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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 Trawinski » Wed Mar 19, 2014 7:32 pm

I will be hiking Round Top on Saturday and can report back on conditions if anyone still wants to know.
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Re: Eastern Sierra snow condition updates?

Postby WillyTheDog » Wed Mar 19, 2014 11:46 pm

well, might see you up there
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Re: Eastern Sierra snow condition updates?

Postby jdmorris » Wed Mar 19, 2014 11:51 pm

There was 48" of snow at the Carson Pass TH en route to Round Top last Saturday. I went up the Crescent Moon Couloir but the upper section was narrow, hard, bumpy (lots of tracks since a friend had made fresh ones the previous weekend) and thin so I didn't ski down it. The steeper section near the top is definitely getting thin and narrow, seen in the middle of the attached photo of me topping out (photo courtesy of Liz). The majority of the ridge between the shoulder with the Sisters and the summit is snow free other than the couloirs. Snow coverage is very good on all the open slopes up there.

There's a weather station at Carson Pass so you can always check the snow coverage before you go. I use Caltopo's 'snotel sites' tool (it's a layer you can add via checkbox) to keep track of conditions. The link below should take you right to it:
http://caltopo.com/map.html#ll=38.69025 ... &a=sf,sntl

IMG_3101.jpg
Top of Crescent Moon Couloir 3/15/14
IMG_3101.jpg (246.9 KiB) Viewed 1844 times
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Re: Eastern Sierra snow condition updates?

Postby Deb » Thu Mar 20, 2014 1:11 am

A friend and I skinned to col between Round Top and Sisters on the 18th. Snowshoes or skis would be recommended; snow was getting soft in afternoon but mainly consisted of wind sculpted slabs. Great to get on skis right at the trailhead! We climbed Sisters in ski boots, no need for crampons. Beautiful ski out. Cold and windy. :) Good luck NOT getting lost with aillion ski and snowshoe tracks.
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Re: Eastern Sierra snow condition updates?

Postby Daria » Fri Mar 21, 2014 4:11 am

Not the sierra, but an update on snow conditions and amazing views of the Sierra. Winter ascent of West Ridge from valley floor in 16 hours roundtrip (solo) this past Sunday March 16th...

in some areas of heavy snow accumulation on the ridge, the snow was very consolidated but iffy for the most part and annoying. Snow line at about the 10,000 ft. level in the Whites as of March 16th.

Some pics

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expansive views of Sierra open up. The desert ranges are so grand in how far and wide space and distance open up.

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The grand scale ridgelines characteristic of the Inyos and Whites, which rise up so dramatically and rapidly from the valley floor, dropping down into deep canyons below.

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At about the 11,000 ft. level:


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crux of climb seen below: did not bring ice axe or running shoes so had to down climb some 4th class to avoid some steep exposed snow traversing.

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summit

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sunset

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I'm the top troll.
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Re: Eastern Sierra snow condition updates?

Postby Deb » Tue Apr 01, 2014 3:52 am

Image
Climbed a couple of peaks yesterday with at least 6" of fresh dry snow from Saturday night's storm; the suffering on northern slopes was quite measureable! Waist deep powder - UGH. Other than that, we found it to be a very satisfying accomplishment. These peaks are not on Summitpost. Photo taken from summit of Round Mtn, looking at Sugarloaf at 5PM. Beautiful evening to be out and frozen.
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Re: Eastern Sierra snow condition updates?

Postby Monster5 » Tue Apr 01, 2014 6:23 pm

Does anybody know how the standard route on White, the U notch on north palisade, and the north couloir on Gilbert may be shaping up? Or couloir conditions per aspect in general? Sounds like the snowpack out there is quite ahead of usual
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Re: Eastern Sierra snow condition updates?

Postby Deb » Tue Apr 01, 2014 11:02 pm

Monster5 wrote:Does anybody know how the standard route on White, the U notch on north palisade, and the north couloir on Gilbert may be shaping up? Or couloir conditions per aspect in general? Sounds like the snowpack out there is quite ahead of usual


Since I live in Bishop and frequent Mammoth Mtn, also taking quick stabs at the Sierra between Big Pine and Mammoth - I can tell you that it has snowed anywhere from 6" to 3' in the "local" mtns in the past 72 hours...and it began snowing again early this morning. My best assumption (and judging from what I encountered in the Sierra on Sunday), the snow is freshly deep and very dry, especially on northern aspects. The peaks you inquire will be a pain in the rear to approach for the next couple of weeks, although daytime temps are rising in a few days. Propel yourself on snowshoes or skis to avoid 10% of the suffering but stay away from couloirs until avy danger drops. Unless any of these guys had "down to the dirt" slides in the past month, there is going to be some ugly hoar under several layers of that good wet stuff from late Feb and this "pretty" dry stuff from the past week.
Now, if you go out there.....let me know what you find. :wink:
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Re: Eastern Sierra snow condition updates?

Postby Monster5 » Tue Apr 01, 2014 11:11 pm

Thanks! We're looking at Apr 19-21. Sounds like it'll be iffy. We found decent E-facing couloirs more south of there at the end of April the past couple years.
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Re: Eastern Sierra snow condition updates?

Postby Deb » Tue Apr 01, 2014 11:22 pm

Monster5 wrote:Thanks! We're looking at Apr 19-21. Sounds like it'll be iffy. We found decent E-facing couloirs more south of there at the end of April the past couple years.


Just can't pin Mother Nature down, can ya? I'll keep current posts up here from my travels backcountry this month, but I won't be attacking any couloirs until this mess settles down and my children don't cash in on my life insurance policy.
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Re: Eastern Sierra snow condition updates?

Postby MCGusto » Wed Apr 09, 2014 6:00 am

Anyone been further south around Whitney Portal? Specifically looking at the Meysan Lakes area in about two weeks… Judging by other posts, looks sloppy at best.

????

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Re: Eastern Sierra snow condition updates?

Postby Deb » Sun Apr 13, 2014 2:31 am

Took a "stroll" up Table Mtn (off 168 and South Lake Rd) today. Thought I'd cruise the entire north ridge BUT snow conditions are horrific. Post-hole mainly knee-deep, sometimes hip-deep, no big deal. A LOT of post-holing - how is there so much snow up there?! Worse of it all was the "whumphing" on the NE slopes barely 25 degrees, fracturing and settling of rather large areas (200+sqft) as we walked across. Platforms would drop about 3" - enough to make me wanna shit myself.
As we neared the "table" plateau, cell after cell of snow flurries and wind came in. Considering the cruddy weather coming in for the afternoon and dangerous snow conditions - we called it quits and retreated down dry steep slopes to Bishop Creek Resort.
Not a wasted day....but who knew?
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Re: Eastern Sierra snow condition updates?

Postby schaffner » Sun Apr 20, 2014 11:13 am

Middle Pal yesterday:
Image

Went up to the first lake (forgot the name). Postholing on the slope after the stream-crossing was pretty bad, but a party of 4 ahead of me had done most of the plowing. They went up to Finger Lake.
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Re: Eastern Sierra snow condition updates?

Postby bscott » Mon Apr 21, 2014 6:53 pm

heya all, we are looking at langley's NE couloir from tuttle creek this weekened (4/26-4/27). how do snow and road conditions look at this point? any updates would be greatly appreciated.
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Re: Eastern Sierra snow condition updates?

Postby Deb » Tue Apr 22, 2014 5:04 am

bscott wrote:heya all, we are looking at langley's NE couloir from tuttle creek this weekened (4/26-4/27). how do snow and road conditions look at this point? any updates would be greatly appreciated.

The weather is changing drastically tomorrow in the mtns. Check ESAC advisory and be ready to post-hole. ;)
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