You are hereSpring/Fall Gear
Spring/Fall backpacking gear.
Fall is a beautiful time for backpacking the Sierra. The Sierra Nevada mellows after mid-August. The mosquitoes decline after the middle of August during normal-precip years, hot temps moderate, and the Southern movement and position of the Sun brings out fantastic contrasts in the mountainous terrain. Yet backpacking in Fall involves increasing hazards.
Bear, Black, Tracks, High Sierra, Carson Iceberg Wilderness
April 24, 2004
The weight of the walker, in this case a bear, compresses the snow as they pass, leaving tracks.
As the snow mass melts the compressed snow creating the tracks melts much slower than the surrounding snow, pushing the tracks above the receeding snow.
Lightening Safety for Backpackers: Caught Out.
I have observed Summertime heat weather in the Sierra Nevada Mountain Range for decades. The recipie is simple. Heatwaves in the Valley fill the atmosphere with hot evaporated moisture, a gentle onshore breeze pushes it up the Sierra Crest, and the cooling does the rest.
Weather Image: Wolf Creek frozen into layers of Slush.
Location: Along the Pacific Crest Trail between Ebbetts Pass and Sonora Pass. Carson-Iceberg Wilderness. Oct 26 2011.
I consider this an effect of weather...
Trail Guide: Tyron Peak to Murray Canyon.
Greetings. I'm Alex Wierbinski, and I started up this continuing post in early May so you could both obtain and contribute information that backpackers, hikers, and even you climbers need to track the Spring Thaw of 2011.
September Open Thread: High Sierra Trail Condition Reports
Trip Dates: Hiking Kennedy Meadows South to Glen Aulin High Sierra Camp between September 2 and September 5. Spent the 5th and the 6th visiting Erin Ander's Yosemite NP Trail Crew, which was established near Glen Aulin. I camped at the Tuolumne Meadow's Backpacker camp on the evening of the 7th, and easily hitched home on the 8th.
Spring in the Sierras
Rifts great and small are opening up in the snow cover. Intense streams have cut fantastic shapes through their snow covers as they hurry down the mountain, while the meadow snows are suffering a different fate.
Run off from the mountains surrounding Meiss Meadow is flowing under the great sheets of snow covering the meadow, first undercutting, then collapsing the snow on the meadow.
This video takes us from the snow free trail head on South Upper Truckee Road up to Round Lake on June 5, 2010.. Round Lake sits about 5 miles South of the trail head at 8000 feet.
We ran into trails running like streams about a mile and a half up from the trail head, and hit the snow line about two miles past the trail head.
The Snow is heavier, at lower elevations, and persisting later into Spring than typical.
Scouting the Carson Pass prior to backpacking there from the South Upper Truckee Road trail head. This video will give you a view of snow conditions at Carson Pass on June 5, 2010. Late season storms had deposited significant snow the previous week.
The snow line was at 7500 feet on North facing flanks, and 8000 feet on Southern facing flanks. I expect everything but Northwestern faces to be melted off by June 24, at the latest. Continuing high temps may speed this up.
The heavy snow conditions in the High Sierras in early June are depicted by the following videos:
Part I: The Eastern Sierras
After the first leg of our June Scouting Trip from Walker Ca, through the Little Antelope Pack Station trailhead at Rodriquez Flat, to Sonora Pass was truncated by the heavy runoff through Murry Creek at Falls Meadow on the East Fork of the Carson River, we turned around and worked our way back to the Eastern Sierra trailhead where we had begun.
Have you had recent experiences along the Sierra Crest and flanks between Lake Tahoe and Mount Whitney? Do you live or work in a location that gives you a view of the High Trails? Post your experiences and observations below.
We are all interested in how quickly the snows are uncovering the trails, trail conditions, bits of snow cover along the trail, MOSQUITO CONDITIONS, fording conditions, weather, local weather, and anything that you observed or experienced.
May 31 2010 finds the Sierra Crestline where it comes across Sonora Pass heavily impacted with snow. The snow at Sonora Pass, elevation 9640 feet, measured nine feet.
Sonora Pass May 31, 2010.
I just returned from a nine day late Spring scouting trip to the Central and Northern High Sierras yesterday, the 9th of June. Because of the rapidly changing conditions in the Sierras, this report is a kind of moving snapshot of those changing conditions.
It is May 29, and I'm sure all of our thoughts are turning towards the High Sierras, wondering when the trails will open up for this Summer's backpacking season. Mine certainly are. Though it is late Spring, the Sierras are still packed full of snow at high altitudes. The sun appears to be coming out, and the temps are rising.