California Climbing and Backcountry Skiing Report- February 22nd

Wintry weather has been in place for a week now and is poised to stay a while. Storms forecast for Thursday (2/22) and Monday (2/26) likely won't open up new backcountry terrain, but will bring a nice refresh to old, haggard snow surfaces. Bigger storms have begun to appear in the forecast, a likely result of all those skis we've burned this winter.  

Welcome to our weekly climbing and backcountry skiing report for the state of California. Our goal is to provide a weekly single source of climbing and skiing conditions around the state. We hope you stay tuned!

Backcountry Skiing & Boarding

Eastern Sierra

New snow this week came in cold and windy making for interesting ski conditions. Tomorrow should bring several inches of snow along with moderate to heavy winds. Monday will see a similar storm, neither of which will do much to open new terrain. The best skiing will be found on sheltered aspects that already had enough snow to ski: Red Cone, Virginia Lakes, Sawtooth Area. Heavy winds and new snow will bring about elevated avalanche concerns, so make sure to read the ESAC forecast before you head into the backcountry. 
 

Mammoth Lakes 9000 ft NOAA Weather Forecast

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Tahoe

Remarkably similar weather is forecast for Tahoe this weekend. Skiing will be enjoyable on sheltered slopes that already had a base. 

Mount Shasta

Scattered snow showers and high winds plague Shasta all week, again.  Call the Fifth Season for up to date conditions on Mt Shasta. 

Mount Shasta 8500 ft NOAA Weather Forecast
 

California Avalanche Advisories & Observations

Ice Climbing

Lee Vining & June Lake Ice Climbing

June Lake ice is growing daily. The North Gully is in great shape again. Horsetail falls is nearly closed up and ready to climb again. Tatum falls has frozen over again and could be climbable with a few more days of cold. Roadside made a return this week and while there is only enough ice for a single party at the moment, it should continue to grow throughout this weekend. 

Lee Vining Canyon's Chouinard Falls remains the best bet for ice in California. Snow this week will continue to make the base of the routes easier and safer to move around on. Comrade's Corner is now leadable (with rock gear to start). The central routes continue to be fat, albeit picked out. The right side routes remain anemic and too dry to be called "ice routes."

Main Wall saw at least one climber this past week (on Center Flow). Without much water flowing on the wall, the routes are taking quite some time to come in. 

The Bard-Harrington and Narrows continue to be dry. 

Lee Vining Canyon Ice 8000 ft NOAA Weather Forecast

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Alpine Climbing

High Sierra Climbing

Too cold this week for all but the beefiest alpine climbers.


Palisades 12,000 ft NOAA weather forecast

Mount Shasta Climbing

See: Mount Shasta Skiing (above)

 

Rock Climbing

Joshua Tree

Cooler temps in J-tree this week with highs hovering in the low-50s. Light to moderate winds all week will make things pretty cold. Bring a puffy and seek the sun!

Eastern Sierra

It will be too cold for climbing in the Deadman Summit area. Bishop area crags will see highs in the upper-30s/low-40s. Sending temps for crushers, but chilly for us mortals. Some snow is expected on Thursday, so sunny and steep walls will be the most enjoyable. 

Yosemite Valley & Tuolumne Meadows

Colder than average temps in the Valley this weekend (highs in the 30s) will make climbing on all but the sunniest walls miserable. 

Tuolumne is closed for the season. There is little snow up there right now and without a drastic change is this Winter's weather we are expecting an early spring opening of Tioga Pass. 

Yosemite Valley NOAA Weather Forecast