California Climbing and Backcountry Skiing Report-January 17th

As California looks set to receive a series of much needed colder storms, the staff at International Alpine Guides are crossing our fingers, holding our breath, burning skis and doing just about anything else we can think of to ensure the storms bring enough moisture to start building a base below 8,500'.

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

Snow conditions after a week of warm weather are wildly variable. Surface conditions in the Sawtooth Ridge area should make for nice turns for those willing to hike; the couloirs of Matterhorn Peak, Dragtooth and Twin Peaks are all in great shape. Virginia Lakes is still a good bet for those wanting no or little approach. Red Cone and the Mammoth Crest are also providing good turns. It is still low tide out there, so careful snowpack evaluation and skiing are required for all. ESAC will continue to publish daily avalanche advisories, so make sure to read the report before you venture into the backcountry,

Mammoth Lakes 9000 ft NOAA Weather Forecast

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The backcountry skiing is limited in the Tahoe region with the best snow found in the Mt. Rose and Carson Pass areas. The storms on Thrusday night and Sunday should bring 1-2 feet of snow to Tahoe, hopefully giving some better coverage to much of th

Mount Shasta

The Shasta area will be stormy all through the weekend and into next week as this system hits colder and wetter to the North. The mountain should see snow measured in feet, while lower elevation zones like Castle Lake should see up to a foot. 

California Avalanche Advisories & Observations

Ice Climbing

Lee Vining & June Lake Ice Climbing

June Lake Ice remains in poor to non-existent condition, hopefully the incoming cold fronts will bring back the ice. 

Lee Vining Ice is in better condition that most though it might be given the dry nature of the winter thus far. Chouinard Falls has enough ice for several parties to enjoy. The approach is still dry and the trail to the south of the creek still goes, but that may all change by Friday morning. The ice above Chouinard's looks nice as well, and is a good option for those arriving later in the day. There is no ice on the Bard-Harrington Wall or in the Narrows and very little, if any climable ice on Main Wall. 

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Alpine Climbing

High Sierra Climbing

It is still cold.

Palisades 12,000 ft NOAA weather forecast

Mount Shasta Climbing

See: Mount Shasta Skiing (above)


Rock Climbing

Joshua Tree

Beautiful weather in Joshua Tree this weekend. Despite a little wind, it should be a wonderful weekend for climbing.

Eastern Sierra

Owen's River Gorge might get some rain/snow from the storm this weekend. Daytime temps in the high 40s and overnight temps in the high 20s will have most looking for sun. Deadman Summit areas will probably shut down after these storms for a while.

Yosemite Valley & Tuolumne Meadows

Rain and snow possible for the Valley this weekend. 

Tuolumne is closed for the season.