I decided to carpe diem and try to get to (what I here is) the good snow above 8,000′ today. My plan was to bike from Islip Saddle out to Dawson Saddle and tour up to the top 500′ of Throop. After I scoped out Throop from the other side, I was too pooped to seal the deal; so I went to Kratka instead. Here’s the beta. . .
What road closure?!: N face of Throop from Dawson
It looks pretty filled in above the PCT. I biked down to the mouth of the main chute, it’s filled in nicely. Just get your timing right when it melts and before it slides.
From the top of Kratka I could see Throop, Hawkins, and Islip to the west The northern aspects are ridable.
The northwest face of Baldy looks awesome!
Kratka is ridable from top to bottom, if you choose your line carefully. Just bring your rock board. The fire road is covered the entire way and gives you nice beta on what’s filled in (but booting is faster!). NNE aspects soften up around noon. NNW later in the afternoon.
From the top of the lift looking northeast
From the lift looking west
It will still be good tomorrow…possibly next week. GET SOME!!! (while you can)
I hope others are still getting some in the transverse ranges. I was just had the best day of my season at Baden Powell yesterday. Our local season is still going on. After two miles of hiking (just past the Lamel Springs junction), the trail is basically totally covered for skinning; with ridable snow above 8300′. NE aspects of Lamel Spring drainage loosen up around 10:30 (East aspects are shot). N aspects (the trail switchback area) loosens up around noon; making a nice quick trip. NW aspects should loosen up later in the day (2:30) but I wasn’t there at that time. Stability tests are pretty boring because it’s so solid :disco:.I found frozen windslabs next to radiation recrystallization up top (making skinning a bitch!) and a pit earlier in the week clearly showed the solidified, wetter deposition from the 2/26 storm preceding the last storm cycle (2/28-3/1). It’s also really obvious where the snowpack is thin, (as opposed to really thin).
From the summit I boarded west on the ridge, and skinned up to the first peak then north, into my favorite drainage. I got about 800′ vert of perfect corn. So good I went back up and did it twice. :rock: I boarded down to about 7400′ when the snow got too thin to ride; but not to thin to bootski back to the road :headbang:.
Be sure to hit the particular slopes at the right time (not too stiff, not too mushy). Earlier this week, some dudes hit up this drainage too late in the day, started canoeing, and effed up the snow (particularly badly in the choke of the chute). Have fun. Be safe. It looks like CalTrans is prepping to open the 2 from Vincent Gap to Islip soon.
Went for a solo hike in the San Gabriels on week-old snow this weekend: from Wrightwood to Pine Mtn. No real snow to speak of on the trail(s) until Devil’s Other Backbone/Razorback. There is one patch of very icy, high-consiquence snow on the sketchy part between Razorback and Pine @ 8400′. Then there is an 1/8 mile of dry before you need crampons again until it flattens out at the summit. There was one section where I wish I had a whippet or axe. I hit the snow at 12:30 PM, so that was as soft as it gets; and it was slippery and hard. A week before —when the snow was fresh and soft— some dude bagged a new KOM record on Strava form PCT to Pine. What took me two hours he did in one. . . Stupid ice!
The Sketch. . .
North face of Pine (Razorback is behind the tree)
left to right: North face of Baldy, LA (shrouded in clouds), Iron Mtn, Baden Powell (behind the trees)
Last Tuesday I was snorkeling off the coast of Catalina, 48 hours before I touched snow. I love LA.
Pretty Good! Started at about 6:45 from south fork to dollar lake saddle. we encountered snow just before dollar lake saddle , elevation at the saddle is 10,000 ft. Went around charelton peak and straight up to jepson peak leaving the trail. we then traversed to san gorgonio peak. everything was covered except bushes and large rocks. the snow was firm and we used microspikes. I would say about a foot or so on the summit but did not really measure anything. We made it to the summit at 12:00 noon and back down at 3:30. there we several other groups that made it. More snow is supposed to fall this weekend!
I went up near Mt Islip (8250′) today in the San Gabriels. Since the most recent, cold storm, strong winds from the north blew things around. Highly variable conditions: thick/thin, pow/ice all a few feet apart. E & W aspects are melting fast (probably unridable by now). Patchy, blower (and I mean blower) pow over frozen, sun cupped corn…unless it’s frozen-solid, sun-cupped corn (without the pow). No avalanche activity observed. Multiple test slopes showed the uncohesive top layer stuck to the frozen layer well. There was too much variability for meaningful pits. The highway from Islip Saddle is mostly (but not completely) covered to the fire road. The trail is mostly (but not completely) covered from the Saddle to the intersection with the fire road.
B/c of the patchy conditions (and I didn’t really feel like skinning up ice), once I made it up to Little Jimmy (7520′) I booted up pockets pow until they ran out and rode them down. Short laps ‘n’ face shots man . . . I got a couple of great turns in today!
The west end of the San Gabs was nice. Coulda been better. Anybody got any beta on San Bernardinos, Baden Powell, or Baldy? From what I saw, the storm hung out east more (and down low, avoiding deposition on Baden P and Baldy). But I don’t know.
I hope somebody here gets some with this last dump. San G? **************** Want to let you know about this Saturday’s SoCal Snow Avalanche Fundraiser at Mountain High in Wrightwood. From their site. . . SCASC has once again teamed up with Teton Gravity Research for the Avalanche Center’s second annual fundraiser with “Higher” Jeremy Jones’ latest film from TGR. There will be raffles, silent auctions and much more. Prizes will consist of Snowboards, Avalanche safety equipment, Apparel, Season passes and more. Sponsors include Mt High Resort, Gnu, A16, Wilderness Leadership Institute, Mt Baldy, TGR, Spark R&D, Voile, BCA, Ritual Brewing in Redlands, Rim Nordic, Rim Nordic, Val Surf, 686, Mammoth Mountaineering, Venture, 40 Below, Arc’teryx & Patagonia. Every person will get a raffle ticket with entry, with the opportunity to get more tickets through donations inside the event. Tickets can be purchased in advance at the site or at the door.
There will be avalanche training clinics during the day and programs will depend upon the snow conditions: 8–14″ from Tues morning. We will run an avalanche awareness presentation and beacon search training programs with the beacon training park. If snow permits we will also run a safe travels clinic and have a rescue shoveling competition for prizes.
The refreshments and food concessions will be available to purchase. Clinics start at 2:30pm with the movie showing at 6:00pm. Live music before and after the movie by Matt Aggers, Raffles and the silent auction will be conducted following the movie. Come out and get some turns in, learn some avalanche safety and watch a great movie.
Events schedule: 2:30pm to 4:30pm – Avalanche clinics: Avi awareness, beacon training/ practice etc. 5:00pm to 6:00pm – Admission to venue, music, mingle 5:00pm to 7:00pm – food Taco Truck 5:00pm to 9:00pm – drinks/ bar 6:00pm to 8:00pm – Movie (including introduction, sponsor recognition and info about avalanche center) 8:00pm to 9pm – Raffle/ silent auction
Tickets will be $10.00 and can be purchased on the SCASC site or at the door. Print and save your confirmation as that will be your ticket for entry. All proceeds go to support the avalanche center. Come out and support your local avalanche center and have a great time.
I was at Throop Peak last week and here’s the beta. . . Road (hwy 2) closed at Islip (39 intersection) & Vincent Gap. 5 mi beyond either gate is the base of Throop peak. I had the day off and decided to check out the goods.
This (Thurs 3/12) was the second warm day after a cold snap. Natural, wet avys to be seen on N aspects above 7000. Unfortunately that was the only aspect with enough snow to ride so, terrain management time. I looked for mellower slopes that were protected from the sun: NW drainage of Throop! 🙂 N drainage was avy’ed out almost top to bottom, so I let that sit for a while.
After an hour on my bike I hit the snow. An hour up the snow I hit the base of the ‘cliff bands’ where I dug a pit.
I didn’t like the stratigraphy but I got excellent stability tests. . . so I went for it. Just before dropping in.
Twelve turns of pure bliss then a chunky, debris-filled ride to the road.
Around 1:45, it heated to the point where I canoed into-, and slid a little on the ice layer 20+ cm deep. Be careful and time your turns.
There is snow to be had somewhere in LA! ******** @beantown you up for a tour here on Friday? Meet at Vincent, ride bikes to the base, hike-then-tour to the top. 1000′ vert and you’ll know where there’s snow in June.
@beantown and Brian, Thanks for helping me explore more of that zone. I like that more mellow area we found.
The rest of you, get out there while we still can. I see a warm week ahead. We three just had rode summit to the road (almost); don’t know about the other two gents but, I without a single ding to my base. (-B
N aspects in the San Gabs above 8000′ still look good. Baldy looks a little toasted (top 150′ w/o snow); that leaves Pine, Baden Powell, Burnham, Throop, and Telegraph. We observed zero avy activity before 1:30 pm.