PS TRAM UPDATE

General Palm Springs area.

Re: PS TRAM UPDATE

Postby Ed » Thu Mar 28, 2019 8:17 am

The PSAT website seems to have revived. The home page is still announcing an April 1 reopening date, in a new format, and the Long Valley webcam is back up.

For a sobering description of some of the snow conditions in the mountains, see the latest SanJacJon report. I find hard snow on a steep forested slope to be particularly unnerving, since even with an ice axe and self-arrest skills, you may not complete a self-arrest before you crash into a tree.
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Re: PS TRAM UPDATE

Postby Ellen » Thu Mar 28, 2019 11:17 am

Howdy Ed :)

Ed wrote:For a sobering description of some of the snow conditions in the mountains, see the latest SanJacJon report. I find hard snow on a steep forested slope to be particularly unnerving, since even with an ice axe and self-arrest skills, you may not complete a self-arrest before you crash into a tree.


I am very concerned about traversing along a steep slope with hard snow. Yesterday, we tried to go up the Forsee trail on the north side of Gorgonio to Anderson peak. There is a lovely XC route to Anderson but attaining it requires long, traversing switchbacks up a very steep slope. After creeping along with crampons and ice-axes we called it, turned around and crept back :? The San Bernardino peak trail also has a nice XC route to west San Bernardino peak but, like Forsee, starts by traversing up a steep slope.

I suspect that the Skyline traverse will look a lot like SanJacJon's picture of Fuller ridge :shock: as shown below.

Miles of smiles,
Ellen
Last edited by Ellen on Thu Mar 28, 2019 11:23 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: PS TRAM UPDATE

Postby Ellen » Thu Mar 28, 2019 11:23 am

Image
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Re: PS TRAM UPDATE

Postby Ed » Thu Mar 28, 2019 1:45 pm

Regarding traverses on steep hard snow, I wonder about today's crampons. Typically, they have aggressive front points, and no side points on the middle of the front piece, which was once standard, and comforting on a traverse. Even when they are described and marketed as general-purpose mountaineering crampons. I would happily forgo the front points in return for the old side points. You rarely use the front points, and when you do, it tends to be for short stretches, such as ascending a head wall, where they are more convenient than necessary. Frankly, I think they are more likely to cause an accident than be useful.
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Re: PS TRAM UPDATE

Postby Florian » Fri Mar 29, 2019 10:02 am

Ellen wrote:I suspect that the Skyline traverse will look a lot like SanJacJon's picture of Fuller ridge

Looking up at Skyline from PS today there is basically no snow showing except one shoot south of main trail. Probably still ice on traverse. Note that tramway is still closed scheduled to open on Monday 1st April.

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Re: PS TRAM UPDATE

Postby Perry » Fri Mar 29, 2019 11:19 am

Florian wrote: Probably still ice on traverse.

I would bring an ice axe, crampons, and a hand file to sharpen them. At least until somebody posts an update that suggests otherwise. That's north-facing and shaded, and we got a lot of rain/snow this winter.
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Re: PS TRAM UPDATE

Postby Ed » Fri Mar 29, 2019 12:46 pm

Perry wrote:
Florian wrote: Probably still ice on traverse.

I would bring an ice axe, crampons, and a hand file to sharpen them. At least until somebody posts an update that suggests otherwise. That's north-facing and shaded, and we got a lot of rain/snow this winter.


You gave me a good laugh there, Perry, with your suggestion that we arm ourselves with a hand file. Semi-humorous, I assume. Personally, I tend to be of the dull-points school, though I have been in situations where, sharp points or dull, they had to be stamped in, which is not fun, since it tends to unbalance you, and sometimes shatters the ice as it penetrates it.

The place I worry about on the traverse is where you have the tree root-and-rock obstacle, requiring a step-up and step-down. Perhaps it would have seemed less formidable to me when I was younger and more agile. I also worry about what I call the 'second traverse', where you have to carefully step downhill, through tree roots and rocks, before it levels off and you come to the Great Log.

Will be interesting to see a report. SanJacJon tends to keep us up to date on the Tahquitz Peak trail, which he usually reports as being dangerously icy. I wonder how well that correlates with the upper part of Skyline.
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