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RE: [pct-l] Re: El Nino
- Subject: RE: [pct-l] Re: El Nino
- From: "Umstead, Tim (SD-EX)" <TUmstead%40nlvl%2Ecom>
- Date: Mon, 27 Oct 1997 10:10:22 -0800
A comment on a comment
"You would think that the High Sierra would be the most
difficult when snowbound but it really isn't because the route
fairly easy. Hike up one drainage till you hit the snow. Take a
sighting to figure out which col is the pass you want to go
over, then hike=20
down the other side until the trail peeks out of the snow."
This is not that easy in the southern Sierra's. (Note: this is
for an average year)
Forester Pass: you can do that on. The Pass can be seen buy
the time you get to Tyndel Creak.
Glen Pass: you twist and turn into and you will not see the
pass until your just below it.
Pinchot Pass: you will hit snow buy the time you get to Twin
Lakes and the pass is back to your left behind a hill.
Mather Pass: no big deal, you can see it from the top of
Muir Pass: this pass is another one that twist and turns. you
will not see the pass until you are on it. In '96, this is the pass
that most people got a little lost on. You just want to follow that
river all the way up, but its under snow.
The rest of the passes are not much of a problem. Remember that
Silver Pass is on the high point to the right of what we would normal
call the pass.
Tim and Ann
The Ravens PCT '96
JMT '87 '91 '93 '95
> -----Original Message-----
> From: Brick Robbins [SMTP:firstname.lastname@example.org]
> Sent: Monday, October 27, 1997 8:59 AM
> To: email@example.com
> Subject: [pct-l] Re: El Nino
> I would like to add my perspective to the "too much snow"/El Ni=F1o
> I through hiked CA in 1995, which had one of the latest snowmelts on
> (second i think). I had snow above 11,000 feet starting near Whitney,
> it dropped down to 8000 feet by the time I was north of I-80. I often
> 20 mile stretches on snow without setting foot on solid ground. Have =
> at my home page to see Forester Pass when I crossed it. That picture
> taken 15 July. I hiked in running shoes with REI gortex inner socks.
> Several times I wished I had boots, but many others I was glad I had
> running shoes. The gortex socks worked great at keeping my feet warm
> dry. I used a Ramer self arrest skipole handle instead of an ice axe,
> was a big mistake. I often wished for the real thing.
> First of all, by that late in the season, the snow has compressed, =
> generally you can walk on top of it.=20
> If you choose to use snow shoes, I would reccomend the MSR or the
> shoes (small and light), but I doubt they are worth the weight.=20
> Crampon are useless, except for a couple of hours in the morning, and
> can chop steps then. I wholey agree with Jardine's comments on
> crampons in
> his book.
> Skis would be worse than useless because the snow will probably be so
> sun-cupped by then that you will have to carry skis up the passes,
> back down the other side.
> Your three problems will probably be speed, routefinding and high
> SPEED. You will go slower than you expect. On dry trails I averaged
> 30 miles a day. In the 200 miles of snowcover I walked on, I averaged
> miles a day in the snow country, about 33% slower than I was =
> ran out of food twice. This can be overcome by hiking out a lateral
> and resupplying, but odds are there won't be any traffic to the
> because of the snow, so you will have to walk the extra 10-15 miles
> down to
> the main highway. Many days I would look skyward, bone tired and legs
> from walking on the sun cups, and say "Will this ever end?!?!?!" I
> stop and rest because food was low.
> ROUTE FINDING. You would think that the High Sierra would be the =
> difficult when snowbound but it really isn't because the route =
> fairly easy. Hike up one drainage till you hit the snow. Take a
> sighting to figure out which col is the pass you want to go over, =
> down the other side until the trail peeks out of the snow. Further
> where you are following wooded ridges with no clear "natural line" =
> route finding is much much harder. If there is snow cover north of
> plan on being lost alot. (been there - done that)
> DEEP WATER. By far the most dangerous part of hiking with excessive
> cover is the runnoff durring full melt. The rivers may be
> un-crossable at
> the normal fords so you will need to hike upstream or you may have to
> till morning when the water is 12"-24" lower before you can cross. =
> get swept away and drown (almost happened to me). When it warms up =
> creeks start running under the snow you need to worry about falling
> a thin spot into a creek. I did this, and it scared the crap out of
> me. The
> water was only knee deep, but there was a big void between the bottom
> snow and the top of the water. I was up to my chest in the snow when
> feet hit the creekbed. If the water had been a little deeper, the =
> been bigger or I had fallen all the way through I could have been
> under the snow in freezing water until I died of hypothermia. As it
> couldn't feel my feet for a very long time after I managed to get out
> that hole.
> IMHO a PCT trip is do-able with abnormally deep snow, it just becomes
> harder to do a end-to-end through hike, and a trip partner becomes
> important (I travelled alone). The trip is still worth taking even if
> have to jump around, flip-flop, or skip sections.
> DISCLAIMER: I am an experience mountaineer, and backcountry
> camper. My opinions of difficulty may be significantly different from
> normal summer backpacker.
> Brick Robbins
> San Diego, CA =20
> firstname.lastname@example.org =20
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