North Fork trail conditions?

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DR

 
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North Fork trail conditions?

by DR » Mon Jan 06, 2014 7:56 pm

Does anyone have any current info on the North Fork trail to upper boy scout Lake? I will be attempting the East ridge of mt Russell. I am wondering if I can leave my snow shoes at home, and if I can get steam water so I don't need to melt snow. I appreciate any current info, thank you!

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Deb

 
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Re: North Fork trail conditions?

by Deb » Tue Jan 07, 2014 3:11 am

Judging by the snow I've encountered from Bishop to June Lake, you may want snowshoes on NE to NW aspects and perpetually shaded areas. Not so much due to amount of snow but the type of snow. Extremely dry, heavily faceted junk; quite difficult to move thru and find purchase on slopes over 20 deg. And this I found between 7K- 11K'.
Avy danger is increasing as the ground temps have not been much below freezing. I'd be concerned in any chute.
You may find heinous dry drifts even on the ridge. Great leg breaker.
Be careful!

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DR

 
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Re: North Fork trail conditions?

by DR » Tue Jan 07, 2014 5:42 pm

Thanks for the info Deb. It may be best to wait for better conditions. Thank you!

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willytinawin

 
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Re: North Fork trail conditions?

by willytinawin » Tue Jan 07, 2014 11:58 pm

The E Ridge of Russell is probably not a class 3 climb at this time. The ledges fill in with snow and ice, and one misstep would be fatal. Even though the snowfall is well below normal, keep in mind the E Ridge of Russell is north facing. I tried it once in the snow and it was hairy. Just an fyi, that's all.

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alexfore

 
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Re: North Fork trail conditions?

by alexfore » Fri Jan 10, 2014 6:09 pm

Maybe consider South face right side route on Mt Russell for a alternative winter route. I did this last April along with Whitney from Iceberg lake. The South face right side route climbs a wide talus chute up to a headwall, which should be pretty dry this year. To get to the ridge you have some class 3-4 climbing, but it will be in sun and dry. This puts you on ridge close to west summit. Last April, the only problem with the snow was postholing up to chest at Iceberg lake.

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Re: North Fork trail conditions?

by RadiatingHope » Sat Jan 18, 2014 4:40 pm

Attempted MR this week. Weather was perfect. Made it as far as Iceburg Lake, but no summit as I was with 3 beginners so we were just moving too slow to safely make it up & back.

Route in great shape except for done patches of pretty wicked pod holing from Lower Boyscout up..but these we're few & far between. We didn't bring snowshoes, but honestly, not sure they would have helped.

Anyone on here know David Webb? (rescued climber in November). Found his pack and got the GPS coordinates, so would like to get in touch with him. Also provided this info to the rangers.

All in all, I think the conditions are as good as you could ask for in January..we had the mountain completely to ourselves (Wed to Fri) but did pass 2 groups on the way down. Best of luck to those guys!

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Re: North Fork trail conditions?

by bobpickering » Mon Jan 20, 2014 2:08 am

I day hiked the Mountaineers’ Route last Monday. I brought snowshoes and didn’t use them. I used ski poles and crampons a lot. Weather was perfect. Trip Report Here: http://www.whitneyzone.com/wz/ubbthreads.php/topics/34913/Mountaineers_Route_1_13_14#Post34913

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ahh

 
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Re: North Fork trail conditions?

by ahh » Wed Jan 22, 2014 4:55 pm

My friend and I just did Fishhook Arete and descended via East Ridge on Sunday.

East Ridge is totally "in" right now. It was bone dry - no ice, mostly free of snow (maybe like a total of 20 ft of mandatory snow crossing.) It's an easy scramble just like it's in the summer.

There are some rockfalls blocking the portal road (about a mile from the TH), but you can easily drive around it. There are snow on the road starting about half a mile from the TH.

The trail from the portal to Upper Boyscout is excellent. There have been a lot of people doing MR lately (we counted 13 cars at the portal when we got there!) and the trail has been nicely boot packed.

I'd probably skip the snowshoes but bring crampons and ax for the steep snow approach/descent between the Russell-Carillon Plateau and Upper Boyscout Lake.

It would be a fun outing, go get it!!

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ahh

 
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Re: North Fork trail conditions?

by ahh » Tue Jan 28, 2014 7:27 pm

Somehow I managed to left a pair of poles among some other gear (headlamp, compass) at the talus field at base of East Buttress/Mountaineers Route last Sunday. If you happen to be in the area and wouldn't mind picking it up for me, I'd be eternally grateful!! Will trade you for a six pack of something!

Thanks!


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