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Sierra Snowshoe :: Feb 2013
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Jacob D
(JacobD) - F

Locale: North Bay
Sierra Snowshoe :: Feb 2013 on 01/24/2013 09:50:16 MST Print View

When:
Feb 22-24


Where:
Grubb Hut Vicinity
Last minute change due to weather and yet more parking problems. We'll be out near (not in) the Grubb Hut. A few (most?) of us going will be headed in on Friday afternoon.


Who:
This is open to anyone who wants to join up. Newbies to snow camping are welcome -if you have the gear for snow, zero degree weather, and you're fairly confident with your abilities it should be a good learning experience. However, unlike the recent Dewey Point trip, we're not going to be within a 3.5 mile hike of a warm ski lodge; it's just a caution.

Edited by JacobD on 02/21/2013 17:45:29 MST.

Katharina ....
(Kat_P) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Coast
Trip on 01/24/2013 10:16:10 MST Print View

Hi Jacob, and all. I am up for either trip.
FWIW, I would prefer the earlier date, only because the following weekend I have tickets for the Banff Mountain Film Festival.

David Lutz
(davidlutz)

Locale: Bay Area
"Sierra Snowshoe :: Feb 2013" on 01/24/2013 11:14:40 MST Print View

Thanks Jacob.

I should be ok for either weekend. But it would be best for me if the date was finalized sooner than later.

Dave

Jacob D
(JacobD) - F

Locale: North Bay
Re: "Sierra Snowshoe :: Feb 2013" on 01/24/2013 11:36:02 MST Print View

Let's plan on finalizing the date on Monday following the GGG.

Bradley Attaway
(AttaboyBrad) - F

Locale: San Francisco Bay Area
Interested on 01/24/2013 11:38:12 MST Print View

I'm quite interested if you end up going on the latter date.

A ride from SF would be appreciated if anybody's leaving from the Bay Area, but I'll find a way to the trailhead either way.

Chris S
(csteutterman) - F

Locale: San Francisco Bay Area
Re: Sierra Snowshoe :: Feb 2013 on 01/24/2013 12:26:26 MST Print View

Both options sound good to me and I could make either weekend work.

Bradley, I'll likely be driving and I live in SF, so I should be able to give you a ride.

Adam Criswell
(macrophyllum) - F

Locale: Northern California
Sierra Snowshoe :: Feb 2013 on 01/24/2013 19:54:19 MST Print View

Interested, I think I can do either date. But the earlier weekend is less likely to get interfered with by work obligations.

Edited by macrophyllum on 01/24/2013 19:58:48 MST.

Jeremy and Angela
(requiem) - F - M

Locale: Northern California
Re: Sierra Snowshoe :: Feb 2013 on 01/24/2013 22:17:12 MST Print View

Hi all, my gf and I would be able to make the first weekend. Both options look good; we have a slight preference for the Tahoe one.

Bob Gross
(--B.G.--) - F

Locale: Silicon Valley
Re: Sierra Snowshoe :: Feb 2013 on 01/24/2013 22:31:33 MST Print View

I may be one of the few who knows where the Devils Dance Floor is found.

I think you want to look at a different route. Drive from Crane Flat toward Yosemite Valley. When you get around the turnoff to Foresta, there is a trailhead. I think the eastward trail may be called the El Capitan Trail. Now, there is a certain amount of up and down, but the trail might be a more direct way of getting there, as opposed to Crane Flat. Honestly, I'm not sure how you would get there from Crane Flat. You could go east on the Tioga Road (unplowed) past the gate and up to the turnoff to Tamarack Flat, then down the unplowed access road to the campground, and then through the woods to the Devils Dance Floor.

I'm not sure that the Devils Dance Floor would be that great of a place to camp in the winter. It is a bald granite dome.

You might try going from the Valley up the Snow Creek Switchback Trail. You could could camp in the woods near the Snow Creek Cabin.

--B.G.--

Richard Niemi
(rickniemi) - F - M

Locale: Santa Cruz Mountains
Re: Sierra Snowshoe :: Feb 2013 on 01/25/2013 01:09:35 MST Print View

I'm interested in either trip for either weekend. It all depends on what is happening at work if I can make it. I won't know until we are closer to the actual date.
I would be on skis.

Jacob D
(JacobD) - F

Locale: North Bay
Re: Re: Sierra Snowshoe :: Feb 2013 on 01/25/2013 08:34:02 MST Print View

Bob, thanks for the insight. The route to the DDF from Crane Flat is summarized in the link I gave in my original post, it sounds very similar to what you described.

As far as camping, if we do that trip I'm not proposing we camp on the DDF proper, we'll have to find a suitable spot. Similar in the way in which we didn't camp on Dewey Point proper, just near by. I don't think anyone will be keen to pitching their tarps on an open exposure, unless they are insane winter backpackers perhaps ;)

Andrew F
(andrew.f) - F - M

Locale: San Francisco Bay Area
Re: Sierra Snowshoe :: Feb 2013 on 01/25/2013 10:52:19 MST Print View

I'm interested too. I could do either weekend.

Andrew

Jacob D
(JacobD) - F

Locale: North Bay
Sierra Snowshoe :: Feb 2013 UPDATE on 01/28/2013 11:05:09 MST Print View

I talked to everyone who was interested in this at the GGG. There were only a couple of people who wanted to do the earlier date, most were leaning towards the later date which should also work better for me, so let's roll with that.

Edited by JacobD on 02/21/2013 17:46:29 MST.

Marc Eldridge
(meld) - MLife

Locale: The here and now.
Re: Sierra Snowshoe :: Feb 2013 on 01/28/2013 12:58:16 MST Print View

I'm in +1.

Chris S
(csteutterman) - F

Locale: San Francisco Bay Area
Re: Sierra Snowshoe :: Feb 2013 UPDATE on 01/28/2013 13:04:54 MST Print View

Sounds good to me. Looking forward to it!

How many people are planning on heading out there on Friday? I don't think I'd be able to get out of work early enough on Friday, so I'll probably head out early on Saturday morning.

Andrew F
(andrew.f) - F - M

Locale: San Francisco Bay Area
Sierra Snowshoe :: Feb 2013 UPDATE on 01/28/2013 13:22:08 MST Print View

I'll probably head up Saturday, too. Carpooling would be good.

Katharina ....
(Kat_P) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Coast
Out on 01/28/2013 14:23:13 MST Print View

Wrong weekend for me. Really sorry to miss this.

David Lutz
(davidlutz)

Locale: Bay Area
"Sierra Snowshoe :: Feb 2013" on 01/28/2013 17:55:30 MST Print View

I'm in, almost for sure.......

David Lutz
(davidlutz)

Locale: Bay Area
Loaner set of skis and boots on 01/28/2013 18:09:07 MST Print View

I have an extra set of skis and boots that I might be up for lending out for the trip.

I mean, I'm definitely up for lending them out but I just want to gauge interest.

Otherwise I might put the boots up for sale. Or I might not get around to it.

Like I said, gauging interest. If you are going on this trip and want to try skiing and wear a size 11-11.5 boot let me know. The skis are good probably up to about 180-190 pounds of skier.

Thanks,

Dave

Edited by davidlutz on 01/28/2013 18:10:11 MST.

Andrew F
(andrew.f) - F - M

Locale: San Francisco Bay Area
Re: Loaner skis on 01/28/2013 19:26:08 MST Print View

Dave, I was originally planning to rent snowshoes from REI but it would be more fun to be on skis if you are thinking about loaning them out. I am a size 11 but have kinda wide feet- do you think the boots would fit me?

David W.
(Davidpcvsamoa) - MLife

Locale: East Bay, CA
Good Times on 01/28/2013 20:06:09 MST Print View

I'm in.

David Lutz
(davidlutz)

Locale: Bay Area
Loaner sks... on 01/28/2013 21:18:25 MST Print View

Andrew - They are Alpina 1575 boots. Not sure about the relative fit. I think my feet are "normal" despite what my wife says.

Philip Kovacik
(mountainjam)

Locale: Bay Area
Snow Camping Newb... on 01/30/2013 16:19:16 MST Print View

Hey Ya'll,

UC Berkeley Grad Student UL'r interested in potentially joining everyone +1 or 2...are we digging snow caves or are people bringing proper 4-Season tents? Also, it's not clear what the finalized dates are...lastly several of the Sierra huts near Tahoe appear to have openings that weekend...could be cool to do a hut and camp...Thoughts?

Thanks,

Phil

Bob Gross
(--B.G.--) - F

Locale: Silicon Valley
Re: Snow Camping Newb... on 01/30/2013 16:34:09 MST Print View

A good way to work it is to organize gear such that there are enough good tents to be able to shelter everybody, and also enough shovels that everybody can take a crack at building a snow shelter. The reason is that sometimes the snow is really bad, too thin, or otherwise difficult to use for any sort of snow shelter, and also that sometimes it is intensely cold, and the tents might be uncomfortable.

So, prepare for both and then see which method works best for the conditions that you run into.

I led a beginner snow camping trip once about thirty years ago, and we put seven people into a 3-person tent. They stayed awfully warm.

--B.G.--

Eric Lundquist
(cobberman) - F - M

Locale: Northern Colorado
Re: Sierra Snowshoe :: Feb 2013 on 01/30/2013 16:37:04 MST Print View

I'd like to go, so put me down as a tentative yes. I'll either be bringing my SMD Wild Oasis (Hoping the netting doesn't freeze with the snow), or a waterproof breathable bivy and digging a snow trench. I'd be interested in digging a Quinzee hut if the conditions are right.

Jacob D
(JacobD) - F

Locale: North Bay
Sierra Snowshoe :: Feb 2013 on 01/30/2013 17:24:24 MST Print View

Hey gang.

To recap for those who may not have have noticed - I updated the original post a few days ago to reflect popular opinion on the trip location and dates.


Scott's Lake is outside of both Desolation and Mokelumne wilderness; Tahoe Basin Management is responsible for the area and they confirmed all we need is a campfire permit. The bad news is, the parking lot at the trailhead is not plowed in the winter and might not be much more than a turnout. The Ranger indicated there is a wide shoulder there which is normally used for chain up and *IF* the roads are not under chain control at the time, overnight parking is allowed. Ranger said we can confirm this with the highway patrol.

My guide book says use the parking lot, other info online says park along the highway down the road from the trailhead. Not sure how I'm feeling about the parking, if snow is in the forecast it could become an issue.

Thoughts?

Andrew F
(andrew.f) - F - M

Locale: San Francisco Bay Area
Re: Sierra Snowshoe on 01/30/2013 19:56:49 MST Print View

David, I think I won't risk it on whether the boots fit or not. It would suck to get out there and find out they don't. Thanks for the offer to share, though.

Jacob, it sounds risky to depend on the forecast to not get out cars towed - I assume that's what would happen if we were parked there and they started chain control. If there isn't any other parking than the chain control area, that might be a good reason to go to Devils Dancefloor...

Jacob D
(JacobD) - F

Locale: North Bay
Re: Re: Sierra Snowshoe on 01/30/2013 20:39:04 MST Print View

Andrew - agreed. I think I'll try to speak with the highway patrol and if I can't get this sorted tomorrow, maybe a change of location is in order.

David Lutz
(davidlutz)

Locale: Bay Area
Sierra Snowshoe :: Feb 2013" on 01/30/2013 21:54:23 MST Print View

No sweat Andrew.

Destination option: Peter Grubb hut?

Bob Gross
(--B.G.--) - F

Locale: Silicon Valley
Re: Sierra Snowshoe :: Feb 2013" on 01/30/2013 21:58:32 MST Print View

Peter Grubb Hut has a Sno-Park lot near Boreal. You just need to get a permit.

--B.G.--

Philip Kovacik
(mountainjam)

Locale: Bay Area
Peter Grub is BOOKED on 01/30/2013 23:23:10 MST Print View

Hey Ya'll,

I called up there today and the first available at Peter Grub is 3/30 for 4 people...sorry to be the bearer of bad tidings.

David Lutz
(davidlutz)

Locale: Bay Area
"Sierra Snowshoe :: Feb 2013" on 01/31/2013 06:58:15 MST Print View

FWIW - I'm pretty sure we can camp out anywhere in the valley around the hut. Which I would rather do anyway.

But it's just a suggestion....

Bob Gross
(--B.G.--) - F

Locale: Silicon Valley
Re: "Sierra Snowshoe :: Feb 2013" on 01/31/2013 13:18:40 MST Print View

"I'm pretty sure we can camp out anywhere in the valley around the hut."

Yes. I've seen people camping about 75 yards northwest of the hut.

Some people hike in there expecting to be a squatter at the hut. One guy had been living in the hut for more than two months, and he burned up all of the firewood. The next group with reservations got a harsh surprise.

I was staying in the hut one time when two people came to the door. They were snow camping and one person was getting hypothermic. So, we sat that person down next to the wood stove and served them hot drinks until they were OK. Then they returned to their camp out in the woods.

--B.G.--

Richard Niemi
(rickniemi) - F - M

Locale: Santa Cruz Mountains
Re: "Sierra Snowshoe :: Feb 2013" on 01/31/2013 20:54:11 MST Print View

I'm fine with wherever we end up going. My plan is to come up on Friday and use skis. The more skiers the bigger my grin will be.

Jacob D
(JacobD) - F

Locale: North Bay
Re: Re: "Sierra Snowshoe :: Feb 2013" on 02/04/2013 21:10:44 MST Print View

deleted

Edited by JacobD on 02/21/2013 17:47:18 MST.

Eric Lundquist
(cobberman) - F - M

Locale: Northern Colorado
Re: "Sierra Snowshoe :: Feb 2013" on 02/05/2013 13:14:16 MST Print View

Jacob passed the following information on to me to post when BPL came back online.

"CHP...said that the turnout should be plowed, the parking lot (where my book says to park) is not plowed and is closed. Parking in the turnout or along the highway is ok as long as not signed for no parking *HOWEVER* if snow removal conditions occur it's possible that our vehicles may be towed. He also mentioned they've had some break in's out there when vehicles have been parked overnight. He recommended parking in Christmas Valley, which is about 2 miles up the road from the trailhead, or parking at the sno park in Hope Valley, which makes for a shorter but steeper hike to Scott's Lake in avalanche prone terrarin (from what I've read). That sounds less fun.

So, if the weather looks clear we should be good, other than some break in risk.

If the weather is uncertain, or snowing we'd have to park 2 miles away, and hope we find parking.

It might not be the best idea for a group trip unless everyone is on board with the risks."


I believe Jacob will respond later this evening. I mentioned to him that we could still plan for the Big Meadow to Scott's Lake route pending weather and the number of interested parties. If there is greater interest and/or the weather forecast calls for snow, we should probably look at doing the trip out of the Sno-Park lot near Donner and choosing a camp near Peter Grubb hut.

Edited by cobberman on 02/05/2013 13:16:07 MST.

Richard Niemi
(rickniemi) - F - M

Locale: Santa Cruz Mountains
Re: "Sierra Snowshoe :: Feb 2013" on 02/05/2013 13:25:31 MST Print View

If we need an alternative Peter Grubb sounds good. Another location in this general area is Echo Lake area which has a sno-park.

Jacob D
(JacobD) - F

Locale: North Bay
Re: Re: "Sierra Snowshoe :: Feb 2013" on 02/05/2013 20:48:10 MST Print View

Eric, thanks for posting that for me. I just got back in... long day.

Richard, I'd prefer Grubb Hut over Echo Lake area (my usual stomping grounds up there).

I'm ok with changing the plan up to hiking out to the Grubb Hut and camping around there somewhere if that's the popular vote. I am still interested in Big Meadow / Scott's Lake / Waterhouse Peak but I don't want the parking issues to weigh on anyone. The weather shouldn't be too hard to call a few days in advance.

David Lutz
(davidlutz)

Locale: Bay Area
"Sierra Snowshoe :: Feb 2013" on 02/09/2013 10:10:18 MST Print View

Hey All -

Just thought I would post up this thread and see what's up.

Anything new?

Everyone still in?

Jacob D
(JacobD) - F

Locale: North Bay
Re: "Sierra Snowshoe :: Feb 2013" on 02/10/2013 17:46:43 MST Print View

I'm still in. I dont think anything has changed. I like Eric's suggestion of sticking to the plan and if we expect snow change to the Grubb Hut vicinity.

David Lutz
(davidlutz)

Locale: Bay Area
"Sierra Snowshoe :: Feb 2013" on 02/12/2013 16:46:13 MST Print View

I'm in for sure, I'm psyched!

I'm toying with the idea of leaving the Bay Area at 10:00 pm Friday and trailhead camping. It's a full moon so it might be fun to ski in a ways.

But more likely I'll leave early Saturday.

Anyone else confirmed for Saturday morning and want to ride together? If the roads are clear I have a car with good MPG.

Dave

Jacob D
(JacobD) - F

Locale: North Bay
"Sierra Snowshoe :: Feb 2013" on 02/13/2013 08:58:25 MST Print View

David, not sure what time I'll be leaving at but I think Friday afternoon sometime. Sort of depends on whether anyone wants to car pool and how their schedules look.

I'm looking at the 10 day forecast and there isn't much snow forecasted between now and Friday the 22nd, of course things can change so we'll just keep an eye on it. If it's clear like this, then we shouldn't have any issues parking in the large turnout where the Tahoe Rim Trail meets HWY 89.

Jacob D
(JacobD) - F

Locale: North Bay
Role Call on 02/17/2013 21:46:41 MST Print View

Can we get a count of who is in for this?

I think right now the only confirmed people we have are:

- David L
- David W
- Jacob D

Chris S
(csteutterman) - F

Locale: San Francisco Bay Area
Re: Role Call on 02/18/2013 15:37:35 MST Print View

Julie and I are 50/50 right now. If the conditions are good, we will probably be downhill skiing this weekend since we haven't been able to use our season passes very much this year. Otherwise, we will plan to join in on this trip. I should know for sure in a couple days.

Marc Eldridge
(meld) - MLife

Locale: The here and now.
Re: Sierra Snowshoe :: Feb 2013 on 02/18/2013 21:03:34 MST Print View

Me and Rick are in. Looks like there won't be any snow this weekend so we will be heading out of 89 and TRT. Do you have the coordinates of this location?

David Lutz
(davidlutz)

Locale: Bay Area
Sierra Snowshoe :: Feb 2013" on 02/18/2013 21:43:19 MST Print View

Weather.com has it at a 50% chance and the NOAA predicts a "slight chance" of snow showers Saturday.

Does this potentially affect us for parking? If they end up having to plow the road they might tow our vehicles?

Also, and this is just food for thought, the new snow expected to fall this week on top of the current snowpack will result in an increase in the avalanche hazard. I definitely don't know enough about it to assess the risk by looking at a topo, I know just enough to be wary. It appears on Hillmap.com that the valley at the foot of Waterhouse is big enough for us to avoid dangerous slopes except possibly at the very beginning.

Not trying to freak anyone out, just putting it out there.

Jay Wilkerson
(Creachen) - MLife

Locale: East Bay
Sierra Snowshoe :: Feb 2013 on 02/18/2013 22:38:27 MST Print View

If the weather does not work out for you Eskimos I am going back to Henry Coe and going to Coit Lake from the Headquarters a groovy 26 mile round trip. I was in Tahoe this past weekend and the conditions were pretty ideal for some snow shoeing which I did at Sugar Bowl and around the lake on Soda Springs Rd. If any of you abominable snow men have 2ND thoughts--well see ya there bright and early.

Jacob D
(JacobD) - F

Locale: North Bay
Updates, Info, Concerns on 02/19/2013 08:46:28 MST Print View

Confirmed Attending
- David L
- David W
- Jacob D
- Mark E
- Rick E

Location
*IF* we stick with Scotts Lake, I don't have a coord, USGS Topo = Freel Peak
That will get you most of the area except the very beginning which is around/near the TRT / HWY 89 junction.

*See next part...

Concerns
Parking - We can watch the weather and call this Weds evening or Thur morning if that works for everyone. If snow is a concern (as in, maybe leading to our vehicles being towed!) we can change our destination to the Grubb Hut area, no big deal.


Avy Danger - It's always good to be aware of the conditions. We'll be making our way along the West / South West aspects of Waterhouse Peak and greater area. Wind loading is much less of a factor on those aspects. SAC has the avy danger for today (heavy snow) increasing from low to moderate on S/SW aspects below tree line. We'll be well below tree line the entire time (except anyone who still wants to bag the peak). The slopes are forested most of the way up, and the South Side of Scott's Lake is relatively flat and away from the slopes on either side - my personal assessment - I feel ok with it.


Weather - Depending on which forecast you read, there may or may not be snow. Low temps in the teens to low 20's. Some wind. Prepare accordingly.

Andrew F
(andrew.f) - F - M

Locale: San Francisco Bay Area
Re: Sierra Snowshoe on 02/19/2013 10:03:03 MST Print View

Ellen and I are still interested. We just did a day hike up past the Grubb Hut this weekend though, so we will probably go somewhere new if the weather turns out to be too risky to park at Scotts Lake.

Eric Lundquist
(cobberman) - F - M

Locale: Northern Colorado
Re: Updates, Info, Concerns on 02/19/2013 14:01:38 MST Print View

Jacob,

Put me down for attending. Unless we're "hiking" in as a group, I'll be coming up early Saturday morning on snowshoes.

Approximate location of Scott's Lake (38.7657, -119.9695 @ 8063 ft) The slopes don't appear steep enough to cause me concern for avy danger, especially as they're mostly southern facing slopes. Below is a slope map of the area, Yellow = 28-34*, Red = 35-45*.
Big meadow - Slope Map

EDIT: Looks like we're almost on the full moon for this trip.

Edited by cobberman on 02/19/2013 14:06:45 MST.

Jacob D
(JacobD) - F

Locale: North Bay
Re: Re: Updates, Info, Concerns on 02/21/2013 08:09:46 MST Print View

deleted to prevent further confusion

Edited by JacobD on 02/21/2013 17:48:36 MST.

Eric Lundquist
(cobberman) - F - M

Locale: Northern Colorado
Re: Re: Re: Updates, Info, Concerns on 02/21/2013 09:24:27 MST Print View

What time Friday afternoon? If I can swing leaving work early I might join you for Friday night instead.

Marc Eldridge
(meld) - MLife

Locale: The here and now.
Re: "Sierra Snowshoe :: Feb 2013" on 02/21/2013 09:41:04 MST Print View

Hope Valley Snow Park is right at Blue Lakes Rd. and Hwy 88. Parking is $5 a day or $25 for the season. No fear of having your car towed at this location. Scotts Lake is just up the hill. We are coming in Friday, set up camp at Scott Lake and would have Saturday to bag Waterhouse Peak or explore Big Meadow and out on Sunday.

Jacob D
(JacobD) - F

Locale: North Bay
Re: Friday on 02/21/2013 09:46:27 MST Print View

Marc - just be cautious on the hike up if you do that. My understanding is that slope (between Scott's Lake and Hope Valley) is avalanche prone. There has been a north east wind blowing, so it may have some loose snow load adding to the risk. Not telling you what to do, just wanting to make sure those things are known to everyone.


removed part of my previous post to prevent confusion

Edited by JacobD on 02/21/2013 17:43:39 MST.

Chris S
(csteutterman) - F

Locale: San Francisco Bay Area
Re: Role Call on 02/21/2013 14:54:30 MST Print View

Unfortunately, Julie and I are out for this one. Hopefully there will be another one in March that we can join in on. Looking forward to the trip report!

Richard Niemi
(rickniemi) - F - M

Locale: Santa Cruz Mountains
Re: Role Call on 02/21/2013 15:15:51 MST Print View

I won't be making this trip. I hope you guys have a great time!

Andrew F
(andrew.f) - F - M

Locale: San Francisco Bay Area
Re: Sierra Snowshoe :: Feb 2013 on 02/21/2013 15:17:06 MST Print View

Looks like Ellen and I are out too. Hope you guys have a good time.

Jacob D
(JacobD) - F

Locale: North Bay
Sierra Snowshoe :: Feb 2013 on 02/21/2013 17:50:14 MST Print View

Thanks for the updates guys. Hope to catch up with you all soon.


Well after all the back and forth it seems the Grubb Hut hike wins out after all.

Will have to save Waterhouse Peak for spring when we can park somewhere without issue.

Edited by JacobD on 02/21/2013 17:51:27 MST.

Jay Wilkerson
(Creachen) - MLife

Locale: East Bay
Sierra Snowshoe :: Feb 2013 on 02/21/2013 18:24:18 MST Print View

Coit Lake this weekend at Henry Coe St Park- 13 miles from the park HQ.

David W.
(Davidpcvsamoa) - MLife

Locale: East Bay, CA
Re: Sierra Snowshoe :: Feb 2013 on 02/21/2013 22:22:51 MST Print View

What's up Jay...I know for a fact you stole at least two snowshoers from our trip. ;)

All I can say is the coldest night I can remember was at Henry Coe State Park.

Have a great trip.

Jay Wilkerson
(Creachen) - MLife

Locale: East Bay
Sierra Snowshoe :: Feb 2013 on 02/21/2013 23:20:58 MST Print View

Sorry David, No stealing just a different option and a bit closer to the Bay Area. I hope you guys have a great trip! Its all about choices.

019

David W.
(Davidpcvsamoa) - MLife

Locale: East Bay, CA
Re: Sierra Snowshoe :: Feb 2013 on 02/21/2013 23:40:05 MST Print View

Have a great trip. I'll look forward to your pictures and report.

Richard Niemi
(rickniemi) - F - M

Locale: Santa Cruz Mountains
Re: Sierra Snowshoe :: Feb 2013 on 02/27/2013 11:09:03 MST Print View

How was your trip and do you have any photos to post?
Rick

Marc Eldridge
(meld) - MLife

Locale: The here and now.
Re: Sierra Snowshoe :: Feb 2013 on 02/27/2013 13:15:47 MST Print View

Rick and I started about 3:30 or 4 and hiked in following the PCT. Hiked across the first meadow and the tracks from there went every which way. We got a little high and found ourselves on some steep stuff and had to drop down a little. As we were just below the saddle we saw headlamps up ahead. Finally made it to the saddle and headed along the ridge. By that time it was dark but the moon was out and we could see pretty well. Hiking up the ridge we spotted the headlamps heading up toward Castle Peak as we turned to the left to descend into Round Valley. We got partway into the meadow when we took a GPS reading and headed toward the PCT to the west. We couldn't see the Peter Grubb Hut from the meadow but headed right for it and there we were. It was 8:00 by then and thinking that there would be no one in the hut we went in started a fire and ate some dinner. As we were unloading our stuff to put into the hut I realized I had lost my food bag, microspikes, bag full of partially filled propane canisters and my gatoraide bottle. I had used the microspikes earlier but needed to change to show shoes as we got close to the saddle and didn't tie the stuff on my PULK very well after taking the snow shoes off. As it turned out the headlamps we saw ahead of us turned out to be Jacob and David. They had passed us going to the saddle and we had passed them when they went up toward Castle Peak. Long about 10:00 we saw some headlamps outside the hut thinking it was Jacob and David but the headlamps kept coming so were going oh oh this must be the group that reserved the hut. Turns out they found 1 microspike, the gatoraide bottle and the bag full of canisters that I had lost.
They turned out to be a church group and boyscout troop and as the weather had turned out windy and snowing they said we could stay in the hut with them. As they were taking out some food to eat I noticed some mortar tubes and some other fireworks on the table. I asked when they were going to blow these off and they said in a little while. Going outside they set up the mortars and were lighting off the fireworks. They had some larger bottle rockets that they were shooting at each other and about 5000 fire crackers that they tied in a tree and lit off. Part of the role of firecrackers fell off the tree and went out so one of the pyros from the group relit the roll and was swinging it around his head with the firecrackers going off all around him as they fell off the role. Quite the sight. As it turned out Jacob and David had gone into the meadow to set up and watched the fireworks from there. They didn't know that we were at the hut and we didn't know they were in the meadow. From inside the hut we could hear the wind howling.
Woke the next morning and put on the shoes and started a counter clockwise circuit of the meadow. As I got about 3/4 of the way around I looked the left and saw some show that had been disturbed and headed for that. Found nothing there and followed some tracks out a little further and stopped just short of where I would have been able to see David's Trailstar. Went back to the hut, ate some breakfast and headed back out that way again, went a little farther and found Jacob and David. Turns out they found my food bag and the other microspike. They had been in the meadow where I saw the disturbed snow and had set up there thinking that we would be able to see them. Turns out the windblown snow was too much for them so they packed up about 3:00 and headed for the trees which is where I found them somewhere around 9:30.
They got up grabbed their food and went back to the hut to warm up and eat some breakfast. Hung out in the hut most of the day talking with the other group. Real nice bunch of guys. Some day hikers showed up and it was an all around nice day. Everyone left and the next group showed up. Eric also showed up around this time and Dave L a little while later. We went out to where Jacob and David set up and made camp there and went back and fixed dinner and chit chatted a little more. By late afternoon the wind had kicked up and was blowing in some pretty strong gusts. After dinner Rick and I headed out to the tent and crawled in listening to the wind roar through he trees. That was around 9:00. We heard the other guys show up and listened as they described Davids stuff blown all against the trees. David went to the hut and Jacob, Eric, Dave L and me and Rick stayed. I maybe got a little sleep listening to wind blowing in the trees and shaking the tent. It wasn't snowing but blowing the loose snow sideways and piling up on the windward side of the tent. Woke about 11:00 and thought Holy Cow this is going to be a long night. Looked at the clock a couple more times and about 1:30 decided to bail as the snow was all in the tent and it was starting to collapse. We didn't have bivys and the bags were starting to get wet. Got up and checked on Eric who had a tarp but had built up a show wall on the windward side and had a bivy and was doing alright. Talked to Jacob and he decided to bail also. Dave L was pretty secure in his tent and it was handling the wind alright as was Jacob's shelter. Packed up our sleeping stuff and headed for the hut where we dried out things a little bit and went to sleep listening to the wind howl in the trees. Dave L came in early the next morning and after that Eric. Had some hot chocolate then went back out, picked up the rest of our stuff and headed back for the hut. It must have been around 10 degrees with the wind gusting at near 40mph. Packed up and headed out around noon with the wind never letting up. It was really roaring over the saddle and you had to brace yourself every once in a while when a big gust would come. Heading down off the saddle the wind wasn't so bad in the trees and it was a beautiful sunny day. Hit the parking lot around 3:00 and headed to the In and Out in Auburn.

Richard Niemi
(rickniemi) - F - M

Locale: Santa Cruz Mountains
Re: Sierra Snowshoe :: Feb 2013 on 02/27/2013 13:42:04 MST Print View

Great trip report!
Thanks!
Rick

Chris S
(csteutterman) - F

Locale: San Francisco Bay Area
Re: Sierra Snowshoe :: Feb 2013 on 02/27/2013 14:00:54 MST Print View

Sounds like it turned into a little bit of an adventure. Sorry I missed it....sort of ;)

Jacob D
(JacobD) - F

Locale: North Bay
Re: Re: Sierra Snowshoe :: Feb 2013 on 02/27/2013 14:39:30 MST Print View

Nice write up, Marc.

It was quite the little adventure. I think the wind that second night was more like sustained 40mph with 60+mph gusts. It was reportedly 80+mph over some ridgelines in the area.

The first night David and I were camped in an exposed where we'd hope'd Marc and Rick would be able to find us (and their food). It was very calm up until around 11pm, when it started to get a little gusty. By 3am it was more like whiteout and blowing hard. Both of us had been up at least once to reset stakes that pulled out. The windblown snow was becoming hard to keep off and things seemed to be intensifying. My thought was, pack up our stuff, get it into my shelter, then break David's down and move to a more protected area, which is what we did. Came back for the rest, and we both moved into his Trailstar for the night. Got a few hours of sleep as the sun was coming up. Next thing I remember was Marc's smiling face disturbing my beauty sleep :)

I forgot to mention, I lost a contact lens in the late night camp breakdown, which was bad because earlier that day I realized I'd somehow lost my backup eyewear... yup- went the rest of the trip on one eye.

The second night was probably a little worse weather than the first, at least we were in a better spot though. As Marc mentioned, when all of us (except David) returned to camp that evening, his stuff had been dispersed by the wind. We gathered it up. I ended up using his shelter as a bivvy that night. The winds were nasty but I was tired (having already gone through one night of this), and konked out. I awoke thanks to Marc again, this time yelling at me from somewhere. I said eff it and just went with them. Left the Khufu out there to weather the storm. It did fine. I got some sleep.

Eric and Dave L. also did fine, sans sleep.

A few photos...

Thin Wispy-Gray Omen of Trouble to Come

A Late Dinner

New Campsite post Chaotic Night

Trailstar

Eric's Hammock Tarp

Checking out the Grubb Hut

Lunch Break

Happy to be out of the Wind

Melting Snow the Easy Way

Heavy Bench

Message in the Floor

Nico .
(NickB) - MLife

Locale: Los Padres National Forest
Sierra Snowshoe on 02/27/2013 14:50:36 MST Print View

Sounds like some nasty wind to contend with. Glad you guys all were able to ride it out without any serious mishaps.

I love the clarity of the images you posted Jacob. I assume you're still shooting with your NEX? What lens(es) did you end up using on this trip if you don't mind my asking?

Bob Gross
(--B.G.--) - F

Locale: Silicon Valley
Peter Grubb Hut on 02/27/2013 15:02:36 MST Print View

I hope that you guys liked the relatively smooth concrete floor in the main room of the hut. The original floor had disintegrated by the late 1980's, so we took a work party in there one October to replace the floor. Carrying bags of Portland cement up over Castle Pass to the hut was no fun since we had only one wheelbarrow. Fortunately, we were able to break up some of the remaining chunks of old floor material to use as aggregate in the new mix, and we even had one guy along who was a retired mason with tools. We carried in some sand, and the rest of it came out of the streambed in the meadow.

We've been there on some winters when we had to dig down to find the top of the stovepipe.

--B.G.--

Jacob D
(JacobD) - F

Locale: North Bay
Re: Peter Grubb Hut on 02/27/2013 15:22:12 MST Print View

Bob, that must have been quite an undertaking. I can't really imagine hauling bags of cement up over that pass by wheelbarrow. The hut was nice, we appreciated it. One member of the Sierra Club was there posting a job opening for a Civil/Structural Engineer to redesign the roof to better support the loft.

Nico, thanks. Yes, still shooting with my 5N. The only lens I used on this trip was my recently acquired Voigtlander 21/1.8. All of those shots were taken while squinting one eye in order to manually focus with the other. Not the easiest thing in the world to do I learned.

Bob Gross
(--B.G.--) - F

Locale: Silicon Valley
Re: Re: Peter Grubb Hut on 02/27/2013 15:31:39 MST Print View

"that must have been quite an undertaking."

There was one other work party task that was even worse, but we accomplished it. You know the two-story outhouse? Well, it had been used for too many years, and there was a huge accumulation that had to be cleaned out. Yep.

One of our crew worked in the field of hazardous material cleanup, so she had a complete Hazmat suit with boots, gloves, and respirator. She wielded the shovel, and it was all shoveled out into the wheelbarrow (many loads). That was moved into the woods where it was buried in slit trenches about eight inches deep. What a job! Then we had to rinse out the wheelbarrow with water from the stream.

Think of us on the next time you utilize the outhouse.

Yes, the main roof has been a problem for as long as I can remember.

--B.G.--

Eric Lundquist
(cobberman) - F - M

Locale: Northern Colorado
Peter Grubb Hut - Post Trip Report on 02/27/2013 16:32:03 MST Print View

Round Valley / Peter Grubb Hut
Date(s): Feb. 23-24
Distance: 5.75 mi (Round-Trip)
Elevation: 7,800' @ Round Valley
Trail Description: From I-80 there is 800' of elevation gain over the first two miles to Castle Pass, then a descent of 250' to the cabin in Round Valley at 7,800' (see USGS Norden 7-1/2' topo map).
Website: http://www.sierraclub.org/outings/lodges/huts/grubb.aspx


petergrubbhut3
Peter Grubb Hut

petergrubbhut2
Great company in the hut

petergrubbhut1
Castle Peak from Round Valley

The Donner Summit SnoPark was packed when I arrived around noon on Saturday, luckily I got one of the three empty spaces remaining. I put on my pack and carried my snowshoes and poles to the trailhead. The trail was quite packed and I didn’t need my snowshoes at all so I stopped and lashed them to the back of my pack. I think the last time my pack was this full and had so much lashed to the outside of it was well over 10 years ago before I started down the "Lightweight" road to backpacking. The trail continued through Castle Valley until I came to a junction near the south end of the meadow and needed to make a decision. Follow the more established route northwest or cross the valley to the northeast. I wrote down the instructions from the guidebook earlier on my map, and it said to follow the blue tree blazes so I crossed the valley. Not long after, I started post holing every few steps and finally had to stop to put on my snowshoes. I followed the tracks of a cross country skier for most of the way to the end of Castle Valley and verified I was still on the proper trail every now and then by spotting a blue trail blaze. Eventually, the tracks became less noticeable and then started going off in different directions. I could see the ridge above and where the Castle Pass should be so I continued on and eventually could see people reaching Castle Pass from the other route and could hear their voices as they crossed along the ridge above. Not seeing a better route to the ridge, I decided to hike mostly straight up for about 200'. The slope wasn't too bad but it was tiring cutting new trail. Eventually I made the ridge and continued along toward Castle Peak watching now for the yellow triangle blazes my guidebook said marked the trail to Peter Grubb. Not finding any I decided to stop for a bit and eat a little food and re-check the map. Not long after I sat down for my break I spotted one blaze and then another. I finally made my way down to Round Valley, making my own way as there was no real trail to follow and found the hut hiding beneath a blanket of snow. It would easily be missed in poor weather or if you didn't have a map and knew where to look.

I arrived at the hut around 3PM where I found Marc in the hut splitting wood. He directed me to where they had already set up camp for the night, about 400yards north of the hut. I promptly started setting up my shelter. I'd be sleeping under a MYOG Hammock Tarp (8.5'x11') with a OR Highland Bivy. This would be a trip of many firsts for me. The first night winter camping, first night with the bivy, and only my third night with the tarp. I used a continuous ridgeline between two trees and used my new REI Snow Stakes (x4) at each of the tarps corners. I pitched the tarp sides as low to the ground as I could to reduce any wind coming up and under them. Once my tarp was pitched, I shoveled snow around the sides and at the end facing Round Valley to reduce the likelihood of wind and blown snow coming from those directions. This would prove to be a great idea as the wind that night was quite ferocious. After I got my camp situated I joined the others in the Hut where we had decided to have dinner and stay for conversation.

At around 8:30 we all decided that we would "try" out our shelters and see how well they would weather the constant gusts of wind that had been increasing steadily through the evening. Upon reaching our camp, Jacob, David, and I discovered that David's MLD Trailstar had not fared so well in the wind. The center pole had fallen down and three of the stakes had pulled out of the ground. A sleeping bag and NeoAir had blown away, but they were found without too long of a search.

I shimmied into my bivy and quickly found that if I closed the head portion a lot of condensation would be trapped inside so I partially folded back the hood so that I could breathe to the open air. For about the next 4 hours I got about 5 minutes of sleep at a time. Constantly waking to the sound of the wind and peeking out of my balaclava to see the tarp billow with each gust hoping that my stakes and homemade tieouts would hold. Occasionally the spindrift would circle its way around my tarp and come in through the more "open" end and land on my partially exposed face. Quite the way to keep waking up through the night! I finally figured out that I could put my wool buff under the balaclava and cover my nose and mouth to reduce the jarring cold of the spindrift. At 2AM Marc came around with his flashlight yelling at me to see if I was ok. He noticed I had the bivy and said something to the effect of "Oh, you've got a bivy, you're alright." He said that he, Rick and Jacob were going to spend the right of the night in the hut. It was about that time that I noticed that I had about an inch of snow around my shoulders and a fair bit sticking to one side of my balaclava. I decided that for the next 4 hours I could handle the condensation of being fully inside the bivy. I only woke a few more times until sunrise, the best sleep I had all night, but did notice that my condensation was freezing to the inside of the bivy. Good thing I was only out for one night. I was all packed up by the time that Jacob and Rick had made their way back to pack their stuff and I made my way to the Hut for warmth and breakfast.

The hike out was much easier than my hike in. Largely due to taking the western route rather than the PCT route that I had followed the previous day. Also, having more eyes to find the "proper" trail helped in getting us back to the ridge safely. The wind was still quite powerful and I doubt you could have had a conversation with someone 3ft away while on the ridge. I covered as much of my face as possible until we reached the end of the ridge and dropped into Crystal Valley finally out of the wind.

Edited by cobberman on 02/27/2013 20:26:35 MST.