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J Tree in February
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Sep 27, 2016
Rock Climbing Photo: 1st pitch of Limelight
Planning a trip out to J Tree this winter and we're thinking about doing a full week in the middle of February. Wanted to get some opinions on how good of an idea this is. I did a search, but didn't find to much info out there. Most helpful piece of information I found so far is that how bad the wind is will play a big role in how enjoyable our trip is. I know a lot of this will depend on the year and luck but just trying to get a general feel for what we can expect. Any insight would be appreciated.

Just a few things to add:
  • We plan on camping in the park. Were from the north east so were ok with a little cold and were definitely planning on bringing cold weather camping gear.
  • I climbed in J Tree last year for a couple days, but it was May so completely different experience.
  • Looking to mostly do single and multi pitch trad.
mnjsan
Joined Mar 5, 2014
199 points
Sep 30, 2016
Rock Climbing Photo: 1st pitch of Limelight
Bump for some J Tree advice. mnjsan
Joined Mar 5, 2014
199 points
Sep 30, 2016
I did two New Years' trips there in the past 3 years. One trip had stellar climbing weather--we could even comfortably climb in afternoon shade. The other trip involved a snowstorm, long cold snap, and very little climbing. The park in the snowstorm was stupendously beautiful, which compensated somewhat.

I think it's a great idea. Indian Cove is about 1,000 feet lower in elevation than Hidden Valley and tends to be a lot warmer, but Hidden Valley is the place to go. Try to get there on a Sunday or Monday morning and maybe you'll luck into a site.
Jimmy Sledd
From Bozeman, Montana
Joined Mar 7, 2013
17 points
Sep 30, 2016
The climbability/pleasure will be based on the forecast for the specific days you are going. And you won't be able to get a good forecast until about five days prior to your trip.

The temps can be pleasant in mid-February, or not. It is my winter climbing destination, but if the highs are below 55, I postpone.

Have fun.
FrankPS
From Atascadero, CA
Joined Nov 19, 2009
279 points
Sep 30, 2016
It could be an awesome, mild week, with full sun and glorious crisp days and cold nights. Or it could rain all week and snow when the temps drop overnight.

It is winter. OK, it is Southern California and I don't think we are expecting another El Nino, but it is winter. I plan on hitting the park up a lot this winter, as it is the best winter crag in the area, but it can vary from the best conditions of your life to downright miserable.
Matt Himmelstein
From Orange, California
Joined Jun 22, 2014
123 points
Sep 30, 2016
Rock Climbing Photo: 1st pitch of Limelight
Cool thanks guys. Yes I know a lot of it will be luck of the draw in terms of what weather well get but just wanted to get some idea of what to expect. mnjsan
Joined Mar 5, 2014
199 points
Sep 30, 2016
Rock Climbing Photo: Bottom of the bottle
Matt Himmelstein wrote:
It could be an awesome, mild week, with full sun and glorious crisp days and cold nights. Or it could rain all week and snow when the temps drop overnight. It is winter. OK, it is Southern California and I don't think we are expecting another El Nino, but it is winter. I plan on hitting the park up a lot this winter, as it is the best winter crag in the area, but it can vary from the best conditions of your life to downright miserable.



As stated, Josh in February can be freezing or sunny and nice. If its freezing.... there are better places to climb at. Sometimes the local LA spots like Malibu, ECHO and Stoney Point are wonderful.

The best places to climb at when its freezing are the cliffs and crags along HWY178, west of hwy 14 and the "mountain 99" north of Kernville. This whole area is called "Lake Isabella" by the climbers who go their in the winter. It's 3 hours from Josh. Free camping and a good brew pub in Kernville.



Guy Keesee
From Moorpark, CA
Joined Mar 1, 2008
363 points
Sep 30, 2016
Rock Climbing Photo: 1st pitch of Limelight
Guy Keesee wrote:
As stated, Josh in February can be freezing or sunny and nice. If its freezing.... there are better places to climb at. Sometimes the local LA spots like Malibu, ECHO and Stoney Point are wonderful. The best places to climb at when its freezing are the cliffs and crags along HWY178, west of hwy 14 and the "mountain 99" north of Kernville. This whole area is called "Lake Isabella" by the climbers who go their in the winter. It's 3 hours from Josh. Free camping and a good brew pub in Kernville.


Thanks Guy. That sounds like a good option if things down pan out it J Tree.
mnjsan
Joined Mar 5, 2014
199 points
Sep 30, 2016
Rock Climbing Photo: Bottom of the bottle
mnjsan wrote:
Thanks Guy. That sounds like a good option if things down pan out it J Tree.


When the time gets close, if you don't think Josh will work.... PM me and I'll be happy to give you beta on the areas.

The real issue with JT is the wind, if it is calm- 50 degree days work. If its blowing 40 mph forget it.

There is also some climbing south of Josh, out the I10....

And every now and then we get nice warm weather in FEB and you can go climb at Tahquitz.

Guy Keesee
From Moorpark, CA
Joined Mar 1, 2008
363 points
Sep 30, 2016
Guy Keesee wrote:
And every now and then we get nice warm weather in FEB and you can go climb at Tahquitz.

I would expect that Suicide gets more acceptable winter days that Tahquitz because it is a bit lower and has morning sun exposure, but I have not checked it out in the winter. Any opinions on one vs the other?
Matt Himmelstein
From Orange, California
Joined Jun 22, 2014
123 points
Oct 3, 2016
Rock Climbing Photo: Bottom of the bottle
Matt Himmelstein wrote:
I would expect that Suicide gets more acceptable winter days that Tahquitz because it is a bit lower and has morning sun exposure, but I have not checked it out in the winter. Any opinions on one vs the other?



Both are good .... Suicide gets cold early. The South Face of Tahquitz gets really nice... best time to do the left/right ski tracks, Fitchens Folly and Chingadera...


The Key to good weather up there in the winter.... when we have major bad fog going on in the flats, like out by Corona... listen to the traffic reports.
And if no fronts are approaching....

I have driven up to Humber park with the wipers on before, slogged up through the drizzle on slush/snow only to find Lunch Rock and the whole deal basking in sunshine and the temps about 15 degrees warmer than in Town.

now if a storm has moved through in the last few days the warm weather will be melting the snow and everything is wet, but give it a few days and the place dries up quickly.

try it out.... I don't think Climbing weather.com will give you this story.
Guy Keesee
From Moorpark, CA
Joined Mar 1, 2008
363 points


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