Welcome to SP!  -
Areas & RangesMountains & RocksRoutesImagesArticlesTrip ReportsGearOtherPeoplePlans & PartnersWhat's NewForum

Mount Charleston in March - Conditions? Gear?

Regional discussion and conditions reports for the Great American Southwest. Please post partners requests and trip plans in the Southwest US Climbing Partners section.
 

Mount Charleston in March - Conditions? Gear?

Postby jerky1280 » Mon Oct 16, 2017 3:17 am

I'm heading to Vegas the end of March, and would like to hike Mount Charleston. Based on the reading I've done, I expect snow cover, but was hoping for some local insight if available. I've hiked snow-covered 14ers previously with microspikes - can I expect the snow conditions to be firm enough for microspikes, or should I come with snowshoes? I'm just looking for traction aid questions - I'll have cold weather insulation gear to be comfortable to zero, and will probably wear a helmet and carry an EPIRB.

Also, what other mountains a short drive from Vegas should I consider?
User Avatar
jerky1280

 
Posts: 9
Joined: Wed Oct 08, 2014 12:58 am
Location: New Orleans, Louisiana, United States
Thanked: 0 time in 0 post

Re: Mount Charleston in March - Conditions? Gear?

Postby Tonka » Tue Oct 17, 2017 7:55 pm

You'll be able to answer this question for yourself in mid March. No one can answer it for you now.
User Avatar
Tonka

 
Posts: 1385
Joined: Thu Aug 05, 2004 12:24 pm
Location: Spring Park, Minnesota, United States
Thanked: 111 times in 86 posts

Re: Mount Charleston in March - Conditions? Gear?

Postby MoapaPk » Thu Oct 19, 2017 11:21 pm

Depends entirely on the winter we have, but a typical March has crampon-favorable conditions, not micro-spike conditions.

It may like this (2005, heavy snow year): http://hwstock.org/mums/

or this: (2009, a modest snow year): http://hwstock.org/chuckwin9/

Unless you are really fast or prepared to camp at 10700' (SLT snowshoe), you will probably go up the Big Falls shortcut, with crampons.

Bring both snowshoes and crampons -- you may need both, you may need neither.
User Avatar
MoapaPk

 
Posts: 7771
Joined: Fri May 13, 2005 7:42 pm
Location: Las Vegas, Nevada, United States
Thanked: 784 times in 516 posts

Re: Mount Charleston in March - Conditions? Gear?

Postby MoapaPk » Fri Oct 20, 2017 5:05 pm

jerky1280 wrote:Also, what other mountains a short drive from Vegas should I consider?


Mummy (on way to Charleston) is actually a shorter winter climb.

Depends on the sort of vehicle you have, and how warm it has gotten by then. There are lots of class 3 desert summits near there. Zion is just 160 miles from Vegas as well; some class 3/4 classics up there. Try Bridge Mountain in Red Rock, just west of Vegas; the Pine Creek route doesn't require 4x4, and the routes from willow Creek are also 2wd accessible, if you don't mind an 11 mile day with 4500+ gain.
User Avatar
MoapaPk

 
Posts: 7771
Joined: Fri May 13, 2005 7:42 pm
Location: Las Vegas, Nevada, United States
Thanked: 784 times in 516 posts

Re: Mount Charleston in March - Conditions? Gear?

Postby jerky1280 » Sat Oct 21, 2017 2:47 am

MoapaPk wrote:Unless you are really fast or prepared to camp at 10700' (SLT snowshoe), you will probably go up the Big Falls shortcut, with crampons.

Bring both snowshoes and crampons -- you may need both, you may need neither.

Roger on all. I was thinking of bagging Griffith as well, but might want to cut it short. I'll have no altitude acclimation this trip, so my fitness won't be what it could be. I usually move pretty fast, and am planning on being on the trail before dawn. The north/south loop appeals to me, instead of an out & back. Is there a good glissade route down?
User Avatar
jerky1280

 
Posts: 9
Joined: Wed Oct 08, 2014 12:58 am
Location: New Orleans, Louisiana, United States
Thanked: 0 time in 0 post

Re: Mount Charleston in March - Conditions? Gear?

Postby jerky1280 » Mon Oct 23, 2017 4:51 pm

MoapaPk wrote:Unless you are really fast or prepared to camp at 10700' (SLT snowshoe), you will probably go up the Big Falls shortcut, with crampons.

Could anyone expand on the Big Falls shortcut? I couldn't find any info through internet searches.
User Avatar
jerky1280

 
Posts: 9
Joined: Wed Oct 08, 2014 12:58 am
Location: New Orleans, Louisiana, United States
Thanked: 0 time in 0 post

Re: Mount Charleston in March - Conditions? Gear?

Postby MoapaPk » Wed Oct 25, 2017 11:31 pm

jerky1280 wrote:
MoapaPk wrote:Unless you are really fast or prepared to camp at 10700' (SLT snowshoe), you will probably go up the Big Falls shortcut, with crampons.

Could anyone expand on the Big Falls shortcut? I couldn't find any info through internet searches.


The map in the link above pretty much says it. If needed, I can send a gps track, use at you own risk. It involves climbing up rock/snow that is class 3 in summer. 75' of rope or 15mm tubular webbing highly recommended for the descent.

It is the default route for climbing Charleston _as a day trip_ with appropriate snow conditions.
User Avatar
MoapaPk

 
Posts: 7771
Joined: Fri May 13, 2005 7:42 pm
Location: Las Vegas, Nevada, United States
Thanked: 784 times in 516 posts

Re: Mount Charleston in March - Conditions? Gear?

Postby MoapaPk » Thu Oct 26, 2017 12:37 am

jerky1280 wrote:Roger on all. I was thinking of bagging Griffith as well, but might want to cut it short. I'll have no altitude acclimation this trip, so my fitness won't be what it could be. I usually move pretty fast, and am planning on being on the trail before dawn. The north/south loop appeals to me, instead of an out & back. Is there a good glissade route down?


As for the NLT: There is an issue crossing from the top of Charleston to the area by Devil's Thumb. There is a section of "trail" in that section, around 11200-11000', that becomes obliterated in the winter, and ends up as a 50 degree snow slope on top of a large drop. One has to sidehill across this very sketchy stretch, which typically has unreliable snow. Most avoid this stretch entirely in winter.

Glissading depends entirely on the snow conditions. Much of the slope is punctuated by cliff bands.

If the snow conditions are "right" some people climb directly up the Griffith avalanche chute from the SLT; the average slope is only about 28 degrees, with steep sections over cliff bands (buried, I hope). Avalanches are common before the snow is consolidated.
User Avatar
MoapaPk

 
Posts: 7771
Joined: Fri May 13, 2005 7:42 pm
Location: Las Vegas, Nevada, United States
Thanked: 784 times in 516 posts

Re: Mount Charleston in March - Conditions? Gear?

Postby jerky1280 » Thu Nov 02, 2017 11:48 am

MoapaPk wrote:As for the NLT: There is an issue crossing from the top of Charleston to the area by Devil's Thumb. There is a section of "trail" in that section, around 11200-11000', that becomes obliterated in the winter, and ends up as a 50 degree snow slope on top of a large drop. One has to sidehill across this very sketchy stretch, which typically has unreliable snow. Most avoid this stretch entirely in winter.

Good to know, thanks!

MoapaPk wrote:If the snow conditions are "right" some people climb directly up the Griffith avalanche chute from the SLT; the average slope is only about 28 degrees, with steep sections over cliff bands (buried, I hope). Avalanches are common before the snow is consolidated.

I was doing some map study and considered that for a route, but hadn't asked about it. I saw those cliff bands, and thought they would either be covered, or I avoid them by sticking to the side of the avalanche chute.
User Avatar
jerky1280

 
Posts: 9
Joined: Wed Oct 08, 2014 12:58 am
Location: New Orleans, Louisiana, United States
Thanked: 0 time in 0 post


Return to Southwest (AZ, NM, NV, TX)

 


  • Related topics
    Replies
    Views
    Last post

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 0 guests

© 2006-2015 SummitPost.org. All Rights Reserved.