Ice on the Traverse

General Palm Springs area.

Ice on the Traverse

Postby Tony » Thu Nov 29, 2018 8:31 pm

I had planned to do Skyline this morning (November 29), but the prospect of rain and then snow put an end to that plan. Now I would like to try it in the next few days, perhaps on Sunday, but not if the initial rainfall overnight last night would have frozen on impact on the ground on the traverse. I thought this might be likely since the traverse is so much colder than the top, snow was not melting much on the top today and the initial precipitation fell as rain. I don't have much experience of this but perhaps others have. What's the likelihood that the traverse has a layer of ice below the recent snow?
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Re: Ice on the Traverse

Postby Ed » Fri Nov 30, 2018 10:17 am

I tend to think you would be ok with trekking poles, microspikes, and a little care in foot placement and route finding, if you are not a first-timer, which I assume is the case. But I defer to people with more experience, or better yet somebody who went up today or tomorrow. I have only been on the traverse five or six times with snow, which is not a lot, when you consider the variability in snow conditions.
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Re: Ice on the Traverse

Postby zippetydude » Fri Nov 30, 2018 6:36 pm

I agree with Ed. Ice only builds up when there is sustained, extremely cold weather or a freeze-thaw pattern develops. You might see pockets of snow and slush, but after just this one storm you should be fine. Remember that the traverse is lower than the tram station at Long Valley, and the precipitation from this storm in Long Valley was less than half an inch, which should be somewhere around 6" of snow, even up there. Here's a link so you can see how deep the snow is at the tram.

https://www.pstramway.com/long-valley-cam/

z
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Skyline 11/30/18.

Postby Ellen » Fri Nov 30, 2018 7:32 pm

Howdy Tony :)

Went up Skyline today with friends. There was about 6 inches of new snow on the traverse up to Grubbs Notch. By tomorrow, recommend microspikes and trekking poles due to melt/freeze cycle. From Grubbs viewing area, the peak appeared to have 1.5 feet of snow -- not enough to snowshoe.
Some photos:

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View towards San Gorgonio from Florian's point (about 5,750 ft).

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Looking east from trail at about 7 K (that's my finger in the upper left corner :roll: )

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View towards San Gorgonio at the beginning of the traverse.

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Heading up the traverse.

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Guess where :wink:

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Yes Virginia, there are icicles on Skyline.

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Heading up the snow covered rocks to the Grubbs viewing area. The bearded fellow is either Santa Claus, John Muir or Cameron.

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Looking towards Divide peak.

Miles of smiles,
Ellen
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Re: Ice on the Traverse

Postby Tony » Fri Nov 30, 2018 8:23 pm

Thanks Ellen. That's a complete answer. The ice on the rock in the photo with the icicles is exactly what I was worried about, that is, if it was everywhere. But it is reassuring, not just that you found the route was passable, but that your experience enabled you to be reasonable sure that the route would be passable, even after a snowstorm.
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Re: Ice on the Traverse

Postby Ed » Fri Nov 30, 2018 8:59 pm

And thanks to Ellen and friends there is now a reliable track to follow, not something to be taken for granted in fresh snow.
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Re: Ice on the Traverse

Postby Ellen » Mon Dec 03, 2018 12:08 pm

Howdy Ed :)

The credit for tracks in the snow on the traverse is thanks to speedy Diana and two military gentlemen who were ahead of us on their first Skyline. Since then, lots of folks have hiked up Skyline so the track is well established.

I hope we get some more snow with the next system on Wed/Thurs -- my snowshoes want fresh powder on the three saints :lol:

Miles of smiles,
Ellen
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Re: Ice on the Traverse

Postby guest » Fri Dec 07, 2018 9:01 am

Hi Ellen & friends,
Always enjoy your photos Ellen, you bring me onto the trail with them!

For anyone, Especially new-comers, the tram got over a foot by looking at tram cam, so Skyline in the trees will become almost undetectable. Even those who have been up a bunch, (like me), get confused in a few areas when there's no evidence to follow. Maybe a regular will carve out a good path, but don't count on it.

Plus! Some my go up & screw up & get off trail, which most behind will follow, which more will get lost, making more improper trails to get back to what they think is the Real trail, & on.
If the coverage is as deep as it looks, this section will really work those tired legs & lungs!
I doubt ice will be much of an issue, but, there are a couple layer now, (from storm last week), but very little thawing, I'd imagine.

Happy snow-shoeing, finally!! scott
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Re: Ice on the Traverse

Postby cynthia23 » Fri Dec 07, 2018 5:31 pm

Great pix Ellen, thank you! Love the icicles.

It rained a LOT here in the valley the past two days so I imagine there is a lot of snow now. As Guest says, routefinding will not be easy.
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