Summer is in full swing in the Eastern Sierra with higher elevation trails opening up, climbing routes in good condition, and the wildflowers are popping. You might spot the occasional backcountry skier looking surly in the high elevations. The backcountry report is going to be published every other week until the snow flies and the ice starts to form. If you need an update in the off week, post in the comments section and we would be happy to give you an update.
Welcome to our bi-monthly climbing and backcountry skiing report for the state of California. Our goal is to provide a bi-monthly single source of climbing and skiing conditions around the state. We hope you stay tuned!
Backcountry Skiing & Boarding
Skiing in Eastern Sierra is wrapping up for the year. There is still snow but at this point it seems a little novel. If skis dreams are still haunting you late at night, look for sheltered aspects above 11000' and definitely be dropping in before 10:00am. But the fact that we are even talking about backcountry skiing in the Sierra in the middle of July is quite remarkable. Some skiers have reported good turns off Tioga Pass.
Grab a 6 pack and go to the lake; backcountry skiing forecast for this area is done for the season.
The snow is starting to get funky at lower elevations with large sun cups forming, patches of rocks and general mank. The upper elevations are holding up for now. Summer is upon us so who knows how long the skiing is going to last. For daily updated on climbing and skiing on Shasta Call The Fifth Season's conditions line.
California Avalanche Advisories & Observations
High Sierra Climbing
Climbing up in the alpine in Eastern Sierra is going to be great this weekend with moderate temps and little to no wind. Watch for T-Storm development as there is a slight chance today through the weekend. Snow pack levels are ranging from well over 11,000 ft to the South near Mt Whitney to around 10,200 feet in the Mammoth area and melting very, very fast. The boot travel on snow slopes over 20 degrees is good with the snow pack being very supportable, but traveling on flatter snow covered terrain is getting to be very sun cupped above the aforementioned elevations.
Mount Shasta Climbing
Shasta looks good this weekend with sun and warm temps. Tons of snow are making for a great climbing season! Lots of sun cupping down low though.
Very hot! Enough said.
Be cautious crossing streams this weekend as the snow pack continues to melt and water levels continue to be above normal. Temps will be the in the low 100's all through the weekend down in Bishop and in the 80's up near Mammoth.
Pine Creek Canyon is snow free but the temps will be in the 80's this weekend.
Rock Creek is dry and has been in good climbing conditions for weeks. Mid day temps are starting to be a little warm, so seeking shade in the afternoon is ideal. The river crossing is just a little hairy, so take it slow and watch your footing. The Patricia Bowl approach might still have snow in patches but the climbing is great!
Our team was out climbing this past week and stopped in at Rock Creek Lakes Resort, once known for pies, for some post climbing calorie replacement and were pleasantly surprised! They are know doing excellent smoked meats and local beers on tap. They have a happy hour on Friday and Saturday afternoon/evening with $4 pints. Support a local business and check them out!
Clarks Canyon road is free of snow and the road is in good condition. The day time temps are going to be in the 80 this weekend.
The road to Crystal Crag is plowed to around Lake George. The walk up is still has patches of snow and there might be patches of snow on the decent. Crystal Crag is in great shape!
Be advised that the mosquitos, gnats, and biting flies are relentless in some climbing areas right now.
Yosemite Valley & Tuolumne Meadows
The climbing this weekend in Yosemite Valley is going to be a little warm this weekend with temps in the 80's.
Tuolumne Meadow is open and in great shape!!! No snow really below 9500 feet. Beware that the services are limited till mid July and no campgrounds are open in the hIgh country. No water, gas or market.
Lee Vining & June Lake Ice Climbing
The ice climbing report is done for the season.