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San Gorgonio conditions

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

Re: San Gorgonio conditions

Postby sneakyracer » Mon Apr 18, 2011 2:20 pm

I recently used micro spikes in Colorado with great results even on bare ice. As long as the terrain isnt super steep they work great. I used them with my regular hiking boots and they fit like a glove and flexed perfectly with the shoe. The spikes never catched a piece of the boots or pants. Never lost grip and I encountered a huge variety of snow conditions due to altitude gain, sun exposure and wind/temp conditions. I even used them on mixed rock snow ice.

The only "issue" I experienced is snow " balling" while going downhill on one snow gully but the snow was soft and I was plunge stepping fine. Again, Never lost grip or felt unsafe.

Would not use them on long stretches of anything steeper than 25-30deg. But for everything else they are gold. The combination of lightweight hiking boots and the lightweight microspikes meant that I move quicker than with heavy boots and crampons, when using those I feel I have 2 cement blocks strapped to my feet.

Obviously it all depends on the route.
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Re: San Gorgonio conditions

Postby KathyW » Mon Apr 18, 2011 9:46 pm

From the manufacturer's site:

"Running, walking the dog, shoveling the drive way or what ever your adventure is Kahtoola’s MICROspikes® Traction System cover it."

They aren't crampons.
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Re: San Gorgonio conditions

Postby Hyadventure » Tue Apr 19, 2011 12:02 am

jrbrenvt wrote:Hi,
Any updates on Baldy, San Jacinto, San Gorgonio conditions ?
If one wanted to hike week of April 18 or April 25, would one bring snow shoes ? Crampons/microspikes ?
Avalanche concerns?


I climbed the North Face via the South Fork trail Yesterday. There's patchy snow on the trail to South Fork Meadow. The snow was a little soft so I snowshoe'd my way up from there. At 10k it got steep so I took my ice ax out, but felt fine climbing to the summit in snowshoes. I cramponed-up for the descent and got back to Dry Lake without too much postholing. At that point I switched back to snowshoes and was glad I did. South Fork Meadow was very swampy in the afternoon.
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Re: San Gorgonio conditions

Postby Rob » Tue Apr 19, 2011 1:04 am

KathyW wrote:From the manufacturer's site:

"Running, walking the dog, shoveling the drive way or what ever your adventure is Kahtoola’s MICROspikes® Traction System cover it."

They aren't crampons.


Nobody said they were crampons. But they are useful for non-technical mountaineering, and on icy trails in spring conditions, just like on San Gorgonio this time of year. :roll:
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Re: San Gorgonio conditions

Postby jrbrenvt » Tue Apr 19, 2011 1:38 am

Thanks for the information everyone. I am planning on flying out next Monday (4/25), which means weather permitting I would do my first hike Wednesday. I am thinking something like:
Wed (4/27) - Baldy via Baldy Notch & Devils back bone (maybe baldy bowl if Rangers say avalanche not an issue)
Fri- San Jacinto(4/29) - Would Humbar Park/Devils' slide be doable this time of year ? Or Fuller Ridge ? John Robinson's book makes these sound like the best non tram options. The only reports I can find are from the tram.
Sun (5/1) - San Gorgonio - Similar question, the advice I am hearing is start from the north, but John Robinson's book has those hike's listed as really long compared to Vivian Creek. Is Vivian creek viable ? Will the south slope approach mean less snow or just mushier snow ?

That all assumes I do not find struggling through the snow to troublesome and opt for lower hikes out of the snow. Part of me feels silly to travel all the way from New England to sunny California to hike in the snow. But that sunshine looks really inviting in any case, assuming I do not bring clouds with me. They tend to follow me.
Start with Baldy and go from there.

FWIW, I do not own microspikes, but have considered getting them. They seem to get rave reviews in most hiking forums I lurk on. I generally have snow shoes on my feet and 12 point strap on crampons in my pack for my winter hikes. Snowshoes become a PITA when I have to carry them on my pack for a good portion of the trip. But that is doable.

My biggest concern with the snow is can I follow the trails ? Are there trail markers on the trees ? Is there likely to be a boot path to follow like in the popular mountains of the east ? If not, are the trees so dense you can't see where you are going ? I will have map and compass and know how to use them, but without a trail I know constant sighting will slow me down allot, and would rather follow a trail.
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Re: San Gorgonio conditions

Postby KathyW » Tue Apr 19, 2011 4:33 am

For conditions on Baldy check:

http://sangabrielmnts.myfreeforum.org/index.php

For conditions on San Jacinto check:

http://www.mtsanjacinto.info/

For conditions on San Gorgonio you can try:

http://members.boardhost.com/sgva/
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Re: San Gorgonio conditions

Postby KathyW » Tue Apr 19, 2011 4:43 am

Rob wrote:
KathyW wrote:From the manufacturer's site:

"Running, walking the dog, shoveling the drive way or what ever your adventure is Kahtoola’s MICROspikes® Traction System cover it."

They aren't crampons.


Nobody said they were crampons. But they are useful for non-technical mountaineering, and on icy trails in spring conditions, just like on San Gorgonio this time of year. :roll:


Above 10700' San Gorgonio had a lot of hard ice on April 10th - not the kind of conditions for microspikes. Conditions are changing rapidly; so you can't go by what was needed last week or sometimes even a few days ago to determine what gear you'll need this week. Sure, micro spikes might move you along a bit faster in places where you don't need crampons. I think my 88 year old mother wears them in her driveway in the winter so she doesn't fall down and break her hip on the way to the mailbox. :)
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Re: San Gorgonio conditions

Postby KathyW » Fri Apr 22, 2011 2:28 pm

If anyone is interested in helping the SGWA, who has defended the SGW for many years:

http://www.crowdrise.com/teamsangorgoniowilde

Without the SGWA (previously known as the Defenders of the Wilderness) them, there would be a ski resort on the North side of San Gorgonio.
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Re: San Gorgonio conditions

Postby Deb » Sat Apr 23, 2011 5:35 am

KathyW wrote:If anyone is interested in helping the SGWA, who has defended the SGW for many years:

http://www.crowdrise.com/teamsangorgoniowilde

Without the SGWA (previously known as the Defenders of the Wilderness) them, there would be a ski resort on the North side of San Gorgonio.


Hey! The north side of San G IS my ski resort....never have to pay for a lift ticket! :lol: BTW, we'll be out that area on Easter for some BC skiing - it's Spring corn people.
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Re: San Gorgonio conditions

Postby sdtrackrunner » Mon Apr 25, 2011 5:32 pm

Did you make it out Deb? I didn't see anyone else out there, empty parking lot even, save for 1 other car. I skinned up little draw and started climbing up Jepson but didn't go far due to some solid wind gusts. Great corn in the 10k'-9k' range, frozen above.
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Re: San Gorgonio conditions

Postby Deb » Tue Apr 26, 2011 12:19 am

sdtrackrunner wrote:Did you make it out Deb? I didn't see anyone else out there, empty parking lot even, save for 1 other car. I skinned up little draw and started climbing up Jepson but didn't go far due to some solid wind gusts. Great corn in the 10k'-9k' range, frozen above.

Oh yeah! We hit up Glacier Valley; in and out in 6 hours. We heard voices while on South Fork trail for a bit but I never saw anyone....we're sneaky like that. :wink: I was pretty wasted from a long run the day before, Dave had had hard bike ride and Blair was on his third day of skiing. The clouds dropped in on us around 2PM so it was good timing to split for some chili at Angelus Oaks. Love San G!
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Re: San Gorgonio conditions

Postby sdtrackrunner » Tue Apr 26, 2011 5:12 pm

That's awesome, good job. The afternoon clouds and fog were really fun and added more of a northern feel to the place. I thought I was in the PNW for a minute. It also kept the snow from getting to soggy down on xmas tree hill. When are you guys going back? I want to take a mid week day up there this week or next.
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Re: San Gorgonio conditions

Postby Deb » Tue Apr 26, 2011 9:03 pm

sdtrackrunner wrote:That's awesome, good job. The afternoon clouds and fog were really fun and added more of a northern feel to the place. I thought I was in the PNW for a minute. It also kept the snow from getting to soggy down on xmas tree hill. When are you guys going back? I want to take a mid week day up there this week or next.


It'll be a couple of weeks; I have a marathon to run this weekend, then of course Mother's Day gets in the way........maybe my kids will forget... :roll:
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Re: San Gorgonio conditions

Postby Rob » Thu Apr 28, 2011 4:32 pm

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Re: San Gorgonio conditions

Postby Deb » Thu Apr 28, 2011 10:41 pm



Are you serious? This rag makes the trip sound like they were attempting to conquer K2. pffffffffffft! Pansies.....and I doubt that they "climbed" 2000' vertically in 2 hours. Anyway, I guess I'm nobody cuz I'm only 50 and have no grandkids.............maybe later, and I TOO can be a newspaper hero in the midwest. :roll:
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