California Climbing and Backcountry Skiing Report-January 3, 2017

Did the New Year bring a new weather pattern? The high pressure system continued to stall over the Eastern Sierra this last week bringing a nauseating amount of sun and mid 50's temps. The weather pattern looks like it might change as we have clouds in the sky and snow/rain in the forecast. Prey for snow ski people!

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

The snow has taken a beating over the past two weeks, with sun and wind. The best snow is going to be found in high elevations in sheltered aspects. Virginia Lakes still has snow from the car but the coverage continues to thin. The Matterhorn zone has patches of good snow surrounded by breakable crust.   It is still low-tide out there; careful evaluation of the snowpack and cautious decision making is a necessity. 

Only have the weekend and want to get the best backcountry turns possible. Check out our Guided Backcountry Skiing Tours.  


Like most places in California currently, the early season snow has been beat up by the sun and wind. There is still cold snow lurking around in sheltered northern aspects, but there is a good chance that it is tracked. Mt. Rose and Carson Pass are the best bets for finding fun turns.

Mount Shasta

Snow and clouds have enveloped Shasta for the week. Cross your fingers for pow and face shots!

California Avalanche Advisories & Observations

Ice Climbing

Lee Vining & June Lake Ice Climbing

June Lake Ice is still in despite the warmer temps; thank the long cold nights for the remaining ice.  Horsetail Falls and Roadside have been getting fatter by the day, while MANY lower angle gullies and smears usually covered in snow are providing enjoyable, unique rambles throughout the canyon. 

Despite the water being turned off in Lee Vining Canyon, Chouinard's is forming up. The approach is still adventurous with no snow. 

Backcountry Ice routes in Parker Canyon, Lundy Canyon and Whitney Portal have been reported to be in good condition. 

Take your ice climbing to the next level and check out our Ice climbing Courses 2017/18

Alpine Climbing

High Sierra Climbing

It is cold. 

Palisades 12,000 ft NOAA weather forecast

Mount Shasta Climbing

See: Mount Shasta Skiing (above)


Rock Climbing

Joshua Tree

Slight chance of rain on Saturday and then a return to sending temps. 

Eastern Sierra

Temps in the ORG look good for sending once the rain passes on Saturday.  Deadman summit is still snow free, we will see what the area looks like after this weekends forecasted storm. 

Yosemite Valley & Tuolumne Meadows

Rain and snow are forecasted for this weekend. The sun and mid 50's temps return on Monday.  

Tuolumne is closed for the season.