Snow levels in Desolation for the "Death March"?
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Dave T
(DaveT) - F
Snow levels in Desolation for the "Death March"? on 06/03/2008 10:35:39 MDT Print View

Any of you Tahoe people have a good idea of the snow levels on the mountains in Desolation Wilderness?

I'm trying to convince myself that I should try to do the "Desolation Death March" (a bit dramatic):

So I'm wondering if the snow is melted off the west side of the Crystal Range and elsewhere. I am also thinking that some snow remaining on the east side of the range might make some of it easier (i.e. glissade down to Aloha!) and would also provide a water source up high on the mountains.

I'd like to do it in XUL style, no cook, no shelter (no thunderstorms), in a Golite Ion.

crystal range portion of "death march"
part of death march

Edited by DaveT on 06/03/2008 10:40:00 MDT.

Klas Eklof
(klaseklof) - MLife

Locale: Northern California
early april on 06/04/2008 22:35:47 MDT Print View

Here's early april from lake of the woods.
I'll be going back on July 4th, if that's before your trip I'll give you an update...


Dave T
(DaveT) - F
desolation. on 06/10/2008 09:37:02 MDT Print View

nice photo! it's pretty out there in the snow. i'm thinking about the end of this month for the trip, but if it goes past july 4, please give me an update on conditions. i figure that most of the snow of the west slopes with be gone by then. there's a little heat wave going on right now.

Jeff Cadorin
(JeffCadorin) - F

Locale: paper beats rock
Re: desolation. on 06/10/2008 09:55:59 MDT Print View

Dave, I am interested in more info on this death march lol. I will be looking at your link in a few. My TRT trip looks like it wont happen till end of july so I keep planning more training runs. I was up at the silver fork of the american yesterday and took my daughter on her first hike(2 miles, she slept most of it) and there is no snow to report there. I think I was around 5-6 thousand feet. Snow looked patchy higher up from what I could see ahead of me. I might take a trip out there one of these days and explore, gas prices hold me back.

Dave T
(DaveT) - F
desolation. on 06/10/2008 10:10:10 MDT Print View

yes, i think the snow is melting away. and we have warm weather for the next week or more, so it will keep melting. i'm not sure if all the up and down of the "death march" is exactly to my liking, but it sounds like a fun two day challenge in desolation (i've been most places there otherwise).

i'm also not sure when my TRT hike will happen, but probably july or even august. we'll see. good to hear your hike is still in the works for later in the summer!

Rick Dreher
(halfturbo) - MLife

Locale: Northernish California
DeSnowLation on 06/10/2008 10:20:50 MDT Print View

The meltoff's pretty advanced compared to a normal year. I went a few miles up Lyons Creek trail two weekends ago, and it's rare that the Wright's Lake and Icehouse roads are open for Memorial day, much less the trails clearing off (admittedly, the trail itself was a creek and not a trail).

We have had a lot of warm, sunny weather since then and now it's downright hot. The high basins and chutes are certainly still snowed in, but I imagine they're melting off quickly. It "helps" that we had the driest Sierra spring since recordkeeping began.

cary bertoncini
(cbert) - F

Locale: N. California
snow in sierras on 06/10/2008 10:22:15 MDT Print View

i was just up to loch leven lakes - a hair under 7000 ft - and there is just a bit patchy snow in the shade at that elevation. my guess is above 8000 ft unless in full sun there'd still be a foot or two all over, so north facing & in the trees at 8k + i'd think be snowbound still

Jeff Cadorin
(JeffCadorin) - F

Locale: paper beats rock
Re: desolation. on 06/10/2008 10:22:56 MDT Print View

Just read that link. I have yet to explore desolation in depth and though I might skip a peak or two that sounds like a great trip.

I attempted Mt. Shasta last weekend. Had a crampon malfunction that kept me from a summit attempt but I am very happy with my training so far. I was with my brother and his climbing buddy(Matt) from Denali last year. Anyways Matt did the high sierra last summer and is doing all he can to entice me into that region this summer as well. Personal reasons have me moving out of state at the end of summer and I guess im just trying to pack it all in now. It all comes down to work though. My family is here so I hope to visit every few months. Will probably move back eventually but its time to experience some different scenery. Sorry for the highjack Dave....If I head up again I will update any snow pack I experience.

Dave T
(DaveT) - F
David Olsen - Desolation? on 06/20/2008 10:12:17 MDT Print View

Hi David,

Any thoughts on the snow levels in Desolation by next weekend? See my post above.

Any thoughts from a Tahoe-er would be much appreciated!


Randy Brissey
(rbrissey) - M

Locale: Redondo Beach, CA
TRT July 1st on 06/20/2008 21:59:23 MDT Print View


I, too, am interested in the snow levels on the TRT. My plans are to start at Tahoe City and do a clockwise route. I keep checking the Tahoe Rim Trail website but their latest update is june 9th with most of the snow off off the section north of Tahoe City.

Governor Arnold says that we are in a low water year in California.........

...full speed ahead, darn the mosquitos! Randy

Dave T
(DaveT) - F
desolation death march. on 06/27/2008 15:05:06 MDT Print View

well, given all the smoke in the air, i don't think i'll be embarking on this hike. i might actually die, from empyhsema or an asthma attack.

once the smoke clears, i'll give it a shot.

Rick Dreher
(halfturbo) - MLife

Locale: Northernish California
Re: desolation death march. on 06/27/2008 15:20:54 MDT Print View

True enough. The current PM2.5 particulate data show Placerville at the "very unhealthy" 200+ level, which is astonishingly bad. The high ozone is just an extra bonus.

Nearly 1,100 fires in California at present :-(

p.s. Eldorado National Forest should have up-to-date snow info: 530-622-5061

Greg Mihalik
(greg23) - M

Locale: Colorado
Re: desolation death march. on 06/27/2008 17:43:12 MDT Print View

The Western States 100 has been canceled due to poor air quality, the first cancellation in 35 years.

It just ain't healthy out there.

Edited by greg23 on 06/27/2008 17:43:44 MDT.

Dave T
(DaveT) - F
desolation / klas? on 07/07/2008 13:23:26 MDT Print View

hi there.

anyone have an idea about the snow levels on the crystal range in desolation now? especially the amount of snow on the east side (for water availability). any recent pictures from out there?

i might head up for the "death march" (too dramatic) if the smoke levels decline by next weekend.

klas, did you head up there for the 4th? if so, do you have a report or any pics?


Edited by DaveT on 07/07/2008 15:17:20 MDT.

Klas Eklof
(klaseklof) - MLife

Locale: Northern California
desolation / Dave T... on 07/07/2008 19:22:43 MDT Print View

Hi Dave, I didn't forget. I'll post the shots over in Trip Reports, just to keep everything organized around here...

It wasn't too smokey.
You should go for it.


- k