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Snowbound Sequoia National Park October 2009

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Snowbound Sequoia National Park October 2009

Postby peninsula » Tue Oct 20, 2009 6:51 pm

It was an experience of a lifetime! http://www.summitpost.org/view_object.p ... irm_post=7
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cool...

Postby albanberg » Tue Oct 20, 2009 7:55 pm

Nice pictures!

I only had time to read a little bit so far, but sounds like a great trip.
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Re: cool...

Postby peninsula » Tue Oct 20, 2009 8:14 pm

albanberg wrote:Nice pictures!

I only had time to read a little bit so far, but sounds like a great trip.


Thanks albanberg,

It was a great trip!
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Postby ksolem » Tue Oct 20, 2009 8:42 pm

Now that is one heck of a trip report.
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Postby The Chief » Tue Oct 20, 2009 8:56 pm

GUD STUFF!
Image





Thanks for sharing the great trip report and fab shots.
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Postby Franky » Tue Oct 20, 2009 9:08 pm

I love the Sierra Nevada. You've inspired me to be sure to do plenty of winter trips this year.
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Postby David Senesac » Tue Oct 20, 2009 9:34 pm

Excellent detailed trip report.

As someone that has since the Internet came about kept a close watch on national weather service advanced forecasts and forecast discussions, I'd caught wind of the long range discussion early in the week maybe Monday, that noted a large mass of atmosphere from what was typhoon Melor would be making its way across the Pacific. However such long range information is not usually covered by your usual TV or media weather people. Then on the day you started your week long trip Thursday October 8 it hit Japan and made the news:

http://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/hurri ... Melor.html

On Friday October 9 a day after you started your trip, , The Chief, who you met on your route October 8, posted a current forum thread on the big storm coming and I responded with a terse post of Melor Cometh! From there it ususally takes 3 to 5 days for the westward moving weather to traverse the Pacific and weather forecasters were rather certain something big would happen though exactly where and how that would play out on the West Coast would have been unpredictable. I expected some people would get caught in the storm unexpectedly because it happens every October when the first storms of the year hit the Sierra. Many less fall savvy mountain people don't seem to realize how serious weather can change day to day in the Sierra by October.

When making short trips, one can usually get away with simply watching your TV weatherman. However for long trips like yours or those doing the PCT or JMT, in this day and age, one ought to become familiar with more obscure NOAA and NWS resources like local technical discussions as I read most days as it could be a matter of life and death being caught up in the high country under several feet of snow as sometimes occurs. In this storm's case it played out by being followed up by a continued warmer than normal flow from due west. However many times our Pacific storms are followed by a diving jetstream from the Gulf of Alaska that with feet of fresh wet storm could have resulted in terribly difficult conditions.

David Senesac
http://www.davidsenesac.com
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Postby Guyzo » Tue Oct 20, 2009 11:30 pm

Great trip report.....

suffering at it's best.

way to go

:wink:
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Postby peninsula » Wed Oct 21, 2009 12:16 am

David Senesac wrote:Excellent detailed trip report.

When making short trips, one can usually get away with simply watching your TV weatherman. However for long trips like yours or those doing the PCT or JMT, in this day and age, one ought to become familiar with more obscure NOAA and NWS resources like local technical discussions as I read most days as it could be a matter of life and death being caught up in the high country under several feet of snow as sometimes occurs. In this storm's case it played out by being followed up by a continued warmer than normal flow from due west. However many times our Pacific storms are followed by a diving jetstream from the Gulf of Alaska that with feet of fresh wet storm could have resulted in terribly difficult conditions.

David Senesac
http://www.davidsenesac.com


Thanks for the information, David.

Had more foul weather come my way, I would have had to summon a 911 call with my SPT. I can imagine the expense would have been considerable and I would have putting someone else's life at risk as well. I'll probably pack a lightweight set of crampons on my next fall trip.

I'm not sure having a weather radio would have helped, but next time, I'm going to consider one. I do intend returning to the Sierra every fall, perhaps not as late. I am particularly interested in exploring more of the Kaweah-Picket Creek region, it is a spectacular area.
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Postby peninsula » Wed Oct 21, 2009 12:19 am

Guyzo wrote:Great trip report.....

suffering at it's best.

way to go

:wink:


Thanks Guyzo!

It's ironic how suffering can go along with some of our most fulfilling experiences in life.
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Postby David Senesac » Wed Oct 21, 2009 3:43 am

peninsula wrote:Thanks for the information, David.

Had more foul weather come my way, I would have had to summon a 911 call with my SPT. I can imagine the expense would have been considerable and I would have putting someone else's life at risk as well. I'll probably pack a lightweight set of crampons on my next fall trip.

I'm not sure having a weather radio would have helped, but next time, I'm going to consider one. I do intend returning to the Sierra every fall, perhaps not as late. I am particularly interested in exploring more of the Kaweah-Picket Creek region, it is a spectacular area.


The NOAA weather radio includes a hazardous weather outlook out to 7 days so should have been sending out alerts. However in mountainous terrain down in canyons, reception may be poor. Best strategy for fall backcountry users is to keep tuned to NWS forecasts for the coming week period before departing. For weather here in California find your zone NWS pages with Area Forecast Discussions (AFD). For the Sierra, I often read the ones for Reno, Sacramento, and Handford.

http://www.wrh.noaa.gov/mtr/forecast.php

Much of my interest over the decades has not been because I winter snow camp that much, but because I've always been a very greedy powder skier.

I think it was October 9/10, 1999, a friend and I were out in the Mono Lake area working aspen grove color when the coldest pool of air ever for early October came down from the north as a Great Basin inside slider. Little snow but the temperature change in two days was immense. The night it hit, we slept out beside our Suburu tentless and by 3am I felt rather chilly in my winter -5d down bag. I have a digital temperature gauge outside my car on the rear mirror so can always monitor temps while driving. Incredibly it was in the single digits all about the lake and was an even zero out behind Mono Craters where we drove. Even in January that is exceptionally cold. Aspen both those with colored leaves and most of those with green leaves all went straight to brown, the worst such event I've experienced. The point of my story is to be careful with October weather as it can on occasion surprise even we old timers.
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Postby madeintahoe » Wed Oct 21, 2009 6:30 pm

Hi Greg........I was wondering if you were going to be caught in that storm...I was worried about you.
I am glad you are back out safe. :D
The Kaweah Basin will always be there :)
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Postby peninsula » Wed Oct 21, 2009 8:31 pm

madeintahoe wrote:Hi Greg........I was wondering if you were going to be caught in that storm...I was worried about you.
I am glad you are back out safe. :D
The Kaweah Basin will always be there :)


Thanks Anita,

I'll definitely return, maybe even next fall? Perhaps not quite as late in October next time around.
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