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[pct-l] Snow Report/Lightweight Backpacking

Re: Lightweight Backpacking
I couldn't agree more that the "go light" philosophy seems ill advised much of
the time. To venture into the Sierra in June without a tent seems like an aweful
risk. Having decent shoes and an axe is required for any serious snow
conditions. Even, me, an affectionado of butane stoves, would break out my old
MSR if I went snow camping.

I also seriously question if running shoes will work for most people. I tried
lightweight boots, basically running shoes with lug soles, and found, for me,
that the fatigue of carefully placing my feet on rocky descents outweighed their
light weight.

Re: Snow report
However . . .
If you want to avoid snow this may be the year to do it. There is very, very
little snow in Southern California. It is as low as people can remember in the
San Jancintos, San Gabriels and Big Bear. In April the snow will very likely be
soft and negotiable without danger if you use commen sense around an ice chute.
Conventional wisdom still says take an axe, however.

A look at the snow sensors and Mark Dixon's graphs on March 2 shows that the
snow is very light in the Tyndall Creek area just south of Forrester Pass. If
1999 follows the pattern of ALL OTHER YEARS, Forrester will be easily passable
June 7. [With an axe] Although the snowfall is more normal as you go further
north in California, Tolumne Meadows [normal year snow] should be clear by July
1 {expect snow on Donahue and watch out for the little tarns on the top].

North from Tolumne only Sonora Pass has significant altitude. [You can bypass
this by hiking to Kennedy Meadows, walking the road to Clark Fork Campground,
and taking the Tahoe-to-Yosemite Trail north til it rejoins the PCT]

North of Tahoe is not my expertise. As always these are my personal observations
[guesses]. Things can change and/or I can be wrong.

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