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Author Topic: where to find July Aug Sept turns in CA?  (Read 2021 times)
aaronb
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where to find July Aug Sept turns in CA?
« on: 06/09/14, 08:00 PM »

I'm a recent transplant to Silicon Valley looking to keep my pointless streak going through its tenth year. May and June are comfortably done, and I've been plotting for July.

Would Lassen, in this lean snow year, have skiable snow during the first two weeks of July? Both Wikipedia and topos show permanent snowfields, but this is a bad year and the peak trail is closed to the most obvious skiing.
Would the north side of Mt Helen (north facing at the Lassen Peak pass trailhead area) have a few turns this July?
Would other north faces - Mt Diller, e.g. - near Lassen have snow?

I found a reference to year round turns on the north face of Round Top from Carson Pass; would this have snow in July 2014?

My current odds on favorite for September is Shasta's Hotlum Wintun ridge. I will check this out at some point regardless, but would love feedback on its viability as a t a y area.

I've been asking friends, scouring google, and have found helpful info on this website, but would much appreciate some specific feedback with local knowledge to this area which I am unfamiliar. I can help with all the year round ski places near Valdez and Salt Lake City, but California is providing me a fun new place to learn.

Thanks, and have a great day!
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Charlie Hagedorn
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Re: where to find July Aug Sept turns in CA?
« Reply #1 on: 06/10/14, 08:18 AM »

A reply of limited utility : given how much snow was on the north side of Lassen on ~July 4 of 2010, it'd have to be a very lean snow year to have no skiable patches present.  If Lassen doesn't deliver, Shasta should.
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markharf
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Re: where to find July Aug Sept turns in CA?
« Reply #2 on: 06/11/14, 12:30 AM »

I just drove by Shasta but decided to leave skis safely stashed in the back of the van.  "Sparse" hardly suffices to describe current coverage.  There is skiable snow above 8 or 9000 feet on the Hotlum/Wintun side, but it's reported starting to form suncups.  If you've ever tried to ski advanced suncups (a.k.a. nieves penitentes), you know what that means.  Avalanche Gulch, which would normally be prime right about now, is largely melted out, with serious rockfall happening on route.  There are ribbons of snow visible on other routes, but they won't last long. 

Snow depths increase drastically heading north.  Bachelor has something resembling snow right down to the highway.  I'll have a look at Mt. Hood tomorrow, but expect normal conditions, i.e., plenty of farmed snow in the ski area and good conditions out of bounds. 

Good luck with your streak.  I'd be thinking about sand dunes and long road trips. 

Mark
« Last Edit: 06/11/14, 09:47 AM by markharf » Logged
DG
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Re: where to find July Aug Sept turns in CA?
« Reply #3 on: 06/11/14, 09:38 AM »

I skied the north side of Round Top (Carson Pass) last year in early May (also a bad snow year down there, but maybe not quite as bad).  It had pretty good coverage then, but I doubt there's much around in such a year as this come July.  It was pretty much the last easy option that I knew of around the Sierras aside from Tioga Pass on the east side of Yosemite (not sure if there are any permanent snowfields there?)

Zig Zag Glacier on Mt Hood will be good come July (and probably still decent in August with some hiking) but that's a long drive just to make turns!  You could just pack your skis and hike up to one of the glaciers on the eastside of the Sierras - probably would get lots of entertaining questions from the summer hikers.

« Last Edit: 06/11/14, 09:46 AM by DG » Logged
Pete A
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Re: where to find July Aug Sept turns in CA?
« Reply #4 on: 06/11/14, 09:44 AM »

might not be considered 'real' skiing, but maybe try to find some figl skis, firn-gliders, bigfoot skis, with hiking boot compatible bindings-   

http://cascadeclimbers.com/forum/ubbthreads.php/topics/909416/Re_Ultra_light_descent_skis_fi

hike in towards Saddlebag/Conness, Ritter/Banner, or Lyell and see if you can find something other than 5-year old rock-covered neve?   at least the scenery would be pretty. 

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aaronb
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Re: where to find July Aug Sept turns in CA?
« Reply #5 on: 06/11/14, 05:24 PM »

Thanks for all the great replies, both the ideas and current conditions!

I have historically hiked in for a rock covered snow field, so I'm certainly not above that.

Bachelor, Hood, and Rainier are also on my radar. I've been to Hood and Rainier before, so I'm trying to explore new terrain in CA first.

The specific peak/glacier names were very helpful, gave me something to zero in on the topo starting from Tioga Pass.

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J4_Mark
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Re: where to find July Aug Sept turns in CA?
« Reply #6 on: 06/13/14, 09:10 PM »

My wife and I lived in Tahoe for 30 years.  Our kids were born and raised there.  There has been a few bad snow years in a row there now, so you may have real problems in Oct, Nov.  But east of Kirkwood is red lake.  If you take Red Lake road and go on the dirt road towards Blue Lakes, about 5 miles in are patches that you can drive to and park at the bottom of.  You do need a 4WD to travel on the dirt road, but I have skied all of these patches every month of the year.  Some of the steeper longer patches you may have to walk a couple of minutes from the parking spot to get to snow, but others you can really drive right to.  We skied every July 4th at this location for almost all of the 30 years we were there, and in heavy snow years the road was still snowed in a mile away from these areas.  In the summer, the main patch usually has rails and a bump line with a jump at the bottom of the line on it.  Hope this helps. 
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christoph benells
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Re: where to find July Aug Sept turns in CA?
« Reply #7 on: 06/16/14, 08:58 AM »

^^^^

THE PATCH!

its a party!

http://www.tahoedailytribune.com/article/20070608/SPORTS/106080102
« Last Edit: 06/16/14, 09:01 AM by christoph benells » Logged
aaronb
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Re: where to find July Aug Sept turns in CA?
« Reply #8 on: 07/06/14, 06:51 PM »

Lassen update -

I found two snowfields on Lassen, each a couple hundred vertical, that were comfortably skiable this 4th of July weekend. They met the "trail or snow" conditions posted at the trailhead - I never ventured off trail, unless on snow. One was from the top; the other was along the switchback section perhaps 75% of the way up. I do not anticipate that anything in the park will be skiable during the next time the Lassen trail is opened this year.

For future reference, I would expect early July to have turns in any low snow year. A normal year would be good through August, and a big year would likely offer year round options.

I hiked around much of the park, and did not find any other obvious places that would have reasonable access and/or more than a couple of turns. Modest snowpatches on Brokeoff, Diller, and others were either too small, awkwardly clinging to a challenging to access steep, or both.
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