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High Sierra conditions


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Hamed Jasem · · Tallinn, EE · Joined Feb 2017 · Points: 0

Really keen on trying a bunch of the easy alpine rock classics in a few weeks and was wondering when the best time might be for them! 

Cory Brooks · · Fresno, CA · Joined Feb 2015 · Points: 1,468

Mid to late July is probably your best bet. Its still very snowy up there

Bill Lundeen · · Lee Vining, CA · Joined Nov 2013 · Points: 115

The "record" year we had this winter in the Eastern Sierra was mostly from the 7,000 to 9,000 ft region.  But having said that, there is lots of snow up high and the melt is slow to start this year.  There is close to 200% of normal (175% on average?? More in some places, less in others).  Mono Lake, where I live, is just beginning to rise from snowmelt.  Lee Vining creek is just starting to take off with some big flow.  It'll be awhile alright before backcountry climbs are accessible.... I wouldn't travel here from somewhere far away to gamble on June dates; prob be July, like Cory said.

Matt Thomsen · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Jun 2014 · Points: 182

Looking out towards Bear Creek Spire. Still a lot of snow above 10,000’! Bring skis or snow shoes.
FrankPS · · Atascadero, CA · Joined Nov 2009 · Points: 275

I think the best time for the Sierra is late August to the first half of September. By the time September rolls around, the skeeters are mostly gone.

Hamed Jasem · · Tallinn, EE · Joined Feb 2017 · Points: 0

Damn that’s beat! I guess I’ll have to push that back to late summer. Thanks for your feedback guys! 

BAd · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Dec 2010 · Points: 95

Currently totally socked in and blowing about 100mph!  It's raging right now in Bishop, and I can't imagine what it's like up high.  Oy! Top of Mammoth Mtn. got 13" over the last three days.  What a year.

Jon Hillis · · Valley of Sun · Joined Mar 2013 · Points: 0

Anyone been out in Rock Creek area recently? Curious what Little lakes valley looks like. I am not a skier, just a lost trail runner and photog that puts snowshoes on sometimes if I have to.

Bill Lundeen · · Lee Vining, CA · Joined Nov 2013 · Points: 115
Matt Thomsen · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Jun 2014 · Points: 182

Rock creek is plowed to the Hilton Lakes trail head. A lot of snow past that. If you go early the snow is very hard and you would not need flotation. 

Jon Hillis · · Valley of Sun · Joined Mar 2013 · Points: 0
Matt Thomsen wrote: Rock creek is plowed to the Hilton Lakes trail head. A lot of snow past that. If you go early the snow is very hard and you would not need flotation. 

Sweet thanks!!

brian burke · · santa monica, ca · Joined Nov 2013 · Points: 145
rock creek/bear creek spire 3 days ago 5/18
Nathan Z · · Sacramento, CA · Joined Oct 2017 · Points: 1

I have the first week of July off from work and permits for the North fork of Long Pine, originally with the plan to climb the east face or east buttress of Whitney. I don’t have a lot of experience in the High Sierra. Should I make other plans, assuming that there will be too much snow? Or is there a chance that it might melt enough?  I don’t have gear or desire to do any ice climbing or the like. 

FrankPS · · Atascadero, CA · Joined Nov 2009 · Points: 275
Nathan Z wrote: I have the first week of July off from work and permits for the North fork of Long Pine, originally with the plan to climb the east face or east buttress of Whitney. I don’t have a lot of experience in the High Sierra. Should I make other plans, assuming that there will be too much snow? Or is there a chance that it might melt enough?  I don’t have gear or desire to do any ice climbing or the like. 

Nathan,

I would guess the route, itself, would be in good condition in early July. Maybe small patches of snow on shady ledges. I would also expect there to be quite a bit of snow on the approach hike and more concerning, on the Mountaineer's Route descent. Before you go, decide how comfortable you are with snow travel, especiallly on the descent.
Jon Hillis · · Valley of Sun · Joined Mar 2013 · Points: 0
brian burke wrote:
rock creek/bear creek spire 3 days ago 5/18

Oh man that looks awesome! I decided to rent some skis and flounder around. Pretty stoked!

brian burke · · santa monica, ca · Joined Nov 2013 · Points: 145
Jon Hillis wrote:

Oh man that looks awesome! I decided to rent some skis and flounder around. Pretty stoked!

nice!  that drainage is mellow enough that even nordic skis would do alright.  have fun! 

Vik Waghray · · Oakland, CA · Joined Apr 2017 · Points: 0
this was taken near the top of the east buttress of whitney when i climbed it in late april - there was a bit of snow here and there on the route which required changing in and out of mountaineering boots but my guess is that by early july the climb itself should be doable with just approach/rock shoes. the approach and descent, however, are a different matter and could very well still require crampons and an axe. 
steven dumaresq · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Feb 2017 · Points: 5

Hey guys,

I was wondering if you might have any info on Russell? I got permits for June 13th and was wondering if fishhook would be climbable (if that is even a word) or would we be better off just heading up the east arete. I know that this year has been crazy with snow and according to the weather on MP it shows that it could snow up there this week. Any info would be great. Also any info on the approach would also be helpful would snowshoes be helpful things like that.
Thanks

abandon moderation · · Tahoe · Joined Aug 2012 · Points: 204
steven dumaresq wrote: Hey guys,

I was wondering if you might have any info on Russell? I got permits for June 13th and was wondering if fishhook would be climbable (if that is even a word) or would we be better off just heading up the east arete. I know that this year has been crazy with snow and according to the weather on MP it shows that it could snow up there this week. Any info would be great. Also any info on the approach would also be helpful would snowshoes be helpful things like that. Thanks

I'm heading up to Thor peak this weekend, I'll post some pictures early next week. Rangers say snow line is at 9-10k so I'd say you'll certainly want either snowshoes or skis for Russell.


Edit: Also, the mt whitney webcam picture this morning (from whitneyzone.com/webcam/whit… ) : 
brian burke · · santa monica, ca · Joined Nov 2013 · Points: 145
steven dumaresq wrote: ...I know that this year has been crazy with snow and according to the weather on MP it shows that it could snow up there this week...

the forecast is looking like a week of consistent freeze-thaw between now and 6/13.  this combined with bootpacking should make snow hiking/climbing conditions pretty favorable and supportable.  unknown about the conditions of the routes themselves, but i would imagine approaching should be pretty efficient. 

neils · · Unknown Hometown · Joined May 2016 · Points: 30
brian burke wrote:

the forecast is looking like a week of consistent freeze-thaw between now and 6/13.  this combined with bootpacking should make snow hiking/climbing conditions pretty favorable and supportable.  unknown about the conditions of the routes themselves, but i would imagine approaching should be pretty efficient. 

this is good.  I am going to temple crag late june :)  of course that is after 6/13 but I am hoping for good stuff

Guideline #1: Don't be a jerk.

Northern California
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