[pct-l] Snow snow snow. Let's go!
troopharrison at gmail.com
Sat Jan 14 10:00:53 CST 2017
Thanks Shroomer, always appreciate your insights
Sent from my iPhone
> On Jan 13, 2017, at 3:54 PM, Scott Williams <baidarker at gmail.com> wrote:
> I completely agree with Brick regarding the relative safety of snow with
> the right gear and technique, vs the very real danger of the swollen
> streams. In 2010, a high snow year due to a very late melt out, we also
> had to go well upstream of the usual little summer crossing of Evolution
> Creek, and made human chains to get the lighter weight members of our
> party across Bear Creek. That one was really scary.
> One of my favorite pieces of gear that year were full on Kahtoola hiking
> crampons. They're relatively light and allow you to cut steps and do the
> kind of plunge stepping you'll need. Much better in real Sierra snow pack
> than Microspikes and only a touch heavier. My buddy Venture in cramps, had
> to cut steps last year for folks with Microspikes who's spikes had "balled
> up" so badly they couldn't go forward. In really serious, crusty, icy
> early season conditions, I much prefer real hiking cramps.
> A good light weight ice axe was also essential to safely belay yourself on
> the steep traverses, for cutting steps, and for safe glissading.
> Another thing we did because of the high snow was to head out of Lone Pine
> with a group of friends who promised to stay together through the High
> Sierra to Sonora Pass. Not only was this a safe move, it gave all of us
> the most wonderful if hard backpacking experience of our lives. I count
> all these folks as some of my dearest friends to this day.
> With all of this, keep in mind that all can change in a few weeks of early
> warm weather, or virtually overnight given a heavy "pineapple express" rain
> storm. But being ready to change up your strategy and gear is often
> essential for a thru hike.
> Have a wonderful hike! The snow only adds to the fun you'll have if you're
> prepared for it.
>> On Jan 13, 2017 11:53 AM, "Brick Robbins" <brick at brickrobbins.com> wrote:
>> On Fri, Jan 13, 2017 at 4:08 AM, Casey Stevens <costevens078 at gmail.com>
>>> Appreciate the admonishments!
>> Snow is what seems to concern folks about early entry into the Sierra,
>> but snow is really not that big a deal. Postholing is a pain and slows
>> you down, but if you carry and iceaxe and you know how to use it, then
>> snow travel is fairly safe, just be careful of falling through the
>> snow into voids caused by running water.
>> The REAL danger is getting killed in stream crossings. Most of the big
>> rivers will have bridges, but many of the "jump across" streams will
>> be swollen to raging waist deep (or deeper) torrents.
>> I was swept away at Bear Creek, and could have easily been killed.
>> Kerrick Canyon was downright scary, and a fall would have been deadly.
>> I had to cross Evolution Creek (in the meadows, well upstream of the
>> normal crossing) by putting my pack in a bag, and swimming in the
>> freezing runoff water. Crossing at the normal ford would have been
>> The water was so high that wading was require at both sides of the
>> Glen Aulin Bridge over the Tuolumne river.
>> The snow may slow you down, but the water will kill you.
>> Be careful out there
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