[pct-l] Planning a Section Hike - Ziggy & The Bear to I-5
baidarker at gmail.com
Fri Dec 19 00:59:02 CST 2014
It's not crazy at all, but you'll have to be flexible. Some years it's
fine with plenty of water due to the early start, and others it can have
lots of snow. In 2010 and 2011 the Southern mtns had a lot of snow at that
time of the year. We encountered some of the worst ice of the whole hike in
the San Jacinto mtns in mid April in 2010, and as I remember, those who
hiked in 2011 reported deep snow in the San Gabriel and San Bernardino
mtns. In 2012, 13 and 14, it was negligible. Stay tuned and keep
following the weather and be prepared for snow and ice or to modify your
hike if it turns out to be a high snow year. It's just way too early to be
able to give you an answer to this one at this point. But it's not crazy
at all. Even in the high snow years, we had a ball up there. But be
prepared for snow if that's what you end up with. And the 10 deg bag
should be fine. I did it with a 20 deg and had no problem during a very
On Thu, Dec 18, 2014 at 7:20 PM, Michael Slusser <michael.slusser at gmail.com>
> I can only tell you that it really varies from year to year. This year was
> very low snow and next may be shaping up the same way, but we historically
> get some of our largest snows in April. (We often get snow into May, and it
> seems in recent years we almost always catch some campers during Memorial
> Day weekend with flurries.) You have a very good chance at having a very
> easy passage during that time, but keep an eye on the weather reports.
> On Thu, Dec 18, 2014 at 5:30 PM, Brian Watt <bwatt at 1fifoto.com> wrote:
> > Tim,
> > I can't answer if this is crazy talk. All I can do is tell you my story
> > and you can maybe derive your own conclusions. IOW, YMMV.
> > I was a thru-hiker this year and started at Campo a little bit early on
> > April 16th to keep ahead of the herd too. When I summitted Mt. San
> > Jacinto I endured an overnight snow storm at Fuller ridge on April 26th.
> > I got to Ziggy and the Bear's home on April 27th after getting a ride
> > late in the day just after coming down from the mountain. From there to
> > Big Bear on April 30th and beyond I didn't encounter any snow storms or
> > snow on the trail until the Sierra Nevada mountain passes. On May 23rd
> > around mile 700 we had two days of rain which became snow in the Sierra
> > Nevada mountains. So when I arrived at Forrester Pass on May 28th there
> > was relatively new snow on the approach and for miles after the pass on
> > the northern exposure. This was similar for all the other passes I
> > encountered too. I got into Tuolumne Meadows on June 8th and Castella &
> > I-5 on July 7th. After Sonora Pass on June 13th there was almost no snow
> > except for a few small (10-30 feet) snow drifts at higher elevations.
> > Overall I had no problems with water by following the water report. I
> > used what caches I found and tried not to rely upon them however I was
> > thankful they were there when I did encounter them. Once you're in the
> > Sierra Nevada mountains it was overly plentiful. However, you again had
> > to be conservative with water in Northern California.
> > Sincerely,
> > Tartan/Bri
> > On 12/16/14, 10:43 PM, Tim Gustafson wrote:
> > > Hi,
> > >
> > > I'm planning my 2015 section hike, and I intend to do the section from
> > > Ziggy and the Bear's to I-5.
> > >
> > > I'd like to avoid the herd this year, so I was thinking I'd go earlier
> > > than usual. I did a little weather research and the averages for Big
> > > Bear for April 12 - April 25 seem to be reasonable - the overnights
> > > are a bit low, but I have a 10 degree bag:
> > >
> > >
> > >
> > > Also, looking at the NOAA National Snow Analysis page shows that there
> > > isn't a lot of snow cover in the area that time of year (although
> > > their map resolution is kinda low, so maybe there just isn't enough
> > > resolution to see):
> > >
> > >
> > >
> > > My questions are as follows:
> > >
> > > 1. Is this crazy talk, or might this be a good idea?
> > >
> > > 2. I'm thinking, if this isn't crazy talk, that water might be more
> > > abundant at this earlier time of year, actually making the hike
> > > through this section somewhat easier. Is that sound reasoning, or
> > > utter nonsense?
> > >
> > > 3. Does anyone know what the snow cover along the trail in the Big
> > > Bear area might be like that early in the season? I know San Jacinto
> > > would probably have significant snow at that time, but I was wondering
> > > if Big Bear somehow had a different weather pattern or likelihood of
> > > snow? NOAA says that there won't be much snow at that time of year,
> > > but I was wondering if anyone had some personal experience they might
> > > like to offer?
> > >
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