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
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.
Only have the weekend and want to get the best backcountry turns possible. Check out our Guided Backcountry Skiing Tours.
Remarkably similar weather is forecast for Tahoe this weekend. Skiing will be enjoyable on sheltered slopes that already had a base.
- Carson Pass (South Lake) NOAA Weather Forecast
- Castle Peak (Donner Summit) 7500 ft NOAA Weather Forecast
Scattered snow showers and high winds plague Shasta all week, again. Call the Fifth Season for up to date conditions on Mt Shasta.
California Avalanche Advisories & Observations
- Eastern Sierra Avalanche Center (Observations only)
- Bridgeport Avalanche Center (Northern High Sierra)
- Sierra Avalanche Center (Lake Tahoe Area)
- Mount Shasta Avalanche Center
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.
Take your ice climbing to the next level and check out our Ice climbing Courses 2017/18.
High Sierra Climbing
Too cold this week for all but the beefiest alpine climbers.
Mount Shasta Climbing
See: Mount Shasta Skiing (above)
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!
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.
- Owens River Gorge NOAA Weather Forecast
- Mammoth Lakes 9000 ft NOAA Weather Forecast
- Pine Creek Canyon (mouth of canyon) NOAA Weather Forecast
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.