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#36151 - 04/29/14 01:45 PM Kearsarge pass - open and broken in?
BradP Offline


Registered: 04/29/14
Posts: 8
Loc: Pasadean
Hello

Is the pass open and in use much?
I have a campsite for May 17 in the area and want to go up.
I know some recent snow arrived - but wonder about conditions as people were going up before the last dump.
Thanks!

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#36152 - 04/29/14 02:02 PM Re: Kearsarge pass - open and broken in? [Re: BradP]
Steve C Offline


Registered: 09/22/09
Posts: 7554
Loc: Fresno, CA
I've not seen any word on the conditions, but I'd guess before the dump there were already sections of dry trail. But there are sure to be patches to walk over, too.

Here are several pictures that Paul (forum member here) passed along from last weekend when fishing season opened:

South Lake 04/22/2014



South Lake 04/26/2014



Parchers Resort 04/26/2014

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#36153 - 04/29/14 03:16 PM Re: Kearsarge pass - open and broken in? [Re: Steve C]
Bob West Offline


Registered: 11/13/09
Posts: 828
Loc: Bishop, CA, USA
I checked the North and South forks of Bishop Creek drainage this morning.

Road to South Lake, above Bishop, is dry. Bishop Pass trail has spotty snow patches until forest, then drifted in areas until Long Lake. Reports indicate at least 2 feet of snow after that.

North Lake road open, campground closed, still snowy there. Paiute Pass trail clear to first stream crossing and then snowy drifts above that. I didn't have gaiters, so didn't check beyond that point. Probable lots of snow on Paiute Pass.

Reports from Pine Creek trail indicate snow on the trail below Brownstone Mine, and lots of snow on Pine Creek Pass.

Lake Sabrina is beginning to slowly accumulate water. Upper, natural lake is full; fishing lodge is operating boat rentals on that part of the lake.


Edited by Bob West (04/29/14 03:19 PM)

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#36155 - 04/29/14 03:28 PM Re: Kearsarge pass - open and broken in? [Re: BradP]
Steve C Offline


Registered: 09/22/09
Posts: 7554
Loc: Fresno, CA
BradP, Checking Charlotte Lake snow sensor, on the other side of Karsarge and much lower: http://cdec.water.ca.gov/cgi-progs/queryF?CRL

Snow depth: 29"
Snow water content: 23"

Sounds like currently there is quite a bit of snow. If that station is sending correct data, it's Kearsarge pass is pretty well snowed in.

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#36188 - 05/01/14 04:02 PM Re: Kearsarge pass - open and broken in? [Re: BradP]
eboniske Offline


Registered: 06/15/11
Posts: 5
Loc: San Diego, CA
We climbed Gould from Kearsarge pass on 4/19 - the weekend before the most recent snowstorm. Lots of snow up there still - consistent snow from well below the first lake and all the way up and over the pass. We were considering camping on the other side by kearsarge lakes, but it was still under a lot of snow.

Snow conditions, as you can imagine, are poor in right now - and especially on the east side of the pass. Post-holing on nearly every step that was not in the shade. I'd highly recomend snowshoes, or bringing lots and lots of dry socks.

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#36372 - 05/09/14 06:09 AM Re: Kearsarge pass - open and broken in? [Re: BradP]
BradP Offline


Registered: 04/29/14
Posts: 8
Loc: Pasadean
Thanks for the info. Thinking about snowshoes and such. Melting fast I am sure. Any new updates would be great. Wow - Horseshoe Meadows open!

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#36378 - 05/09/14 09:15 AM Re: Kearsarge pass - open and broken in? [Re: BradP]
Steve C Offline


Registered: 09/22/09
Posts: 7554
Loc: Fresno, CA
I realize this is opposite of eboniske's snowshoe recommendations, but May snow is usually not that bad to walk over. Yes you might fall through some places, especially off trail over a bouldery area. That's because the uneven rocks cause the snow to melt unevenly from underneath

But when there is solid trail underneath, snow melts uniformly, so postholing is less frequent.

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#36391 - 05/09/14 02:50 PM Re: Kearsarge pass - open and broken in? [Re: Steve C]
BradP Offline


Registered: 04/29/14
Posts: 8
Loc: Pasadean
Thanks - that snow depth data is kind of fun to look over.
Current data at Charlotte Lake data is 18" depth and 15" water content. Pretty drastic change in a few weeks...

I climbed Charlotte Dome last year - that place is great.

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#36393 - 05/09/14 03:15 PM Re: Kearsarge pass - open and broken in? [Re: BradP]
Steve C Offline


Registered: 09/22/09
Posts: 7554
Loc: Fresno, CA
8" of water content lost in 10 days! In three more weeks, the water content will be zero!

BradP, where did you start on your Charlotte Dome climb?

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#36396 - 05/09/14 03:50 PM Re: Kearsarge pass - open and broken in? [Re: Steve C]
BradP Offline


Registered: 04/29/14
Posts: 8
Loc: Pasadean
From Roads End on June 1st - I like the west side as it is so lush and nobody around. Only saw mosquitoes!

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#36402 - 05/09/14 11:59 PM Re: Kearsarge pass - open and broken in? [Re: BradP]
Steve C Offline


Registered: 09/22/09
Posts: 7554
Loc: Fresno, CA
Ok, Brad, you have me interested. (I have a more-than-casual connection to Charlotte Dome, so it's on my list.) How long did it take you?

A few years ago, I finished a 7-day JMT section by descending to Roads End via Charlotte Creek. That was quite a bushwhack! We descended on the SE side of the creek, where it would have been marginally easier if we had been on the NW (Charlotte Dome) side.

From Road's end, Charlotte Dome's top is a 5500' elevation change -- a major hike! Did you hike to the base of the dome and then go up the east side of it?

Here's a Gmap4 map of the area.

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#36407 - 05/10/14 07:07 PM Re: Kearsarge pass - open and broken in? [Re: BradP]
BradP Offline


Registered: 04/29/14
Posts: 8
Loc: Pasadean
Looks like SMC has an event to climb University Peak - so hope they post some pictures.
http://www.meetup.com/Sierra-Mountaineering-Group/events/153871602/

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#36408 - 05/10/14 07:22 PM Re: Kearsarge pass - open and broken in? [Re: Steve C]
BradP Offline


Registered: 04/29/14
Posts: 8
Loc: Pasadean
With regard to Charlotte Dome -

Yes, there is some serious bushwhacking around the east side. When we reached the creek below the dome, we went up west of the creek and ended up on the south-west corner of the dome. It was bush free but we climbed some slabs and one person slipped and fell on another and that led to a short bit of sliding for both. No one was hurt but a shock. Could have been avoided even but people wanted to climb on rock. Once on the south-west corner a huge wall rises above - and a series of ducks leads around to the east where we took the third class route up ~ only exposed on the last 100'. Coming down we decided to follow the creek down more directly - and avoid bad memories!. It was so thick I recall walking on a thick carpet of bush 3'-4' tall for about a 1/2 mile! Then we decided to cross the creek and the east side was suddenly free of brush with even a camping site or two and a use path past a waterfall and such down to the trail. We did as an overnight trip, backpacked in to below the dome starting around 1:00 PM - and waking and climbing to the dome and backpacked out the second day.



Edited by BradP (05/10/14 07:28 PM)

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#36448 - 05/12/14 01:58 PM Re: Kearsarge pass - open and broken in? [Re: BradP]
BradP Offline


Registered: 04/29/14
Posts: 8
Loc: Pasadean

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#36574 - 05/19/14 05:42 AM Re: Kearsarge pass - open and broken in? [Re: BradP]
carlsbad kid Offline


Registered: 05/19/14
Posts: 6
Loc: Carlsbad
Brad, please post a trip report when you return as I'm anxious to get up to Kearsarge as well

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#36606 - 05/19/14 05:47 PM Re: Kearsarge pass - open and broken in? [Re: carlsbad kid]
SierraNevada Offline


Registered: 09/05/11
Posts: 1134
Loc: NorCal
I copied this post from the Yahoo JMT forum. Ned Tibbits does this trip report pretty much every year, which is used by PCT hikers and others to gauge the early conditions in the High Sierra:

Mountain Education just got back from its annual, Snow Advanced Course over Forester Pass from Kennedy Meadows!

Too much to say right now, but we posted the current snow condition report on the Facebook page, Pacific Crest Trail, and a few, quick pictures to give you an idea of what itís like out there in a photo album on the Mountain Education FB page!

https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.796654357025720.1073741836.157155614308934&type=3

***

In case you arenít involved with Facebook, here is what we wrote about the snowpack:


ďForester Pass/Southern Sierra on-trail conditions update May 17:

Mountain Education was on Forester the day before yesterday on May 17 (see photo):
- continuous snow from Tyndall crossing over Forester all the way down to Upper Vidette.
- depth varies from 0 to 3 feet.
- trailbed has snow and ice in many long sections on the way up.

- if crossing in the morning, microspikes in existing footholds or crampons in your own are required.
- about 2 or 3 dozen thrus are in the area, but I have no idea how many have crossed Forester, but there are footholds cut into the "chute" already!
- if crossing anytime after 1100, the snow (unless the temps get warm again; snow expected as Davey McCoy said) gets ridiculously soft/soupy making for wallowing conditions and terrifically nasty postholing plunges. Get your ascents and all snow hiking done by 1100 or your day will be miserable!

- From Kennedy Meadows north, there are very few predictable water sources. Carry enough water for the day till you get to Chicken Spring Lake.

- Snow Levels:
Southern Exposures, snowline 11,000
Northern Exposures, snowline 10,500
Descents into Crabtree and Wallace Creeks are dangerous with steep snow. Be in these areas during that "magic hour" when the snow isnít hard nor soft so you can get enough "stick" to not slip or posthole.

- Lakes:
Chicken Spring is open around the edges and about 3 feet low, so very little water is flowing out.
Forester lakes are frozen, but you can dig in to get water.
Bullfrog is open around the edges.
Kearsarge lakes are thinning around the edges with inflows open.

- Bugs: NONE! Great time to be in the high sierra!

- Bears: No signs

- Marmots and ground squirrels are out and looking for salt!Ē


Ned Tibbits, Director
Mountain Education
www.mountaineducation.org

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#36620 - 05/20/14 07:40 AM Re: Kearsarge pass - open and broken in? [Re: SierraNevada]
carlsbad kid Offline


Registered: 05/19/14
Posts: 6
Loc: Carlsbad
Thank you!

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