May 22 2016 Backpacker Alert


Alex Wierbinski's picture

By Alex Wierbinski - Posted on 22 May 2016

May 22, 2016

BACKPACKER ALERT

Current Conditions:
Unstable weather conditions bringing snow and cold rains down onto the two feet of snow already on the crest bring very dangerous conditions for early season backpackers in the Sierra Nevada Mountains. 

All High Sierra Rain & Snow Forecasts

All Current High Sierra Radar

High Sierra from Satellites

The Objective Danger:
The conditions of cold rain and warm snow falling on improperly geared or skilled backpackers is dangerous and can be deadly.

The Alert:
DO NOT ENTER THE SIERRA: 

Without proper Spring Snow Gear.  REQUIRED

Without proper insulation.  REQUIRED

Without Full Snowproof Footwear. REQUIRED.

Without the ability to navigate great lengths and climb across great altitudes over wet, soft snow following the line of a deeply buried trail through very poor conditions.  REQUIRED

STANDARDS of TRAVEL
The current weather conditions and the precipation expected over the next seven days along the Sierra Crest indicate only those prepared to endure storms of wet snow and cold rain along the Sierra Crest be up there right now.

Cold rains falling on snow-covered terrain are miserable conditions to travel through, even when fully and properly geared. I have done it many times. They are dangerous and potentially deadly for hikers not properly prepared. 

BACKPACKING VIDEOS
Cold Rains, Snow, and Hail on the Sierra Crestline during early Summer.

Rain and Hail in July

Cold Snow in July

THE TAKAWAY
The Sierra Crest is NOWHERE near SUMMER CONDITIONS.

NO HIKERS SHOULD ENTER THE CRESTLINE TRAILS WITHOUT FULL SPRING GEAR.

Anyone entering the Sierras with lightweight gear, light insulation, sandals, a tarp and no tent at this point in time is flat out CRAZY. Anyone entering the Sierra in such status will either run out of the mountains or have to be dragged out.

You will suffer in either case.

DON'T BE FOOLISH
Don't be that fool. Inform yourself of the dangers. Properly gear and train yourself for them before engaging the High Sierra Trails, especially during the vagaries of Spring.

/content/fall-2011-backpacker-weather-trail-conditions-reports#6a1

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