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| | |-+  April 26, 2010 L Canyon, Eastern Sierra
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Author Topic: April 26, 2010 L Canyon, Eastern Sierra  (Read 1984 times)
Zap
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Posts: 2433


April 26, 2010 L Canyon, Eastern Sierra
« on: 04/27/10, 10:19 PM »

This would be the last ski touring day for awhile due to an enormous wind and snow storm arriving late tonight.  The day began sunny, warm and windless.  The access to our favorite tour requires about a 100 foot bushwhack and stream crossing before hitting snow.  Usually, I just hate to walk on dirt to ski, BUT the terrain is worth the minor discomfort.  We began skinning up a steep, meandering gulley to “The Tree”.  Hillary was in front and kept asking me where we stop for a break, and I kept saying “at The Tree”.  After an hour of climbing, we finally reached the ancient pine which dominates the gulley.  From there it was another 1000vf up a trackless slope lined with open glades to the east and rock outcroppings on the west.  The slope has a northeast aspect, and the snow was variable with corn and then unconsolidated mush.  We normally ski this area in creamy corn, but this season with the recent snow the snow has not yet setup consistently.  When we topped out after 1700vf, we enjoyed the views but could see the approaching clouds in the west.  The top half of the descent was soft snow/slush with about 2” ski penetration.  Unfortunately, the bottom half was deep, unconsolidated mush.  In our 9 years of spring touring in the Eastern Sierra, these were the worst snow conditions we have experienced.  You know the feeling – you get back to the vehicle and are thankful that everyone’s body parts are functioning and that there were no injuries.  Just as we reached the vehicles, the lighting went flat with more clouds rolling eastward.  In general, the snow pack is very “fat” down to the Mammoth Lakes area.

We just had to stop at the Mo Mart in Lee Vining again for a quick dinner before heading for Bishop.  We have experienced high wind storms in The Sierra before, but nothing like the upcoming event where they were forecasting damaging winds up to 120mph on the crest and 60-75 mph along the Hwy 395 corridor.  Along the way to Bishop, we saw a healthy snow pack on Mt. Wood near June Lake and at The Sherwins.  The lower slopes of McGee were snow free, but the higher aspects to the southeast up McGee Rd. looked good.  Our plan is to get up to the Buttermilks on Tuesday and checkout access before the wind event goes extreme.   

On Tuesday Caltrans actually closed 395 south of Lone Pine due to high winds and blowing dust!

Photo 1- View from the trailhead on "dirt"  Wink

Photo 2-Looking towards Mono Lake


* LCanyonStart.jpg (188.45 KB, 933x782 - viewed 431 times.)

* LCanyon.jpg (188.43 KB, 877x777 - viewed 409 times.)
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peteyboy
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Posts: 352


Re: April 26, 2010 L Canyon, Eastern Sierra
« Reply #1 on: 04/27/10, 10:25 PM »

Thanks Zap.  What do you think the E Sierra forecast (remaining snow quality) will be for May 15-23?  La Nina snowpack set up for corn that late?
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Zap
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Posts: 2433


Re: April 26, 2010 L Canyon, Eastern Sierra
« Reply #2 on: 04/28/10, 08:09 PM »

Thanks Zap.  What do you think the E Sierra forecast (remaining snow quality) will be for May 15-23?  La Nina snowpack set up for corn that late?

The recent storm is providing another foot plus snow and winds exceeding 115mph.  So it is winter conditions - now.  I would suggest you check the Dweeb Report daily because Howard S. provides good insights about short term forecasts plus longer range links.  I would also suggest you check the conditions updates for the Sierra on Telemarktips plus the Message Board at Backcountry.net in Truckee.  This has been an unusual spring season.  The snow pack is "fat" above 8000 feet.
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skimac
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Posts: 160


Re: April 26, 2010 L Canyon, Eastern Sierra
« Reply #3 on: 04/29/10, 05:33 AM »

Looks like a great time you retired rascal  Grin
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