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San Gorgonio Conditions

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San Gorgonio Conditions

Postby Blair » Wed Apr 28, 2010 6:26 am

Going to do some spring skiing this weekend!

Anybody who recently been back there have any info?

I would like to know where on South Fork does the snow start, for skinning? Or if I can just hike up to south fork meadows.

Also, and recent ski descent info back there would be appreciated (snow pit dug, conditions, etc... if you have any info)

Thanks
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Postby MarkinHB » Wed Apr 28, 2010 8:12 pm

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Postby RickF » Thu Apr 29, 2010 1:25 am

Blair,

I went with 4 friends on Sunday (4-25-10). From the Southfork trailhead, patches of snow gradually evolved to patches of dirt as we gained elevation. I carried my skis about 4 miles from the trailhead to just before the big open meadow where the Dollar Lake and Dry Lake trails fork. I think its about 8,000 feet elevation there. From there I was able to skin 95% of the way to the summit. We went up the big bowl to the east of Jepson (I think this might be unofficially named "Big Draw"?). Then we traversed the ridge to the summit. I took my skis off to climb over the 5 foot cornice at the top of Big Draw and I walked a short distance over the rocks from the Mineshaft Saddle trail junction to the summit. The skiing was not as good as it was two weeks ago. Last weeks snow has turned into a breakable crust over heavy wet crud. In the afternoon, on our way down, two friends who were not on skis could not glissade the steep section of Big Draw because the surface crust would break and stop them. Skiing was definetely a better option.
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Postby Blair » Thu Apr 29, 2010 4:35 am

Thanks alot Rick, good stuff. I saw the trip report over on the San G wilderness board as well

Deb and I skiied Sugarloaf April 11. We hit this N-NW facing chute that was fun corn like snow. The golden hour that day was 11-12.
Thinking that it may be earlyer this weekend...

Rick, does Christmas Tree Hill still have good coverage? And yes, that area you were talking about (the Big Draw) thats the name I have on some old maps, and locals call it that.

Im up there fri-sun. Theres gotta be some fun turns to be had while Im up there 8)
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Postby Rob » Thu Apr 29, 2010 5:59 am

I carried my skis about 4 miles from the trailhead


Man, having to carry your skis for the first 4 miles (in and out)...that's crazy
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Postby RickF » Thu Apr 29, 2010 11:12 pm

Blair wrote:Thanks alot Rick, good stuff. I saw the trip report over on the San G wilderness board as well

Deb and I skiied Sugarloaf April 11. We hit this N-NW facing chute that was fun corn like snow. The golden hour that day was 11-12.
Thinking that it may be earlyer this weekend...

Rick, does Christmas Tree Hill still have good coverage? And yes, that area you were talking about (the Big Draw) thats the name I have on some old maps, and locals call it that.

Im up there fri-sun. Theres gotta be some fun turns to be had while Im up there 8)


Blair,
I'm not familiar with your reference to Christmas Tree Hill. For my edification, please give me a description of where it is.
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Postby RickF » Thu Apr 29, 2010 11:17 pm

Rob wrote:
I carried my skis about 4 miles from the trailhead


Man, having to carry your skis for the first 4 miles (in and out)...that's crazy


Rob,

It's no so bad, with skis, ski boots, shovel, probe, ice axe, crampons, and other essentials my pack weighs a little over 50 lbs. It is better when the snow coverage is good enough to start skinning right from the trailhead.
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Postby Blair » Fri Apr 30, 2010 1:09 am

When hiking up from South Fork Meadows, there is a open gladed hill that gains you acsess into the cirque under Jepson, this gladed hill is Christmas Tree Hill :wink:
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Postby EManBevHills » Fri Apr 30, 2010 1:15 am

Rick,

Did you need ski crampons for ascending Big Draw? With the recent cold spell, I'm wondering if this is not where I ought to lighten my load...
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Postby Blair » Fri Apr 30, 2010 2:50 am

I did not pack my crampons, I figure we wont need them...

But im curious to what Rick thinks...

Eman, will I see you out there this weekend?
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Postby RickF » Fri Apr 30, 2010 6:13 pm

Blair, Eman,

If I understand it correctly, Christmas Tree Hill is above, and to climber's left, or south of the big open meadow over 8,000 feet. It was well covered with snow and late in the day it was the best skiing.

I did put on my ski crampons for the last few hundred feet of Big Draw. I was making switchbacks and the edges of my skis hold better with crampons. I wasn't getting full skin contact on the higher angle slope.
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Postby simonov » Fri Apr 30, 2010 8:03 pm

Does anyone know if there is any snow below 7,500 feet on the north side (eg, John's Meadow)?

Thanks.
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Postby EManBevHills » Fri Apr 30, 2010 9:21 pm

Thanks for the beta, Rick.

Blair, I'm a maybe. Packed and ready -- but concerned about conditions. The recent cold temps coupled with the wind scouring probably caused a really slippery layer right under the softening top layer.

FWIW, there was also a significant avy on a major route on SJ a few or so days ago, and a couple of regulars were very fortunate to not get swept away. The pics on the SJ Board are sobering.

Personally, I'm also a bit timid after setting off a small slide in the Baldy Bowl the last time I skied it a couple of weeks ago. But it sure would be nice to meet you on the hill, since our paths have crossed there unbeknownst to us b4.
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Postby Blair » Mon May 03, 2010 5:28 am

Just returned from a 3 day ski trip back there...

Made 5 runs, 2 of them were pretty big and fun, we finished the trip off with a 2000ft descent on a couloir on Charlton Peak today. What a run is a understatement...

My party carried beacons and all, I dug a small pit and our group general consensus was that where we were skiing aspect wise, the snow was well consolidated.

Busy weekend, I prob saw a dozen hikers and a dozen skiiers/boarders (but only one splitboarder 8) ) up there this weekend.

All and all, a really frickin' bad ass weekend of backcountry skiing, in SoCal, in MAY
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Postby EManBevHills » Mon May 03, 2010 6:56 pm

Well, damn, I missed you again, Blair! I even thought I saw your approach shoes cached with Deb's(?) on Sat. Oh, well...

I climbed SG yesterday, but stashed the skis at about 10,750, shortly after I realized that my ski 'pons/skins combo wasn't doing the job. (Had to get through a "battlefield" gear change into regular crampons -- as well as re-attach the skis to my pack for 50 vert -- after I hit some sketchy windswept crap.) Sure glad I dropped the skis where I did. Man was it howling up top!

The descent was pretty fabulous, though. :D

Glad you got to enjoy it.
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