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Mt Charleston Conditions

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Re: Mt Charleston Conditions

Postby Alex Wood » Wed Feb 23, 2011 5:58 pm

I should have posted this early, but we tried Hourglass Gully about 4 weeks ago. Perfect snow conditions all the way up to the crux. Unfortunately, this trip was spur of the moment and we had to meet someone later that day so that is where we turned around. Pretty much everything that could slide looked like it slid already. With this new storm and a new one coming, it may provide for some interesting avy conditions for the next few weeks
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Re: Mt Charleston Conditions

Postby 1234Al » Fri Mar 11, 2011 5:36 pm

I'm planning on going up the South Loop on April 2 or 3 - has anyone been that route in the past week or two? I'm bringing crampons and ice axe, debating if snow shoes are needed. Just wondering whether there will be hard tracks in the snow or whether I'll be dealing with lots of post-holing.
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Re: Mt Charleston Conditions

Postby FugueManiac » Sat Mar 12, 2011 5:26 pm

Hi Everyone,
A few questions about South Loop parking:

-Are the roadside free parking areas available at this time?
-If not, where is one supposed to park right now? Echo trailhead?
-Where exactly IS Echo trailhead? Is it near the junction of Kyle Canyon Road and Echo Road?
After all of the snow in December all of these areas were blocked off when I was last there.
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Re: Mt Charleston Conditions

Postby vancouver islander » Sat Mar 12, 2011 7:50 pm

FugueManiac wrote:Hi Everyone,
A few questions about South Loop parking:

-Are the roadside free parking areas available at this time?
-If not, where is one supposed to park right now? Echo trailhead?
-Where exactly IS Echo trailhead? Is it near the junction of Kyle Canyon Road and Echo Road?
After all of the snow in December all of these areas were blocked off when I was last there.

I was there on May 17 last year and the South Loop TH was still closed (fenced off). I parked at the Echo TH instead from where it was 25-30 mins back over the hill to the usual TH. You can find the Echo TH off Echo Way opposite Spruce Road at N36 15.756 W115 39.269 (NAD83). Hope this helps. Take axe and crampons. I didn't and had to turn back below the ridgeline on steep, bullet hard snow.
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Re: Mt Charleston Conditions

Postby FugueManiac » Tue Mar 15, 2011 5:07 pm

I went up Griffith yesterday. Parked on the gravel area on the north side of Kyle Canyon Road. I don't know if I was supposed to park there or not but no one gave me a hard time.
Took the South Loop trail into the canyon and then up the NE face of Griffith to the ridge just east of the summit. Very steep! Traversed over and took the South Loop trail down the ridge. I had crampons but I used snowshoes the entire time. I was able to follow preexisting tracks, otherwise it would have taken forever to get up the canyon due to the soft snow. By mid to late afternoon the snow on the South Loop ridge was absolutely awful, especially the last part going back down into the canyon, so I glissaded most of the way down. I saw several other glissade tracks so I think I wasn't the only one who felt that way!
Anyway there were no visible tracks on either side of Griffith or along the ridge to the SLT so it looks like no one has been up there in about a month. Deep snow everywhere. Might be possible to use crampons, for a while, if you start at 4 or 5AM. I heard a few distant rumbles throughout the day, no storm clouds in sight, creepy...
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Re: Mt Charleston Conditions

Postby gethikin » Wed Mar 16, 2011 4:18 pm

Did you make it up to the summit??
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Re: Mt Charleston Conditions

Postby MoapaPk » Thu Mar 17, 2011 2:24 am

I started at 8:20AM for Mummy, March 16; used crampons (no snowshoes) on the ascent. The descent over the scree slope was a bit creepy-- S-facing slope, 2" soft corn on hardpack; I took off the crampons and kicked back with my heels; tiring, but it worked.
http://hwstock.org/mum27x/

In the afternoon, when the snow was softening below 10000', I started post-holing.
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Re: Mt Charleston Conditions

Postby nvskier1 » Fri Mar 18, 2011 12:34 am

Thanks for the pics MoapaPk.....in Australia surfing at the moment and wondered how the snowpack was holding up....
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Re: Mt Charleston Conditions

Postby lcarreau » Sat Mar 19, 2011 2:25 am

nvskier1 wrote:.....in Australia surfing at the moment and wondered how the snowpack was holding up....


Geez, WHY does surfing in Australia sound more exciting than post-holing in snow ???

I'm doing nether. Instead, I went on a scavenger hunt to find rattlesnakes sunning themselves.

8)
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Re: Mt Charleston Conditions

Postby gethikin » Thu Mar 24, 2011 3:08 pm

Well- we fly out Saturday morning to head to the mountain. Heard it got a pretty good storm last week. Any one know how it is since then? Thanks.
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Re: Mt Charleston Conditions

Postby MoapaPk » Thu Mar 24, 2011 3:18 pm

The areas above 8600' got 21" new powder, which totally changed the complexion of climbing. Some friends (mescalito from SP) went up on to Griffith on Tuesday, and used snow shoes and poles the entire way -- exhausting in steep powder. They went up Maize Canyon. A group from a local club is going up the avalanche chute Saturday morning, so you may have a nice broken "trail."

Don't even think about trying to cross over from the Charleston summit to the NLT. The new powder will make both the Devil's Thumb shortcut and the "trail" (now under steeply inclined snow, above a cliff wall) treacherous.
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Re: Mt Charleston Conditions

Postby MoapaPk » Thu Mar 31, 2011 5:13 pm

1234Al -- check your summitpost PMs. Your ISP is rejecting mail.
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Re: Mt Charleston Conditions

Postby Castlereagh » Thu Mar 31, 2011 5:50 pm

This thing's actually pretty cool


http://www.skilasvegas.com/winter/conditions/webcam

Edit: Make sure to note that it allows you to move the camera view up towards the mountains
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Re: Mt Charleston Conditions

Postby gethikin » Sat Apr 02, 2011 12:53 am

The GF and I gave it a shot on 3/27 and 3/28. First thing we noticed when trying from Trail Canyon trail is that (1) it isn't marked (2) the only tracks turned back not even a mile in. Without the trail marked we followed the wrong "finger" towards the top ridge. After trucking through a few feet of snow all the way to 10,400' (according to GPS) we hit a rock cliff and couldn't get up. Tried a different run the next day and had the same result. Talked to a Ranger on the other side who said no ones been up in a while and we were crazy for trying. It was spectacular where we were and looking over at Charleston it was just slammed with snow. We spent the rest of the week tearing up Red Rocks (Pine Creek trail was awesome- just keep going back and climb the falls!). We'll be back for Charleston anfter the melt!

PS- SPF lip balm- a must have!!
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Re: Mt Charleston Conditions

Postby 1234Al » Wed Apr 13, 2011 7:29 pm

Tried the South Loop on April 2 - within 15 minutes we were falling up to our waists in snow. One thing nobody mentioned is that the entrance to the picnic area parking lot is closed, there's caution tape across it, and there's a sign telling you to start from a different trailhead if you want to do the SLT. We parked on a gravel turnout about 150 yards from there. Anyway, we saw the lesser snow on the Trail Canyon side, and tried that instead. We ended up having pretty much the identical experience to the above post. Up close to the ridge there were patches of unavoidable snow that were at least two feet deep. It was a fun day out in the mountains regardless. Will try again next time I'm near Vegas, either when there's no snow or when it's cold enough that I don't fall through it on every step.
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