June Sierra Conditions


Original Post
Bridger Mann-Wood · · Lander, WY · Joined May 2011 · Points: 0

Hello everyone!

My partner and I are taking a roadtrip beginning June 9th for ~3weeks and are hoping to spend a lot of time hiking/climbing in the High Sierra. The list includes climbs in Tuolumne, Whitney, and Russell, with some other side trips along the way. We have been watching the news of snowfall from our home in Wisconsin, and are wondering what the snowpack is looking like. Does anyone have any information they want to share regarding these areas and snowpack? 

Thanks in advance,

Bridger


Ancent · · Reno, NV · Joined Apr 2015 · Points: 37

Two days ago, the eastern Sierras from Lone Pine to Bishop were still very  covered in snow; I don't have any real numbers for snowpack. The roads  up to Whitney portal, onion valley, etc are open. Tioga pass and Tuolumne are closed. The areas around Tahoe are melting out nicely, and most areas are hikable/climbable.

https://www.nps.gov/yose/planyourvisit/tioga.htm

My guess is that that there won't be enough time for everything to significantly melt out by mid June.


kenr · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Oct 2010 · Points: 8,312

You won't climb anything on Whitney or Russell or Tuolumne without walking on lots of snow to reach it. The snow is melting rapidly, but not enough to change that perspective by mid-June.

Snow approach not necessarily a significant problem: That's what crampons + snowshoes + micro-spikes + skis are made for.

What could be a problem is that the rapid melting is flooding the creek-crossings. For example crossing North Fork Lone Pine Creek (which has no foot-bridges) is critical for reaching most of the famous rock routes on Whitney and Russell. 

Ken


Samaki Kubwa · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Feb 2016 · Points: 0

Not to hijack, but to deepen the topic: anyone been up to the Palisades area? I'm guessing snow from Sam Mack onward, but any news of the conditions of V/U-Notch?


Twinboas · · Quincy, CA · Joined Apr 2013 · Points: 455

Conditions as of May 27, 2017. Shows the general snow levels around Tuolumne. As others have said, Tioga Pass will almost certainly be closed, be prepared to travel through snow. It will probably be frozen in the mornings and wet by the afternoon. Good luck!


GDavis · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Aug 2008 · Points: 10

June will be a great time to crag on the east side - Benton, Clark, Mammoth lakes, Tioga pass road, pine creek, whitney portal and 5,000 pitches await you.

Even in normal snow years you will not access the high sierra without much difficulty and snow travel, this year is more so.

That being said, if you don't mind hiking on snow, you will have the place to yourselves because most cali climbers like me are lazy and wait til the melt XD

Tuolumne campground slotted to open aug 1....


King Tut · · Citrus Heights · Joined Aug 2012 · Points: 140
Bridger Mann-Wood wrote:

Hello everyone!

My partner and I are taking a roadtrip beginning June 9th for ~3weeks and are hoping to spend a lot of time hiking/climbing in the High Sierra. The list includes climbs in Tuolumne, Whitney, and Russell, with some other side trips along the way. We have been watching the news of snowfall from our home in Wisconsin, and are wondering what the snowpack is looking like. Does anyone have any information they want to share regarding these areas and snowpack? 

Thanks in advance,

Bridger

Tioga Pass will not likely open before July 4th. Tuolumne campground not till Aug 1st.

But, Climbing (per report) at Transpire Wall on the pass road from the eastside is on. Whitney Portal has excellent rock climbs, but as above, a TON of snow on the approach to Whitney or Russell. Midnight hiking arguably the best...Rock Creek, Pine Creek, Cardinal Pinnacle etc are all perfect spring climbing. So lots to do, but the backcountry is loaded with snow.

This is a current photo:


Guy Keesee · · Moorpark, CA · Joined Mar 2008 · Points: 105

Gdavis and Tut are spot on....  this is a different year, as they said the creek crossings are hard to do right now. Some folks have died in the creeks already... be careful.

The Good news...... the Needles are open. The domelands have a bunch of water and you can hike into there and do a lot of climbing that is usually bone dry by this time of year. 

The key this year, IMHO, is to look for stuff down low.... like right out of the Portal, or the south face of lone pine pk or the Keyhole Wall. 

Hike at nite on the snow. 

have fun, welcome to California. 





Brian Banta · · Pacifica, CA · Joined May 2012 · Points: 10

Still alot of snow in the high country.  Like alot. Ran into some backcountry skiers out of Tom's Place that looked very happy.  Here was the shot of the Sawtooths from I-395, worth noting that the Matterhorn peak (center left) is 12K and the last few years at this same time the foothills were completely free of snow. I would agree that if traveling on snow is part of your plan than there is lot of accessible terrain.

Brian


brian burke · · santa monica, ca · Joined Nov 2013 · Points: 115

north arete of bear creek spire looks pretty dope right now.  this was sunday 5/28


old5ten · · Berkeley + Sunny Slopes, CA · Joined Sep 2012 · Points: 803

i think june looks like snow up top and bugs on the bottom...


Guy Keesee · · Moorpark, CA · Joined Mar 2008 · Points: 105
old5ten wrote:

i think june looks like snow up top and bugs on the bottom...

And slush and mud in between.


Matt Desenberg · · North Berwick, ME · Joined Dec 2007 · Points: 145

What's access to the hulk like right now? Looking to possibly head there in late June/early July unless the snow levels are ridiculous enough to warrant a delay...


Fan Zhang · · Washington, DC · Joined Apr 2012 · Points: 388

For the approach to Whitney and Russell, any predictions for the conditions (snow, creek levels) during week of July 4th? Significantly different than mid-June or pretty much the same? Also, footwear recommendations for the approach during that time (e.g., snow shoes? single layer mountaineering boots or backpacking boots) would be much appreciated as well. Thanks!


Hector Luevano · · San Diego, CA · Joined Nov 2015 · Points: 0

Anyone know conditions at Rock Creek? 


Ian Machen · · Reno, NV · Joined Sep 2016 · Points: 20

Heading up to the Thunderbolt-Sill traverse this weekend. I'll post up some pics and a trip report when I get back.


Rude Boy · · San Francisco, CA · Joined Apr 2012 · Points: 615

Rock Creek a couple of days ago

Bear Creek Spire on the left, Petit Griffon on the right

Looking back down the canyon

Petit Griffon

Ruby Peak, Ruby Wall

Ruby Lake


Hector Luevano · · San Diego, CA · Joined Nov 2015 · Points: 0
Rude Boy wrote:

Rock Creek a couple of days ago

Bear Creek Spire on the left, Petit Griffon on the right

Looking back down the canyon

Petit Griffon

Ruby Peak, Ruby Wall

Ruby Lake

Clutch, thanks. 


Robert Michael · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Aug 2014 · Points: 55

June 6 update on the Yosemite site says plows have met at Tioga Pass but that opening is still not imminent.


Rude Boy · · San Francisco, CA · Joined Apr 2012 · Points: 615

This is from earlier today,

Wheeler crest center frame, Rock Creek Canyon to the right

Crest of the High Sierra

395 corridor, Bishop is the green patch left of center


Chase D · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Apr 2015 · Points: 0
Ian Machen wrote:

Heading up to the Thunderbolt-Sill traverse this weekend. I'll post up some pics and a trip report when I get back.

How was your climb? I'm heading up to do that traverse in a couple of weeks, really curious about the conditions


Guideline #1: Don't be a jerk.

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