Thinking of doing Skyline on Sunday...anyone going Saturday?

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Thinking of doing Skyline on Sunday...anyone going Saturday?

Postby zippetydude » Fri Jan 13, 2017 11:12 am

I am probably going to go do Skyline on Sunday and I'm wondering if any intrepid explorers are going up tomorrow. After the recent rain and snow, I'm curious if I will make it to Long Valley or hit deep snow after Flat Rock and have to turn back. Thanks in advance for any feedback.

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Re: Thinking of doing Skyline on Sunday...anyone going Satur

Postby Ellen » Fri Jan 13, 2017 6:32 pm

Howdy Z,

I went up yesterday morning, specifically to finish ahead of the storm and thus avoid lots of new snow on the traverse. Started to get snowed on at about 7 K -- it was beautiful. Used microspikes on the traverse up to Grubbs Notch due to old ice. There was very little "base," so anything on the traverse and below will be new powder.

My biggest issue (and one I hadn't considered ahead of time) was the drive home in the rain. It scared me more than most of my crampon/ice-axe snow climbs.

The Craigmeister reports that Long Valley received 1.5 feet of new snow, so my Skyline "conditions are subject to change." :lol:

Some intrepid souls may be heading up Skyline tomorrow -- I'm tram shoeing 8)

Miles of smiles,
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Re: Thinking of doing Skyline on Sunday...anyone going Satur

Postby zippetydude » Sat Jan 14, 2017 4:20 am

Thanks Ellen. Have fun snowshoeing and post some pics!

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Re: Thinking of doing Skyline on Sunday...anyone going Satur

Postby 2600fromatari » Sat Jan 14, 2017 9:18 pm

Zip, there is a path all the way to the tram. From Flatrock through the manzanita there are a few spots that are off the trail, but not much. There was a SAR operation today to find a regular Skyliner who went up in the storm and didn't return home (whose name I will not say). He was found I think about 8 -9 am this morning? I'm a little shocked he was able to survive the night from having no tent or sleeping bag. I think I followed his tracks after the Traverse. Looks like boot tracks partly covered over by new snow. It's a postholing nightmare from the Traverse on. Soft sugary powder. Dude is super strong to survive the night and continue postholing up the next morning. SAR was heading up both from the museum and from the tram. From Coffman's Crag to Long Valley is the best winter trail I have EVER seen. I'm not 100% positive if it was SAR/RMRU but it looks like a dozen pairs of snowshoes must have made switchbacks going down from the top. It looks neater than the summer trail. Looks like a trench/sidewalk of snow. Hats off to whoever did it as it was amazing. Snow was compacted to the point that I postholed maybe two or three times at most. There is a "caution" tape at the top to discourage people from heading down I think just due to how nice that path is. The only other people I saw heading up were two guys who looked like they were ready to tackle Denali judging by their pack. Very pretty day with rime ice on the trees.

EDIT: attached photos of Skyline and one of the North Face with the waterfall flowing strongly.
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Last edited by 2600fromatari on Sun Jan 15, 2017 11:59 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Thinking of doing Skyline on Sunday...anyone going Satur

Postby Hikin_Jim » Sun Jan 15, 2017 11:23 am

Oh dear. Hope he's OK.

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Skyline

Postby Ellen » Sun Jan 15, 2017 6:21 pm

Howdy 2600Fromantari :)

You STUD!!! Congratulations to you and other stalwart souls who went up Skyline on Saturday :o

Regarding the snowshoe track from Coffman's up -- I've heard that a friend of the missing Skyliner snowshoed down to Coffman's Crag and back up on Friday evening. As you noted, the missing Skyliner was found in good condition on Saturday morning by SAR/Rangers -- he had the proper gear/clothing to spend the night out in those conditions.

In the spring of 2015, Miracle Marilyn and I hiked up Skyline after a big dump of soft powder. It took us 9.5 hrs (normally it takes us about 6 hrs). From the traverse up, it was a post holing nightmare -- we had to plow through at least 2.5 ft of soft powder. I won't do that again :lol:
Miles of smiles,
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Re: Thinking of doing Skyline on Sunday...anyone going Satur

Postby zippetydude » Mon Jan 16, 2017 8:23 pm

Thanks for the TR! Nice job on fighting through the snow. I saw it was looking kinda nasty so I just went partway up and then took a leisurely route down exploring new routes. I keep my snow hiking confined to snowshoeing on routes that I enjoy. Fighting up the last couple of miles on Skyline is not included in that list! So again, well done.

Ellen, yes, everything is so much slower in the snow. I remember when Steve and Fern took 17 hours to do Skyline after a particularly heavy snowfall. That's about 14 hours longer than it usually took them...too long to actually enjoy for me.

I don't know who the regular was who got to spend the night, but I'm glad all turned out well. Impressive that a friend hiked down to Coffman's in search of him. That's a tough hike when you know every step you take going down is going to be 3 or 4 steps coming back up.

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Re: Thinking of doing Skyline on Sunday...anyone going Satur

Postby 2600fromatari » Tue Jan 17, 2017 9:29 pm

Zip, I know you're a fast guy. Want to take turns postholing up Skyline or Leatherneck this Saturday? :D
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Re: Thinking of doing Skyline on Sunday...anyone going Satur

Postby guest » Wed Jan 18, 2017 9:08 am

Hi friends,

Surely you've checked the forecast, I've not seen this kind of snow-laden storm on the horizon for many years.
We're talking DAYS on snow ahead, by the looks of it. Even the North Ridge route, (aka Leatherneck) will get totally dumped on & crazy.

Be safe, & ready to turn around before you get in to "deep"!
I've also done the nightmare post-holing from at least the Traverse & beyond, (was so cold & completely exhausted, I could not remove my own cramp-ons once in the building), I was close to something, not sure what, maybe ready to see God!!
Like the guy who had to bivy, (good on him for the will to survive!), if your unable to navigate really well, and visibility goes to crap, you may find yourself heading straight up between a couple of the notches in LV, and get stuck, as these chutes get very steep & precarious towards the top, and are Really exhausting.
I was up the tram yesterday, (for a meeting, no hiking), and there's plenty of base, maybe close to a foot in LV already.
BE safe, and if anyone sees these posts & is considering, please re-considered, unless you've done Denali or other crazy climb!
S2

Today
A 30 percent chance of snow showers after 4pm. Mostly sunny, with a high near 43. Northwest wind 10 to 15 mph, with gusts as high as 25 mph. Total daytime snow accumulation of less than a half inch possible.
Tonight
Snow showers, mainly between 10pm and 4am, then snow after 4am. Some thunder is also possible. Areas of fog after 10pm. Low around 25. Windy, with a west wind 30 to 35 mph, with gusts as high as 60 mph. Chance of precipitation is 100%. New snow accumulation of 3 to 5 inches possible.
Thursday
Snow before 10am, then snow showers, mainly between 10am and 4pm. Some thunder is also possible. Areas of fog before 10am. High near 28. Windy, with a west wind around 35 mph, with gusts as high as 60 mph. Chance of precipitation is 100%. New snow accumulation of 9 to 13 inches possible.
Thursday Night
Snow showers, mainly after 10pm. Low around 22. Windy, with a west wind 35 to 40 mph, with gusts as high as 65 mph. Chance of precipitation is 80%. New snow accumulation of 2 to 4 inches possible.
Friday
Snow showers before 10am, then snow after 10am. The snow could be heavy at times. Areas of fog. High near 28. Windy, with a southwest wind 30 to 40 mph, with gusts as high as 65 mph. Chance of precipitation is 100%. New snow accumulation of 10 to 14 inches possible.
Friday Night
Snow showers. Areas of fog before 10pm. Low around 20. Windy. Chance of precipitation is 90%. New snow accumulation of 6 to 10 inches possible.
Saturday
Snow showers likely, mainly before 10am. Mostly cloudy, with a high near 31. Windy. Chance of precipitation is 60%. New snow accumulation of less than one inch possible.
Saturday Night
A chance of snow after 10pm. Mostly cloudy, with a low around 26. Blustery.
Sunday
A chance of snow. Mostly cloudy, with a high near 35. Breezy.
Sunday Night
Snow, mainly after 10pm. Cloudy, with a low around 23. Windy.
Monday
Snow showers. Cloudy, with a high near 30. Windy.
Monday Night
Snow showers. Mostly cloudy, with a low around 19. Windy.
Tuesday
A chance of snow showers. Mostly sunny, with a high near 36. Windy.
From NWS today, 5 Miles NE Pine Cove CA, 8,600 ft.
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Re: Thinking of doing Skyline on Sunday...anyone going Satur

Postby 2600fromatari » Wed Jan 18, 2017 10:30 am

Hi guest,
Thanks for the reminder and concern (no sarcasm, I sincerely mean that). My post was half serious, half joking. It wasn't San Jacinto, but I remember postholing for +20 hours on Whitney during the last big Winter/Spring of 2010/2011. I had a similar experience as you. One of my crampons came off on the way down. Getting them back on completely froze my hands. I literally couldn't twitch my fingers an inch. Luckily my partner had one of those instant hand warmers and that slowly did the trick along with stuffing them into the armpits. First time I hallucinated from sheer exhaustion. I have every intention of turning around before things go to hell (if I do go). Bad weather creates beautiful pictures and I sometimes just like going out there and capturing those moments. I promise not to make the RMRU come out to get me.
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