, and pick up moisture in Arizona, dropping some rain and snow there, before tracking over New Mexico and Colorado, over the last two winters, and this year seems to be repeating. It was and is a scenario that works out OK to well for Arizona northern New Mexico and part of Colorado, but leaves California, Nevada, and most of Utah quite dry. So far, the winter seems to be more of this, and less of the wet coastal storm variety.

Check out the 2013-2014 snow graphs. http://cdec.water.ca.gov/cdecapp/snowap ... art.action Be sure to check this season and click to draw the current graph.

My prediction: we're all going to DIE!!!
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Re: Eastern Sierra snow condition updates?

Postby Clydascope » Sun Dec 22, 2013 5:35 pm

Check out what the Mammoth Weather Dweeb thinks about the lack of snow...

http://mammothtimes.com/content/mostly- ... -end-month

“It’s not good, it’s horrible,” he said. “It’s as bad as it can get by this time of year.”
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Re: Eastern Sierra snow condition updates?

Postby granite4brains » Sun Dec 22, 2013 5:45 pm

Clydascope wrote:Check out what the Mammoth Weather Dweeb thinks about the lack of snow...

http://mammothtimes.com/content/mostly- ... -end-month

“It’s not good, it’s horrible,” he said. “It’s as bad as it can get by this time of year.”


Aren't we doing better than the last two years, though?
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Re: Eastern Sierra snow condition updates?

Postby Clydascope » Sun Dec 22, 2013 6:11 pm

Last year in December Mammoth Mountain reported almost 150"

The year before was 57"

So far this year for December only 24.5"
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Re: Eastern Sierra snow condition updates?

Postby Clark_Griswold » Mon Dec 23, 2013 12:46 am

While I jest in my post a few posts back, in all seriousness, it is very interesting that things are so relatively good in a place like the San Juan in Colorado, with one resort boasting the best conditions since 1983, and thing in the Sierra being so dry. 3 months to go, but I could see this being a very bad winter. On the other hand, it could reverse and be a mediocre bad to just a mediocre year.

This December isn't even as good as last November. In fact, the November 2012 total is more than the October to December total this year, by over 1 foot. How that corresponds to water content is a guess, but it points to a trend. The sky isn't falling, unless you farm or own a dairy.
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Re: Eastern Sierra snow condition updates?

Postby schaffner » Wed Dec 25, 2013 8:56 pm

Thinking about heading out to Williamson/Tyndall over New Year's. Has anybody been in that area recently or anywhere comparable who would have some information on the snow? We hoped to get along without snowshoes.
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Re: Eastern Sierra snow condition updates?

Postby Deb » Thu Dec 26, 2013 7:56 am

PFFFT! Hope you really enjoy twisting your ankles in loose styrofoam for 12 miles! I've been over 11,000' in the past week and the snow conditions are horrendous. Very very dry heavily faceted flakes; a major pain in the ass over boulders (and I am no pussy). This is NOT a good time to go BC for climbing a mtn more than Class 1, especially on northern aspects. Should I bother to mention ice?
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Re: Eastern Sierra snow condition updates?

Postby schaffner » Thu Dec 26, 2013 7:17 pm

Thanks for the clear advice!
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Re: Eastern Sierra snow condition updates?

Postby Deb » Thu Dec 26, 2013 8:03 pm

schaffner wrote:Thanks for the clear advice!

I don't mean to piss on your parade, but as I just drove by Willy/Tyndall and it looks treacherous indeed. You'd get slaughtered on the way to the pass then be faced with snow and ice covering rock/slab. I'm sure driving to the trailhead is no problem though. :)
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Re: Eastern Sierra snow condition updates?

Postby granite4brains » Sat Dec 28, 2013 5:52 pm

Clydascope wrote:Last year in December Mammoth Mountain reported almost 150"

The year before was 57"

So far this year for December only 24.5"


Wow didn't realize it was that low. Guess we're possibly looking at a 3rd dry year in a row :(
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