Re: Snow on JMT Passes
- --- In email@example.com, "Steve Schroeder"
>Each year in the Sierra is unique. At this point in time it really is
> I looked at the snowfall history for Mammoth Mountain today. They are
> up to 632" for the season, the most thsy have ever recorded. I was
> planning a southbound trip on the JMT leaving July 23, 2006. Question
> for the group; Will the passes be clear enough of snow for hiking
> without ice ax and crampons by then?
not possible to pick a date and predict what the condition will be in
Last year record snowfalls blanketed the N. and S. Sierra. I started
out of Happy Isles July 13 and there was stil a lot of snow. I know
that on July 3 last year people were still having problems getting to
Cathedral Pass. Then the Korean exchange student started on June 21
and got lost on the first or second day.
2004 was a lite snow year with an early meltoff. I started out of
TM on June 13 with no problems at all.
One advantage JMT'er have is the internet. The PCT kickoff is
sometime this month. Usually the lead Group hit the S. Sierra in
early June. If you go to Trailjournals you can check their progress
through the Sierra and get a good idea as to conditions and problems.
The situation in the N. Sierra this year is that we are well into
April and it is still snowing. I'm doing a snowshoe/snowcamp in
Desolation this weekend and there is another storm coming.
So it all depend on when the snow stops, when the meltoff begins and
how fast the snow melts. Some of these storms are quite warm at lower
altitudes and their are flood warning for many rivers. Hopefully the
meltoff will be gradual.
I would just continue to check the info posted as the date of your
hike approaches. Really it is just to early to tell. I would try to
avoid carrying the extra weight of ice ax an crampons if possible.
Especially the crampons. If you 'posthole' in crampons you can really
do some damage to yourself.
If you are driving to the trailhead bring them with you and make your
decision after talking to a ranger while getting your permit.
best of luck