Forum Index » Hiking Partners / Group Trip Announcements » snow in Desolation?


Display Avatars Sort By:
Dave T
(DaveT) - F
snow in Desolation? on 06/08/2009 14:04:43 MDT Print View

hi all.

anyone seen the Crystal Range in Desolation recently? i'm restarting my thoughts about the "Desolation Death March"and want to know what the snow across the mountains is looking like.
http://www.tahoebackcountry.net/features/desolation02/

i want there to be some snow (for water) but for the crest/west side to be clear for hiking.

if anyone's got any beta/pictures, that'd be great. i imagine it might still need a couple weeks to melt more?

Edited by DaveT on 06/08/2009 16:17:10 MDT.

Rick Dreher
(halfturbo) - MLife

Locale: Northernish California
Re: snow in Desolation? on 06/08/2009 15:18:19 MDT Print View

Mem-Day weekend I hiked up Lyons Creek trail and got bogged down in mud and snow starting at about 7k. Creeks and ephemeral streams are running high. The Crystal Range (Pyramid and north) appeared quite snowbound viewed from the west. Since then it's been unseasonably cool and stormy so my presumption is not much has changed in the alpine zone. My glimpses at the range from the valley in the last week showed it still solidly white.

For camping, the mosquitoes weren't yet out but blackflies were making themselves known. There are plenty of bare sites to camp on but the creeks can be a real impediment.

An easy scouting trip would be the Ralston summit trail from Sayles Flat on 50.

Cheers,

Rick

Dave T
(DaveT) - F
desolation. on 06/08/2009 15:24:23 MDT Print View

Thanks Rick!

With the crazy late season snowstorms and all that last week, I'm sure things are hanging on well up there.

I'll give it another month - I just want some east-facing snowbanks to get water from, but otherwise have the mountains clear. And for all the mosquitoes to die. :)

Rick Dreher
(halfturbo) - MLife

Locale: Northernish California
Re: desolation. on 06/08/2009 16:07:49 MDT Print View

Hi Dave,

Yup, avoid peak skeets at all costs!

I'm done predicting our wacky weather but early-mid July sounds reasonable for what you're proposing and the days will still be quite long.

Cheers,

Rick

Tony Wong
(Valshar) - MLife

Locale: San Francisco Bay Area
Re: desolation/Nighttime Temps??? on 06/08/2009 16:30:04 MDT Print View

Rick & Dave,

Three friends and I are going to do the TRT starting on July 2nd.

Can you give me any idea of what the night/evening time temps might be like?

I am debating if I should take a 15 degree bag or my 40 degree Marmot Atom bag and layer up the clothing with thermawrap pant and jacket.

If this matters, I am a cold sleeping and use a bivy, which can add warmth, and a GG torso pad and thinlight pad.

Thanks for any info on the weather/temp conditions to help us/me plan on what gear should be in my kit.

-Tony

Aaron Zuniga
(gliden2) - F

Locale: Northwest
RE:TRT Temps on 06/09/2009 09:48:43 MDT Print View

Hey Tony,

I will be starting the TRT right behind you guys on the 5th, beginning at the Kinsbury South Trailhead going clockwise.
Average temps for July in Lake Tahoe are 79 for the high and 40 for the low. Tahoe is anything BUT average though! Im pretty sure that snow has fallen in every month in Lake Tahoe. So skimpimg on the sleep system could be a bad idea. I have been debating between the Marmot Atom and the BPL UL 60 Quilt and have come to the conclusion that both would require multiple insulating layers to boost the temps seen on the trail. For me both the Atom and the UL 60 are for temps closer to 45, maybe 50. With an insulated jacket like the Montbell Ul Down Inner maybe i can push up to 5 degrees more. But thats it=(. If I also add a pair of insulated pants i can go even lower. This only puts the system at the 40 degree range. Even with a bivy this may be a little close for comfort and gettin up there on the scales. My solution was to replace my current bag/quilt and insulating gear with the JRB NO Sniveller. This way i know i'll be warm and i can leave those others insulating pieces at home. The NO Sniveller is comfortably rated at 30 degrees and weighs only 21 oz in a Regular. The dual function is such a beautiful thing!
What is the weight of your 15 degree bag? This will most likely be way over kill for this hike=(
No shelter besides the bivy? I would add a poncho tarp to protect you and all your insulated gear. You could also leave your rain gear if you went this route; Something to consider=) What bivy will you be using?

Hope this helps you some Tony! I hope to see you guys on the trail as well=)
-Aaron

Tony Wong
(Valshar) - MLife

Locale: San Francisco Bay Area
Re: RE:TRT Temps on 06/09/2009 10:45:34 MDT Print View

Aaron,

Thanks for your input....maybe you will run into us on the trail?

I am going with Jeremy, Jay, and Cameron- who have all been profiled/seen in the last few photo essays that I have posted.

We are starting out of Tahoe City and moving clockwise and hope to finish the loop in 9 or 10 days.

Will be my longest number of days out on the trail and the longest distance I have travelled.

My sleeping system is going to be the Atom w/ thermawrap pants and jacket....BPL thermal top, clothing that I have hiked in and wind shirt, if I need to.

The alternative is my Marmot Helium EQ 15F bag, which comes in at 2 lbs 3 oz. In that case, I would not bring the thermawrap pants.

I might start out with the Helium and then at a resupply point a few days in, switch out to the Atom once are past the Mt Rose area where there are reports of snow. (1 O'clock position on the map).

I do use a MLD Bivy Soul Side Zip with eVent top and a Silnylon Poncho/Tarp.

If the bugs are an issue, I will switch out to my Contrail Tarptent.

Fortunately, we have Jeremy's dad meeting us along the trail for a resupply.

Nice weight on your JRB!

I have not experimented wtih a quilt system yet, though Jeremy is using the Golite quilt.

So looking foward to this trip!

-Tony

Rick Dreher
(halfturbo) - MLife

Locale: Northernish California
Re: TRT Temps on 06/09/2009 12:06:29 MDT Print View

Hi Tony,

Sounds like a great trip you have lined up.

Going modular on your sleep system--with a light bag and insulated clothing you can press into service as needed--sounds about right for July, although you have to pay attention to the extended forecast before leaving. Some years we get that mid-summer push of moisture from the interior (southeast) that loads up the range with thunderstorms. It's related to the perverse weather pattern that makes it rain in Phoenix in July, and is more common in the central and southern Sierra than in Tahoe.

Far more typical for July is dry and warm/hot. The 15-degree bag will be overkill unless you really draw the short straw weatherwise. You're more likely to find yourself sleeping half out of your mild-weather bag.

Famous last words, right? ;-)

Cheers,

Rick

Tony Wong
(Valshar) - MLife

Locale: San Francisco Bay Area
Re: TRT Temps on 06/10/2009 10:15:09 MDT Print View

Rick,

Thanks for the vote of confidence in my setup.

I guess that I can look at this as an experiment on how well my sleeping system works at temps below 40F? :)

The 15 F bag would fry me, but it is the only other one that I have.

Anyway, when the trip is done, I will be posting up a detailed photo essay for everyone to see.

P.S. Sorry if I have highjacked this thread.

-Tony

Rick Dreher
(halfturbo) - MLife

Locale: Northernish California
Re: TRT Temps on 06/10/2009 12:20:20 MDT Print View

Hey, the TRT goes through Desolation so you're not technically jacking the thread, just expanding it a bit.

I really think you'll do just fine--although it would be "interesting" to be up there this week, wouldn't it? This weather year is built upside-down.

Cheers,

--Rick

Aaron Zuniga
(gliden2) - F

Locale: Northwest
Re: TRT Temps on 06/10/2009 15:51:47 MDT Print View

Here's the current trail conditions for the TRT

The following areas are mostly clear of snow:

Spooner Summit to Snow Valley Peak ( a few partial snow patches that are easily traversible)
Spooner Summit to Kingsbury (OPEN)
Brockway Summit towards Tahoe Meadows (clear for 5.5+ miles to Mt. Baldy)
Tahoe City to Brockway Summit (OPEN)
Tahoe City to saddle below Twin Peaks (clear for 5+ miles)

Updated June 8th, 2009