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Lake Sabrina/North Lake snow level?


Original Post
Pavel K · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Nov 2007 · Points: 211

Looking for a bit of insight into conditions around Lake Sabrina and North Lake - snow level mainly. It looks like the road is open all the way to Lake Sabrina, not sure about North Lake. Thinking about a ski touring starting on Friday, once this upcoming weather system passes.
thanks

David S · · Daly City · Joined Nov 2017 · Points: 5

If you find out would you post here?  Thanks!

kenr · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Oct 2010 · Points: 14,712

Often you can get a bicycle up much of the North Lake Rd, if walk it over some snow patches.

North Lake does have more obvious ski touring objectives than Sabrina trailhead. With Sabrina getting access to the obvious skiing objectives requires negotiating ups and downs over bumps and ridges for a long ways. I guess Sabrina trailhead for skiing is used mainly to get over Echo Col into the interior and Muir hut and Evolution valley.

Getting to the N couloir of Mt Lamarck has opportunities for making wrong navigational choices (see my report from last year?)

Ken

Pavel K · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Nov 2007 · Points: 211

Update:
Skinnable snow coverage starts at the far end of Sabrina Lake trail. Excellent snow throughout Evolution Loop. I was able to ski from Lamarck Col all the way down to Grass Lake (with a bit of dirt skiing and taking skis off a few times) and then with some creative snow patch connecting almost down to the North Lake road.
Very warm during the day, little colder than expected during the night. Lot of wet slides on steeper aspects (Echo Col), lot of skier triggered pinwheels, otherwise stellar touring conditions, but skiing left a bit to be desired (either mashed potatoes or frozen crust in the morning, no corn). A few powdery turns off of Lamark Col and nice turns coming down to Upper Lamarck Lake.

As for the question everyone will have - looks like both couloirs on Mendel are filled in, looked more like snow than ice. See the pic. Let me know if you have any other questions.

Darwin and Mendel. Darwin North Couloir looked prime.


Mendel couloirs.

Evolution Basin:
One more Evolution Basin:
Echo Col:
Brandon C · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Apr 2018 · Points: 0

Pavel - great info.  Did you approach Lamarck from Sabrina instead of North Lake?  If so, care to share a little more about you route?  I've been up in that area some but always in summer.  Was thinking of getting back over Lamarck Col on skis this weekend.

Pavel K · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Nov 2007 · Points: 211

My route was lake Sabrina, blue lake, echo lake, echo col, down to jmt, up to helen lake and Muir pass, then through evolution basin, up to Darwin bench and Darwin canyon and then over Lamarck col and down to upper Lamarck lake and grass lake, finishing at north lake road.
Awesome trip. If you go from north lake, expect to hike to at least lower Lamarck lake. Also, it may be quite a bit colder this weekend.

Brandon C · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Apr 2018 · Points: 0

Thanks.  Your route make total sense - I suppose I was a little tripped up when you said you started at Sabrina and then the Darwin bench photos were first.  

From your observations out there on snow coverage . . . do you think it would be any better to stay on skis/snow and go from Sabrina to Midnight Lake then Blue Heaven Lake up over Darwin Col down to the bench VS walking from North Lake up to Lamarck to finally put on skis and head for Lamarck Col?  

Thanks so much for your help.  And, yes, this weekend is not as prime as last with the temps and a bit of wind.

Maxwell Dergosits · · San Francisco · Joined May 2017 · Points: 35

Anyone been up to Rock Creek? Looking at skiing the east face of Treasure Peak this weekend. 

Pavel K · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Nov 2007 · Points: 211
Brandon C wrote: Thanks.  Your route make total sense - I suppose I was a little tripped up when you said you started at Sabrina and then the Darwin bench photos were first.  

From your observations out there on snow coverage . . . do you think it would be any better to stay on skis/snow and go from Sabrina to Midnight Lake then Blue Heaven Lake up over Darwin Col down to the bench VS walking from North Lake up to Lamarck to finally put on skis and head for Lamarck Col?  

Thanks so much for your help.  And, yes, this weekend is not as prime as last with the temps and a bit of wind.

I have never been over Darwin Col so can't really comment on how that would be but it definitely seems like approach via North Lake would involve lot more walking (walk up the road to North Lake and then to Lower or potentially all the way up to Upper Lamarck Lake). Whereas from Sabrina you walk only to the west of the Lake.

If I was doing a day trip and going light and fast, I would probably take hiking shoes and run up the North Lake/Lamarck route. If overnight, I would go via Sabrina as you get to skin much earlier...

Here's a shot of the skyline east of Darwin (I assume Darwin Col is there somewhere) if that helps you any....
Guideline #1: Don't be a jerk.

Northern California
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