I'm looking for first-hand (or second-hand (or third-hand)) reports on the trails in the Bishop area. I've been following the CDEC snow courses pretty religiously for the past few weeks, and I'm hoping to get up that way in about a week or two, given this record snow year. The next week is supposed to have another string of 90+ degree days in Bishop—about 10 degrees higher than average—which should melt out a bit more, I'd hope.
Has anyone been up Bishop or Piute pass yet this year? Inyo rangers had very limited info—their last report was snow free up to Piute lake. Almost all the snow courses are showing 0 or close to 0. SEKI rangers had no reports. Also, are we talking sun cups, or mush? I have experience in the area, and some snow experience, but I don't intend to take an axe, or do all snow travel, and I've never been up that way this early in the year. But then again, this year is special.
I'd love to do North Lake-South Lake, but I have no idea if that will be possible, so I'll plan on out-and-backs. If I do make it down into Piute Canyon, are there any Piute Creek crossings that are too swift to cross this time of year? Can I assume that the shallow Evolution crossing will be passable?
Nighttime temps this time of year? Lows in the 20s?
And I've checked HighSierraTopix—no reports yet.
Edit: And with the high likelihood I'll need a solid Plan B, any suggestions? Any ideas to satiate my need for views? Something in Yosemite? Emigrant? I'm coming from Oregon, so anything between I-5 and 395 is fair game.